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Dining Hall

The Dining Hall of Lingyin Temple, namely “Da Liao”, is located on the right of the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and behind Shifang Yuan, the vegetarian restaurant.

The Dining Hall, the living area of the temple, mainly consists of a dining hall and a kitchen, providing meals to Buddhist monks in the temple

The Dining Hall is also called “Hall of Five Reflections”, which means when monks are having meals in the hall, they are supposed to reflect on their own behaviors and to think about how well they have done in practicing Buddhism so much so that food can be bestowed on them. This is also a way of practicing Buddhism at meals. On the wall behind the abbot’s seat writes the content of the “Five Reflections”:

1. Reflect on how much merits and virtues you have done, and think about how hard it is to get the food;

2. Reflect on your behaviors and think about whether you can bear the bestowal;

3. Avoid three mistakes: to have greed for superior food, to eat too much medium food, and to dislike inferior food. Not being too persistent about food since it is gathered by reasons.

4. Regard food as the medicine to nourish the human body without any greed for it.

5. Eat food in order to practice Buddhism.

In the commodious Dining Hall, there is a platform in the center with a statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva on it. It is where the abbot has meals. On both sides of the platform oppositely lay bench tables and seats. That is where monks have meals. At the entrance of the hall hang a wooden clapper and a wooden percussion instrument, which are tools used to call the monks coming over and having meals at the set time. The kitchen is also called “Xiang Ji Kitchen”.

The kitchen and the dining hall are connected, together called “Da Liao”. In Da Liao, monks have heavy work, so there is fine division of labor and a multiplicity of duties, such as the temple chef, the monk in charge of rice, the monk in charge of dishes, or water, or fire, and the monk who distribute food to other monks.


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