Actually, we are all hungry ghosts. It’s a metaphor for the part of us that’s unsatisfied. Because of our attachments and our conditioning, we miss the food and drink that’s right in front of us. In fact, the ingredients we need to make a meal that will satisfy us are all right here. But we refuse to accept the food that’s offered. We get taken over by the feeling that we can’t do what needs to be done. So we’re always looking for something we don’t have. Somehow we can’t just say, “Let’s take all this and make a wonderful feast.” It all comes down to a very human habit: we’re always looking for something beyond what is right in front of us.
— Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life that Matters
by Bernie Glassman and Rick Fields