I’m in 7-day sesshin at Hokyoji Zen Community in S.W.
Minnesota. I have come here for almost
40 years now and have a profound appreciation for the deep core of Zen that can
be practiced in this environment.
Today during Oryoki, which is the procedure for a formal
meal in the zendo, I thought of a story I heard in the past. In the 70’s, I practiced at Dai Bosatsu
Zendo for a few years and heard this story:
Students had picked up Hakuun Yasutani Roshi and were
traveling in the car to get to the Monastery. He was hungry and asked to have a meal on the road and
pointed to a McDonalds and said, “Let’s eat there!” The students tried to discourage him, pointing to other
places they could eat but he still wanted to eat at Mcdonalds. They stopped and pulled into the
parking lot. He bought a hamburger,
fries and a coke, preceded to sit on the bench outside in the fresh air and do
oryoki! He folded the paper
wrapper into a lotus placemat, he arranged the food, one, two, three like his
bowls in the zendo. He then ate
with great care, mindfulness, and joy, with his students.
Labels: formal zen meals, Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, Oryoki, Ragir