Would The Buddha Use A Microwave

Slow down to the speed of Yoga - Yoga with john

Hand on hip, the other dialing my cellphone, I glared at the revolving Trader Joe's frozen Veg-burritos, still not done?

Sigh… a watched microwave never dings.

As I checked my voicemail, long put-off hunger drove a surge of impatience through me. My phone beeped… low battery. Yeah, no kidding. Ding. finally! Slumping down to eat, a moment of clarity arose in my mind.

This is not the life I want to lead, where the speed of microwaves just isn't fast enough. I pulled the plug and made a vow, three months, no microwave.

This was back in October 2010. At first a bit of a challenge, I found using the stove took slightly more time, but found creative ways to use the same pan to heat multiple things.

I found myself gravitating towards slower foods. A bag of lentils, some carrots, Organic brown rice, a bunch of collard greens, while spending less money, eating healthier foods, and enjoying more peaceful mealtimes.

Foods that are better for us, are more compassionate choices, and have less impact on the planet as well.

Every couple days I make enough for a few meals, and have embraced leftovers as the new conveinience food. Winter was especially tough, A lot happening in my life.

My old speedy friend beckoned me anytime I was in a rush. All I had to do was plug her back in – bring her back to life.

I remembered my vow to slow down this life.

When an object is dropped from a great height it accelerates at 32 feet per second, per second, until reaching a top speed called terminal velocity (it just can't go any faster) before it lands on the earth. What is the terminal velocity of a culture? Are we close?

We seem determined to find out, but what has livng at this pace done to our lives, our health, our relationships, our familes? When will we crash land? After 4 months, my old friend the microwave made the journey to the spare room, ancient burial ground of things that once mattered. She's been there for a couple months now.

The next stop is out on the curb, a fading memory of a faster time.

No, you don't have to toss your microwave oven to practice Yoga, but you may consider relying on it less. Maybe start tonight with a slow and nourishing meal. (There's a great recipe link in the left hand column of this website.) Slow down and savor this life.

Set your own speed limit. Don't let the marketers dictate the velocity of your life.

Join me on this peaceful quest for less. As the excess fall away, there's more space in our lives for what matters most.

We could do more, but we choose to do less.

Click the comment link to share how you're slowing down this summer. Om shanti, I'll see you in class.

p.s. Registration for our Fall Massachusetts Yoga Retreat has just opened. We are more than half full. Hope you can join us the weekend of Oct 1st.

5 thoughts on “Would The Buddha Use A Microwave”

  1. Hee hee…. this made me smile! Did you notice that Hutchins has calalloo? I love Caribbean food and have always wanted to try this so now I’m looking for ideas.

  2. I LOVE this one….you are such a good writer…
    We have a microwave in our solar home on wheels, because it came with one….but I use it for storing bowls 🙂

    ooxoo -R

  3. I left my microwave behind when I moved 2 years ago (I didn’t have much choice as it belonged to the apartment). I opted for a $30 convection toaster oven to reheat my leftovers, but I use it to cook anything I’d normally use my full-size oven for. It saves energy and during these hot days, it also helps keep the kitchen cool.
    Great post, John, and I especially enjoyed Rae’s comment about how she uses her microwave.
    It reminds me that there are many things in our homes that can be re-purposed when we get creative. I have a beautiful ceramic tile with a picture of a flower and a hummingbird on it that I haven’t been using in my kitchen. It’s now on the front step next to my potted coleus plants adding a playful touch to the front entry.


  4. There is something that I do to ‘be in the moment’, or at least to limit input from the outside world. When driving, I often listen to the radio. Sometimes newscasts, sometimes talk shows, sometimes classical music…….sometimes it is something worthwhile. 🙂 But when I get near home or in a pastoral setting, I turn the radio off. When I drive to our cabin in the woods, I definitely turn it off. I enjoy the surroundings, the sounds, absorbing what is around me, getting into the feel of the place……..turning off the outside world (as much as possible).

    I like that your writings make me think about these things. 🙂 Thank you.


  5. I agree! For many years I was anti -microwave because of the supposed cancer risks. I rarely use it – usually only to de-frost. Anything worth anything takes time, patience, and love- including the prep of our food! Community style cooking is great – potlucks, and food prep in groups. I’d love to see and be part of that. I think we eat quicker if alone – thus, our fast food nation. But cheers to you and letting go of an old reliable friend, and on the healthier, holistic eating!

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