Just bumped into a chap in the cloister and we had a chat. He was leaving the New Year retreat early. Some might say he had failed because he didn't make it through to the end. Not so, definitely not so.
I've just eaten three chocolates, he said holding up three fingers in front of his face. Three chocolates, I just saw them on offer in the common room and took three. He was triumphant. Err? You'll have to fill me in a bit more on that one. He did. Apparently last time here he could hardly eat anything, it was a real struggle to sit and eat a meal. To actually put food in his mouth. Why's that then? I asked. Oh, you know. Guilt and all of that stuff.
We parted. OK if I email you? Sure. Go to my Jade Mountains web site and you can email me from there. Same goes for anybody who wants to write me.
The fourth of the Five Thoughts is: we will eat lest we become lean and die. Few of us are eating to keep flesh on our bodies so obviously this has levels of meaning just like the preceding three. Our friend above, like so many people, go head to head with life and their troubles when faced with a plate of food. To eat or not. To eat life, or not.
Eating ones life, actively connecting with what's there and eating without picking and choosing is practice. People dying inside for lack of nourishment is a very very sad sight. And so when people come here who struggle with life and who then connect with the practice and eat, well that is cause for joy.