No Recipe

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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Berkley's Ed Center. It's an honor and privilege to introduce our speaker today, Ed Glass. He's an old, old friend of Berkley's Ed Center. Ed started sitting 70, he babysat the baby. No recipe doesn't mean no food.


All right, thank you. This is amazing. Thank you for being here. I think, as Ross was alluding to, I think this is my first talk at the Berkeley Zen Center since 1970, and I think it was three, on Dwight Way. But maybe I've given a talk here before, I don't know. You think so? Okay. It was forgettable. Anyway, the Berkeley Zen Center feels very precious, tender, sweet, a lot of love in the air.


So thank you all for your good hearts, good spirit and practice here. The grounds, You know, of course, it's a great time. The lilies in the front, oh my goodness, they're as tall as I am. I've never seen lilies like that. So something is happening here. It's pretty nice. So I appreciate very much having the opportunity to sit in the midst of it and with all of you. Thank you. So I usually plan my talks in meticulous detail. Today I've neglected to do that. But I will talk for a while about something and we'll see what happens and go from there. It's kind of like no recipe. But I do have a place to start. I know the story I want to tell you to start with and then I'll see what occurs to talk about next, if anything.


So I was at the first practice period at Tassajara in 1967. It started on, we dedicated Tassajara, per Bekaroshi's wish, on July the 4th. So Tassajara actually has the same birthday as the country. So when you celebrate Independence Day, it's also the birth of Tassajara Day. How about that? And it was terribly hot. And we were all sweating in our robes. I often think, oh, no, I don't need a sweat lodge practice. I've done enough of that at Tassajara with all these robes and things. We could talk more about that, but I won't. Anyway, we'd been having meals outside at picnic tables and benches, and then we had our first meals in the zendo, which was a temporary zendo.


It was what's now the Tassara dining room for guests. And we were working on the other zendo to get it ready to be a zendo, which is now burned down in the student eating area. But... So we had our first meals and for breakfast we used to have hot cereal and fruit or nuts or yogurt or something, probably pretty similar today. And with it, when we sat outside, we were used to having milk and sometimes even half and half. And then some people said, well, we like canned milk. Why don't we get to have that? So, okay, you can have canned milk. After all, this is America, have it your way. Watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. I mean, even before those advertising slogans came out, this is America, and you should be able to have things your way, because that's what freedom is, and that's what having, being a consumer culture is.


And then we had white sugar, and because many people don't want white sugar because it's white, and then other people wanted brown sugar, and then of course some people didn't want either kind of sugar, they wanted honey. And then there was the people who said, well, we don't like sugar or honey, we want molasses. And molasses is more healthy for you, it has more vitamins, whatever. Okay, well, we'll have molasses too. So when we sat out at picnic tables with six or eight people around the table, it worked fine. You could help yourself and pass it around the table and not a problem. But one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 people sitting down the row, takes a while for a tray of condiments to go down the row. So the second day we thought, well, we'd better make up a tray for every three people. So we had something like 12 trays or 15 trays with white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, at least one kind of milk.


And you know, this is before, this is still when people were eating dairy. So, since then, of course, now you could have, I was at Felsentaur in Switzerland and they're big on, so they have no dairy milk, but they have soy milk, rice milk, mondain, hazelnut milk, and almond, hazelnuts, and so on. They have four, five, or six kinds of milk because you should have your choice what to put on your cereal. And they have sugar, too, of course, but there's also honey, and I don't recall seeing molasses, but anyway. So it took a long time, even with the, so we had all these trays and we'd take over the trays and we'd come in and we'd put them down every three people. And then it didn't take so long then for everybody to get their, the milk and sugar and their cereal.


