Traditional Monastic Reflections adapted for Lay People

One of the first chantings that monastics learn when they first ordain is the reflection on their four requisites of robe (cīvara), almsfood (piṇḍapāta), dwelling (senāsana) and medicine for support when sick (gilānapaccayabhesajjaparikkhāra).

These are traditionally chanted either at the beginning of the day, or at the end, with the format changing to reflect the time from either the present (with proper discernment I make use…) to past tense (that … which was used by me today without having reflected on it).

The four requisites are, of course, the basic things any human being needs in order to survive: clothes, food, lodging and medicine. In my Daily Chanting book I have included the version for monastics, but as the book is meant mainly to be a short chanting schedule for lay people, it often struck me we need a version that is suitable for lay people also.

I have now therefore written a version that replaces robe with cloth (vattha), almsfood with food (bhojana), dwelling with home (geha) and medicine for support when sick with medicine (osadha).

In this newly published version there are extended versions of the texts, not used in the Daily Chanting book, which I have also included, emphasising the selfless character of the article in question and its user.

If you are already using my Daily Chanting schedule then I would recommend adding these in at the appropriate place (marked in the book), as they help us to reflect on what we are using and why, to counter the sales rhetoric we see all round us and to curtail the excessive materialism of our lives.

They can also be used independently of the book, of course.

 

The Reflections

 




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