plain eating

Keep Your Eye on the Bagel— And on the (Whole)

By Gary Gach Nearly every day I eat a bagel at my local deli. This particular deli has a menu of so many exotic-sounding edibles it boggles the mind! Thus my regular menu selection initially earned me the attention of the staff. Just a bagel. Toasted. Period. No hummus, thank you. No butter, thank you. Just a bagel, sliced, toasted in the oven. (One clerk decided to call it "Virgin," which caused heated debate between her and a coworker, reminding me how my deeds affect others, and others in turn.) Once or twice a month, I'll break form and order a tamale. To drink: a glass of water, with lemon. Self-service. I tray my own dishes, and sometimes those of others.

One day when the clerk asked, "What can I get you?" I looked 'em right in the eye, smiled, and said, "365 days of peace and serenity across the entire planet—but that may be impossible today, and I know that's not your immediate department. So, just a bagel for now."

Sometimes it comes to me with a sprig of greens on the side, with a shaving of carrot, artfully arranged. No big deal. But when that happens, it means everything to me, and really makes my whole week.

Maybe you might find yourself making a Sangha out of your own lunch table. I'd love to join you.


Gary Gach, a writer and Sangha member in San Francisco, is the author of Pocket Guide to the Internet.

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