This has come to mean a certain kind of formal, ritualized eating, but the word oryoki actually refers to the specific collection of napkins, utensils and especially bowls used for this style of eating. This set, which is held together by tying one of the larger napkins around it, was traditionally given to a nun or monk upon ordination. Eating is commonly done while seated on one’s cushion in a position similar to meditation posture, though on occasion one can be seated at a table. The sequence in which the pieces are used and the actions performed are carefully done by ritual. Silence is maintained except for the chanting of certain meal sutras. When done, the utensils and bowls are immediately washed with water or tea (while still at one’s seat) and wrapped up again in the same specific way. At AZC, oryoki is our preferred way of eating during sesshin (retreat). The practice involves ceremonial opening of the three bowls, chanting, receiving servings of food from servers, eating, washing the bowls, offering wash water, and then rewrapping the bowls.