"I often say that cooking for me is a form of meditation. Assembling ingredients, chopping vegetables, tending to a stir-fry, grilling fish — all require mindfulness, the full focus of attention on the here-and-now that is the essence of meditation practice." - Andrew Weil, M.D.Someone else (in addition to Zen Master Dogen) who apparently shares my views on baking practice and recipes as koans, Dr Weil also writes:
There is another reward of cooking that fascinates and motivates me: it is excellent training in practical magic. By that I mean that cooking gives you a chance to practice the esoteric art of manifestation — bringing something from the imagination into physical reality. You picture a perfect dish in your mind, not just its appearance but also its aroma, taste, and mouth feel. The challenge is to create in your kitchen a product that replicates as exactly as possible the one in your mind. Following recipes may help you as you begin this practice, but with experience, you should be able to free yourself from them and feel more confident about tweaking them, improvising, and creating ones of your own.