So we got back to the kitchen and we were thinking, oh my God, that was a lot of work. That's a lot of trays and those are a lot of little dishes and now what do we do? Do we pour all the milk back into the original containers and then we have to clean out all these, you know, these little pitchers and these little, you know, what, oh my God, this is a lot of work. So while we were still thinking about this, somebody came more or less running into the zendo and said, Suzuki Roshi wants to give a talk. He wants everybody to be there. So this is right after breakfast. And so we stopped what we were doing. And in those days, we didn't know any better, but the people who worked in the kitchen also served the food in the zendo. So now we know better, and a whole group of people, students come in and are the servers for the sendo meal and so on. The kitchen, people stay in the kitchen. We didn't know. That wasn't until Tatsakami Roshi came along and straightened us all out about how to practice Zen. So Suzuki Roshi's talk, he said, I don't understand you Americans


When you put so much milk and sugar on your cereal, how will you taste the true spirit of the grain? I don't know about you, but I had never heard of the true spirit of the grain, or the fact that you could taste it, let alone that you might practice tasting it. And then he said, and while I was still wondering about what is the true spirit, he said, what? Did you think you could put milk and sugar on each moment of your experience to make it taste the way you wanted? Why don't you taste the true spirit of the moment? Why don't you taste your own true spirit? Why don't you taste the true spirit of your friends? So I had a new practice.


We got back to the kitchen and we more or less high-fived. I don't know that we were doing high-fives in those days, but... Because we didn't have to have those 40 or 50 or more little dishes of this and that. And we thought, okay, we'll just serve gamasho. with the morning cereal. So, of course, that's traditional in sand. You serve toasted sesame, ground up with salt, and for the cereal and for whatever. So now, instead of adding milk and sugar to make it taste the way you want it to, you add gomasio to make it taste the way you want it to. It's still just as useful because people often put it on each one of their dishes so that everything can taste the same, which is a practice of Zen non-discrimination. And you don't have to have any preferences because everything tastes like a masho. Which is different than the old Christian tradition of putting ash on everything to make it taste the same way and so you could get over your preferences.


Those were the days. So I found out that cereal has a wonderful flavor, but it's kind of flavorless. It doesn't have a flavor that jumps out at you, and it's more like the flavor of water. So it's a very kind of simple flavor. And of course, a lot of the time we're looking for something in our life that's more interesting, more exciting, more dynamic. And we would, if possible, accumulate any number of those kinds of experiences that would reflect well on our resume, or at least that I could keep them in my little collection of remembered prize experiences or something. I don't know, but we think it would be nice to have strong, powerful, brilliant experiences.


But it turns out the flavor of the morning cereal is, in its way, although simple, it's quite remarkable. And you can taste the true spirit. there's something there that is not exactly sweet or sour, salty, bitter, earthy, pungent, fruit, flower. It's something more spacious and still. And in order to taste that, you need to actually taste. So I tell people now, taste what you put in your mouth. Because in order to have this kind of experience, you have to actually taste. If you're busy looking for what you like and making the experience be the way you want it to be, you won't taste it. You have to receive.


So consciousness itself then, we're busy, and the way that consciousness tends to work is we're busy with each moment of experience, giving out the directives to ourself, our own body, mind. Do this, don't do that. Taste this, don't taste that. Make it this way, don't make it that way. We're busy giving ourself instructions, directions, what to experience, what not to experience, what's right, what's wrong. And when we neglect receiving experience, So it's so important just to be able to receive any moment of your experience. And then the true nature of things is there. The true spirit of the grain is there. Your own true spirit is here. And it's not because it's particularly stunning or remarkable in the usual worldly sense. I usually worldly sense, you know, I think about this as the horizontal world. You know, this compared to that, it's not remarkable compared to something else that's not remarkable. So when you taste the true spirit, it's the vertical world.


