October 18, 2012

Your Food Is Only as Good as the Wrapper

Well I am off to teach HLC3 at the Billabong Retreat. HLC2 was an amazing experience and I’m sure HLC3 will be just incredible too!

We’ll be without Internet while I’m at the retreat and I have to say, I’m looking forward to a little separation from the digital world.

So rather than my regular blog, today I’d like to share one of my Tao-Te-zen sutras: “Your Food Is Only as Good as the Wrapper”.

Your Food Is Only As Good As The Wrapper

Open is the sky
Giving are the clouds
Fair is the sun
For giving is the earth
These fruits I hold within my hand
They are my love for you
Where there is life, there is a soul
TAO-TE-zen practice is to love, to hold
To care for food as your life depends on it
TAO-TE-zen practitioners know that what we do to food
We do to ourselves
How much life would be left in you
If sealed in practice for months at a time?
The ground you stand on gives it life
Its very love to you
Treat it and all food as living beings
Handle and love your food as though a child
For both are your future
You are a garden within the garden
Would you put dead plants and animals in your garden?
Your food is only as good as the wrapper
Wrap with love
That is zen

“Your Food Is Only as Good as the Wrapper” is a message that what is wrapped is usually sealed and preserved, yet that sealing and preserving creates segregation, isolation, suffocation and starvation.

This Sutra is an invitation to become aware.

Treat your food as though it was your own being. Honor and worship your food as life and love itself.

Imagine for a moment that you were trapped on an island isolated without food, without water, and a group of you began to starve to death. Now ask yourself these questions: If the group concluded that somebody needed to sacrifice themselves so that the others could survive and get help, if you volunteered, would you want them to say grace before sacrificing you? Would you want them to honor and respect you? Would you hope that they appreciated the gift of your sacrifice? Or would you rather that they just threw you into a grinder and treated you like meat, consumed you out of ignorance? It is very likely that one who treated you in that way would not have the intelligence to find help or create safety and security for the others out of your being.

Honor and worship your food. It is a gift from the divine. It is a gift from the highest part of you, the higher self, first level creation.

That is zen.

Love and Chi,
~ Paul Chek