A Buddhist wants a hotdog, so he goes to a hotdog vendor. “What’ll ya have?” Asks the vendor. The Buddhist replies, “Make me one with everything.“
1 cup of steel cut oats
6 cups of water
Bring the water to a boil. Add oats, stirring immediately and lower heat to medium. Cook uncovered (the pan, not you. Although, whatever, it’s your kitchen) for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to a gentle simmer, cook for an additional 15 minutes. Voila!
You now have oatmeal, which has to be healthy because anything that tastes like that must be good for you, Paleo schmaleo. There are three way to eat it.
1. Hedonist: Life is too short! Don’t waste your time with the dull, boring, and tedious (and repetitive!). Add a bunch of brown sugar, marshmallows, and for texture: crushed candy canes. Mask the unpleasant boringness with sweet McSweetness! As long as some oatmeal gets in your gullet, it’s good for you, right?
2. Masochist: If it tastes good, it must be unhealthy. Self-denial makes you strong! Eat it with un-thawed frozen spinach. Or better yet, don’t eat at all. Suffer!
3. Stoic: Eat it plain, reminding yourself how wonderful it is to have such a readily available source of sustenance! Dismiss the fact that it’s not sweet, or salty, or dressed in any of those fleeting thrills of the tastebuds. Instead of tasting it for what it isn’t, taste it for what it is. Find what is satisfactory about the simple, warm food. Imagine if you were starving, and plain oatmeal was served. How good it would taste! How fulfilling! Once your tastebuds have been retrained to appreciate simplicity, add some berries, a banana, walnuts, and/or some dates. Leave the chunks big, so each spoonful is a different taste, a different ratio of sweetness to nuttiness to oatmealness. Each to be appreciated for what it is.
There are different paths to a running life can take, and all of them require work. You can cushion the work, doing whatever is necessary to hide the reality of your effort and the reality of the environment around you.
You can embrace the pain, welcome it, injury and agony are medals of honor, and find happiness in misery.
Or you can appreciate what you have, your lungs, your legs, your feet, your heart, and the beautifully imperfect functionality of it all.
The Buddhist hands the hotdog vendor a twenty-dollar bill, who in turn hands the Buddhist his order but no change. After an awkward pause, the Buddhist broaches the subject: “may I have my change, please?” The vendor replies, “Change comes from within.”