Cooking with Joy by Thich Naht Hanh

Below is a beautiful excerpt from Buddhist Monk Thich Naht Hanh's short book How to Eat, which you can purchase here.

Cooking with Joy

"Cooking can bring us a lot of joy. When I put the water into the basin for washing the vegetables, I look deeply at the water to see its wonderful nature. I see that the water comes from high in the mountains or from deep within the Earth right into our kitchen. I know that there are places where people have to walk several miles just to carry back a pail of water on their shoulder. Here, water is available whenever I turn on the tap. Aware of the preciousness of clean water, I value the water that is available to me. I also value the electricity that I use to turn on a light or to boil water. I only need to be aware that there is water and electricity easily accessible to me, and I can be happy straightaway. When I am peeling vegetables or cooking them, I can do it in mindfulness and with love. I see cooking as a way to offer nourishment and care to my family and friends. I will easily find joy and peace in the work. Looking deeply at a tomato, a bunch of grapes, or a piece of tofu, I can see the wonderful nature of these things, how they were nurtured by the soil, the sun, the rain, and the seed. Try to organize your life so that you have enough time and energy to cook in a leisurely and peaceful way. The energy of love and harmony in the kitchen will penetrate into the food that you're cooking to offer to loved ones and yourself."

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