Articles in Mindfulness
Good eating, an eclectic Toastmasters group, hospice training, Zen meditation, depression, social phobia, orgasmic meditation, tears — and laughter — all come into play in Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press), an insightful gem of a memoir: writer, editor, foodie and adventurer Wanda Hennig’s first.
Current brain research and the discovery that neurons that fire together, wire together is producing concrete evidence for something Buddhist practitioners have maintained for centuries: the sustained practice of mindfulness can change the workings of the brain at a molecular level and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness. In light of this the San Francisco Zen Center has been offering mindfulness and depression workshops for the past ten years.
Plentiful: The Big Book of Buddha Food (Jacana) is the Buddhist Retreat Center’s third cookbook. Plentiful was launched at Adams Bookstore in Durban by journalist and longtime Zen student Wanda Hennig. Plentiful’s chef is Paul Atkinson. Editor is Chrisi van Loon. Photographer is Angela Shaw.
Pudding and Prana had us do a lot of yoga with Amy Best and cooking demos (followed by eating) with Paul Atkinson. Vegetarian curries and a Moroccan stew. A beet and feta salad. A “bejeweled’ cous cous. Poached pears in a yummy rich chocolate baked pie topped with whipped cream blended with double-cream yogurt. All were recipes he had perfected while working in the Buddhist Retreat Center kitchen and were destined for Plentiful: The Big Book of Buddha Food (Jacana).
Almost stop in at a place called Chill. But not quite right, even though what “right” is, I won’t know, till I find it: a Lao breakfast menu at a pretty elegant place that also has a bakery. When I search I find it in my Rough Guide too. At Café Le Ban Vat Sene on Sakkaline Road I sit outside and order the Khai Jeun Jaeo Mak Len (omelet cooked with herbs and served with tomato relish, sun-dried beef and sticky rice) 30,000 kip and Lao coffee.
At Delilah’s Cafe in Luang Prabang I order the Rough Guide brekker suggestion. The banana pancake that comes with lemon, ginger and cream and a Lao coffee. Here, like everywhere, there is WiFi. (Sometimes I doesn’t work but for the most part does).
The young monk’s English is broken, but OK. I have been surprised at the unselfconscious lack of English to date. “Thailand has never been colonized,” the young man explains. Guess a self-confidence comes with that. Of “just being Thai.”
He says here in Thailand they belong to the Theravada school of Buddhism. Asks me if I know anything about Buddhism. I tell him I lived for three years at the San Francisco Zen Center. Have meditated for many.
The Buddhist Retreat Center in rural Ixopo, South Africa, has been named by CNN as one of the world’s Top 10 meditation retreat centers. Those who know the BRC, which opened in 1980 and attracts mindfulness enthusiasts from around South African and internationally, are not surprised.
Poetry, politics, mindfulness, laughter, tears, the story of the Buddha and Zen wisdom weave through Antony Osler’s journey ‘home’ along the …
Human Rights lawyer, sheep farmer and Zen Buddhist — Antony Osler is not your average Karoo inhabitant.
Story and pictures by …