The Powder of Now

September 6, 2012 Post Comment Uncategorised
When exploring metaphorical landscapes with clients, quite
often they are the most amazingly connective and intuitive places and visions.

Part of the exploration of the film “Inception” was in this area and how that argument
interfaced with the dreams of some of the characters. It is, indeed, a collection of other worlds – far more real
and yet far more bizarre, than can ever be conjured up in our minds by science
This brings me to a recent session with a client, to whom I
was explaining the thinking behind the “Quality of Pleasure”- a chapter from “Mind
How You Go – Steps to enhance your life’s journey”.
The calibration of not just the type of pleasure we might
get from a particular action or indulgence, but also the amount of pleasure it
might deliver for us, is a way we can maximise things we might love doing (for
all the right reasons of course).
Now this lady expressed a real interest in the nature of pleasure and how to really engage with it – so I mentioned to her, at this stage, the Japanese
Tea Making Ceremony or Chado. I
talked about the various meanings of the elements of the ritual, and the total in-the-moment absorption of the
Maker with the tasks involved.
Curiously enough, it’s also a line of discussion I like to train clients onto,
especially if they have difficulty in engaging and coupling with the present –
the Now. These are folk like the ‘I
want my life back as it was’ people, or the ‘I’ll be happy when’ people – and this
lady certainly subscribed to those archetypes in both her language and
It didn’t take her long to make the connection I was alluding to either – and I
knew things had begun to resonate with her in a rather intriguing and, at the
same time, amusing way.
“One of my favourite cooking tasks is making custard,” she
said. “The milk goes in the pan and starts to heat as I mix together the custard
powder, sugar and cold milk. The thing is – I know I can’t walk away from it or
do anything else at the same time. You have to stay right with it from start to
finish. It’s a completely ‘in the now’ task from which, with attentive application
rather than expertise, comes a perfect custard.”
I’m sat there nodding as I listen to her, remembering all the times I’ve had
milk boil over, or not blended the ingredients properly and got a lumpy result,
or added the milk too soon and not had it thicken properly. Total absorption is
the order of the day unless you want to be left with the messy aftermath in the
pan or that awful smell of scalded milk!
And then our conversation crumbled into puns, humour and
just a hint of wackiness.

“So in terms of The Now of making custard you might call
yourself an expert,” I said.
“I am,” she replied, smiling. “You could say I am the custody sergeant!”
“Zen and the art of making custard,” I responded, “can bring the power of Now into the everyday kitchen.”
“Let’s call it The Powder of Now,” she