Dharma Card for June, 2014


                Before Your Meal

1) This meal comes through the labors of many people;

so I eat it in thanks.

2) This meal is granted to me though I may not deserve it;

so I eat it in thanks.

3) This meal is intended for me not to be greedy;

so I eat it in thanks.

4) This meal sustains my life like a medicine;

so I eat it in thanks.

5) This meal leads me to the Buddha;

so I eat it in Gassho.    


   Since the seventh century in China, a meal grace called

Gokannoge or the Five Insightful Graces for Meals have been

practiced especially in Zen Buddhism. Based on its spirit I

tried to translate the above graces for children, but in fact

they apply even to adults.  The comparison between the original

and the translated versions is open to criticism.

The Original Gokange:

1) Evaluate the merits of the food and reckon how many

hands have prepared it from its origin.

2) Reflect on your own deeds and judge if you are qualified

to eat the meal.

3) Endeavor to get rid of your greed, anger, and stupidity

after eating the meal.

4) Take the food as medicine that sustains your life which

would perish without it.

5) Remember that you eat this meal in order to accomplish

your way of Buddhism.