It's not compared to anything. It's like the Zen saying, every day is a good day. Compared to what? So you can have this taste anytime, that you're still and receptive, rather than, I want this, I don't want that. Make it like this, make it like that. So pretty interesting. And this reminds me, by the way, of another... See, another story came along. I didn't have to plan it. But one day we had tea with Suzuki Rishi, And of course, Zen tea and we're all sitting quietly. It was just outside at the tables, chairs. And the tea's poured and we're all sitting quietly and then at some point we all bow and then very carefully pick up the teacup. We had learned holding it in one hand, the other hand is underneath it.


You hold one thing with two hands, because that's the way to honor one thing. Bring both sides of your body to hold it. And after we'd sipped our tea for a little bit, Suzuki Roshi said, does anybody have any questions? And right away, one of the students' hand went up, and Roshi said yes, and the student said, Roshi, why haven't you enlightened me yet? I thought that's kind of, a dig. Are you really a Zen teacher or are you just a fraud?" And I go, why haven't you enlightened me yet? And he paused momentarily and he said, I'm making my best effort. And then I was expecting him to say, you know, if it would be me, you know, I'm making my best effort, and how about you?


But of course he didn't do that, because that's another one of those things. Every day is a good day. Everyone is making their best effort. And of course, sometimes your best effort brings results that you want, and more often it doesn't. So sorry, but the good news is it's not your fault. That's just the nature of the horizontal world. You can't make it the way you want it to be and have the flavor you want. There's not enough milk and sugar in the whole universe regardless of whether you want to put it on each moment or not. So this story, though, has stayed with me over the years. I'm making my best effort because, of course, I spent a lot of time wondering in Zazen why I couldn't have better experiences. Where's that enlightenment I've heard so much about? Why do you just give me painful knees? I don't want painful knees. I don't like this. It hurts. And, you know, various problems in sitting. And then there's a day when I think, can't you come up with anything better?


I would like something enlightening, please. I mean, it's been enough. I've sat through enough stuff. Come on. And then, you know, your body at some point says, excuse me, but I'm making my best effort. I'm giving you sensations, I've given you things to see with your eyes, smell with your nose, taste with your tongue. I'm giving you thoughts to think, feelings to feel. I'm making my best effort. And then you say, oh, thank you. I guess. And of course, this is very much like the I forget the two monks, maybe you remember, but the two monks walking along one day out in the hills, and one of them stops and says, right here, this is the summit of the mystic peak. Did you know that? Right here?


This? And the other monk says, yes, indeed. Isn't it a pity? This is, I think, an example of dry Zen humor. So, the best commentary about this is a story about Zhao Zhou, who was the one who studied Zen until he was 60, and then went on a 20-year pilgrimage around China, visiting all the great teachers of the time, and then from 80 to 120, settled down and taught Zen. And he's the one who said, the monk said, I'm new at the monastery and would you please offer me some teaching? And Jojo said, have you had breakfast? And the monk said, yes, I did. And Jojo said, wash your bowls. Is that it? Wash your bowls.


Anyway, Jojo was famous because he became known in the literature as when he spoke, golden light came out of his mouth. Is this true? Or is it metaphor? Anyway, we don't know. But a monk one day asked Jojo, how do I get to the summit of the mystic peak? And Jojo said, I won't say. You're a famous Zen teacher, you're not gonna tell me? I mean, you don't know? The monk says, and golden light comes out of your mouth when you talk. Come on, why won't you tell me? And Jojo said, if I told you how to get to the summit of the mystic peak, you'd go right on thinking that right now, you are on level ground. So which ground are you on? Is this the level ground of the horizontal world or is this the vertical ground?


You know, where you are now. How do you tell? So pretty sweet. So back to food, why don't we? Because I came here, I was invited because I finished a book, it's called No Recipe. Titled by Margot Koch, by the way, my partner. So there's no recipe, you know? How do you get to the summit of the mystic peak? Stop thinking you're on level ground. Experience closely this moment. Taste your own true spirit. Find out where you are right now. Because we're both on the horizontal world and we're in the vertical world, the everyday world, the spiritual world.


