Oryoki Sewing Class


2 Saturdays: June 3rd and June 24th from 1:30 - 3:30pm

We are offering the opportunity to sew the traditional cloths for lay person Oryoki to all who are interested.  You may wish to sew a set for your own use and/or sew one for donation to the temple (which makes them available on loan during retreats).  No sewing experience is required!  We will learn the stitches and hand-sew these cloths during two Saturday afternoon classes. 

Note that it is important to attend both the classes in order to learn the process. 

The class days/times are scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 24th from 1:30 – 3:30 pm in the afternoon.  Classes will be held upstairs in the sewing room.  In the two classes Kaishin will teach the sewing stitches needed to hand-sew a set of Oryoki cloths and we will carry out this zen practice of sewing Oryoki together.  All the cloth and materials needed for the classes will be pre-purchased and ready for your use during class.  

Can I offer Dana to support this event?

If you are sewing an Oryoki set for yourself the cost of the materials is $30 and your contribution in support of Oryoki would be most appreciated.  If you are signing up to sew a set as a donation to AZC we will supply the materials (with much gratitude!) for your contribution to Oryoki practice at AZC..

What is ōryōki?

Oryoki is a set of bowls and utensils used in formal meals in the zendo. They include a set of cloths that wrap the bowls and utensils and are used with the meal.  They have been used as part of zen practice by monks in China, Japan and beyond for over a thousand years.  Oryoki means “just enough”. We pay complete attention to food and how we give and receive it. This is beautifully described in the Kannon Do Oryoki guide:

Paying careful attention to the way in which we take our meals, our true relationship between ourselves and our food is made clear.  Emphasizing each simple activity, we continually learn our way.

Suzuki Roshi felt that Oryoki was an important part of the practitioner’s training. It is our tradition to practice Oryoki during formal meals in our retreats that include meals.  The Oryoki set is made up of several cloths – a wrapping cloth, a napkin, a drying cloth and a utensil holder for utensils. Oryoki is used during formal meals at AZC and at San Francisco City Center, Tassajara, Green Gulch and other Branching Streams locations.

Kaishin Dawne Schomer began formal Zen practice in 1991 under the guidance of Rev. Ruben Habito of Sanbō Kyōdan at Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, TX. With travel as part of her working life, she was able to augment her zen practice at Jade Buddhist Temple in Stafford, TX and Three Treasures Sangha in Seattle, WA. After her retirement in 2016 she completed precept study at Three Treasures under the guidance of Roshi Jack Duffy of Diamond Sangha and received the precepts from him in 2019. During covid Kaishin began to take part in online zen practice and eventually sesshin at AZC. In 2021 she decided to make the hill country and Austin Zen Center her new home. In 2021 she was introduced to the Soto Zen way of teaching Sewing Buddha’s Robe by Rev. Doshin Mako Voelkel and recently received additional sewing teacher training from Rev. Kyōshō Valorie Beer.

Cost for the class: $30 to cover the materials

As always, AZC is committed to making the teachings available to everyone. To request financial assistance from our Scholarship Fund, or if you would like to donate to the Fund for others to be able to participate, please contact AZC Administrator Maida Barbour admin@austinzencenter.org