Baking is the perfect time to practice the art of Zen, or “being in the moment”. As a matter of fact I would even go as far as saying it is essential to be in the now, or in a Zen like state in order to bake at your best. Imagine how your cupcake would taste if you were thinking about a bitter moment in your day, when you were measuring the ingredients and mixing the dough. Imagine how your cupcake would look if you were preoccupied with angry thoughts about something thing your coworker said that ticked you off at work. You would probably end up baking one bitter tasting and angry looking batch of cupcakes.
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Baking in the Now
"Zen is not some kind of excitement but concentration on our usual everyday routine." Shunryu Suzuki
The Zen of Baking simply means to bake in the present. You should be in the moment and feel the texture of the dough when you are rolling it. You should smell all your ingredients and put thought, care and love in mixing them together. You should breathe deep and slowly while you decorate the cupcakes, as if you were Van Gogh painting a masterpiece. So whether you bake for a living or you just bake for yourself, make sure you are baking in the moment so you can learn from the experience. It is only through patience, focus and deliberate actions that you learn little secrets that will make the difference between good and superb.