So this book took me, I would like to say, about 10 years, 12 years, more. Because whenever I'd say, oh, you're writing a book about cooking? Oh, are you gonna teach us how to be mindful in the kitchen? No, I'm not. I'll tell you more about that in a minute. Are you going to tell us how to make masterful recipes that impress people with very little effort and no stress? No, I'm not going to do that. Are you going to tell us how to be vegan and make it really appetizing and flavorful? No, I'm not going to do that. So what are you going to do for us anyway that would help us put milk and sugar on the way we'd like to? To make things come out the way they should, the way we want them to.


What are you going to tell us then? What kind of useless book are you writing anyway? I decided to write the book anyway and hope that it will find its audience. Maybe some of you here are its audience. We'll see. And then it turned out that I had to work through a lot of things to write this book. The biggest one was called Shame. Do you know Shame? Shame, there's something fundamentally wrong with you. That's what you believe anyway. Because if there wasn't something fundamentally wrong with you, things would be coming out much better than they have been. So it must be because there's something basically, fundamentally, inherently wrong with you, or your life would be working better.


Isn't that the explanation? When we start to talk about it, we realize, no, that's not the explanation, but still, this is called a child's belief, a childhood belief. It goes back, and most of us grew up being shamed, and then we learned how to do it to ourselves. So we walk around, don't shame me, I'm already doing it to myself. And so we're practicing, you know, sit up, Stop shaming yourself, grow tall inside. But even years of practice and I still felt a shame, you know. So, oh, you're not gonna write a book telling us how to produce masterful recipes? Oh, shame on you. That's what I felt, you know. So I did a lot of work around that. I went to a process workshop, you know, where you go back and you re-experience your birth and time in the womb.


I did a lot of things. It's fun. If you like that kind of fun. Recently I began to think, you know, I do one-day sittings. At my ascendo in Fairfax, I do one-day sittings, half-day sittings, one day a month. And, you know, I used to have 10 or 12 people come, now like 5, 6, 7 people come. Because, like, who would want to just spend time sitting with themselves? Like, what would be the point of that when you can have some brilliant teaching and understanding, you know, from some spiritual healer and from some psychic this and, you know, tantric that, you know, and then, and what, just spend time with yourself? Ooh, this is not very good company. But, you know, it seems like, but I, you know, over the years you begin to think, well, huh.


I wish there was somebody else who could do this for me, but nobody else seems to want the job any more than I do. And most of the people are leaving. They don't like spending time with me either. I guess I'm going to have to learn to do this because they're not helping me with this. Um, are you understanding this anyway? So I worked through a lot of things and I finally decided I will stand my ground. I will speak my truth. I will write a book, regardless of whether there's an audience for it or not, and regardless of whether the world is looking for something more that will do more for them. Your book doesn't do anything for me. Like, oh, that's why I wrote the whole thing, right? Just so that I could do something for you, do something for you. Anyway, it's all pretty interesting. So I decided to go ahead and write the book, you know, and I worked on it, worked on it, and finally, uh, did the book.


So, um, I'm reminded now of another story related to our theme. When I first made biscuits at Tassajara, I actually started, you know, the year before Zen Center was there, I got a job. Richard Baker, who was not Roshi at the time, said, go on, why don't you go get a job at Tassajara? You could work in the kitchen. So I went and got a job at Tassajara working in the kitchen. I was the dishwasher and pot scrubber. And then they were making this fabulous bread. So I said, well, I want to learn how to make it. And they said, sure. And then pretty soon I was the dishwasher, pot scrubber, and the bread baker. And they didn't have to, which was, they loved that, the cooks. And then halfway through that summer, one of the cooks quit and I became a cook. They said, well, why don't you cook? And then, okay, I had no idea because within a couple days I realized that I had Cook's temperament. And as I say in my book, you realize you have Cook's temperament when they're having meetings, that the sole purpose of the meeting is, what do we do about Ed in the kitchen?


