Korean Temple Food
With Gratitude for Life and Prayers for Peace


Spirit that guides


Regardless of one’s rank or status,
all members of the community equally
share and eat the same diet.


Keeping one’s own baru bowls clean and
only serving how much one can eat at once describes the definition of clean
barugongyang. Monks gracefully go through the steps of baru-meal at the
sound of bamboo clapper, like refreshing breeze blowing from the virgin
forest in the mountain.

Honorable poverty

Once the food is served, even a tiny speck of seasoning cannot be left behind.
Individual should drink a small amount of water used to wash the inside of
the bowl at the end of the meal. Afterwards, used baru bowls are once again
rinsed clean in a bowl of water called cheonsumul,
named after the Bodhisattva of Thousand Hands and her dharani,
because the water is so clean that it mirros the ceiling where the dharani is
painted over.


A sense of community is once again confirmed by enjoying the meals that were
made in the same pot at the same time. A Great Council meeting often follows
barugongyang to discuss both big and small affairs around the temple in a
democratic setting.

Virtuous deeds

A vow to accumulate merits is made when monks take a moment to express their
deep gratitude for the people whose hard work produced their meal. Monks
also vow to continue their commitment and dedication to save all beings.

When your knees are frozen like ice, do not think about resting in warmth
When your stomach is pierced by pain of hunger, do not think of eating

Balsim suhaeng jang (An Essay on Arising the Aspiration for Enlishtenment),
by Wonhyo (617-686, Buddhist Master from the Silla period)