Tuesday, June 30, 2009

KTD 10-Day Teachings/People Food

Several years ago, His Holiness Karmapa ordered that all his affiliated centers serve only vegetarian food. So we’re eating meatless at this event, thereby relieving the suffering of quite a few cows, chickens, turkeys, and fish (there are quite a lot of us here).

Mealtime is announced with the blowing of a conch shell. Usually folks form two long lines that snake through the bookstore and merge right before the food serving area; this is, of course, a great opportunity to do some browsing and maybe even decide what to purchase!

The main dining room is where the Rinpoches and lamas eat, as well as those other folks who can find room. This time of year, though, my favorite place to eat is on the patio, where you can often feed the local birds and watch chipmunks scurry about, looking for crumbs.

We’ve been lucky this year because we have been spared (so far) any really hot weather. Nights are definitely cool, and days are—for a person from Florida—dang near perfect, with temperatures in the 70s.

So far this week, we’ve had Ethiopian food, Mexican food, spaghetti with some delicious walnut meatballs, and an odd-sounding but yummy lentil apricot soup, among other things.

Like at any other place that has to serve food to lots of people, the kitchen is usually humming with activity. I’m glad my assignment is shrine building maintenance. For the past couple of days, I’ve been reassembling texts that got disorganized last Saturday, on Karmapa’s birthday. Working on documents—right up my alley. I’d be a nervous wreck in the kitchen, but I certainly do enjoy the results of all that kitchen activity.

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