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. 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, this book 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. The following texts are included:
The monastic liturgy for meals as arranged by Dudjom Rinpoche
The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels
Lotsawa 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.