Kimberley Snow offers an outrageously funny and honest account of her adventures as head cook at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center. With her earthy sensibility and sharp sense of humor, the author shows this world in a light devoid of preciousness—while expressing with heart the integrity of the spiritual work being undertaken. We come away from our visit to this exotic realm having found it both extraordinary and surprisingly familiar. The neuroses, obsessions, and petty concerns exposed by Snow—both in herself and her fellow staff members—prove to be grist for the mill for discovering the grace inherent in life just as it is.
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Kimberley Snow cofounded the Women's Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Writing Yourself Home and Keys to the Open Gate. She travels and teaches reading and writing seminars on choosing peace, and is also a visiting lecturer at UC Santa Barbara in writing and women in literature. Recipes are available on www.snowlight.com.From Publishers Weekly:
The sweet potato queens meet Pema Chodron in this book about "enlightenment having"-as a Tibetan teacher might phrase it-in the kitchen of a California Tibetan Buddhist retreat center. Southern-born, Presbyterian-bred author Snow lays out a buffet of episodes from her life before and during her tenure as cook in the center. She's a divorced ex-gourmet chef and refugee from academia, "always leaving, never staying to work it out." In this book, the Buddhist dharma (teaching) comes from the stove instead of the meditation cushion, making it concrete, engaging and generally highly entertaining. In addition to her raconteur ability, Snow has a gift for applying Tibetan Buddhist teaching, which can seem foreign or esoteric, to real life with its quirky demands and characters. One chapter is even entitled "Dzogchenpa among the Presbyterians." Narrative progression in the first half of the book is a little choppy as the author relates life episodes in no apparent logical order, but later chapters gather steam, providing background that unrolls to drive the book forward to a resolution of dawning wisdom. Some of the episodes could go on longer, because characters are so memorably sketched that it's a shame to leave them so quickly. Overall, this is a small jewel, and it's altogether refreshing to read a Buddhist book with a sense of humor.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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