Five Contemplations before Meals
1. I contemplate how much positive potential I have accumulated in order to receive this food given by others.
2. I contemplate my practice, constantly trying to improve it.
3. I contemplate my mind, cautiously guarding it from wrongdoing, greed, and other defilements.
4. I contemplate this food, treating it as wondrous medicine to nourish my body.
5. I contemplate the aim of Buddhahood, accepting and consuming this food in order to accomplish it.
Offering Verses before Eating
Imagine the food as blissful wisdom nectar inside a vast jeweled vessel, and recite, "om ah hum" three times to consecrate the food. Offer it to a small Buddha visualized at your heart chakra.
Great compassionate Protector,
Field of positive potential and good qualities vast as an
To the Tathagata, I bow.
Through purity, freeing from attachment,
Through virtue, freeing from the lower realms,
Unique, supreme ultimate reality -
To the Dharma that is peace, I bow.
Having freed themselves, showing the path to freedom too,
Well established in the trainings,
The holy field endowed with good qualities --
To the Sangha, I bow.
To the supreme teacher, the precious Buddha,
To the supreme practice, the holy precious Dharma,
To the supreme guides, the precious Sangha,
To all the objects of refuge we make this offering(1).
May we and all those around us never be separated from the Triple Gem in any of our lives. May we always have the opportunity to make offerings to them. And may we continuously receive their blessings and inspiration to progress along the path.
By seeing this food as medicine, I will consume it without attachment or hatred, not to increase my arrogance, strength, or good looks, but solely to sustain my life.
As you eat, imagine that Shakyamuni Buddha at your heart experiences bliss. He radiates light that fills your entire body.
Verses after Lunch
om utsita bandi ashibya soha (to offer to the pretas)
I bow to the bhagawan, the tathagata, the arhat, the fully accomplished Buddha Victor of Precious Light, Brightly Shining Fire Light (Ratnaprabharaja Jvalanakaraprakatita).
nama samanta prabhara jaya tathagataya arhate samyaksam buddhaya namo manjushriye kumara bhutaya bodhisattvaya mahasattvaya maha karunikaya tayata om niralambha nirabhase jaya jaye lambhe mahamate daki dakenam meparishvadha soha
May all those who offered me food attain happiness of total peace. May all those who offered me drink, who served me, who received me, who honored me, or who made offerings to me attain happiness which is total peace.
May all those who scold me, make me unhappy, hit me, attack me with weapons, or do things up to the point of killing me attain the happiness of enlightenment. May they fully awaken to the unsurpassed, perfectly accomplished state of Buddhahood.
By the positive potential of offering food, may they have a good complexion, magnificence, and strength. May they find foods having hundreds of tastes and live with the food of samadhi.
By the positive potential of offering drink, may their afflictions, hunger, and thirst be pacified. May they possess good qualities such as generosity and take a rebirth without any sickness or thirst.
The one who gives, the one who receives, and the generous action are not to be observed as truly existent. By giving with impartiality, may the benefactors attain perfection.
By the power of being generous, may they become Buddhas for the benefit of sentient beings, and through generosity, may all the beings who have not been liberated by previous conquerors be liberated.
By the positive potential of this generosity, may the naga kings, gods having faith in the Dharma, leaders who support religious freedom, benefactors, and others living in the area live long, enjoy good health and prosperity, and attain lasting happiness.
Due to this virtue, may all beings complete the collections of positive potential and wisdom. May they attain the two Buddha bodies resulting from positive potential and wisdom(2).
Venerable Thubten Chodron - Pearl of Wisdom Book I, 5th Edition, 2004.