Not A Single Moment of Carelessness ...

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - III )


Doing things carefully ... the Zen way ...


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Next, the various stewards consult in the store hall about what seasonings should be used on the following day, what vegetables should be eaten, how the rice gruel should be prepared, and so on. The Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries says, "When deciding about ingredients as well as the flavors and numbers [of side dishes] for meals, first consult with the stewards in the store offices." The stewards referred to here are the prior, comptroller, assistant comptroller, rector, cook, and labor steward. When the flavors and numbers have been decided, write them on the announcement boards in the abbot's quarters, common quarters, and elswehere.

After that, ready the next morning's rice gruel. When washing rice, preparing vegetables, and so on, do so with your own hands, with close attention, vigorous exertion, and a sincere mind. Do not indulge in a single moment of carelessness or laziness. Do not allow attentiveness to one thing to result in overlooking another. Do not yield a single drop in the ocean of merit; even a mountain of good karma can be augmented by a single particle of dust.

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Insturctions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen - Translated by Griffith Foulk




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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