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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,552,975


In Spiritual dharma food Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #138 New 10-29-2012 11:30 PM
dharma food
Taiyoji Temple by _foam

Fat was this lord, he stood in goodly case.
His bulging eyes he rolled about, and hot
They gleamed and red, like fire beneath a pot;
His boots were soft; his horse of great estate.
Now certainly he was a fine prelate:
He was not pale as some poor wasted ghost.
A fat swan loved he best of any roast.
His palfrey was as brown as is a berry.
Geoffrey Chaucer describes the monk in the Canterbury Tales, General Prologue

You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way, outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.
The Carmelite Rule of St Albert Avogadro

And all I ask for housekeeping
I get and pay no fees,
Leeks from the garden, poultry, game,
Salmon and trout and bees.
St. Manchan of Offaly, Ancient Irish Monk's Poem

This treasure was discovered in a bamboo thicket
I washed the bowl in a spring and then mended it.
After morning meditation, I take my gruel in it;
At night, it serves me soup or rice.
Cracked, worn, weather-beaten, and misshapen
But still of noble stock!
Ikkyu, My Cracked Wooden Bowl

Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
The taste of the sea, just divine!
Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.
Ikkyu, A Meal of Fresh Octopus

A rich buttery soup is not better than a broth of wild herbs. In handling and preparing wild herbs, do so as you would the ingredients for a rich feast, wholeheartedly, sincerely and clearly.
Dogen, Instructions for the Cook

Buddhist food is called shojin ryori. Basically it's vegetarian. I wrote about vegetarian food in ovo-lacto-pesco-vegetarianism and translating japanese | strong in the rain. In Buddhism you are supposed to preserve life. So you don't kill animals or fish for food.

It's very difficult to follow a very strict Buddhist diet. They don't even eat root vegetables because the plants cease to exist when they are uprooted. I'm not sure how long I could live without potatoes or onions or carrots. And they don't eat strong-smelling plants like garlic. What western cook could sacrifice garlic? And a glass of beer or a glass of wine might interfere with awareness.

I respect simplicity and asceticism but I am sceptical about organized religion. All organized religions. Or perhaps I mean sceptical about people who follow the external trappings but who don't understand the real meaning. A while ago on a train I saw a Buddhist priest going to officiate at a ceremony. His cotton robes were austere and simple. But he was wearing an expensive Swiss gold watch on his wrist.

I've known a few martial artists who also did zazen. And I've known a couple of Buddhist priests who were also serious martial artists. Some of these people were impressive. Some not.

And I've known a few martial artists who were centred and serene and compassionate humans. A very, very few.


background texts and articles

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, and Other Poems free e-book

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, The Prologue online

The Carmelite Rule of St Albert Avogadro

St. Manchan of Offaly, Ancient Irish Monk's Poem

Ikkyu poems from Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu, translated by John Stevens




photo: Taiyoji Temple by _foam

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff: mooninthewater.net/aikido

my columns on aikiweb

niall matthews 2012
Views: 3937 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "dharma food"
#2 11-09-2012 12:02 PM
niall Says:
Bonjour Tom. That's interesting! Thanks for your kind comment.
#1 10-30-2012 03:26 PM
Bonjour Niall, Thank you very much for this nice column! It reminded me of a rule of a catholic monastery (forgot which order) that said that monks should not eat meat on fridays. Funny thing was that they would consider animals like otters and tortoises as fish - seen as they live in water... As always looking forward to your next writings. Tom

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