Fresh out of college, Gesshin Claire Greenwood found her way to a Buddhist monastery in Japan and was ordained as a Buddhist nun. Zen appealed to Greenwood because of its all-encompassing approach to life and how to live it, its willingness to face life’s big questions, and its radically simple yet profound emphasis on presence, reality, the now. At the monastery, she also discovered an affinity for working in the kitchen, especially the practice of creating delicious, satisfying meals using whatever was at hand — even when what was at hand was bamboo. Based on the philosophy of oryoki, or “just enough,” this book combines stories with recipes. From perfect rice, potatoes, and broths to hearty stews, colorful stir-fries, hot and cold noodles, and delicate sorbet, Greenwood shows food to be a direct, daily way to understand Zen practice. With eloquent prose, she takes readers into monasteries and markets, messy kitchens and predawn meditation rooms, and offers food for thought that nourishes and delights body, mind, and spirit.
“This book is refreshing . . . a welcome reassurance that we may yet find a way to save what is precious.” — from the foreword by Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal
“Just Enough brings some Zen into your life with monastery-inspired vegan recipes, Buddhist sensibility, and a little sass too. Gesshin Claire Greenwood serves up just enough.” — Ellen Kanner, author of the award-winning book Feeding the Hungry Ghost and SoulfulVegan.com
“Some years ago, I found myself astonished by the blog postings in That’s So Zen. They were written by a young American woman living and training as a Zen priest in Japan. Then she wrote her first book, Bow First, Ask Questions Later, part memoir, part pointer to the Zen way, and I knew I was witnessing something rare. Gesshin Claire Greenwood brings her whole being to the project, leaving nothing out. Now, with her second book, Just Enough, she shows her continuing depth. And she invites us along. Here we get a taste of ancient Japan, monastic Buddhist Japan, Zen Japan, as embodied by a young twenty-first-century woman. East meets West. With nothing left out. Want a peek at the great way? Look at this book. Oh, and you get some very good recipes along the way.” — James Ishmael Ford, author of Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons