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Thread: LIVING by VOW: The Meal Chants- pp 98 to 109 (Stop before Verse of Food for Spirits)

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Redding California USA

    LIVING by VOW: The Meal Chants- pp 98 to 109 (Stop before Verse of Food for Spirits)

    Hello all,

    Time to continue on with the meal chants!

    This section introduces us to the Three Wheels of Dana - Giver, Receiver and Gift - and points to the inherent emptiness of each. Can you foresee or have you seen an example of this?

    The section continues on into some of the more technical aspects. If you are interested in more information on some of the Buddhas mentioned in the "Ten Buddha Names", here are a few Sit-a-longs Jundo did:

    Maitreya -

    Manjusri -

    Samantabhadra -

    Avolokiteshvara -

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...Long-Series%29

    It is good to know but not a necessity to get the spirit of Oryoki.

    Our reading ends with The Verse of Five Contemplations:
    How does our food come to us? Are we worthy of the efforts involved? Can we take this meal in moderation and see it as a part of our selves and our lives? To what purpose?

    How do we find the middle path - awareness without obsession?

    Did any of this section speak to you or was it all of "No Merit"?

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    SattodayLAH


    Note: Links Fixed
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-19-2019 at 04:30 AM.
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  2. #2
    Awesome, thank you Shugen. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday/LAH

  3. #3
    Thanks, Shugen. I look forward to giving thoughtful consideration to the questions that you've raised.

    Gassho,

    Michael

    Sat today

  4. #4
    Thank you, Shugen. I've fallen behind on the reading and will catch up now.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    SatToday/LAH

  5. #5
    Joyo
    Guest
    Thank you, Shugen.

    This chapter is bringing to my attention how much I rush eating. It's just something I have to quickly do, in order to get on with my day. I often have my laptop on the table, surfing the internet while eating. That is starting to change now. I take my time (or at least I am trying to), and I am trying to look at everything from eating and all the other things I do in a day as part of my spiritual practice.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah

  6. #6
    Thank you for these pointers and questions Shugen, I'll enjoy pondering!
    Gassho
    Frankie
    Satwithyoualltoday/LAh

  7. #7
    I don't know if I live up to the tenet "A day without work is a day without food," (p 105) but I liked reading this section. One of the passages that spoke to me was "Because we receive food as part of our Buddhist practice, we need to free ourselves from the three poisonous minds. And yet, food can easily be the object of our greed and anger or hatred." (pp 106-107) Another part that spoke to me was the quote from Dogen on pages 107-108 about having few desires and knowing satisfaction. Those are things I try to live by. I tend to overeat, though.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    SatToday/LAH

  8. #8
    Eishuu
    Guest
    I really enjoyed this section. I love the meal chants. Is it okay to use them in daily life? I particularly like the idea of inviting the buddhas and boddhisattvas to share in the offering.

    A lot of this section spoke to me.

    On p103 I really liked the phrase 'filling us with ease and joy' as it acknowledges that there can still be a pleasure to eating without the attachment. This seems healthy and natural. The breakfast verse seems to exude gratitude and contentment and then the lunch verse generosity and interconnection. I have been thinking about desire and eating since the last section we did, and looking at what happens when I eat. I notice the enjoyable tastes and experiences and then notice that there is a choice as to whether to hold on and grasp at that experience or just let it go as with thoughts in Zazen. I think that's what I understand as the Middle Way when it comes to food. I imagine that offering it up to the buddhas and boddhisattvas and the benefit of all beings would help in that process.

    On p105, I really like the line "When we consider these interconnections, we see that our existence is a gift from the network of all beings" - it's so beautiful and humbling.

    When it comes to the emptiness of giver, receiver, and gift, I still am not sure that I grasp this. I have been in an unusual position for the last 5 years of being unable to cook or prepare food so my husband makes all my meals for me, often with so much nutritional research and creativity and generosity. So every meal feels like a gift and every meal feels special. I'd say I am mostly in the heavenly beings realm because he's a very gifted cook! In terms of being worthy of the effort, and I know he makes a lot of effort, I feel very blessed and grateful. I guess I try to practice generosity in ways that I can and give back to the universe by saving drowning flies and other insects. I definitely don't live up to the tenet "A day without work is a day without food" as I can't work and am very much in the position of receiver at the moment.

    Joyo, I can really relate to what you said about the tendency to rush through eating whilst on your laptop....I was doing that and am also now slowing down and trying to just focus on eating rather than reading at the same time! It's almost like a kind of hunger for experience.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST

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

    I believe that "work" can mean many different things. It can be receiving a meal with thankfulness, replying to a post with kindness or just being present and available to those around you. No "big", no "small".

