Meal Verses

Verses for Opening the Bowls

Buddha was born at Kapilavastu,

Enlightened in Magadha,

Taught in Varanasi,

Entered Nirvana in Kushinagara.

Now we open Buddha’s eating bowls;

May we, with all living beings,

Realize the emptiness of the three wheels:

Giver, receiver, and gift.

 

In the midst of the Three Treasures which verify our understanding, entrusting ourselves to the Sangha, we recall:

Ten Buddha Names

Vairochana Buddha, pure Dharmakaya;

Lochana 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, great wisdom;

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, great activity;

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, great compassion;

All honored ones, Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas;

Wisdom beyond wisdom, Maha Prajna Paramita.

 

Food Offering Verse (at breakfast)

This morning meal of ten benefits nourishes us in our practice.

Its rewards are boundless filling us with ease and joy.

 

Food Offering Verse (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.

 

Verse of Five Reflections         

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 free ourselves of 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.

 

Food Offering Verse (at lunch only)

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

 

Bowl-Raising Verse

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 portion is to end all evil;

the second is to cultivate all good,

the third is to free all beings.

May everyone realize the Buddha Way.

 

Rinse Water Verse

The water with which we wash our bowls tastes like ambrosia.

We offer it to the many spirits, may they be satisfied.

Om makura sai so wa ka.

 

Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World

Abiding in this ephemeral world like a lotus in muddy water,

The mind is pure and goes beyond, thus we bow to Buddha.