Frugal, Simple

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - II )

Keeping it simple ...


When this mountain monk [I, Dôgen] was in Song China, on my days off I inquired of retired elderly monks who had held minor and important offices, and they shared something of their views with me. Their explanations are the bones and marrow bequeathed by the buddhas and ancestors who were possessed of the way in ancient times. As a rule, one should carefully read the Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries. After that, one should pay heed to the detailed explanations of those retired senior officers.

The duties of the cook over the course of a single day and night [are as follows].

First, following the midday meal, go to the offices of the prior and comptroller and get the ingredients for the next day's meals: rice, vegetables, and so on. Having received them, protect and be frugal with them, as if they were your own eyes. Chan Master Yong of Baoning [Monastery] said, "Protect and be frugal with monastery property, which is [like] your own eyes." Respect and value them as if they were ingredients for an imperial repast. These cautions apply to fresh and cooked things alike.

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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