I am eating the clouds.

Background: Rock soup the little boy next door and I made together. Foreground: Lentil Soup I am preparing for my dinner (hopefully without rocks).

The Three Refuges

The Three Recollections

The Five Remembrances

I must think deeply of the ways and means by which this food has come.

I must consider my virtue when accepting it.

I must protect myself from Greed by embracing Greed in my heart.

I eat lest I become lean and die.

I accept this food so that we all may continue becoming Buddha.

Sometimes I can’t avoid having to do other things while I eat. In these situations, I pick one contemplation to help bring my attention back to each bite.
What do flowers eat? How do flowers breathe?
  • Consider writing your own contemplations onto a notecard that you can carry with you or hang in your usual eating place.

Additional Reading

  • The Diamond Sutra, translated by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. The diamond that cuts through illusion. Parallax Press, 2010.
  • The Lotus Sutra, translated by BDK Tripiṭaka
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. Peaceful action, open heart: Lessons from the Lotus Sutra. Parallax Press, 2009.

Sources for Buddhist Monastic Practice

  • Jiyu-Kennett, Roshi PTNH. Zen is eternal life. Routledge, 2016.
  • Hua, Hsuan. The Vajra Prajña Paramita Sutra: A General Explanation. Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2013.
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. Old path white clouds: Walking in the footsteps of the Buddha. Parallax press, 1987.

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