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Curious About Buddhist Cuisine?

Temples Shrines Vegetarian Buddhism Temples & Shrines Healthy Japanese Food

Shojin Ryori, or Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, is also found in all other East Asian Buddhist countries. However, these countries have different names for the cuisine in their own languages. The style of the cuisine can also vary greatly depending on the country; however, it still holds the same basic principles.

The translation of Shojin Ryori is “devotion food.” This is because the cuisine is intended to pay respect and be in alignment with Buddhist values and religion. The Buddhist religion does not believe in violence, for example, the killing of animals for food. The religion also greatly respects and worships nature, and therefore, Buddhists believe consuming nature’s food will bring them great health and power.

While the practices of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine varies based on location and sect, it's very common for East Asian Buddhists to have one significant difference from Western vegetarians: to avoid the harming of plant life. In order to do this, Buddhists avoid eating any root vegetables, such as potatoes, onions or garlic, because this prevents the growth of a plant. The rules about what kind of vegetable should be used depends on the local tradition.

In the preparation of the cuisine, Buddhists believe that it's very important to keep the cooking practices simple, wholesome and attentive to the quality and flavor that comes naturally from the earth. Therefore, Shojin Ryori sometimes smells strongly and stimulates a clear mind without worldly desires. Depending on the sect of Buddhism and the location of the temple, the act of consuming the cuisine can also vary. In all cases, however, the eating practices are incredibly intricate, respectful, and filled with worship. If you ever find yourself in the position in which you are able to try Buddhist cuisine, it's certainly an experience of a lifetime and should not be missed.

To learn more about this incredible lifestyle, as well as the locations of places where you can try Shojin Ryori, click the link below to Sanpai Japan.

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