In his last couple installments, Zen Daddy utilized the “tea cup” as a metaphor to expand our understanding of mind. Well, put those dainty cakes and biscuits aside–it’s time to cook a main course.

Greetings and salutations! The Zen Daddy is back to share a bit of the dharma with you. One favorite book on the Zen Daddy’s shelf is “From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment,” by the renowned Zen master Dogen and Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, and it has plenty of lessons on “how to cook your life,” as Uchiyama would put it. One of the main cooking lessons we must learn is that Zen is about mindfulness that extends beyond the cushion.

While zazen, or sitting meditation, is where we fully experience our true Self, mindfulness is what can also be called “a walking prayer” – something that requires action.

The song of Xuedou says, in part…

The truth you search for cannot be grasped

As night advances,

a bright moon

illuminates the whole ocean;

The dragon’s jewels are found in every wave.

Looking for the moon,

it is here,

in this wave, in the next.

As Xuedou’s sweet song alludes to, each second of our life contains an opportunity for mindfulness. Your practice is each second of your day, an endless opportunity for being aware of your thoughts and actions while you go through your life. Your practice is being mindful while going to heat up your lunch, and talking on the phone with a friend. Your practice is being mindful while driving to work in the morning, and getting on a conference call. Each is a jewel.

It is very easy to get carried along by your day like a river’s current, but each time you do, start the day over in your mind as if you’d lost track while counting the breath while meditating. Resolve to be present in this breath, and in this one, and in this one. Be present…

Enjoy your day!

The Zen Daddy writes anonymously. Another saint-like feat of his is that he doesn’t kill flies, even when they crap on his watermelon.



About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

3 responses »

  1. Sharon says:

    Love me some Zen Daddy!

  2. Sharon says:

    Ahhhhhhh, finding Zen Daddy again has been the highlight of my day… as always my friend, I found exactly what I needed and if it had been what I was looking for, it would have evaded me. I absolutely love surprises! Especially those that bring so many sweet smiles to my face as a short Zen Daddy session never fails to do.

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