Oryoki at BZC

At BZC, during the upcoming sesshin (retreat) led by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, we’ll start practicing oryoki  – the traditional form and ceremony of zendo eating, using stacked, wrapped bowl sets.

Oryoki means “the bowl that contains just enough.” This ceremonial practice of serving and eating meals has been practiced in Zen temples since the T’ang dynasty in China. The participants, in a seated meditation posture, receive the food that is offered, bowing with the servers in gratitude, and eat together as a sangha.

In preparation for offering oryoki at BZC later this month, many in our sangha have been taking care of ordering the bowls, sewing the cloths, assembling the bowl sets, training others in this form and getting the kitchen ready for this ancient and rich tradition.

We are very excited to begin offering this practice at BZC soon!

Today Ella, Maya, myself and Ian (not pictured here) put together the first of 48 oryoki bowl sets for sesshin. Obviously, we were pretty happy about it! – Shokuchi, BZC Tanto (Head of Practice). Image by Mimi Rosenfeld.