Instrumentation: [X] large bowl-bell. [Y] small bowl-bell. [Z] nakkei: damping hand-bell with striker

Soto School Scriptures for Daily Services and Practice
(Sôtôshû nikka gongyô seiten)
Part 3: Verses and Texts for Other Occasions: A. Verses

Part One:
Texts for Sutra Chanting Services

Part Two:
Eko for Sutra Chanting Services

Part Three:
Verses & Texts for Other Occasions
A. Verses
Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics
Sutra Opening Verse
Robe Verse
Repentance Verse
Three Refuges Verse
Three Refuges Prayer
Verse in Worship of the Three Venerable Ones
Sanzon raimon)
Prostrations Verse
Raihai ge)
Four Vows
Shigusei ganmon)
Formal Meal Verses
Gyôhatsu nenju)
Bath Verse
Nyûyoku no ge)
Face Washing Verse
Senmen no ge)
B. Eko
Abbreviated Transfer of Merit to Lay People
zaike ryaku ekô)
Transfer of Merit at a Lay Person's Grave
zaike bozen ekô)
Universal Transference of Merit
C. Other Texts
Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen
Fukan zazengi)
Meaning of Practice and Verification


Formal Meal Verses
(Gyôhatsu nenju)

[Note: Passages in italics are chanted by leader only.]


Verse upon Hearing the Meal Signal
(montsui no ge)

Buddha was born in Kapilavastu,
enlightened in Magadha,
taught in Varanasi,
entered nirvana in Kushinagara.


Verse for Setting Out Bowls
(tenpatsu no ge)

Now we set out Buddha's bowls;
may we, with all living beings,
realize the emptiness of the three wheels:
giver, receiver, and gift.


Ten Buddha Names

In the midst of the Three Treasures
which verify our understanding,
entrusting ourselves to the sangha,
we recall:

Vairochana Buddha,
pure Dharmakaya;

Lochana Buddha,
complete Sambhogakaya;

Shakyamuni Buddha,
myriad Nirmanakaya;

Maitreya Buddha, of future birth;

All buddhas
throughout space and time;

Lotus of the Wondrous Dharma, Mahayana sutra.

Manjushri Bodhisattva,
great wisdom;

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva,
great activity;

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva,
great compassion;

All honored ones,
bodhisattvas, mahasattvas;

Wisdom beyond wisdom,


Food Offering Verses
(sejiki ge)

[At breakfast]

This morning meal of ten benefits
nourishes us in our practice.
Its rewards are boundless,
filling us with ease and joy.

[At lunch]

The three virtues and six tastes of this meal
are offered to buddha and sangha.
May all sentient beings in the universe
be equally nourished.

[Note: when the preceding verses have been chanted, the food is served. Prior to eating, the following verses are chanted.]


Verse of Five Contemplations
(gokan ge)

We reflect on the effort that brought us this food and consider how it comes to us.

We reflect on our virtue and practice, and whether we are worthy of this offering.

We regard greed as the obstacle to freedom of mind.

We regard this meal as medicine to sustain our life.

For the sake of enlightenment we now receive this food.


[At lunch only]

Verse of Food for Spirits
(saba ge)

Oh spirits, we now give you an offering;

this food is for all of you in the ten directions.


Bowl Raising Verse
(keihatsu no ge)

First, this is for the Three Treasures;
next, for the four benefactors;
finally, for the beings in the six realms.
May all be equally nourished.

The first portion is to end all evil;
the second is to cultivate every good;
the third is to free all beings.
May everyone realize the Buddha Way.

[Note: when the preceding verses have been chanted, begin eating. When finished, while washing bowls, chant the following.]


Verse of the Rinse Water
(sessui no ge)

The water with which we wash our bowls
tastes like ambrosia.

We offer it to the many spirits;
may they be satisfied.

On ma ku ra sai so wa ka.


Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World
(shose kaibon no ge)

Abiding in this ephemeral world
like a lotus in muddy water,
the mind is pure and goes beyond.
Thus we bow to Buddha.