…Think, speak and act, then,
Always in the eternal now
With compassion and understanding
For your own enlightenment
And for the enlightenment of all sentient beings.
The Heart of the Buddha-Dharma by Rev. Kenryu T. Tsuji
San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple
6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 595-2625
Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
email: minister@slobuddhisttemple.com

My vacation started a bit early, I treated myself to a movie. I went to see “The Hundred Foot Journey”. It was a very good movie because it involved food, spices, and conditions of human connectedness. Unfortunately it was not a “smell-arama”, but the visual effects still made my mouth water.

The movie began on a journey in India. A mother is chasing the fishmonger for his fresh sea urchin and
her son is being dragged through crowds of people. When the fishmonger arrives at the seller, there is a rush for this delicacy. The hordes of people are trying to throw their money at him, however the little boy picks up a sea urchin and smells it. He closed his eyes and took in the aroma. He then scooped out the insides and truly tasted it. The seller saw the appreciation and the love of this delicacy that the seller said that he would sell it to the boy.

The family owned a restaurant and the mother taught all her children to cook. She taught them to appreciate the use of spices and the boldness of flavors. She taught them how to add, cooking time, and how to serve the meal. But it was the son ate the sea urchin that followed in the mother’s lessons. With each new taste and gastronomical adventure, the son would always remember what his mother said, " food is memories." However tragedy struck and the restaurant was burned down with the mother trapped inside.

The family would seek asylum in England but they found that the area was not suitable for them. They
would eventually cross the border between Switzerland and France and settle in a picturesque area, filled with availability of quality produce and a place the father felt at home. While driving to seek a permanent residence, the brakes on their automobile gives out and they are forced to stay in this quaint village.

The story continues with the son wanting to expand his cooking experience and is befriended by a young woman. She is a sous-chef in a French restaurant, just one hundred feet across the roadway from the family’s Indian restaurant. She gives the son several books on French cooking. She gives him hints on what must be done to accomplish his goals. As guessed a feud erupts between the two restaurants. This is where I end the story.

The movie’s line “food is memories”, brought memories of my mother and father’s cooking. This movie
also was a lesson on diversity and how if something is different from our way of thinking, it cannot fit into our scheme of life. The lessons of trying to learn and the hardships of success were conflicting to the son’s conscience.

As I watched the movie, drooling, I thought about Amida Buddha’s teachings about diversity. We hear
and interpret the teachings so differently from each other. However, our diversity does not separate us but brings us together. Amida Buddha’s teachings allow us to question and seek at our own pace.

Sometimes we do have to journey 100 feet or more, but adventure awaits us in the distance. As I take my journey (vacation), I will continue to hear and see the many new adventures that will help me to grow and change.

Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano
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