Book of Interest—Just Enough

Can you stop at just enough?

This is, above all, a cookbook. Specifically, a cookbook of traditional Japanese vegan recipes. The recipes come from Zen monasteries. When the author of this cookbook joined the Aichi Nisodo convent, she was seeking solutions to her emotional problems, not cooking instruction. But cooking was the solution which the Universe sent to her. With great skill and insight, Greenwood recounts how learning to cook (and to eat) taught her the simple Zen skills that helped her to reclaim her life.

Most of you have heard the slogan “Buddha is in the details”. In this case, the ultimate practice of Zen is in the subtleties. Learning to use less flavoring and learning to “listen” for the innate flavors in gently cooked food were skills Greenwood gradually developed along with a practical understanding of “just enough”, the moment when you don’t feel the need for anything more.

Greenwood is a white American woman. She deals with the issue of “cultural appropriation” She acknowledges that she has “the privilege of platform”. If a Japanese nun had written this book, it very likely would not have made it into print in the United States. It is fortunate that Greenwood had the means to get this book published, and also took her responsibility to accurately present the skills and philosophy she learned in Japan so seriously. Perhaps most important, she recounts in detail how she put these skills into practice when she returned to the United States.

Buy it for the recipes. Read it for the life lessons. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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