Alley Break Cafe
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july august news

I’ve started supplying a few places with our sourdough & rolls. This means that we’ve changed the slice size on our bread, as most other establishments are asking for thinner sliced bread. It ultimately means that the price of toast & eggs on toast has been reduced to reflect this. These are the only menu changes that have happened currently, there will probably be some menu changes, possibly a big overhaul in around a month. We will test some new dishes through the specials leading up to this. We would love to have your feedback on some of these & any dishes that you would like to remain, or even suggestions for new items?

Through my daughter’s italian boyfriend, I experienced salami day in the middle of July, & I brought a mincer with sausage attachment for it, so we have been experimenting with making our own sausages & chorizo. A smoker is next on the purchase list & we may even go down the path of attempting our own ham & bacon, but ultimately it will be used for our smoked salmon which we seem to chew through.

A few of you may remember earlier on in the year I wrote about voting for us to win a new website through Digerati. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but none the less, we are in need of a new website & Tim from Digerati has become a good friend, so we are in the process of sorting out a new website. This will be one of the aesthetic changes happening over the coming months. We are in the process of hopefully organising a new coffee machine, some new tables, & am speaking with council regarding our outdoor structure & hopefully we can sort something
out to cover us a little better for wet weather. If I get through everything on my “to do” list there maybe even more.

Produce dinners have been received extremely well with the next one coming up on the 27th July which will be a Heston inspired Christmas in July, & then we are working on sourcing some truffles (but not confirmed yet) for the following month which is the 31st August. There is still availability for both at the time of printing, so be sure to let me know if you would like to come as they normally fill pretty quickly, & are great fun, & a great experience, for us as well!

Tanvir’s back from Bangladesh which is awesome, he will be heading back again during August as he was married whilst he was there late last year & has a baby on the way! (we are taking bets on what gender it will be & he will happily take any name suggestions) He will be back once the baby has arrived, & will organise for his wife & newborn to come to live here in Oz also. With Tanvir’s return we are pretty good staff wise on the floor & behind the coffee machine, but we are still struggling for staff in the kitchen. We ultimately are looking for a qualified chef &/or one or two apprentice chefs. If you know anyone passionate about food & is looking for work, send them our way, great hours, pay & what a view!

Between all of the barista’s now, there’s normally always a cold drip coffee on offer, if you’re interested in trying it, ask the guys & I’m sure they’ll love to share it with you & get some feed back. It is a lighter style black coffee which accentuates the fruit in the coffee, & will be a welcome alternative come summer. The new crop of coffee’s have come in from Mecca meaning coffee has been as good as ever. I will attempt to keep up with the never ending news supply that Mecca sends us on what coffee’s we’re drinking & what the darkhorse blend contains as it changes so frequently. We have also been featuring single estate coffee’s roasted by the boys at whitehorse, which have been amazing. We look forward to the great coffee ride continuing from both camps!

look forward to seeing you all soon,


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may news

I have continually struggled to clarify my position on food & our philosophy. We have always tried to source the freshest, most local, & best produce that we can, like many cafe’s & restaurants, but I have read an introduction in a cook book recently that pretty much nails the way I feel. It is called the real food companion by mathew evans, & in his introduction talks about one degree of food seperation. The menu will continuing to evolve due to this, mainly the lunch menu, & any/all feedback would be appreciated as we source & find suppliers that we can build relationships with, so that our quality of produce is not only second to none, but there will be complete transparency.

Through building these relationships, we will endeavor to stock the produce that we are using so that you can buy much more of our amazing produce as well. As Hapi & Kath’s organic fruit & vegetables come back from their wash out earlier in the year, Kath has suggested that she can supply weekly market bags, full of their & others organic produce that you could pick up. We could also, arrange some of our organic sourdough to go in with the goodies. Let me know if you are interested in this as their produce is still a little over a month away. They normally deliver to us weekly on Thursdays, as I get more details I will let those who are interested know.

Produce dinner’s have been received extremely well with the next one coming up on the 25th May & then the 29th June. Be sure to get in quick as they normally book out very quickly, the May one will be a matched wine dinner & the June dinner a BYO night. We’ve also been getting our hands on some organic suckling pigs & hosted a couple of casual dinners for groups that order a whole pig & share it with their friends. If you are interested in either of these nights, come & have a chat with me & we will look after you. Unfortunately, when we had our little creatures dinner back in March they didn’t quite have their latest single batch beer ready which we hoped, but.... it is out, it is called the quiet american, & is amazing. If you can get your hands on some I would thoroughly recommend it, probably one of the best beers if not the best beer that I’ve ever had.

We’ve changed our opening hours slightly also, no longer opening at 6am, we will open at 7am, this may mean that coming into spring & summer that we open later as I will most probably be here later anyway as the baking schedule ramps up. We will try & move to baking 7 days, but will still depend on how busy we are Sunday as to whether we bake Monday’s or not. If we do open later coming into spring we will probably open Wednesday, Thursday & Friday evenings for a simple dinner, but will keep you updated closer to the time.

Between all three of the barista’s now, there’s normally always a cold drip coffee on offer, the coffee has been as good as ever. I will attempt to keep up with the never ending news supply that mecca sends us on what coffee’s we’re drinking & what the darkhorse blend contains as it changes so frequently. We will also start to take some single estate coffee’s roasted by the boys at whitehorse, as we are already using their decaf, & is always great!

Lastly, on a last note we are still looking for staff, mainly kitchen staff at the moment, chef’s apprentices, & always looking for a good barista’s. Send them our way! Great hours, pay & what a view!

look forward to seeing you all soon,


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The Middle Way

Presence, Acceptance, Impermanence

Laughing Buddha – MaitreyaThings happen. Time Passes by. Attaching to an idea or concept, we trap ourselves. Mind is it’s own trap when fed. The acceptance of the present, fully, may bring suffering. The four noble truths. Karma. When letting go and coming to be, Karma comes back. How can it not? We can deny literally anything. It doesn’t make it true.

