Egos often seem to have a way of pushing themselves the forefront of our minds and battling with one another, causing tension… arguments… stressful situations. And as much as we may want to rise above and squash the disagreement with love, those damn egos urge us to keep fighting and fighting. They won’t back down.
The Cake in the Refrigerator is a beautiful concept that allows us to remove ourselves from negative situations with others and restore peace within our souls – and our homes. Here’s how it works:
Now, there doesn’t have to be an actual cake in the refrigerator in order to say there is one. It could be apples and almond butter, a pot of soup, or maybe even nothing at all. The idea is to use the Cake in the Refrigerator as a way to bring everyone back to the present; to realize that tension is present, and to actively try to diminish it.
When everyone disperses to set up for this little cake party, each person is removed from the tense situation and urged to focus on his or her own breathing while working on the task at hand, whether that be chopping apples, heating water for tea, gathering plates and forks, or simply standing in silence. This gives those involved in the tense situation a chance to regroup and calm down.
Then, the group comes back together at the table to enjoy the treats (or to simply sit together) in peace. At this point, the idea is that each person has had a chance to breathe out the negativity and start fresh in this beautiful new moment.
By the time the cake party comes to a close, everyone should feel totally surrounded by pure love and happiness.
There are lots of different techniques that can be used to diminish tension and restore calmness in the home. Nhat Hanh says, “Whether you use the practice of the Cake in the Refrigerator, inviting the bell, or being together in the breathing room, any time that the family spends practicing will increase the feelings of peace and harmony in your home. Being silent and breathing together will allow you all to absorb the feelings of love and peace in the room. No one needs to say anything more.”
+What do you do to encourage harmony in your own home?
This post is part of our Book Club series, featuring Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh.