It was a special evening at Padma NYC in Manhattan January 19. A sold-out event, it was a different kind of dining experience than usual, an opportunity to bring awareness to one’s senses and enjoyment of food. Participants were blind-folded and asked to trust as they were led into the candle-lit room and their seats. Everyone remained in silence for the first few minutes while Arpana explained how the evening would unfold. Meera and Yoko, the two main chefs, had prepared a vegetarian Japanese feast fit for kings and queens. Highlights included kabocha squash croquettes with burdock root (kimpira) and mixed varieties of rice; Japanese pickles (tsukemono); sake-lees soup (sakekasujiru); and dessert of marinated pear with delicately-flavored sweet tofu sauce. At some point, blindfolds came off and conversation was allowed. But silence was observed every time the meditation bell was rung. It was a first-class evening with a dash of meditation and a delightful expansion of the Padma NYC’s ongoing flowering. The center’s schedule of events is updated every Monday, so be sure to check out www.padmanyc.com to enjoy the meditations, groups, sessions, and special events on offer. Photos credits: Kamal.