Zen Sake Cocktail

18 02 2007

It was another early rise Sat. No kicking back today, there was a full load ahead. It was a Beakeley Day. The weather was wonderful, sunny warming up little by little, it woulld have been great for a sail but it was a land story today.

First stop a quick drop by Sisooks tailor shop to put up a closed for Chinese New Year sign in the door. He was off helping Sismo at the Bridal shop in Chinatown today so the tailor shop was closed as I was busy also.

Next Lady Z and I head to the Zen Center Berkeley for a little zazen. We parked a couple of blocks away and walkedzen center over under spring like skys. The Plum blossom are coming out, it add some nice color to the area. We arrived to the center about 10-15 min before the session started. There was another groupstil in the Zendo hall, so we hung out on the grounds whilst the change over was made. I told her in Japanese how everyone looked so sourfaced. She was suprised I could say that and laughed. Soon it was time to start, we went in, but told to wait until the other group was seated again, so it could be judged how spaces there were left and were to sit. It did not take long and we were seated floor level facing the back of the upper platform goup. Lady Z is talking about how soft the cushion is, I had to shuss her a couple of times. Gong rings and we start. Now after doing this regular I’m pretty comfortable quickly. I did my Heart Zen salutaions, even though in a Soto sitting, and practiced my HeartZen breathing and meditation. It really helps witht he mind dancing, when focusing on the chakaras. My internal claock and legs tell me when it is almost 30 mins, and the gong rang to end the session. As the custom there, the group prepared for their walk and tea, we just left. I asked Lady Z how was it, as she was concerned she would not be able to do 30 min, she she does not practice. She said it went fast. She said she was having a lot of toughts but, did not worry about having them and just let them happen. So it was a good sitting for both of us. We also talked about the vib and weather it was just about us going in and using the space and not being involved with the center was the cause for the vibs or just the people themselves. It was not a sense of the just being an outsider it was really we decieded the people. There was something about the energy of them that was off to us. We both felt the Pleasant Hill location felt better. I said the Fremont HeartZen felt the most comfortable to me. She asked why come here then? I said I we needed to come to Berkeley anyway and I wanted to be sure, I was not just tripping on the energy thing. This will be our last visit to the Berkeley Zen Center, that chapter is closed.

Fish mrkNext stop is the Tokyo Fish market for some food stuff and a few supplies. Also veryLeslies conveniant is Leslies ceramic shop right next door so I can pickup some clay for class cheaper than I can on campus. However it turns out they do not have the one I buy on campus so I get something similar some added iron, to give a another look to some new pieces.

We still have some time left before or next planned appointment, so we swing by fleathe Berekeley Flea market.

As we are walking around checking out stuff I get a call from Erica the soap lady. She checking to see when we are ready, now I say and we head over to her place. Erica, as said in another post makes great handmade soaps and bath salts. I met her at the Berkeley flea Market with the Toko deligation when they visited. She can be seen & heard on Afro-Eric’s pod cast. It is our plan to order a few items to take to Japan as gifts for the family. She has a few they setup on a table for us to check out. I had Jasmine/green tea bath salts in mind, but ended up getting something different. Also some Honey something, salts and rose. We at first just ordered the Bath salts, but after getting in the car and thinking I went back to size up one of the items we were going to use and Erica made mention of how the soap of the same kind worked well with the salt for cleaning off after the bath. Now in Japan they shower first then take the bath, even so giung it some thought it would be nicer to have the same scent going through the bath exprience ather than mixing scent from another soap, so we’ll be getting the maching soaps. Considering how much the family will be taking care of us in Japan it makes for a better gift.

sake 1Next stop the Saki factory in Berekeley. I have long heard of this place but had never been in.sake 2 The museum was smaller thank I thought, having been to one in Kobe Japan. Over all the place was nice. We declinded watching the film as we had already seen one. They lady, who was serving the tasting explained she was busy and it would be a short while before she could serve us. No problem we said and checked just out the display. They had a few nice sake sets, I thought they were very nice ceramic works. The colors on a couple were great! We also checked out the sake line and found one that we had come looking for at a as hoped for good price. Our turn came and the girl expalined a few things about what was being served and we got a good sample of several types of sake. Some were only mad here in the Satates for American tastes, life the strong flavored ones, Lychee, Raspberry , plum, Apple. We had triedsome Lychee in SF of last trip and liked it. Although we diceded it would be better mixed down some with some regular sake to dilute the sweetness some. I LOVED the Creme de Sake!! So we ended up getting what displaywe came for plus one of the Creme de Sake and left in GOOD spirits… ( or full of good spirits heheh, get it heheh) …ahem. We set off to the next stop lunch. By now I’m starving and all that sake tasting made me really want sushi! It was in our plan to head to a Sushi place afterward anyway. We drove out by the Berekely Aqua Park Lady Z had never been there, so wanted to walk a bit by the water. I was for that as I had a warm buzz going and it would be best to walk a bit, so we strolled along the walk way and took in the great weather through sake eyes 🙂

From there off to lunch. We drove over to Oakland to a small sushi shop, the food was good, the waitress bad. She was different one than we had before and perhaps bad is not the correct word, but for sure not good, lacking. However thesushi food was good, cheap, fresh and more than I could eat without being too full. In Japan there is a saying you should only eat to 80% for good health. The HeartZen philosophy also stated do not eat until full , 70% is good. So practicing that I took a bit home.

The drive home was pleasant, Lady Z was complaining about the heat, she does not do well in it. It was about 78 degrees now, I loved it but turned on the truck a/c for her as she is a delicate cherry blossom. Once home I turned on the fans, we both lay down on the bed and ended going off to napland.




2 responses

18 02 2007
Becky J

You sure can pack in a lot of interesting stops in a short period of time. I think I need a nap after reading about your little trip.

15 02 2008

Wow! You really went to a lot of places huh. Never really got to the Berkeley Flea market. Never thought that bath salts are sold there.

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