Adapted from a dharma talk given 6.25.17 by BoHeng Aaron Cozadd
When someone thinks they don’t like a vegetable — say Brussels sprouts – it’s often because they were not prepared well when tasted in the past. Perhaps the cook highlighted negative characteristics. Maybe they had mushy texture and bitter flavor.
The diner then makes a connection between the experience of eating a mushy and bitter Brussels sprouts dish, and a “perception” of this vegetable in general. He or she is then set up to never appreciate how fantastic Brussels sprouts can taste when prepared by an expert.
Now it may not seem like a big deal, right?
Passing on the Brussels sprouts may not necessarily inhibit one’s happiness. But extrapolate this out into other parts of your life — relationships, careers, willingness to step out of a comfort zone — and I think we can see how our perceptions can limit us in life.
When we learn to look past our preferences and let go of the story line in our minds, we can be open to more great experiences in the future.
BoHeng Aaron Cozadd is currently enrolled at the Institute for Buddhist Studies, Berkley, CA, where he is studying to be a Dharma Teacher under the Taego Zen order. He holds the service position of “Hengja” at DGZ, which tasks him with general upkeep of our facilities and assistance with services. He also is the Executive Chef for Union Joints, overseeing five local restaurants.