05 January 2009

Mushrooms and Meditation

Not an obvious connection you might say. But being on a nine day meditation retreat in a rainy redwood and madrone forest with some sunny weather for venturing outside, these became a few of my favorite things.

I think I paid more attention and saw more things--on the ground anyway--because I was looking for mushrooms. It was really fun. There weren't many animals about but saw a couple of salamanders and a banana slug.

I really wanted to cook and eat some of the mushrooms--some of which look like baked bread, waffles, or just the kind of mushroom you buy in the grocery store--but of course I refrained. Because like most Americans the first thing I think of when I think of wild mushrooms is dead people. The story we hear is of Sam or Sally from Mexico or Vietnam who ate something that seemed identical to an edible mushroom where they came from - and died.

So I'm not going to go around popping every attractive mushroom into my mouth, even I think it may be a chanterelle. I did order a guide, listed below, and want to go out with people who know. My friend Trebor said Germans go out in droves looking for mushrooms, it's practically a national past time.

My mushroom slideshow

I just ordered: All That the Rain Promises, and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms

Edible California Mushrooms from mykoweb.com

Mycological Society of San Francisco


Tong said...

talk about the fine mushrooms you cooked

hen said...

retreats and mushrooms! I can completely empathise!



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