Cooking up Calm

Welcome.  Given that my intention is to help you come into better relationship with your fears, I thought I might employ imagination rather than explanation at this juncture.

Since fear is at the epicenter of our sorrows, If you can get authentically safe and calm this benefits everyone you love.

This blog post strives to serve as a virtual offering, one we might chew through together in our quest for something that can nourish us and our collective children… rippling perhaps from mind into tangible reality.

Okay, put on your imagination mind.  Let it drift down upon you like a warmed feather-bed comforter, rose petals falling over you as you recline on a secret bed in a magical castle, one where you can curl up safe and cozy for a brief story.

Now the door to your castle room opens and in steps a being so old that you can’t quite tell if it’s male or female—it is virtually both.  Yet they are vigorous and light glows warmly in their clear and loving eyes.  They take your hand, and it is as if you leave your body behind in the cozy bed and your spirit travels with this wise guide, their touch certain and yet soft.

They lead you along winding corridors to a wing of the castle you didn’t even know was there when you arrived.  You come upon an arching spiral stair that goes up as well as down.

Your wise old figure leads you up and up.  The stone steps are grooved and worn from your guide’s many trips up and down and, despite sun beaming in from the little windows, everything grows darker and darker.

Finally, you arrive at a heavy wooden door with a sun and a moon carved through it.  You find that you are holding a key and you turn the lock.  But when you look at your own hand upon the knob, you see that it is very old and you realize that as you have climbed the stairs, you have become as old as your guide; you are now sisters, brothers, anam cara (soul friends).

You enter a dark quiet room and together you gaze upon a child so young that it could still be in the womb.  You have traveled so far as to have arrived at the beginning.

The child is not frightened in the least, it wants for nothing.  The smile upon this child’s lips is otherworldly and you do not dare to disturb them.  You instinctively know that this is your true Self.  You also know that in some strange way you are one with your old friend and with this child.

Suddenly, you find yourself transported to the castle’s large comfy kitchen.  You are yourself again in age and the baby sleeps in your arms as you sit in a sturdy chair, watching the aged guide working at the oven and the stove, preparing something sacred.  You notice that the secret dish connects to your ethnicity, your tracings of cultural memory.  It may be bison if you have native American blood, or brisket if you’re Irish, lentils if your Indian… just notice whatever it is your wise old guide prepares.

You sit by the hearth and wait patiently, the lovely afternoon lingers while fingers of dappled light traverse the worn wooden floorboards and you are in no hurry, no wish to be anywhere but here.

Time has passed and the dish has melded.  Now your host serves up the food and the taste is a revelation—it is indescribable but perfect, just what your soul hungers for—a Madeline fit for Proust, the most evocative flavors of love and light.  This food fills you with tranquility.

You chew this sacrificial offering, this magical potion of your own deep wisdom, fully— adding consciousness to the meat or grain, releasing energy born only of light and dark, breaking through the final barriers that stand between your true and open Self and the fading tinges of fear and longing.

You feed the broth of this dish to the baby, helping them acclimate and integrate into this castle kitchen from which they may, in turn, enter more fully and consciously into your lived, day-to-day, world.

Next thing you know you are in your castle bedroom, almost asleep with the baby as your guide tucks you in and you drift off—and never is a nap so nice as with a calm sleeping baby on one’s chest.

When you awake from this netherworld you find yourself back in the embrace of your warm screen, the one that carries these now-mundane words of closure and ending.  Yet you carry the feeling of integration, calm and playful readiness to inhabit and explore our shared world—a world where we continually meet, learn from, and grow with, all the collective children of what turns out, in the end as in the beginning, to be endless reflections and permutations of our infinitely varied Self.

Meet us all free of fear, desire and judgment—and be kind to us all.  In this way we progress together.

Namaste, BD



19 Responses to “Cooking up Calm”

  1. Lindsey Says:

    Bruce, this was precisely what I needed this morning, waking up in another kind of womb (that of deep snow). Thank you, thank you. xo

  2. Katrina Kenison Says:

    “Fear is at the epicenter of our sorrows.” So true. It is exactly what I’m thinking about Bruce, the liberation and love that is possible when we move beyond fear into. . .what? Hope this is the year I begin to answer that question for myself. Thank you for opening the door, inviting us in, shining a light on the way.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Katrina, Thanks for venturing with me, for piercing the fear and finding courage in connection… perhaps it will lead to liberation through the love that sees the Self in our collective situation. Either way, Namaste

  3. walkingonmyhands Says:

    Wow. This is great. It is so gentle just as I am setting out this year to be more gentle and practice more gentleness, especially with my own sensitive son and with my own self.


  4. Saska Says:

    Food for the Soul…Thank you Bruce, just what I wished for.
    This other worldly post to me IS the nourishment that removes the veil between “our true and open Self and the fading tinges of fear and longing-so beautiful. Here is to integration and meeting together on the other-this side.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Saska, Thank you for joining me in the alchemical kitchen—here’s to hoping the smell of good things to eat may bring calm to the scared monsters in, and between, us all. Then the veil turns out to be nothing but steam rising from the stew. Bon Appetit 🙂

  5. rebecca @ altared spaces Says:

    At first I read fast. Then I slowed down to feel the food that would feed me. Nourishment. Offering myself nourishment. Can it honestly be this easy?

  6. rudrip Says:

    Bruce, you address multiple layers in this post. It begins with intention. If intention is mindful, focused, and without fear, reality is easier to embrace. Thanks for offering this journey to us. There is so much to learn, in mind and in practice.

  7. Jenn Says:

    A good friend just emailed me this link:

    Ms. Brown is a researcher and her research on the human connection takes her to a place she didn’t expect. While academic, she is also incredibly real and witty. This takes about 20 minutes, but I felt it was worth it in regards to your exploration on fear and in Ms. Bown’s posit that vulnerability is at the heart of fear/shame/worthlessness.

    Happy New Year!

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Jenn, Thanks for this link—really nice voice of compassion and authenticity. Here’s to vulnerability, to allowing ourselves to be deeply seen as Ms. Brown suggests, in the service of living and loving more kindly and more fully.

  8. Kate Says:

    My brain is slightly untethered by lack of sleep, but reading this, I felt the gaze of my grandma and the weight of a sleeping infant in my arms. The one was a twang of memory, lost and losing, and still a belonging to her. The other is pure joy to me, bliss. A baby, needs met, completely trusting.

    Goodnight, and thank you.

  9. BigLittleWolf Says:

    This was like being led into a sort of dream state. At least, the sort of dreams I have from time to time, with both detail and sensation recalled throughout the next day. It’s a good feeling, especially when calm is “cooked up” in an ancestral kitchen.

    Lovely imagery, Bruce. If only we could walk those stairs daily (or nightly), and bit by bit leave our fears behind. And maybe we can.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Wolf, I am truly hoping that we can, if not leave them behind, better contain and re-configure our fears, particularly in the context of mutual process and expanding authentic concern for all of us together in our all-too-frightened culture and times (not that there aren’t things that cause real and/or ongoing suffering). Here’s to healing minds, brains and consciousness.

  10. The Lizard Brain is a Lonely Hunter « Privilegeofparenting’s Blog Says:

    […] Privilegeofparenting’s Blog On Becoming Our Best Selves Through Raising Children « Cooking up Calm […]

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