Korean Temple Food
With Gratitude for Life and Prayers for Peace


With Gratitude
for Life and
Prayers for Peace

Natural and healthy
meals for practitioners of

Temple food refers to the food eaten daily at
Buddhist temples. At Buddhist temples,
everything is considered a part of practice.
From growing vegetables to preparing the
food, monks and nuns are directly involved
in the whole process.

Monastic practitioners make it a point to
always be grateful for the efforts of all those
involved in the preparation of food.

They take only the amount need for their
physical sustenance, leaving no leftover food
in their bowls. This distinctive approach to
food preparation has been gradually shaped
over many centuries, based on a foundation
of Buddhist philosophy and practice.

Temple food is natural, healthy and also a
part of Buddhist life. Even today the
1700 - year - old tradition is alive at Korean
Buddhist temples.

Spirit and values
contained in Temple Food

Temple Food constitutes a cultural core that gives a concrete form to the essential
teachings of Buddhism on its path to healthy living and ultimate enlightenment.

It trains human beings on how to live harmoniously with nature and take nature's
offerings in the spirit of interbeing.

In temple food, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of not being attached to
food itself. Food is an agent to the goal of producing a pure and healthy vessel to
hold and fulfill Buddha-dharma. It uses seasonal vegetables to satisfy both flavor and
nutritional needs and as a result it comforts both mind and body.

Different ingredients are carefully combined to teach a lesson of peaceful coexistence
and the truth of interconnectedness of all beings.
Temple Food reminds us of the circle of life by showing how all humans, like food,
are born from nature and ultimately returns to it.

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)