Just Cooking: Dogen’s Instructions to the Cook class, starting May 30

Event Details

  • Date:

A six-week class led by Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

Thursday evenings: May 30 – July 25
Class Dates: 5/30, 6/6, 6/13, 7/11, 7/18, 7/25.
Class time: Optional sitting from 6:30-7pm. Class: 7:15-8:45pm

Just Cooking: an opportunity to study our Zen practice through Dogen’s Tenzo Kyōkun (Instructions to the Cook)

“As long as we only think about the Buddha dharma with our minds, the Way will never be grasped, even in a thousand lifetimes or myriad eons. When we let go of our minds and cast aside our views and understandings, the Way will be actualized… For this reason, the Way is without doubt attained through the body. This is why I encourage you to practice zazen wholeheartedly.” – Dogen, Shobogenzo Zuimonki

What is it to let go of our thinking and actualize embodied practice in every moment of our life?  In the Tenzo Kyōkun, Dogen tells us.

“In the past, eminent ones in possession of the way practiced as cooks, working energetically with their own hands….The ancients said that cooks regard tying up their sleeves [for manual work] as the way-seeking mind.”

In this six-week class, we will study and discuss Dogen’s Tenzo Kyōkun which shows us the way to understanding and realizing that Zazen is nothing other than our life as it is in this very moment, whether sitting in meditation posture or chopping carrots. To illustrate this teaching, Dogen relates his conversations with some of the Tenzo’s he encountered during his time of study and practice in China. He takes us through a day in the life of the Head Cook (Tenzo), showing how each moment is both practice and realization.

We will also read and discuss various commentaries by contemporary Zen Masters on this text, in Nothing is Hidden (Jisho Warner, Shohaku Okumura, John McRae and Taigen Dan Leighton, eds.)

Class Fee: $160 Sustaining / $120 Base / $80 for BZC members (more than 3 months)

To register, please click here.

Please also note our cancellation policy: To request a refund for this event, you must notify BZC in writing at least one week before the beginning of the course or event. Refunds are issued for any and all cancellations up to seven days before an event less a $10 processing fee. Less than seven days before an event, we do not offer refunds. There are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50.

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan received training in Soto Zen practice as a resident of San Francisco Zen Center for 12 years, was ordained as a priest in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2010, and served as head monk (shuso) in 2014. She has taught yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988, as well as co- leading Zen and Yoga retreats at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm since 2002. Shokuchi is currently serving as Head of Practice (Tanto) at the Brooklyn Zen Center.


Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the Carroll Street entrance of the building; please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. From there, the center is located at the top of a longer flight of stairs. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance on President Street; please email us in advance if you need access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. Visit our Accessibility Page for more detailed access info. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at info@brooklynzen.org.