A thought on Vegetarian Lunch
By Guo Lun / Zhi Ping
Hua Zang Si usually provides a vegetarian lunch to the attendees after the end of every Dharma assembly.
When I first tasted it, it dawned on me – How can there be such delicious vegetarian food in this world? It is tastier than any gourmet food I have ever eaten. It is comforting and stays in your heart.
The ingredients may be common vegetables, such as tofu, or mushrooms and even the rice is just simple white rice. It is not greasy and they do not always season the food with chilies for aroma. It reminds you of the most delicious dish that your Mom cooked when you were little.
I wonder if it is because I have grown tired of the same old greasy food or it is just an illusion I got from a new taste. However, this fine feeling has never changed for several years from the first time I went to Hua Zang Si until now. I also have heard similar praises from a number of other people. Eventually, I was convinced that the food provided by Hua Zang Si is good quality.
Later, I was fortunate enough to volunteer in the kitchen of Hua Zang Si – I saw how Buddhist brothers and sisters deliver fresh ingredients from a great distance on the day before the Dharma assembly. I have seen how many of Buddhist brothers, sisters, aunties, grandmas, and even some kids carefully clean and prepare potatoes, carrots, vegetables and fruits. I also noticed the hard work they do on the day of the Dharma assembly: They stir-fry the food, add water to control the heat, all under high temperature. I also noticed how they carefully store the prepared dishes in the warmers to keep the food warm. At the lunch time, I also have seen how the young volunteers attentively and efficiently spoon every side dish on the plates while wearing masks and gloves in spite of the heat. In addition, I have seen how the volunteers separate the used utensils and plates for recycle with a great deal of effort.
I have finally realized what is behind the delicious vegetarian lunch – it is self-cultivation at all times and all places.