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How to cook your life?

On Friday, October 17, 2008, CMC held a screening of How to Cook Your Life, the first of three movies to be shown in this fall's series of "Movies and Mind", where people can learn about buddhadharma through cinema and discussions. The documentary stars Edward Espe Brown, a long-time chef, Zen practitioner and student of Suzuki Roshi.

The movie, like a good dish, is simple, substantial, and imparts many subtle flavors. It looked at food as a metaphor for the Buddhist practice of humility and gratitude and as a mirror of the self. We are reminded of Master Dogen's kitchen instructions to his followers, to take care of our food as if it were our own eyes, to pay careful attention to our food.

Themes range from the role of food in our busy, modern times, feeding the hungry in the community, and taking care of our bodies, hearts and minds, and each other. We follow the creation of food, from the animal fertilizers used in the farm, the migrant workers that work the land, to the oil that is used to fuel the processing and transportation of food.

The audience was treated to fresh popcorn during the movie. After the movie, there was a lively discussion moderated by the presenter, who commented on our own wonderful chefs at CMC who make something delicious out of practically nothing. The group shared ways on how to be more connected to understanding where our food comes from through awareness and by joining our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, where communities support their local farm and receive their produce directly from the farm, to growing food plants in our backyards and homes.

The next movie to be shown at CMC will be, Travelers and Magicians, on November 7, 2008.

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