When I sat zazen tonight I couldn't get out of my mind my hatred for garlic. My friend had asked me to write about it. Tonight my wife and I went to my favorite restaurant (which I'm growing very tired of). We had our lunch... she a vegeburger and I a soup and salad. There were an abundance of different tastes in my dinner. The lettuce, the cucumbers, the tamari dressing, the corn chowder, etc. As we were finishing up, the strong pungent odor of garlic came from the kitchen. No longer could I enjoy all the subtle tastes of my meal. All I could smell was garlic. Garlic is like a noisy restaurant. You can't carry on a conversation with your meal.
Chinese Buddhists don't eat garlic or onions. They don't want to get too excited, and they don't want to offend anyone.
As I was sitting, I thought more about the word "hate" and wondered if my feelings were really that strong. "Quietly sitting" and "hating" are not compatible acts. But then I remembered how my meal was so rudely interrupted by the stench of garlic from the kitchen. And I thought about a female friend who I hadn't seen for a long time... and then I did, and it was so good to see her, and then I smelled garlic. Ouch.
I know some say that garlic enhances food. It must be an acquired taste. When I eat it, my stomach churns all night long. Tonight I had some beans and rice. I found it bland, so I added some soy sauce. Then I realized I was tasting just soy sauce, and not enjoying the beans and rice. That's what garlic does as well. It keeps one from experiencing things as they are.
And the "hate." I'm still working on that.