Friday, February 24, 2006

Rafting and the Zen of Making Biscuits

Rafting and the Zen of making biscuits... I came across this interesting article about Zen teacher Edward Espe Brown, an author of many Zen-inspired cookbooks. Here is what he writes,"When I first started cooking... I had a problem. I coudn't get my biscuits to come out the way they were supposed to. I'd follow the recipe and try variations, but nothing worked... Growing up, I had made two kinds of biscuits. One was from Bisquick and the other from Pillsbury. For the Bisquick, you added milk in the mix and then blobbed the dough in spoonfuls onto the pan... the biscuits from Pillsbury came in kind of a cardboard can... I really liked those Pillsbury biscuits. Isn't that what biscuits should taste like?... Finally, one day, came a shifting-into-place, an awakening. 'Not right' compared to what? Oh, my word, I'd been trying to make canned Pillsbury biscuits! Then came an exquisite moment of actually tasting my biscuits without comparing them to some previously hidden standard... These occasions can be so stunning, so liberating, these moments when you realize your life is just fine as it is, thank you... Trying to produce a biscuit - a life - with no dirty bowls, no messy feelings, no depresssion, no anger, was so frustrating. Then savoring, actually tasting the present moment of experience - how much more complex and multifaceted."

Mr. Brown goes on to say,"We've all done it, trying to look good as a husband, a wife or parent. Trying to attain perfection. Trying to make Pillsbury biscuits." As W.E.T. River Trips enters its 29th River Rafting Season, we still try for perfection on our river trips, but even better, we try to enjoy life and rafting as it is.
Thanks to Edward Espe Brown, Zen teacher extraordinaire!

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