Made with Love

Last week I attended the Guan Yin Bodhisattva Recitation Session at CTTB for the first time. It was wonderful for me to devote an entire week to loving compassion and hold her name for as long of every day as I could (and my level of practice allowed). During the meditations, I would sometimes be able to hold her name sincerely the whole time, and to begin to turn my hearing around so that I wasn’t reaching out with it as much. When this didn’t work though, sometimes I would give in to my false thinking and walk along with my thoughts, indulging in them. One time, I began thinking about how hungry I was, and about all the good food I wanted to cook and eat. I thought about chocolate cake with raspberries, coconut ice cream, pulled noodle soup, and dumplings. My goodness! I couldn’t wait to get home and cook for my mom!After Guan Yin Session, my dad came to the City and took me home with him. That night, I invited him to dinner (he doesn’t live with my mom) and made dinner for both my parents. (In the past, I have always waited for my mom to get home so she could make dinner, but this time I made dinner so that it was ready when she got home from work.) We had a lovely time, all sitting around the table, eating good, home-cooked food, and talking.The next day, I invited my dad back for dinner. I planned to make the pulled noodles (something I never attempted before…), dumplings (I’ve made them, but never the dough), and coconut ice cream (in the freezer). That day I spent many hours in the kitchen and dining room, kneading dough, cranking ice cream, and trying to get the dough to turn into noodles (so difficult!) My dad came over at about 5:30, but I still wasn’t done making noodles. I had him take a little video on his phone of me trying to make noodles… at least it was entertaining! Then I started to cook. I cut up lots of vegetables, made mushroom/sesame oil filling for the dumplings, and starting boiling the noodles. An hour later, and the noodles still weren’t done and the dumplings had a weird aftertaste. The dough I made was too thick! Finally, I put the noodles in a big bowl and the dumplings on a plate. I cleared the table and set it and served food to my mom and dad. We started eating, and the noodles were gross! The dumpling couldn’t be eaten whole – we had to dig the filling out and eat it plain. My parents were so nice, though. We laughed about the food and had a nice dinner, anyway. Dad even had seconds!After dinner, I served the ice cream. It was a little soft, and I found out dad doesn’t like too much coconut, but mom really liked it. Dad spent the night in the guest room that night, and everyone was happy. They kept telling me how lucky they were.I need to back up a little bit here. My mom has been feeling kind of unhealthy lately. She has been under a lot of stress, and that has made a nerve condition she’s developed break out. The last week or so, she has had a lot of pain just moving, especially walking a lot or twisting her body. The two days that I was home meant that she could eat more, because I cooked for her, and she didn’t have to do very much, because I helped around the house. The day after the colossally gross dinner I made, Mom got out of bed and said how much better she was feeling. She was smiling and had very little pain walking around. She said how glad she was that I was home and helping out so she could relax and not push herself while she’s sick.The happiness of my parents was better tasting than any dumplings anywhere.

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