Filling the body and filling the mind when you eat are two different things. You know how to fill the body. But do you know how to fill the mind? Furthermore, do you know how to fill both, mind and body, at once?! Buddhist practice of oryoki is a way to do both. The word oryoki is composed of three symbols: ō, the receiver’s attitude of acceptance in response to whatever food is offered; ryō, a measure, or an amount, to be received; and ki, the bowl. Together, these three syllables add up to just enough satisfaction. Indeed, what does a body need to be fed? It needs food that the mind accepts—that the mind doesn’t mind, if you will; a certain amount of it—a meal or measure of it (indeed, the word “meal” stems from the Latin word for “measure”); and a way to hold the food—a bowl or other container. Now ask yourself, “What does a mind need to feel fed?” Mull this over when you have a moment.
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Adapted from Reinventing the Meal (Somov, 2012)
Last reviewed: 28 Aug 2013