Another benefit of baking practice, in addition to the mindfulness necessary for the baking itself, is the deepening of charity and compassion from giving the baked goods away.
I can't eat all these banana breads and crumb cakes myself, so I've been bringing them into the office for my co-workers to eat, and have enjoyed seeing them enjoy the products. As a matter of fact, the act of bringing treats into the office has made me feel closer and more affectionate for those I work with, and I find myself thinking how much they might enjoy the goods even as I'm baking.
Last week's chocolate-chocolate chip bread was so well received that I was asked to bake it again, and even though it was my preference to move on to the next koan in the cookbook, out of compassion I repeated the recipe and practiced kindness for others rather than work on my own mindfulness.
I'll spare you, gentle reader, another picture of another brown loaf this time around.