From Ani Pema
As demonstrated in the elegant and pithy Instructions from the Cook by the 13th Century Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253) the kitchen of a monastery has been both a metaphorical and practical centre of monastic life for a long time. In the Zen tradition, for example, the head cook is the second most senior person after the abbot in the monastery.
At Gampo Abbey, every resident works in the kitchen at some point, whether it is making breakfast, the main meal at midday, or the simple evening meal we call medicine meal. The kitchen has its own shrine and we bow when we enter the room. Crossing the threshold is an intentional practice.
Ani Pema has offered a practice specifically for the kitchen. It's a useful practice for any household task.
Kitchen Practice Instructions from Ani Pema
1. Outer: Paying Attention
Focus on what you are doing, the task at hand.
2. Inner: Watching Emotions Arise
Notice emotions that arise and work with those.
3. Timeless: Raising Your Gaze
Stop periodically to raise your gaze and recognize your surroundings and the larger situation, the bigger view. Look out the window, have a cup of tea, and remind yourself of the preciousness of this life, this very moment here at the edge of the Earth.