Making Merit, Making Bows

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XIX)

.... all things intra-penetrating  ... 

We receive aid and support from others, we give to others, we bow in gratitude.


When a patron comes into the monastery and donates money to hold a feast, the various stewards should all be consulted; this is the precedent established in monasteries of old. With regard to the distribution of the merit-making donations, they also consult together. Do not create a disturbance in the hierarchy by infringing on anyone's authority.

When the midday meal or morning gruel has been properly prepared and placed on the table, the cook dons his kesa, spreads his sitting cloth, faces the sangha hall [where the monks eat], burns incense and makes nine prostrations. Upon finishing his prostrations, he sends the food [to the sangha hall]

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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