"Itadakimas" number 58 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Itadakimas, is a meal-time blessing that literally means "I place this over my head." or "Thank you to all who have helped prepare this meal."

One of the warmest things about sesshin and retreat is the meal blessing. The meal is such an easy thing to appreciate and give thanks for. Why don't we take this into our life 'on the outside'?

What is on my reading list? Currently I'm reading "This Organic Life" by Joan Dye Gussow which I picked up at the Moscow Food Co-op. It chronicles Joan and Alan as they move their garden to their new home and adventures ensue. Life is messy then you die. With companionship and a few good recipes, the adventure warms the heart.

Up next is Ted Biringer's must anticipated "The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing". I'm also looking forward to digesting "Making Love with Light" by John Daido Loori. One of a few books that have a 'Zen and photography' theme. I also have "The Teachings of Huang Po" translation by John Blofeld, "Zen Lessons" translation by Thomas Cleary and "Cold Mountian" by Han-shan translation by Burton Watson. Quite a pile of reading ahead.

Does anyone know of any 'Zen and woodworking' books? I haven't found any - maybe I'll have to write one. What a prospect that would be!  

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance. Any merit
generated by this activity is solely the result of Aitken Roshi's clear
teaching and is dedicated to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout
space and time.