And basically there's an ultimatum. Did you want to keep doing this job or would you like another one? You need to work on this. Okay. So I've been working on it ever since. So I say, you know, I'm a work in progress. But I just learned something very interesting on my recent trip to Europe. Somebody said to me, you know, it's okay to be upset in the kitchen. It's not good, but it's okay, as long as you don't shame anyone. What's wrong with you? No, there's nothing wrong with you. So I did pretty well, except for one time, I ended up somehow shaming. I got upset. It's a long story, so I'm not gonna go into it. But anyway, just one time, there was a little shame for a little bit. So that was interesting. You know that you can do a lot of things, but you really make an effort not to shame yourself or others.


Okay, so once I became the cook, I started making biscuits, and the biscuits just didn't come out right. Darn it! And then I thought, well, maybe it's the eggs and the biscuits. Why don't I leave out the eggs and see what the biscuits are like? And I left out the eggs and made the biscuits. These biscuits just don't, they're not right. They didn't come out the way they should. Maybe it's because I'm using milk and not water. Maybe the kind of biscuit I want is more like water instead of milk. So I made the biscuits with water and not milk. They still didn't come out right. So then I thought, maybe it's the butter. I better use Crisco. The biscuits still didn't come out right. So after four or five tries, I thought, right compared to what? Oh, I grew up with Bisquick and Pillsbury. My biscuits don't taste like either of those. I'm trying to make my biscuits into a manufactured product.


Oh, my goodness. Bisquick, you just take the powder and you put it in a bowl and stir in milk with a fork, and then you take your fork and flip it onto the pan. You don't even need any butter on the pan. And you bake these interesting shapes. And of course, at Pillsbury, you wrap the can on the corner of the counter, twist it open, put the biscuits out in the pan. Now, those are biscuits. Why don't my biscuits taste like this? What's wrong? What am I doing wrong? And of course that was kind of, it's an awakening and it's an aha moment and it's also like, oh my God, how could you be so stupid? But this is the way we are. We have these childhood images and pictures that we're still trying to make come true even though you can't. So then I decided, why don't I taste the biscuits of today? setting aside all the other pictures or images of Biscuit that I might have from somewhere.


And I made the biscuits again with the butter, with the eggs, with the milk, and they were so good. Oh, unbelievable. And you could just, they're flaky high-rise biscuits, and you could just, without a knife, you just, in the middle, you just opened it. And then it was hot, and you could put even more butter in. and whatever else you want on your biscuit. And they were flaky and light, and they were heavenly. And the biscuit kind of just melted. I mean, you chew it slightly, and then it was so flavorful. And then it kind of just melted in your mouth. And because they were whole wheat flour, they tasted earthy, earthy, nutty, roasted, toasty. And they also tasted sunny and light. Earth, water, air, sunlight. Those biscuits were just delicious. And so this is the biscuit of today, you know.


Here we are. What does the biscuit of today taste like? And we're gonna hit you, and if you're not careful, you'll have a lot of ideas. Compared to what? So it's easier to cook if you, and to have your life if you're not busy comparing it to other moments or your picture of how you'd like it to come out. See how it does come out. And then what will you do with that? And of course we have all these Zen teachings like Dogen says, don't complain about the quality or the quantity of the ingredients. Use what comes into your life. See what it is and see what you want to do with it. Oh, so I will mention a little bit about mindfulness in the kitchen.


And to do this, you know, I'll tell you a story. Gil Fronsdale told me, you know, one year, you know, this is way back when, and Gil, of course, is now fundamentally, basically a vipassana teacher, but he's also, Mel gave him dharma transmission, so he also, you know, could be a Zen teacher if he wanted to, but he teaches vipassana, which means that they don't have to wear these outfits, you know. They don't do a lot of cloth management. And it turns out that my ex-wife, another long story, but we were married by Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara. I'll just tell you a little tidbit. At the end of the ceremony, you know, there was more than a hundred people there, including my relatives and her relatives and all the friends. And at the end of the ceremony, we're all married. And Suzuki Roshi would say a few words, extemporaneously, off the cuff.


