Well, pleasure to meet you… suppose I will try to describe myself and the essence of what goes into my writing. My name is Henry Cohen. I am a 21 year old from Washington, D.C. What fascinates me the most in life is the crossroad between inner and outer human experience. Food has always been a core tenet of my existence, and has certainly marked the development of my consciousness. Starting alongside my father at age three, I would watch, memorize, and then mimic his actions in the kitchen. Scrambled eggs is where it all began for me. I would seek to perfect the dish, experimenting with different additives, like milk, cream, and air, but finally concluded that the only thing scrambled eggs needs is butter, eggs, salt, and pepper. For me, cooking can become what we might call a sort of “spiritual experience,” in the sense that my consciousness is altered, noticeably heightened, when I cook. I am taken out of my normal self-aware perception and move towards the realm of direct perception of the food and the cooking process itself. And cooking is only the first part of the story- eating is a whole other sensorial beast. Talking and writing about these experiences is incredibly cathartic for me. Aside from cooking, and eating, which I spend a fair amount of my time doing, I practice mental and physical practices from different meditative and healing traditions around the world. Practice schools that interest me the most, whose practices help me in my own life, are the meditation practices rooted in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, energy practices like Qi Gong and Yoga, and the healing modality of Reiki. These two practices, of cooking and delving into consciousness, sometimes feel the same. When my conscious experience is in certain ecstatic states, recipes flood my imagination, I associate different flavors together, adapting them through different culinary techniques to create a dish.
Aside from that stuff, which I guess I would consider my personal life, I sing, play the guitar, piano, and harmonica, and hold down the bass section in my a capella group. Some of my favorite musical groups are Bon Iver, Jon Bellion, The Eels, and Victor Jara. I study comparative political theory, focusing on the moral psychological implications of the view of self within social contract theory. My other academic interests include Phenomenology, Buddhism, Depth Psychology, and my absolute favorite intellectual and personal trip: Lucid Dreaming. I guide a meditation group on campus, work at CSSJ, and the College Farm. Just happy to be here now.