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Meal Chants

Download a PDF of the meal chants here. 

Before eating, all chant:
We reflect on the effort that brought us this food and consider how it comes to us.
We reflect on our virtue and practice, and whether we are worthy of this offering.
We regard it as essential to keep the mind free from excesses such as greed.
We regard this food as good medicine to sustain our life.
For the sake of enlightenment we now receive this food.

O, spirits, we now give you an offering;
this food is for all of you in the Ten Directions.

First, this is for the Three Treasures,
Next, for the four benefactors,
Finally, for the beings in the six realms;
may all be equally nourished.

The first bite is to end all evil,
The second is to cultivate all good,
The third is to free all beings.
May we all realize the Buddha Way.

Great Vow Zen Monastery Meal Chants

Leader, at breakfast:
This morning meal of ten benefits
nourishes us in our practice. Its rewards
are boundless, filling us with ease and joy.

Leader, at lunch:
The three virtues and six tastes of this meal
are offered to Buddha and Sangha. May
all sentient beings in the universe be
equally nourished.

Before meals, all chant:
Buddha was born in Kapilavastu,
Enlightened in Magadha,
Taught in Varanasi,
Entered nirvana in Kushinagara.
Now we set out Buddha's bowls.
May we, with all beings
realize the emptiness of the three wheels:
giver, receiver, and gift.

Leader, before serving:
In the midst of the Three Treasures which verify our understanding,
Entrusting ourselves to the Sangha, we invoke:

During serving, all chant:
Vairochana Buddha pure Dharmakaya,
Locana Buddha complete Sambhogakaya,
Shakyamuni Buddha myriad Nirmanakaya,
Maitreya Buddha of future birth,
All Buddhas throughout space and time,
Lotus of the Wondrous Dharma Mahayana Sutra,
Manjushri Bodhisattva of great wisdom,
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of great activity,
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva of great compassion,
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva of great vows,
All honored ones,
Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,
Wisdom beyond wisdom,
Maha Prajna Paramita.

Bowl cleaning, all chant:
We use this water to wash our bowls, it tastes like heavenly nectar.
We offer it to the many spirits to satisfy them.
Om, Maha-ku-sha-laya Svaha!

Leader, after the meal:
Abiding in this ephemeral world like a lotus in muddy water, the mind is pure and goes beyond.
In gratitude we bow to Buddha.
(All do a standing bow.)