And he said, Ed and Meg are going to have a very difficult time. Talk about shame. I wanted the floor to open up, you know, and big gap and just fall through and then the earth close over my head, please. And then he went on and on like that. A very, very difficult, you're going to have to help them. I don't know how he thought anybody would be able to help us, but Ed is gonna become a priest. Meg is not gonna wanna be a temple wife. Oh, thank you for saying. 25 years later, I saw Blanche Hartman at Green Gulch. We went out for a walk down to the garden fields. And I said, do you remember that? She said, oh yes.


And Blanche at the time, of course, had long brunette hair. I first met her at the Berkley Zen Center on Dwight Way in 1973. Long brown hair. And she's, pictures, there's still photos of her at the wedding, dancing and her hair's flinging around. Dear Blanche, who is more known for her shaved head and wonderful picture of her at the Gay Pride Parade or something, head of the march. Anyway, Blanche said, oh yes, he was scathing, wasn't he? I said, yeah, he was really scathing. And she said, but he was trying to help you, you know? And then she said her husband, Lou Hartman, was Suzuki Roshi's attendant that day, the Jisha, and they got back to Roshi's cabin and Roshi's taken off as a case and he's muttering to himself, too serious, too serious. So, oh well. But anyway, my ex-wife, after living in France for 25, 30 years, came back here and she said, I want to study Buddhism again.


Who should I study with? And I said, you know, I don't know. There's this person and that person. I said, why don't you, you know, I could probably arrange for you to talk to Jack Kornfield. How about that? Why don't you talk to Jack? So she talked to Jack Kornfield, who's so well known and everything, you know, awesome, awesome teacher who I studied with after Zen, I did many years of Vipassana. But I still wear the clothes and not quite that Zen haircut, but you know, something short. Anyway, She got back and she said, at the end of the talk, he said, why didn't I become a Buddhist teacher? My ex-wife, a Buddhist teacher, excuse me. And my daughter said the same thing. Who is that Jack Kornfield telling my mom she could be a Buddhist teacher? But now we're both, and she decided to study with Gil Fronsdale, was the connection to all of this.


And she's just really impressed with Gil. And she went to the retreat up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She said, you send them a check ahead of time. And then when you walk in the door, they give it back to you. Give you your check back when you walk in the door. And then at the end of the retreat, they say, you've had this retreat for free. Now why don't you pay for the next group to have it for free? Anyway, so she said, that's a great business principle. Anyway, Gil went on this trip to Japan for a month. He studied at a monastery in Japan, and then he went to Southeast Asia for a month or two. And he said, everybody loves to rake. And in Japan, they say, when you rake, just rake. In Southeast Asia, they say, when you rake, watch your mind. So he said, in Japan, rake, [...] the monks go out and they're raking, and there's maybe a little dust coming up, and they get all the leaves together.


In Southeast Asia, he said, they just stand there. I told this to Mel, after Gil had told me the story, and Mel said, I guess the monks in Asia are standing there holding the rake and not moving. They still think their minds are up here. Watch your mind, watch your mind breaking, and watch, you know, there's a lot of ways to think about that, but they're limiting mind to, you know, mental, not to, you know, everything is mind. Anyway, so this is very much so related to, I then have a chapter in my book called Cooking with Passion. And it's not the same as cooking with mindfulness. And I got this, it turns out, right at the beginning with Suzuki Rishi, he said, when you wash the rice, wash the rice. When you cut the carrots, cut the carrots. When you stir the soup, stir the soup.


