A Kitchen Meditation
I’m sharing the results of my “kitchen meditation”. Pretty much a whole day thinking through what I wanted to make, getting the ingredients together, mixing, tasting, experimenting, all while listening to some pretty good tunes with some dancing thrown in too.
And you might be thinking this is a food post. It’s not.
It’s about meditation.
WHAT ABOUT MEDITATION?
The other day I was with a group of people and I mentioned that it was hard for me to slow down because I had so much energy. One person commented, “That from a life coach.”
At the time I didn’t think much of it but those words kept echoing back to me. I didn’t know why until my kitchen meditation.
Common thinking is that slowing down and sitting in meditation is what true meditation is about. It could be and it is for many.
And there’s something else…
There are many of us – many of my clients included – who find it difficult to be still. We’re the kids that were always doodling, daydreaming and fidgeting in the classroom.
For this kind of person, what appears as stillness is interpreted as lack of movement. Not moving feels…kinda like death.
For us it’s different.
We may be more connected to a deeper flow of life which is constant, always moving. Like a river, on the surface it may appear still. But the currents underneath are always flowing.
Our meditation has to do with re-aligning to those currents underneath.
Our definition of stillness is “stillness becoming alive.” This is a process of re-alignment that others find in being physically still.
I don’t need to stop moving to be still – inside. Many people don’t and they will often say they can’t meditate. But they can. Just not in the same way.
Have you ever watched a great musician play? Look beyond what you see him doing. Watch how he isn’t actually playing the music. He interacts with it. He joins with it. He becomes it.
There is mastery here…and presence…and stillness.
The artist is in the flow of the universal movement and the music is the conduit to that. Music is happening, he may be moving his hands, but inside, he is still - and in the flow of the universal movement at exactly the same moment.
Yes, this is a paradox. Being still and moving at the same time.
That paradox resolves by being fully present in that moment.
Some achieve this kind of presence through yoga, tai chi, or meditation using their breath to connect to the flow.
But not everyone.
I remember discovering this paradox while kayaking on the Chesapeake Bay. The waves were soft, rocking the kayak back and forth. I adjusted my paddling to harmonize with the waves.
And then I closed my eyes.
It was a feeling of complete oneness with the water, with the wind, with the sky.
My body rocked with the waves, perfectly balanced and open to receiving the movement from the water. My breath caught the rhythm that was present in the air and water.
I have no recollection of how long I was on the water like this.
I felt only peace and joy and an expansiveness difficult to describe.
This was my meditation.
And I was still – and moving.
STILLNESS BECOMING ALIVE
There is an exquisite point in time where stillness becomes alive. When you join with the present moment and immerse yourself in something that brings you closer to your heart, to your joy, to your soul.
That kind of stillness generates energy.
It's not grand. It's in the simple, ordinary things. Like cooking. Or kayaking.
You feel it. And afterwards you are more present to your life, more joyful. More conscious of your inner world.
You are more alive.
WHAT’S YOUR KITCHEN MEDITATION?
Maybe you lose yourself in the kitchen, using your senses to flavor the food you carefully chose, seeking just the right presentation to do justice to your creation.
Maybe you’re an artist and your canvas and paintbrush are the elements that bring you into a profound sense of being.
Maybe you’re the musician laying down the tracks that come to you in dreams and imaginings until the notes are just right.
Maybe you’re the athlete that finds herself running into the flow of the universal movement until the world falls away and you’re still in your mind and heart as your body moves through space and time.
Everyone has a way of connecting to that present moment, to that stillness we hunger for in our crazy, noisy world so that we can remember who we really are and what truly matters.
You can be still and still moving.
Do more of that.
Your happiness will increase, your stress will diminish, and you’ll find the kind of peace that generates positive energy in the world.