Nearly every religion and/or school of philosophical zen system has a basic idea in common: That you have to be honest with yourself and know yourself before you can do anything else for anyone else. The funny thing is while it sounds really simple, truly knowing yourself is very difficult. You have to be willing to face all those horrible memories and events from the past you don’t want to think about. You have to admit how every day of your life has affected you and led to your growth and evolution as a spirit.

I know we are getting real zen here. Bare with me because this isn’t just Eastern Mumbo-Jumbo. I promise you the Western Judeo-Christian teachings include this too. In their own language.

So inspired by the Toriko manga and my habit of taking concepts to the full limits of their philosophical implications, I present to you an exercise that can help you get more in touch with yourself and your real soul. The Personal Full-Course Menu. Eight Dishes that combined together create a feast. But Meester, Meester where’s the Zen? Calm down Sparky. Here’s the fun part. See don’t just rattle off a bunch of nonsense food that you enjoy. This is eight courses that represent YOU. The idea is that these dishes are so personal to you and your life, so significant to you as an individual that if anyone were to eat this meal. They would understand you deeply without having to talk to you. Not so easy now is it?

Here’s the basic rules: The dishes cant’ be business or chef specific. No “Big Mac” or “Pizza Hut Supreme” or “Ham and eggs made by Bob who works the graveyard shift at the Waffle House by the highway.” Why? Because a proper Full-Course Menu can be created by any chef so it can be shared at any time. So here we go: The basic template.

  • Hors d’Oeuvre
  • Soup
  • Fish Dish
  • Meat Dish
  • Main Course
  • Salad
  • Dessert
  • Drink

For the record my Menu isn’t complete. I may post it later but for now it’s about getting you thinking. What’s the dishes that define you and your life experience?


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