    Also, of course you can make reciting a meal chant part of your daily practice! I would even go so far as to highly recommend it.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  10. #10
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
    Joyo, I can really relate to what you said about the tendency to rush through eating whilst on your laptop....I was doing that and am also now slowing down and trying to just focus on eating rather than reading at the same time! It's almost like a kind of hunger for experience.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST
    I have a tendency to get pulled into my boy's wild behaviour (especially when they are home with me every day during summer holidays) by getting stressed and rushing through things such as eating. However, I've been learning to watch my mind and to not get stressed during these times, but to remain calm.

    This morning was a good morning of practice. It is raining, and for some reason they are extra wild....not being bad but wild. I watched my mind and remained calm. When I started to feel those feelings of anxiety creeping in and wanting to rush through everything, including eating, I brought myself back to this moment and improved my self-talk.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah

  11. #11
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    I have a tendency to get pulled into my boy's wild behaviour (especially when they are home with me every day during summer holidays) by getting stressed and rushing through things such as eating. However, I've been learning to watch my mind and to not get stressed during these times, but to remain calm.

    This morning was a good morning of practice. It is raining, and for some reason they are extra wild....not being bad but wild. I watched my mind and remained calm. When I started to feel those feelings of anxiety creeping in and wanting to rush through everything, including eating, I brought myself back to this moment and improved my self-talk.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah
    That's great. It's so easy to get pulled around by the environment ... it must be especially hard with children. I find it hard enough with my cat during breakfast...I have chicken salad so he is constantly begging for chicken! Thanks for sharing.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST

  12. #12
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Shugen View Post
    Hello,

    I believe that "work" can mean many different things. It can be receiving a meal with thankfulness, replying to a post with kindness or just being present and available to those around you. No "big", no "small".

    Also, of course you can make reciting a meal chant part of your daily practice! I would even go so far as to highly recommend it.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Shugen.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST

  13. #13
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
    That's great. It's so easy to get pulled around by the environment ... it must be especially hard with children. I find it hard enough with my cat during breakfast...I have chicken salad so he is constantly begging for chicken! Thanks for sharing.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST
    lol!! That's when I put kitty in a kitty-time out.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah

  14. #14
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    lol!! That's when I put kitty in a kitty-time out.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah
    Hee hee! Kitty-time out - that's hilarious! Not sure it would work on mine!

    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST/LAH

  15. #15
    Can we take the Oryoki meal in moderation and take it as part of ourselves and our lives, to what purpose? ( and how)

    How do we find the Middle Path – awareness without obsession?

    What stood out?

    I've arrived at some thoughts on the above questions, not entirely coherently!

    'May we, with all living beings, realise the emptiness of the three wheels: giver, receiver and gift'
    I've always found the concept of the three wheels fairly difficult to understand and articulate.
    I've tried to find my way into it reflecting on my own experience of giving and receiving, so I may be completely off track here. In the past I've been very much aware of how my mind clouds these acts with all sorts of ego driven narratives – for example, regarding giving money, I always felt that I came up short, that I could never give enough or the 'right' amount, because I didn't have very much money to give. But when I thought about this more deeply, I realised that at the root of it was an idea that other people were all better off financially than me, and the idea that they may think me ungenerous became tinged with a sort of guilt and resentment.
    It took much listening to dharma talks and practice to realise that it was the act of giving, not the gift, that was important. I began to understand that the act of giving is itself a gift to the giver. I also began to see that the ability to accept generosity from someone else with open hearted gratitude is also the real gift. So I started to see that the real worth of a gift is in its ability to unite all three elements, so that the giver, the gift and the receiver all become one, not separate. The way I see it, the practice of Dana can be applied to almost anything – the way we give of ourselves, our time, our words, our support, our love. I see that by bringing Oryoki into my practice gives me the opportunity to reflect on giving and receiving in a very simple and straightforward way.

    'An Oryoki meal is a practice of the Middle Way'
    So staying with the simplicity of eating a meal and not over-indulging in sensual pleasure but not depriving the body and mind, Oryki now goes beyond dana paramita and embodies the greater view, the Buddha's awakening to the Middle Way. I personally don't see anything wrong with enjoying food, but like all of the sense experiences, when it tips over into attachment and craving that's where suffering begins. I'm sure I'm not the only one to have gone through the whole diet cycle, over eating, then deprivation, both causing suffering , and very similar to the extremes that Buddha himself experienced which led him to the Middle Way. So hopefully, practising Oryoki might at least bring me a bit closer to equanimity in my relationship to food. At least it slows me down – I've been practising using chopsticks this week, much to my husband's amusement. Today, during lunch, I mentioned that I was getting the hang of them at last. He looked at me and said 'Now let me see you use them to eat that rice' Hah.

    Can I just say here how useful I've found the various threads on the forum about Oryoki practice, and especially the ones about putting an Oryoki set together ourselves – I was so pleased to read that this is ok – I had looked for a set on Amazon and found three miserable plastic bowls at a ridiculous price – I like the idea of creating my own set, it feels like good practice. The threads have been a great help also as practical background for this chapter.

