Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Silence Does Not Apply to Almonds

So Week 2 of Ango is underway and I'm really starting to get the feel for this tenzo thing.  I've made notes of some changes to menu items that need to be made and others items (especially some of my originals) have been wildly successful.

Monday, I inadvertently started the week off for everyone with a laugh during breakfast service.  I'd prepared quinoa, cottage cheese, and some frozen applesauce (care of Dale Kent, there's still more and it was tasty).  I figured we could use a little more texture so I toasted some almonds as well.

Now I've toasted almonds, cashews, and walnuts before but don't remember anything like this happening when I did.

So we're all sitting there at the table at 7:30 after two hours of meditation and a service.  My teacher, the ino, work leader, ino's assistant, jisha, visiting priest, a couple others and myself being all intense and focused for oryoki when we notice that the bowl of almonds are popping like rice crispies as they were cooling.  We each top our cottage cheese with a scoop and the bowl makes its way down the table.

Inside, I found this condiment's noisy irreverence, with all of us being so solemn, really funny and was trying not to smile about too much since my teacher was sitting to my right.  I thought I had it under control when the ino's assistant sitting right next to me on the left starts up with the giggles.  It was just too much and I had to snicker along with a few others.  I couldn't see my teacher's face but I'm sure she enjoyed it too.  They kept popping throughout the meal.

(I wish I could have been there for lunch when they ate the "So wonderfully mild gazpacho," as my teacher called it after dinner that night.  Two serrano chilies was one too many, it just got spicier as it sat in the fridge for three hours after I made it.  I said that I was glad "hot" was one of the Six Tastes and Three Virtues.)

What a way to start a Monday.

(I'm so lame...)

I'll have to write about my super exciting weekend receiving the precepts another time.  Plus I've gotta prepare for cooking a half day retreat for a bunch of Dharma Punx hosting Brad Warner.  It'll be cool to finally me him. Dunno how long he'll be in town though.

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