Rice porridge this morning with milk and honey, using a recipe from the Three Bowls cookbook I mentioned a few posts ago. In his advice to the Zen cook, or tenzo, Master Dogen says we should prepare the rice today for tomorrow’s gruel. In his journal Soen Roshi, commenting on the preparation of his monastery for winter, says, “Everything that needs to be attended to is done, yet no trace of effort is apparent.” These thoughts express the Zen spirt perfectly. When you do something, burn yourself up so there’s nothing left. After breakfast, I started to cheat a little. I had one cup of coffee because my PG Tips wasn’t cutting it and I was in such a foul mood. I could sense that I was giving off angry vibes. For someone who has caffeine every day, it’s startling to see your true nature without the drug. I swam 30 lengths on my lunch break today. So far, so good. Hoping to resist the temptation to stop after work and buy beer. Am I breaking the Fifth Precept if I have three beers tonight while sitting on the couch watching baseball? Does that count as “misuse of alcohol?” Friday night, Red Sox/Rangers at 7:05 pm: for me this is what Mara, or temptation, looks like.