    Thanks for your patience,
    Gassho
    Frankie
    satwithyoualltoday/lah

  16. #16
    "Giver, receiver, and gift" is a very nice and simple way to be more mindful about food.

    I would like to point out how perfect it is that Shugen is leading this discussion forum on food. After all, this is part of his signature:
    please take everything I say with a pinch of salt
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today

  17. #17
    knowing how much is enough


    Gassho
    Warren
    Sat & LAH today

  18. #18
    The section on ōryōki exemplifying the Middle Way really brought it all together for me. It isn't about not enjoying our food or seeing it only as a means to an end (our practice). I finally realized that is just part of it. I know Okumura has been saying it throughout the chapter, but I finally understood that food is dharma.

    Doing the meal chants for Ango has been even more helpful than I hoped. I feel a kind of gratitude and grace towards my food and all the lives who have brought it to me. This is entirely new.

    As someone said earlier, my relationship with food also has been more about the idea of food. Due to my health, I have to maintain a rigid meal schedule, eating 5 small meals every day. It is also a struggle to stave off weight loss--and the resulting consequences when I drop into the underweight category.

    I love food, but I hadn't noticed until working towards mindful eating that my relationship with food is tinged with resentment--resentment that it constantly interrupts my day and relationships (I have multiple alarms to remind me to eat), that it requires so much time to prepare and to eat (I am a slow eater), and that it has to occupy so much of my mental space if I'm responsible about my health. It may sound ridiculous, but in all the effort to keep myself functioning, I have forgotten that food is keeping me alive. It is wonderful to discover this enormous space in my life for gratitude.

    Thank you, sangha.
    Gassho,
    Melanie
    SatToday

    P.S. I am a big fan of kitty time-outs, too!

  19. #19
    Hi all

    The notion of 'just enough' can be found in the teachings of the Buddha. In one short Pali sutta, Shakyamuni advises King Pasenadi on the importance of not overeating.

    The King Pasenadi of Kosala dined off a tubful of rice. Then the King, replete and puffing, went to see the Blessed One, saluted him and sat down to one side. And the Blessed One, observing how he was replete and puffing, at once uttered this verse:

    Those who always dwell in mindfulness,
    Observing measure in the food they eat,
    Find that their discomfort grows the less.
    Aging gently, life for them is long.

    Now just then Prince Sudassana was standing behind the king. And the king said to him:

    "Come, my dear Sudassana, learn this verse from the Blessed One and recite it to me when you bring me my dinner, and I will arrange for you to be paid a daily allowance of a hundred pence in perpetuity."

    "Very well, Your Majesty," said Sudassana [and did as he was told.]

    After that the king made it a rule to eat no more than a quarter of a tubful of rice. Thus it came about that on a later occasion King Pasenadi, his body in good shape, stroked his healthy limbs and fervently exclaimed: "Truly the Blessed One has doubly shown compassion for my welfare, both in this life and in the life to come!"


    -- Samyutta Nikaya 3:13 'A Heavy Meal'


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi all

    The notion of 'just enough' can be found in the teachings of the Buddha. In one short Pali sutta, Shakyamuni advises King Pasenadi on the importance of not overeating.

    The King Pasenadi of Kosala dined off a tubful of rice. Then the King, replete and puffing, went to see the Blessed One, saluted him and sat down to one side. And the Blessed One, observing how he was replete and puffing, at once uttered this verse:

    Those who always dwell in mindfulness,
    Observing measure in the food they eat,
    Find that their discomfort grows the less.
    Aging gently, life for them is long.

    Now just then Prince Sudassana was standing behind the king. And the king said to him:

    "Come, my dear Sudassana, learn this verse from the Blessed One and recite it to me when you bring me my dinner, and I will arrange for you to be paid a daily allowance of a hundred pence in perpetuity."

    "Very well, Your Majesty," said Sudassana [and did as he was told.]

    After that the king made it a rule to eat no more than a quarter of a tubful of rice. Thus it came about that on a later occasion King Pasenadi, his body in good shape, stroked his healthy limbs and fervently exclaimed: "Truly the Blessed One has doubly shown compassion for my welfare, both in this life and in the life to come!"


    -- Samyutta Nikaya 3:13 'A Heavy Meal'


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Wow, that's actually rather extraordinary that they understood this so long ago! Anyone around here care to recite me this little poem at mealtimes? :-)

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    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).

  21. #21
    Anyone around here care to recite me this little poem at mealtimes? :-)
    would I get room and board?

    gassho, Shokai
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    would I get room and board?

    gassho, Shokai
    Unfortunately all we have is a couch in the basement and we tend to eat a lot of breakfast cereal (I just had rice krispies for dinner). Probably not worth it ;-)

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    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
    (I just had rice krispies for dinner). Probably not worth it ;-)
    The reciting job or the rice crispies Sounds like you really could use a 'reciter'
    hey but, not me; the commute is to long, sorry

    gassho, Shokai

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

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