Oryoki: “Just Enough”

Oryoki is a simple and elegant manner of sharing meals that comes from Japanese Buddhist monasteries. Transforming the mealtime into an opportunity for practice, it helps us to focus on and appreciate the food we are eating and how it has come to us.

Oryoki eating is also very ecologically responsible. The word oryoki means “just the right amount.” Each person takes the precise amount of food that they require, and consumes every bit so there is no waste. As part of the process, every morsel is carefully gathered up and eaten, then the bowels are cleaned, wrapped, and ready for the next meal.

Dedicated oryoki can be costly to purchase. Instead, you can easily and inexpensively create your own with the following:

• Three bowls that can nest inside one another
• A spoon
• A very small rubber spatula
• A set of chopsticks
• A cloth dinner napkin large enough to wrap the bowls
• A second cloth napkin
• A wiping cloth, to wipe out the bowls
• A cloth sleeve to hold the utensils (optional, but can be sewn easily if you wish)

If you have questions, you can contact me.