I reflect on my experience with learning mindfulness cooking and eating practice during silent retreats at a Zen Buddhist Sangha in North Carolina. I examined the concept of gratitude when planting, harvesting, preparing and consuming food. Although these times were for deep contemplative study and complete silence, there was a common language spoken around the kitchen counter and table that I call reverence.
Vic Strecher, a behavioral scientist, is an energetic, trim, and youthful sixty-two year old. He teaches at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and is Visiting Professor at the Peking University’s School of Public Health. He has given hundreds of talks the world over. (He jokes that his frequent flyer miles are sky-high.) His TED Talks and recorded lectures, replete with PowerPoint presentations featuring trademark symbols from his graphic novel, On Purpose, have given him a YouTube presence and a popular culture crossover audience.
An equinoctial night in 2016. It’s raining. The injured raptor birds, often used in educational programs, sleep in little wooden houses on the hillside. Community gardens and orchards await spring, leaves poised to unfurl and earth to be turned. It is the night of the salamander survey at Black Pond Woods.