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Edward Espe Brown

Excerpts from Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings: Recipes and Reflections

Stories of Ed's life and practice at Tassajara and with his teacher, Shunryu Suzuki

This selection was not used in the book, but was sent to me by Ed while he was working on it. - DC



More than thirty years have passed, since I first walked in the doorway of the Zen Center. My friend Alan and I finally decided to do it, to stop talking about it, stop putting it off, and actually go meditate. I had no idea how profoundly the course of my life was being altered.


One walks through various doorways in one's life, not knowing what the outcome will be. "Hello" becomes "I do." "I do" becomes "How did I get into this?" Some doorways are more consequential than others: you cannot go back. [MISSING PART - this is what it said - I'll ask Ed to fill it in. - DC] We stood in rows. More bells followed. We bowed. We chanted.


Nothing in particular had happened, but I knew I liked being in that space, the space on the inner side of that door where everyone was sitting quietly. I had crossed a threshold.


One passes through few doors like this in a lifetime, a door like any other door, yet a doorway into being, inner being, a doorway into breath and being, "the breath inside the breath." a doorway into respect and honoring one's own being. I can say this now. I did not know it then.


Coming home to being where you are. And I found food there.

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