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How to eat

the four auspicious days

  • According to the Chung Thai Chan fasting practice, there are four fasting days every month
  • 8th, 15th, 23rd, and 30th days of the lunar calendar
  • also fast the last 2 days of the month

5 contemplations

The Five Contemplations

This food is a gift of the Earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food. May we recognize and transform unwhole- some mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our pre- cious planet. We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

Contemplating our food for a few moments before eating can bring us much happiness. We look at the food in a way that the food becomes real. We think about all the people, animals, plants, and minerals and all the condi- tions that brought the food to our plate. The food reveals our connection with the Earth and all beings. We remember our determina- tion to eat in a way that preserves our health and well-being and the health and well-being of the Earth. The following contemplations and verses can help us practice mindfulness while eating.