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HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE (photo © Karin Haider/studiovienna 2006)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2006

Move over Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance! Here comes Zen and the Art of a Good Meal! Doris Dörrie turns her attention to Buddhism and that age-old saying, you are what you eat. In HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE, Doerrie enlists the help of the charismatic Zen Master Edward Espe Brown to explain the guiding principles of Zen Buddhism as they apply to the preparation of food as well as life itself.

“How a person goes about dealing with the ingredients for his meals” explains Doerrie, “says a lot about him. HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE teaches us to be attentive in our everyday dealings with the most mundane things and also open our eyes to one of the most beautiful occupations there is: existing in the here and now. And cooking is also an integral part of this.”

Edward Brown has been practicing Zen for over forty years, teaching in San Francisco as well as across the USA and Europe. And in case you think this is all New Age, California, touchy-feely, 800 years ago Master Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founder of the Japanese Soto-Zen school, wrote a cookbook in which he taught that it is possible to discover Buddha in even the simplest of kitchen duties, such as washing rice or kneading dough, and so reflect on one’s own actions and behavior in the world.

Genre Educational, Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2006
Director Doris Dörrie
Screenplay Doris Dörrie
Cinematography Jörg Jeshel
Producers Franz Xaver Gernstl, Fidelis Mager
Production Company Megaherz Film & Fernsehen/Munich
 German, English
Shooting Dates Scheibbs/Austrai, Tassajara & San Franciso/California, July 2006
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Seattle 2007, Los Angeles 2007, Vancouver 2007, Warsaw 2007 (German Panorama)
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor MFA+ FilmDistribution/Regensburg

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