TREELEAF ZENDO CHANT BOOK
Formal Meal Verses
Passages in underlined italics are chanted by chant leader only
BOWLS SHOULD BE YET UNOPENED:
Verse upon Hearing the Meal Signal (Clappers)
(Montsui no ge)
(Hands in Gassho) Buddha was born in Kapilavastu,
enlightened in Magadha,
taught in Varanasi,
entered nirvana at Kushinagara.
OPEN BOWLS, WITH CARE. DO NOT YET SERVE FOOD OR PLACE SPOON INTO BOWL YET:
Verse for Setting Out Bowls
(Tenpatsu no ge)
(Hands in Gassho) Now we set out Buddha's bowls;
may we, with all living beings,
realize the emptiness of self-clinging, and of the three wheels:
giver, receiver, and gift.
Verse of Buddha Names
CHANT LEADER ONLY:
(Hands in Gassho) In the midst of the Three Treasures
which verify our understanding,
Entrusting ourselves to the Sangha,
(Hands in Gassho) All Buddhas, Awakened Ones and Great Teachers
throughout space and time;
All Honored Ones, Compassionate Ones,
Wisdom beyond Wisdom,
Food Offering Verses
CHANT LEADER ONLY:
(Hands in Gassho) This food comes from the efforts
of all sentient beings past and present,
and is medicine for nourishment of our Practice.
We offer this meal of many virtues and tastes
to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
and to all life in every realm of existence.
May all sentient beings in the universe
be sufficiently nourished.
FOOD IS NOW SERVED. DO NOT PLACE SPOON INTO EATING BOWL YET.
PRIOR TO EATING, THE FOLLOWING VERSES ARE CHANTED:
Verse of Five Contemplations
(Hands in Gassho) First, we reflect on the labours that brought us this food and consider how it comes to us.
(Bow in Shashu) Second, as we receive this offering, we should consider whether our virtue and practice deserve it.
(Hands in Zazen Mudra) Third, we regard greed as an obstacle to freedom of mind.
Fourth, we regard this meal as medicine to sustain our life.
Fifth, to attain our Way, we now receive this food.
Verse of Food Offering
REMOVE A FEW MORSELS, AND PLACE ASIDE ON SMALL DISH
(Hands in Gassho) For all creatures who hunger, and to nourish this world, now we present you this offering. This food is for all of you in the ten directions.
Bowl Raising Verse
(Keihatsu no ge)
(Hands in Gassho)First, this is for the Three Treasures;
(Bow, put spoon in main bowl, handle facing away from you) Second, it is for our teachers, parents, planet, and all sentient beings.;
(Hands in Gassho)Third, it is for every being in all realms of existense.
(Bow, hold main owl above eye level) Thus we eat this food with everyone. We eat to end all suffering, to practice the harmless, helpful and healthful, to save all sentient beings, and to accomplish our Buddha Way.
(Place bowl down, Gassho) The first portion is to end all evil;
the second is to cultivate every good;
the third is to free all beings.
May everyone realize our Buddha Way.
(When the preceding verses have been chanted, begin eating.
Remember to leave some tea or water in glass at end)
* * *
(Wait for all to finish, and all should finish promptly. When leader indicates, pour remaining tea/water into largest bowl, sponge, then repeat for smaller bowls. Squeeze sponge into last bowl, drink contents.
When finished washing bowls, chant the following).
Verse of Rinsing Water
(Sessui no ge)
(Hands in Gassho) The water with which we wash our bowls
tastes like ambrosia.
We offer it to all who thirst, that they may be satisfied.
And may the fires of greed and our excess desires be quenched.
REWRAP BOWLS, WITH CARE AND IN PROPER ORDER:
Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World
(shose kaibon no ge)
CHANT LEADER ONLY:
(Hands in Gassho) Abiding in this ephemeral world
May we exist in muddy water with purity like a lotus
Nothing escapes the boundless mind
Thus we bow to Buddha.
(Rise from seat, place bowls aside, straigten Zafu, bick up bowls, bow toward Zafu and room while holding bowls,, retire with bowls)