Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Oryoki for Busy People

Oryoki is the name for the zen-monk's style of dining. A usual meal consists of three bowls. A small bowl for miso soup, a medium size for rice, and a large bowl for the main dish, which consists of light, in-season vegetables. (A small saucer of pickles is optional.) We bought this great book about it a few years ago which explains a lot more about the philosophy behind oriyoki.

While Gwen and I were on a zazen retreat last summer, we noticed how much healthier and lighter we felt on the 3 bowl diet. I don't know why, but the balance between carbs, protiens, hot, cold, plain and flavorful is just perfect for settling the mind down. After that, we determined to eat "monk food" a few times a week.

But, of course, life gets busy, and it's easy to wander into a restaurant or fast food place when you're hungry and the grocery shopping hasn't been done. So, it is in the spirit of compromise that I offer the modern, microwaveable, 3 bowl meal.

You can see in this picture 2 packages of microwave rice, two packages of instant miso, two bags of pre-cut microwaveable vegetables, and three varieties of pickles conveniently stored in plastic tubs. And seven minutes later...

a balanced, nutritious, and possibly radioactive, meal. Itadakimasu!

P.S. Recently I went on a Zen retreat and made this movie about the Oryoki tradition. Check it out!


Yoga Garden

1 comment:

Andrew C said...

I thought you might of wondered why I wasn't appearing for recent meditation and yoga lessons. This semester has been busy, since my IB mock examinations for economics are coming up.

So monk meals are called Oriyaki?
Looks very healthy and low on calorie, but I'm not fully motivated to try that out by myself since I'm weak against pickles. But if you think about traditional Japanese family meals, it seems quite similar to it. The only difference might be a bit more variety in the main dish?