Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - Itadakimasu

I like Thanksgiving because it focuses on giving thanks...

I found a buddhist blessing that I was going to read this year and to end the blessing it said "Itadakemasu," like for the amen (Japanese). But then i couldn't find the blessing to read but did remember the Itadakemasu, and gave everyone at the table a chance to say it with me.

It's more than just thank you for the food. It's like thank you for all things you have received since creation. Thank you for not just the food, but for the cow (or turkey or pig) that gave their life, for the farmers/ranchers that tended the animals/grains/veggies, the harvesters that harvested it all, the butchers that killed/chopped/prepared them all and the grocers who sold them all, the cooks who cooked it and the servers who served the food. Anyone and anything that touched this piece of food, from GOD to grocer to cook to eater, for all of you I give thanks.

From Wikipedia:

Meals in Japan traditionally begin with the phrase itadakimasu (literally, "I humbly receive"). The phrase is similar to the phrase "bon appétit," or grace, used in the case of some individuals, at every meal. It is said to express gratitude for all who had a part in preparing the food, and in cultivating, ranching or hunting edible food of plants and animals. This originates in the consideration that living organisms are giving their life to human beings as Dāna.

I've decided it's a great mantra word to repeat over and over. So, pronunciation is like this:

ee tah dah kee moss (the u is silent in most dialects, but in some there is a slight oo)

for me it works best on the tongue with the slight oo at the end.


ee tah dah kee moss oo

1 comment:

Brother Pacificus said...

Thanks for this, Sister! I live in Japan and say "Itadakimasu" out of habit before eating anything. You've given me a reminder to spare a moment to think about the deeper meaning of this ritual word. "I humbly receive" your gift!