Instructions for the Cook (Tenzo Kyokun)

Eihei Dogen

A famous Zen manual on the symbolism of cooking and the “supreme meal”.

This life we live is a life of rejoicing, this body a body of joy which can be used to present offerings to the Three Jewels. It arises through the merits of eons and using it thus its merit extends endlessly. I hope that you will work and cook in this way, using this body which is the fruition of thousands of lifetimes and births to create limitless benefit for numberless beings.

Click here to view the translation PDF by Anzan Hoshin roshi and Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi (or click here to view the HTML original at White Wind).

Click here to read the online edition at Stanford University’s Soto Zen Text Project.
Translated by T. Griffith Foulk.

Follow this link for a lecture on the text by Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi.

• And here is a dedicated French page with partial translation.


With thanks to the International Division of the Administrative Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism (Sotoshu Shumucho). | Other works by Dogen can be found at the Terebess author page.