Can some foods or a certain style of cooking aid you on your path to enlightenment? Consider shojin ryori, or, as the Honolulu Star Bulletin has it, “vegan Buddhist fare”:
Shojin Ryori embodies the concept of food and cooking that sustain the body in working toward enlightenment. On the menu: hijiki and soba salad, roll cabbage with tofu, nishime, chirashi and Hawaiian-style coconut curry with vegetables.
Shojin ryori originated with Dogen Zenji, the 13th-century Zen master who founded the Soto Zen school in Japan. Dogen wrote instructions for monastery cooks (found in the Tenzo Kyokun), incorporating cooking into monastic practice. Pure Land priest Rev. Earl Ikeda, who helped develop the menu for Tsukiji Fish Market & Restaurant, a new cafe in Honolulu serving shojin ryori, says:
“The most important in this cooking is attitude and philosophy,” says Ikeda. “You don’t carelessly take a life, and that extends to your own life. You don’t take it for granted. ‘Narikireru’ is a Zen term that means having the attitude that you are what you are cooking. How would you want to be presented?”
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