‘When You Wash the Rice, Wash the Rice.’ About the Cinematic Representation of Cooking and Zen in Doris Dörrie’s How to Cook Your Life (2007)

  • Author(s): Andreas Becker
  • When: 2014-03
  • Where: Contemporary Buddhism
  • Doris Dorrie's How to Cook Your Life (2007) is a film about cooking as well as the Buddhist way of life. The film portrays the Zen cook Edward Espe Brown while also giving insight into the religious practice of Buddhism. First the article traces history back from Brown via his teacher Shunryv Suzuki to the founder of the Eiheiji-monastery, Dogen and his book tenzo kyokun (Instructions for the Zen-Cook). Second, the article analyses Dorrie's aesthetics and the way she portrays Brown, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and other places of Zen. Finally the article discusses the film and its assumptions in the context of other films Dorrie has made about Japanese culture and Buddhism.

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