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Thread: Welcome to the Oryoki Practice Circle

  1. #1

    Welcome to the Oryoki Practice Circle

    Welcome to our re-opened Oryoki Practice Circle, to be guided by Shugen.

    Starting soon, folks interested in the art of formal Zen-style Meal Taking Ritual will gather to Practice in this area of our Treeleaf Forum.

    Shugen will be around here in the coming days with further information.

    Oryoki is the art of mindful eating as a sacred act, receiving just enough with gratitude. It is a dance, a ceremony, into which the self is poured as the self is nourished. One eats savoring each bite, yet also dropping all likes and dislikes, aversions and attractions as best one can. This food is medicine to sustain our lives and Practice.

    Some other descriptions from various sources:

    Oryoki (応量器, “Just enough”) is a meditative form of eating that originated in Japan that emphasizes mindfulness awareness practice by abiding to a strict order of precise movements. Oryoki translates to “Just enough” which refers to the efficiency and accuracy of the form. Each movement is a simple reference point for the mind that encourages one to become present and not wonder in discursive thought. An Oryoki set consists of nested bowls called a jihatsu, usually made of lacquered wood, and utensils all wrapped in a tied cloth .... This is the formal style of serving and eating meals practiced in Zen temples. [Note from Jundo: Shugen will have information on how to make a very good Oryoki set just from items you have at home, so no need to procure a special set for Practice]

    ...

    The word Oryoki can be translated as “that which contains just enough.” In a more general sense it refers to the ritual use of nested eating bowls during Zen meditation retreats. Oryoki meals are simple but precise in detail and flow – from chanting together to placement of utensils, being served, eating, and finally to washing and re-wrapping the sets of bowls.

    ....

    Our Oryoki lineage began with Dogen Zenji, who traveled from Japan to China many centuries ago. ... [In China] he learned the ways of a Buddhist monk, including the monastic eating practice used in China at the time. Dogen Zenji returned to Japan and introduced that style of eating along with some refinements of form. During a few centuries of practice the great Zen masters refined the practice further and passed it down. The Zen tradition of Oryoki as it exists today has a remarkable sense of elegance and fine attention to detail.

    ...

    Upon hearing the mallet for completion of serving food, immediately gassho, and then we chant Verse of Five Contemplations:

    We reflect on the effort that brought us this food and consider how it comes to us.
    We reflect on our virtue and practice, and whether we are worthy of this offering.
    We regard it as essential to free ourselves of excesses such as greed.
    We regard this food as good medicine to sustain our life.
    For the sake of enlightenment, we now receive this food.

    Master Dogen has written ...

    A sutra says: When we are intimate with the food we eat, there is intimacy with all things; when we are intimate with all things, we are intimate with the food we eat. We should let all things and eating be intimate with each other because when each thing is Reality then eating is also Reality. When all things are Suchness, then eating is also Suchness. When all things are One Awareness, then eating also is One Awareness. When all things are Awakened Intelligence, then eating is also Awakened Intelligence. Any name that can be applied to it and the Reality spoken of are this intimacy so we can call all of this intimately single. ...

    http://www.wwzc.org/dharma-text/fush...use-your-bowls
    Gassho, Jundo
    SatToday

    Last edited by Jundo; 02-15-2016 at 05:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Excellent! Thank you!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  3. #3
    Thank you, Jundo and Shugen.

    I hope to be able to join you sometimes.

    Gassho
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  4. #4
    Looking good, thank you Shugen.

    Gassho
    Shingen


    Sent from my mobile, cause I am out & about! =)

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Virginia, USA
    Awesome! Thank you Shugen.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    He/him. As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  6. #6
    I am grateful for this information and if time allows I will be taking part.
    Deep bows to Shugen and Jundo.
    Sue
    Sat today
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today

  7. #7
    _/\_
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  8. #8
    Thank you all. Looking forward to practising together.
    Gassho
    Washin
    justsat

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Redding California USA
    Hello all,

    Thank you Jundo for that wonderful introduction to the practice of Oryoki!

    We will meet Sundays beginning at 9:30am New York City time (6:30am Los Angeles time, 2:30pm London time). Each session will last under an hour.

    Does the first Sunday in March (the 6th) sound like a good starting date? That should give us plenty of time to gather any materials that we may need.

