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Sesshin (7 day Zen Retreat in Ithaca, NY), Vegan and Gluten Free!

So Rache was extremely kind to let me take part in Sesshin in Ithaca, NY. Sesshin is a silent 7 day meditation retreat and is the life-blood of Zen practice. How often do we get to get away from the distraction of our daily lives and get time to focus inward without need for thinking, planning doing, etc and try to discover who we truly are? Sound easy? NOT! Spending 8-10 hours a day in meditation and having everything in your life appear before you can be extremely difficult. Most of us spend all of our time just trying to get by. We never have time for introspection and, honestly, we don’t want that time. Because then we have to deal with our minds directly and there is no escape. No escape. No computers, iphones, food, drink, exercise, TV, iphones, movies….just ourselves and our own minds. But the more we practice this the better we get and the more we begin to understand ourselves (or lack thereof).

I was fortunate enough to cook for 25 people for this retreat and everyone was so grateful that I tried to make the food as vegan and gluten free as possible. I had some great help in the kitchen and we made it through. What a great experience! I wish to thank everyone that took part in the Sesshin for all of their hard effort and gratitude!

I don’t know when I will be able to take part in Sesshin again as it definitely takes a toll on a family with a small child. At this point I really have to put my nose to the grindstone and make things happen for the Brand Fam so Rache and Iza can have a better life.

Thanks again Rache and Iza! I will do everything I can to repay you for this time.

Alicia of Pura Vida in San Miguel Allende made these incredible gluten free shortcakes to celebrate our last day of the retreat.

Alicia of Pura Vida in San Miguel Allende made these incredible gluten free shortcakes to celebrate our last day of the retreat.

 

Alicia and Ithaca Zen Center Monk, Polly, Preparing the Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake.

 

The Finished Dessert. I made the rhubarb sauce with fresh rhubarb from the Zen Center garden and also made the raw cashew cream for the topping. Finished off with a spearmint sprig that grows everywhere.

 

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