He didn't say, when you wash the rice, be mindful. Like what would that look like? How would you know if you're mindful or not? And then if you're busy trying to be mindful while you're washing the rice, you may not be washing the rice. You may just be standing there like trying to be mindful. So what's the difference between washing the rice and being mindful? Oh, we should all practice mindfulness. So, So I like the Zen style. I was in Plum Village one time, and I thought I'd volunteer to work in the kitchen. They said, now if you volunteer to work in the kitchen, you're not going to be able to come to the Dharma talk. But we have loudspeakers in the kitchen. You can listen to the Dharma talk over the loudspeakers in the kitchen. So I thought, OK, I don't need to see Thich Nhat Hanh while he's talking. I can hear it in the kitchen. So I was working away in the kitchen when you cut the vegetables, cut the vegetables, and cut the carrots. And then the nuns came over to me.


You need to slow down and be more mindful. You're too energetic for the kitchen. So there are different styles and different understandings of what is practice. But I'm a great, so then over the years, I've called this now cooking with passion. So to me, it's sin. You throw yourself into what you're doing. You burn yourself completely. You know, if you're walking, you walk. And what's it like to be walking? And not, are you busy practicing, but are you busy walking? And so, we're coming to the end of the talk, because it's that time.


But I found over the years, you know, so the other distinction here is between, you know, it's the basic thing of when you're cooking, people say, what's spiritual is to be completely loving. What would that look like? Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go. I don't know what it would look like, you know, but I don't, I don't, and I, whenever I hear that, I think, oh my God, if I, if I had to be completely loving when I was cooking, I never would have had anything to eat and neither would anybody else. I don't know, I don't know how to do that. I don't know what that would look like or, you know, um, What the cooking would be like, I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to be completely loving. And maybe what I'm doing is completely loving. This is the summit of the mystic peak. And who's to say what's completely loving and what's not completely loving? Except of course for your partner.


They know better than you do what's completely loving and not. They can tell you, they straighten you out. So, Yeah, so I could never be completely loving, so I decided to be me. For better or worse. Anyway, I decided to put whatever's arising, like anger, I found out that you could put it into your cooking, into your work. And anger is not just anger, it's your energy, your vitality, your exuberance, your passion. And you put it into the food. And you take sadness and you turn it into food. And you take disappointment and turn it into food.


And you take frustration and turn it into food. You take worry and turn it into food. You turn it all into food. I think that's pretty good. Do you understand? It's not the same as how calm and peaceful you look while you're working. But I'm working on it. How do I put whatever's arising? It's in one more ingredient to put into the food. Your spirit is going into what you're doing, and your spirit is going into feeding people. So again, to me, that's Zen, but I'm just me. So you can have other Zens if you want. What does it look like when you do it? Because we each get to do Zen our way. That's one of the wonderful things about it, of course, is that there is no such thing as Zen. There's only you practicing.


So I like to end my lectures with a poem. So I'll give you my version of a Rumi poem. I like to memorize the poems because then you have the poem in your body. It's not just in your head for other heads to hear. It's in my body and I can say it to your body directly. And then you can hear it with your body and not just with your head. I got this from Robert Bly. amazing, amazing spirit and performer. And he did a poetry reading at San Francisco Page Street in 1978, two nights of poetry, his and Anna Akhmatova and Rumi and Rilke and Goethe and everything by memory. Everything, his own poems. And then he says, if I see any of you reading my poem along with me, I'm going to change the words because it's my poem. Anyway, it's a short Rumi poem, and not even the whole poem.


This we have now is not imagination. This we have now is not imagination, not a joy or sorrow. This is not a judging state, not a happiness or despair. Those come and go. This we have now is the presence that doesn't. This we have now is the presence that doesn't come or go. You know, we say this all the time in our way. Does not increase or decrease, is not tainted or pure, does not appear or disappear. This is the presence that doesn't. When grapes turn into wine, they all want this. The night sky is nothing but a crowd of beggars going across the sky, and they want this, the presence that doesn't come or doesn't go. This we have now is not imagination, this is the presence.


And we sit here in it. Isn't that sweet? Well, think what you want. Thank you.