    (I will post a list of materials and instructions on how to create a “homemade” Oryoki set in the upcoming days)

    I look forward to learning together!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Last edited by Shugen; 02-16-2016 at 11:58 PM.
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  10. #10
    Shugen, Sundays are looking good for me. I was just promoted at work and it looks like Sunday will finally be an off work day for me so I am excited to hopefully be participating.
    Looking forward to receiving your instructions and materials list.
    Gassho,
    Sue
    Sat today
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo and Shugen.

    Will love to see you there.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue View Post
    Shugen, Sundays are looking good for me. I was just promoted at work and it looks like Sunday will finally be an off work day for me so I am excited to hopefully be participating.
    Looking forward to receiving your instructions and materials list.
    Gassho,
    Sue
    Sat today
    Congratulations on your promotion!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Shugen
    明道 修眼
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a "pinch of salt"
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  13. #13
    Shugen thank you.
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today.
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today

  14. #14
    Thank you for offering this! I'm interested in participating.

    Gassho
    Anneliese
    Sat Today

  15. #15
    Wow, Shugen, how did you manage to see I got hungry during Zazen?

    I could need some input what food is good for oryoki beginners.
    My Rohatsu attempt did not exactly yield ambrosia (while all foods being so, some taste mixtures are more easily appreciated...)

    Gassho
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Hi Jika,

    I like to keep it pretty simple, especially at first. In the largest bowl (the "Buddha" bowl) something plain, like rice or some type of grain. In the second bowl, something a little more flavorful, yogurt and fruit or some cooked vegetables. And in the final, smallest bowl, perhaps a soup or some juice.. All of the bowls have names by the way, which we will learn. The trick is to pick things that aren't too messy but are still satisfying. One of the nice things about going on retreats is that the food is decided for you, you just choose how much to take!

    We will be taking it nice and slow with this so we'll have plenty of time to work things out.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  17. #17
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shugen View Post
    Hi Jika,

    I like to keep it pretty simple, especially at first. In the largest bowl (the "Buddha" bowl) something plain, like rice or some type of grain. In the second bowl, something a little more flavorful, yogurt and fruit or some cooked vegetables. And in the final, smallest bowl, perhaps a soup or some juice.. All of the bowls have names by the way, which we will learn. The trick is to pick things that aren't too messy but are still satisfying. One of the nice things about going on retreats is that the food is decided for you, you just choose how much to take!

    We will be taking it nice and slow with this so we'll have plenty of time to work things out.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thank you Shugen!

    Gassho,

    Sat today

    Adam

  18. #18
    In the largest bowl (the "Buddha" bowl) something plain, like rice or some type of grain. In the second bowl, something a little more flavorful, yogurt and fruit or some cooked vegetables. And in the final, smallest bowl, perhaps a soup or some juice.. All of the bowls have names by the way, which we will learn. The trick is to pick things that aren't too messy but are still satisfying. One of the nice things about going on retreats is that the food is decided for you, you just choose how much to take!

    We will be taking it nice and slow with this so we'll have plenty of time to work things out.


    Thank you, Shugen. Looking forward to the start of the Circle.

    Gassho,
    Washin
    sat-today

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Redding California USA
    Hello all,

    This is a nice, general overview of what we will be doing in the coming weeks. Please DO NOT try and memorize it. What we will be doing will be a little different.

    http://terebess.hu/zen/szoto/oryoki-instructions.pdf

    The PDF does give an idea of what materials will be needed and how to make a utensil holder (Your holder does not have to be as elaborate - something similar will work). We will be using the "Traditional Oryoki" as opposed to the "Student's Oryoki" with a few exceptions: (One large bowl and two smaller bowls will be fine - no stand for the "Buddha Bowl" unless one is needed - A fork may be substituted for chopsticks) We will need a "hatton" (which is a sort of placemat - we should be able to create a usable one out of black construction/craft paper - I'll give you more details at a later time) and a "mizuita" (which is a small, thin board that was traditionally used as a rain cover for a monk's traveling bag - I'll also give you more details on that at a later time). For cloth colors, I would lean toward grays and blues for the wrapping cloth, utensil holder and the lap/napkin cloth - the drying cloth can be any neutral color.

