After living 7 years in wild nature I am reluctantly moving to the cement box in the Heart of Tel Aviv. Well, not really in the Heart – the apartment is in Jaffo, an old part of the city, once fully Arabic, and now partially inhabited by Israeli hipsters, artists, and other cool people.
So, here we are, starting to live a City life. The apartment is fully set, and two of us are cozily sitting for a great nutritious meal. Eating in silence, music is playing at the background. Just the bells at the window are interrupting the harmony of our flow. Suddenly Pepe says: “What if we would create the night where we share this silence and music and food with others?!”
That is how we came up with the idea of combining our gifts – my Love and Passion for Conscious eating, and Pepe’s authentic Zen musical skills of Shakuhachi. Zen Dinner was born in a few hours in the form of Facebook event, and in a couple of weeks our living room was ready to receive a big circle of guests.
There is truly not really much to tell about the event itself – when there is such profound space of silence and music, little is left for words …
But I’ll try to do so with a great help of photographs. We start the night by introducing the idea and basic terminology, talking about Conscious Eating and the tradition of Zen.
It is always much fun to hear questions and share stories from the past experiences
Sometimes introduction goes on and on – especially when there are curious souls in the circle.
After the introduction we are diving into the Food Meditation, when for about half an hour we deeply connect with food in a meditative state, explore and experience known foods in their unknown qualities, expanding own perceptions and having a profound connection with known through the unknown space.
Every time we take this journey it feels like the first time
During the meditation Pepe plays indian flute called Bansuri that takes us on the waves of breath and senses
It is a completely unique experience where people who not necessarily know each other enter the space of oneness of all senses
After the meditation is finished, everyone stays silent, digesting the experience and food altogether. That is when the feast starts.
Me and helpers serve the meal in perfect silence.
Every Zen Night menu is different, but we try to keep it very nutritious, organic, harmonious and eastern style oriented.
Lots of greens and raw treasures are inseparable part of the feast.
And of course, the highlight of the night is Pepe’s sacred music of Zen while people eat- the ancient flute called Shakuhachi creates sounds of far past, of silence, of profound states of mind …
… sometimes music takes both Soul and Body to such dimensions that is hard to remember to chew well 🙂
And when Crystal Bowls starts to sing, the whole room becomes an absolute Spaceship.
After everyone finishes the meal we have a moment of total silence (that sometimes goes on and on), and after that the space slowly opens for a social interaction.
Everyone shares their own unique experience, thoughts that come up, memories from the past, metaphors from the present and ideas for future.
And that’s the time for connecting, sharing, having a desert and wondering around our house – because this is a little museum and a big journey on its own. Very grateful for every breath of this journey!
More Moments from Zen Dinner Nights Here: