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Joy Of Life: Thanksgiving Recipe

by Chang Yuan Fashi

When I was assigned to work at DDRC for three months, everything was new to me. There were many tasks in which I replaced monks who have left here. There were many interesting jobs, such as driving the lawnmower, fixing electric lights and repairing hoses. In my head, sometimes I thought I could be a handyman! I always enjoyed and was happy to complete my jobs. I tried to learn and studied until I became much better at my tasks. In my mind I fulfilled Dharma-joy because of Chan in all the activities.


I kept practicing the method of Chan through “the mind should be where the body is!” to observe my mind. Sometimes, I helped to cook breakfast due to a shortage of kitchen staff. I loved cooking but I didn’t have enough experience, so I followed some recipes to do it. Over a period of time, I became more and more familiar with cooking. One day, a volunteer (Rikki Asher) shared her vegan cookbook with me. We cooked together and made bread and chocolate pudding. I found that learning to cook is like learning Chan, both require a gradual process.


Sharing joy is also a form of Chan, I am happy to share with you a recipe from Rikki for a vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving Day. I hope you enjoy it! You can learn more about Rikki’s cookbook here.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie


2 ½ cups of pumpkin purée
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
3/4 cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground clove
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons corn starch (I prefer arrowroot)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a food processor, combine all of the pie ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth. Should only take a minute.
  3. Pour pie filling into your crust spread out until it’s smooth.
  4. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The top should be firm and the crust should be lightly browned around the edges.
  5. Once done, take out of the oven and let cool on the counter. Put in the fridge and let cool completely. Yum! Enjoy!