Padma Karpo Translation Committee
Publications and Translations
Oryoki and the Oryoki Chant

Book by Tony Duff

TitleOryoki and the Oryoki Chant
AuthorTony Duff
Details146 pages, 5.5" X 8.5", US$20, available on paper and in PDF and Kindle e-book formats
ISBNpaper book 978-9937-903-10-3, e-book 978-9937-572-49-1
TextsTibetan text in Tibetan script: meal liturgy and sutra included

Oryoki is the Japanese way of turning meals into meditation practice. The Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche introduced it to his Shambhala community of Western Buddhists in 1980.  He adapted it slightly, putting a Tibetan monastic meal liturgy with it.  Accordingly, the book starts with a history of Oryoki going from its beginnings in the East through its early development in the West under the guidance of the Vidyadhara.  Following that, the book explains the meaning of the whole liturgy, step by step so that every part of it can be understood and applied to the practice of eating.

Recommended additional reading: Unending Auspiciousness, The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels with Commentaries by Ju Mipham, Taranatha, and Tony Duff.

The book was originally written to provide a full explanation of Oryoki practice for members of the Shambhala community.  And the Shambhala Office of Practice and Study has encouraged the book’s use within the Shambhala community given the author’s extensive knowledge of Oryoki and his first hand experience of the Vidyadhara’s teaching of it at several seminaries.

However, as the book took form, the author was asked by members of various other Buddhist communities to write about the practice in way that would give them access to the practice too.  The result is a book that could easily be used as a starting point for any Buddhist practitioner or group, Tibetan or otherwise, wanting to make meals into meditation practice.

The monastic meal liturgy translated and explained in the book is a standard liturgy for the purpose compiled by Dudjom Rinpoche.  The book will be of specific interest to followers of his tradition, too.

The liturgy begins with a sutra called “Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels”.  The Buddha gave the teaching in the sutra for the use of all of his disciples.  It is the means for developing faith and strength of refuge in the Three Jewels.  This sutra is so fundamental to Buddhist practice that it is used in one form or another in all schools of Buddhism.  The author has translated the sutra, together with the rest of the liturgy, and has also written an extensive commentary to it that should be of great value to every Buddhist, quite aside from the rest of the book.  Some Tibetan commentaries on the sutra can be hard to understand because of the technical detail that they go into.  The author wrote his commentary specifically so that the sutra is fully explained but in a way that anyone could understood it.

The book contains translations of the following texts:
The monastic liturgy for meals as arranged by Dudjom Rinpoche
The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels
The author, well-known translator and teacher Tony Duff has practised extensively with Gelug, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions for over thirty-six years at the time of writing.  He is well known for his teaching, contributions to the translation of Tibetan Buddhism, and major works in preserving and re-publishing Tibetan Buddhist texts.  Tony was one of the main figures in the development of Oryoki in the early 1980’s, hearing extensive teachings on it from the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  He presents a number of insights that seem to have been lost since the days of the Vidyadhara’s teaching.  In particular, there are many notes and observations on how the view and practice can be applied to eating, whether the meal is taken in a formal context such as Oryoki or in one’s own home.  The author also passes on teaching from the Vidyadhara on how to do Oryoki at home and in other places where the full formality of a monastic style meal cannot be followed.



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