Every precious thing ...

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - VI )

Waste not, want not ...

Everything always in its place ...

The reference to "high and low" places is from this Koan concerning Guishan Lingyou (771-853) and his disciple Yangshan Huiji (807-883). The dialogue reads:


    One day [Yangshan] went along with Guishan to prepare a field for planting. The teacher [Yangshan] asked, "Why is it that this part is low and that part is high?" Guishan said, "Water can level things; let us just use water to level it." The teacher said, "Water is not reliable, master. It is just that high places are high and level; low places are low and level."

Guishan assented.


Keep the white water with which you have washed the rice; do not wastefully discard it. In ancient times they used a cloth bag to strain the white water and used it to boil the rice when making gruel. Having put [the rice] into the cooking pot, pay attention and guard it. Do not allow mice and the like to touch it by mistake, nor any covetous idlers to examine or touch it.

When cooking the vegetable side dishes for the morning gruel, also prepare the platters and tubs used for rice, soup, etc., as well as the various utensils and supplies that will be used for that day's midday meal. Wash them so that they are completely pure and clean, placing up high those that belong in high places and putting down low those that belong in low places. "High places are high and level; low places are low and level." Treat utensils such as tongs and ladles, and all other implements and ingredients, with equal respect; handle all things with sincerity, picking them up and putting them down with courtesy.

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions 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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