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Events - 02.23.2020

Japanese Food Lab presents Shojin Ryori | An Introduction to Mindful Eating

Shojin Ryori



11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



Today, many Westerners are seeking a more mindful relationship with their food due to concerns about health and the environment, so it’s the perfect time to discover the cuisine known as “shojin ryori”. For centuries, Japan’s Buddhist temples have cultivated shojin ryori, a type of cooking that highlights Zen principles from the choice of ingredients, to the methods of preparation, to the experience of eating itself. All dishes are vegetarian and emphasize simplicity, but contain layers of philosophical meaning and nuanced flavor. Shojin ryori encourages us to step back, examine food and our relationship to it, and gain a new perspective on our bodies, lives, and world.

In this lecture and tasting guided by the esteemed Soto Zen monk Rev. Shumyo Kojima, participants will learn the basics of shojin ryori and how it embodies Zen philosophy and aesthetics. They’ll gain insight from film clips of traditional monasteries and discussion of various cooking practices, and then get the chance to experience a shojin ryori meal in the same manner monks in ascetic training do – in quiet contemplation.

Join us for a rare introduction to “mindful eating” that might just reinvent your approach to food and philosophy.

*All vegetarian cuisine. Same program offered twice.


Registration has closed.

Reverend Profile

Reverend Shumyo Kojima
Rev. Shumyo Kojima is a Soto Zen monk, a head priest of Zenshuji Buddhist Temple which is the oldest Soto Zen Temple in North America. He grew up as a disciple of his father in their family temple in Saga prefecture., Japan. Upon graduating from Komazawa University where he studied Buddhist history and philosophy, he entered the Soto Institute for Buddhist Studies, education department. As a researcher from the institute of Soto Education Studies, he embarked to the U.S. to research American Zen, and temporarily join the staff at Zenshuji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, 1993. After he had practiced at Eiheiji Monastery, he returned to Zenshuji to become a full time minister where he has remained for 25 years.

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