When I thought about the food I would be eating at the Monastery, I envisioned a simple meal of rice and one other dish, including tea. When we first arrived, we were told there would be two meals a day during the retreat. Breakfast at 6 am. Lunch at 11 am. And then no food after 12 pm. Needless to say, I was amazed and stunned when our welcome meal before the retreat began looked like this:
As we experienced the week, we realized our meals were going to be this elaborate with traditional Burmese dishes that were all vegetarian and delectable. We continually laughed at how much food like this would cost at Whole Foods!
What is really incredible is the way this food is prepared. We took a tour to the kitchen toward the end of our stay and were amazed. Dirt floors, stoves over open flames, chopping, and chopping and chopping to make this delicious food.
The kitchen staff is comprised of the 17-year-old nuns. They cook the food, set the tables, place the food on tables, and clean up. What was so poignant is the yoga classes were in the hall where meals were served, so they watched each class, often through the windows as they worked. So good natured and friendly, always waving and saying hi as we passed by on the way to our suite of two rooms.
So many more stories, so many more pictures, so many more memories… I look forward to sharing “Coloring and Reading Break” tomorrow.