“When we are intimate with the food we eat, there is intimacy with all things; when we are intimate with all things, we are intimate with the food we eat.”
There’s a millennia-year-old tradition Zen Buddhists practice in their monasteries at mealtime. It’s called Oryoki: “Enough." Descended from the begging bowls monks receive when they’re ordained into Buddha’s Way, none of the food that fills a devotee’s set of three Oryoki bowls is wasted. (Kind of like a spiritualized Goldie Locks, isn’t it? Not too much, not too little, just enough.) Even the hot water monks use to ritually clean their bowls is sipped like tea--soap-free, of course.
Oryoki doesn’t end at “enough.” It refers to the bowls themselves, as well as the exchange of giving and receiving between the feeder and the fed. Oryoki, coupled with a lot of bowing and chanting, is used to cultivate gratitude and mindfulness while eating.
I’m not suggesting you trade in your Martha Stewart Everyday dishes for a lacquered wooden bowl. But with Halloween candy frothing over table ledges everywhere, it’s easy to take food for granted right now. A little mindfulness is in order.
If you’re looking for some, “Full Hearts Filling Empty Bowls” is a slice of Oryoki right here in Burque. The event will raise funds for Project Share, a local nonprofit dedicated to feeding the homeless, on Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Albuquerque Academy East Campus Dining Hall. (6400 Wyoming NE) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. I know you’d be jumping up and down at the prospect of donating to a charity anyway, but this event sweetens the pot with more than just good karma.
Your $25 admission ticket ($10 for children 12-and-under) will land you a one-of-a-kind bowl created by a New Mexico potter, which you’ll get to fill with soups, breads and desserts from your choice of more than 15 fine restaurants. (As of press time, the participating potagers included Le Chantilly, Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Savory Fare Café and Bakery, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Winning Coffee Co., Sadie's, Cielo Sandia at the Albuquerque Marriott, Trader Joe's, Johndhi's BBQ, Dee's Cheesecake, Zea, 505 Chile, Mimi's Café, TLC Bakery, and Chocolate Café and Bakery.) You’ll also get live music by Alpha Blue, Joanie Griffin and Chris Dracup, and your kids will get to decorate cookies at a pint-sized activity table just for them. (Project Share serves one out of every six meals to a child). Call 242-5677 for more details.
If armchair activism is more your speed, Road Runner Food Bank’s 2007 Thanksgiving Appeal is already underway. A gift of $25 or $35 will ensure one of your neighbors doesn't have to go hungry during America’s most calorie-laden holiday. Drop your check in an envelope and send it to 2645 Baylor SE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87106, then glow with gratitude.