I first read about the Zen Buddhism Five Reflections in the book Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki.
This post highlights three different translations. Choose your favorite!
The Zen Buddhism Five Reflections chant, Gokan no Ge
- Reflect upon how the food has come before you—how the food might have been grown, how it was prepared, and how it was brought to you as your meal.
- Reflect upon your virtues and conduct. Are you worthy of the meal?
- Focus only on the meal in front of you without rushing through it and without thinking any other thoughts.
- Eat not from a gourmet perspective, weighing whether the meal is tasty, but simply to support your life.
- Eat so you are able to pursue the objectives that you would like to achieve.
Another Five Reflections translation:
- First, let us reflect on our own work and the effort of those who brought us this food.
- Second, let us be aware of the quality of our deeds as we receive this meal.
- Third, what is most essential is the practice of mindfulness, which helps us to transcend greed, anger and delusion.
- Fourth, we appreciate this food which sustains the good health of our body and mind.
- Fifth, in order to continue our practice for all beings we accept this offering.
One More Five Reflections translation:
- Engage with the food. Consider how nature’s miracles and people’s hard work have culminated in the creation of the food you are about to enjoy.
- Reflect upon your day and yourself. Contemplate whether your actions make you worthy of the meal in front of you.
- Observe whether your own spirit is pure like the food. A mind full of the three greatest evils (greed, anger and ignorance) cannot truly appreciate or savor the food.
- Chew slowly and enjoy every bite. Good food is medicine. It is a way of rejuvenating and purifying your fatigued body.
- Be thankful for all, and eat with gratitude. To make and eat good food once the monk has meditated is part of walking the virtuous path of Buddhism.
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