Sentences To Be Shown in the Kitchen Hall
Ji means “to show,” kuin means the Kitchen Hall of a temple, and mon means “sentences.” So Ji-kuin-mon means “Sentences To Be Shown in the Kitchen Hall.” This chapter was not originally included in Shobogenzo, but when Master Hangyo Kozen edited the 95-chapter edition in 1690, he included this chapter along with Bendowa and Ju-un-do-shiki. Master Dogen esteemed the value of cooking very highly in Buddhist temple life. He wrote a book called Tenzo-kyokun or “Instructions for the Cook.” The reason Master Dogen wrote this book, and the reason he revered the work of cooking in a Buddhist temple, is his experience in China. Just after arriving in China, he met an old monk who was proud to be the cook of his temple, and who explained the value of cooking in a temple as Buddhist practice itself. Later, Master Dogen saw another old monk who was working very diligently to dry seaweed for monks’ meals, and he realized how important it was for Buddhist monks to cook meals for the other practitioners in a temple. So Master Dogen expressed the same idea in this chapter.