Not going to the dentist caused my teeth to suffer. Denying my own pain, pushing away my reality, my karma was a root canal. This is not mystical. Our entire lives are like this. Really, intent is what matters. It’s through our intent we become.

In this place we drop humanity’s concept of time. We become realized the second we see. The myriad of teaching all point to one thing—to be here. Accept the entirety of being, not just ego or consciousness as  boundaries. We are impermanent, we have finite time, our obligation, humbly to all beings. We are not the first nor the last. This beautiful web. Back to Presence. Where we are we should fully be. It’s the only real place.

Your Thoughts: A Buddhist Response to the Economic Crisis

The current global economic crisis is easily understood through a Buddhist framework. The institutions saw the world as self and other. They saw, and see, it as something to “win”. They focused on Profits and the Trickle Down Theory of economics.

Buddhism teaches us about no self, no other. It teaches us that the “I” thing we grasp isn’t real. It opens us to the world of interconnectedness and interrelatedness. That’s all well and good but the thing is, we’re here now.
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What Is The Middle Way?

Dharma Wheel 8 Fold Path

And what, monks, is the Middle Way realized by the Thus-Come-One, which gives vision and understanding, which leads to calm, penetration, enlightenment, to Nirvana?
It is just this Noble Eightfold Path, namely: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. – The Buddha, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

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Happiness is for All Time, Not Just the Future

Laughing Buddha – MaitreyaWe get told to work hard for future happiness. When does this future happiness arrive? People work hard their whole lives, saving, so that they can have a good retirement. When we retire is when we’re meant to be relaxed and happy. This is the wool being pulled over our eyes. I feel that as a society, we’ve been brain washed to work, instead of enjoying our lives.
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Beyond Words and Phrases

Zen Master Dogen“Explanations of mind and explanations of the nature are not affirmed by the Buddhist patriarchs. Seeing the mind and seeing the nature is the animated activity of non-Buddhist. Staying in words and staying in phrases is not the speech of liberation. There is a state which has got free from states like these.” - Master Dogen, Shobogenzo, Sansuigyo

What is Dogen discussing here? ‘Not affirmed’? How does the speech of liberation sound? How does one access the states beyond Explaining and Seeing?
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Keep Sitting

Manjusri, Keep SittingSitting is hard. Sometimes you feel good, but often you feel a little stiff or sore. You don’t notice how it affects your life. You get busy. Stuff comes up. Somehow daily sitting becomes less of a priority. Somewhere along the line you pick up the saying that “a few moments of mindfulness each day is good enough”. “Good Enough” is different to “Good”. We need to Keep Sitting.
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Support The Middle Way - An Enso, For You to Own

An Enso is the Zen symbol that represents enlightenment. It’s generally considered an output of enlightened activity. It’s both the symbol and reality of enlightenment. It’s a brush stroke from a master, that in a single thought-less breath captures the moment of non-thought. The brush stroke is a record of reality, the whole world is contained within the stroke.

The Middle Way has been using the Enso as part of the rotating mast header for a while. The Enso runs deep through this site, and through me. I’ve been wanting to share this Enso with the world for a while, Now I can, with you.

I created a stencil based on a Enso seen on Alan Watt’s houseboat. You can see this Enso in a digital version of Alan’s work called Prickles and Goo. There’s a lot of history behind this Enso.

Now it’s your chance to get 1 of 20 limited edition, hand printed, signed Enso for your walls. 11 have already sold.

Black Enso Print #8/20, on A1 Size White Archival Stock

Close up of Black Enso Print #8/20, on A1 Size White Archival Stock

Full View of Red Enso Print #11/20, on A1 Size White Archival Stock

Prints are $50 +S&H, in your local currency. If you are interested in buying a print, please e-mail me,

By buying an Enso, you’re donating to The Middle Way. You’re enabling me to send out more Free Buddhist Books. This isn’t for profit, your Dana goes back to ship out books. You not only help me, but around 10 readers of this website who are after a book by purchasing an Enso.

Each print is carefully looked over to ensure no defects are shipped out. They are made in a dust-free environment, after I’ve entered into a deep state of meditation. I have incense burning, far away from the print. No two prints are the same, they are all unique.

By Buying an Enso, not only do you get a fantastic print, but you are helping me cover costs of sending out free books throughout the world. You are also enabling me to spend more time focusing on The Middle Way, allowing more creations and writing. The Middle Way is still Not For Profit.

UPDATE 13/Oct: The draft canvas has gone, and I’ve also put better pictures up. I’ve drastically lowered the number of Enso I’m printing, now 20 in total, of which 4 have already sold. This is now seriously limited edition, and all profits still go to sending books back out.

UPDATE 28/Jan/09: Only 9 Ensos remaining.

UPDATE 6/Aug/09: I am not currently in a position to print the remaining Ensos. I am not taking pre-orders for the moment either. If you are interested in receiving an Enso, if you leave a comment, when I am able to print Ensos again, I will get in contact.

Living Small Stones

Small Stones Cover PhotoFiona sent me a copy of her book, small stones: a year of moments. I enjoyed the book, and thought I’d write about how the book lived with me whilst I read it, and how I enjoyed the book.

Managing to get a few days off, I went to a place where two mountains meet the sea. A very similar place as described a “powerful place” by Master Dogen in the Mountains and Rivers Sutra. I was reading small stones, whilst I was writing about Compassion and Kannon.
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