    I will post a video of the set I will be using and provide some more detailed information in the next few days. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  20. #20
    Awesome, thank you Shugen. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday


    Sent from my mobile, cause I am out & about! =)

  21. #21
    Thanks Shugen;
    This is great! Looking forward to joining the training on March 6
    gassho, Shokai

    #sattoday
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  22. #22
    Thank you Shugen!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  23. #23
    Thank you, Shugen.

    Gassho
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  24. #24
    Shugen,

    Very glad to see you doing this!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Sat today

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    Shugen,

    Very glad to see you doing this!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Sat today
    Thank you Dosho.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Shugen
    明道 修眼
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a "pinch of salt"
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  26. #26
    Wonderful, Thanks Shugen!
    I will try to keep up

    Gassho
    Ongen
    Sat Today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Redding California USA
    Hello all,

    For our first meeting this upcoming Sunday (New York Time) we will go over the different components of an Oryoki set. I have an obligation for the following Sunday so we will meet again in two weeks. By then, everyone should have had enough time to get their set ready to go. From that point on, I would like to meet every week if at all possible. The meetings will be recorded so if one is missed, No Worries!

    I look forward to our first meeting!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Shugen View Post
    Hello all,

    For our first meeting this upcoming Sunday (New York Time) we will go over the different components of an Oryoki set. I have an obligation for the following Sunday so we will meet again in two weeks. By then, everyone should have had enough time to get their set ready to go. From that point on, I would like to meet every week if at all possible. The meetings will be recorded so if one is missed, No Worries!

    I look forward to our first meeting!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Woohoo, thank you Shugen ... I will be there Sunday bowls ready. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday


    Sent from my mobile, cause I am out & about! =)

  29. #29
    Shingen spoke my words of WOOHOO, yeah I am ready to learn and enjoy the process.
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today
    Gassho
    Sue
    Sat today

  30. #30
    Thank you Shugen.
    Looking forward to see you all there.

    Gassho
    Washin
    just sat

  31. #31
    I don't think I'm going to be able to attend these live, but I'm really looking forward to this. Thank you for putting this together.

    Gassho,
    Seidō
    SatToday
    The strength and beneficence of the soft and yielding.
    Water achieves clarity through stillness.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Shugen View Post
    Hello all,

    For our first meeting this upcoming Sunday (New York Time) we will go over the different components of an Oryoki set. I have an obligation for the following Sunday so we will meet again in two weeks. By then, everyone should have had enough time to get their set ready to go. From that point on, I would like to meet every week if at all possible. The meetings will be recorded so if one is missed, No Worries!

    I look forward to our first meeting!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Oh! Do you mean, this will be accessible for later viewing, like our Zazenkai? (Please o please say yes!)

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat today

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Redding California USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Byokan View Post
    Oh! Do you mean, this will be accessible for later viewing, like our Zazenkai? (Please o please say yes!)

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat today
    Yes!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  34. #34
    Uhm, oh, so will this instruction - the different components of an Oryoki set - be recorded only?

    Or will the broadcast involve me fumbling with chopsticks and dropping rice on the rakusu?

    And, most important, are we going to eat coming Sunday, or not (it's 2:30pm for me, so lunch or no lunch?)?

    This will be fun.
    Thank you all,
    Gassho
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  35. #35
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Redding California USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jika View Post
    Uhm, oh, so will this instruction - the different components of an Oryoki set - be recorded only?

    Or will the broadcast involve me fumbling with chopsticks and dropping rice on the rakusu?

    And, most important, are we going to eat coming Sunday, or not (it's 2:30pm for me, so lunch or no lunch?)?

    This will be fun.
    Thank you all,
    Gassho
    Jika
    #sattoday
    Hi Jika,

    The meetings will be recorded. (Don't worry about fumbling with the chopsticks, that will be my job!) And, no food for a while.

    It will be fun

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


    Shugen
    明道 修眼
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a "pinch of salt"
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  36. #36
    Well, I'm a little late to this but am very interested. I have done oryoki a few times using the Rohatsu recordings as a guide. I work Sundays but will be following the recordings. Thanks Shugen!

    Gassho,
    Entai
    #SatToday

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

    泰 Entai (Bill)
    "this is not a dress rehearsal"

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entai View Post
    Well, I'm a little late to this but am very interested. I have done oryoki a few times using the Rohatsu recordings as a guide. I work Sundays but will be following the recordings. Thanks Shugen!

    Gassho,
    Entai
    #SatToday

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Join in whenever you can

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

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