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Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World

When putting away bowls is finished, Sacred Monk’s acolyte rises from seat and gets off platform, drapes mallet and block covering cloth over left arm, enters sangha hall, advances before Sacred Monk, bows in gassho, proceeds to side of mallet and block, faces mallet and bows in gassho, strikes block with mallet (mallet for exiting hall) once, covers mallet and block with cloth, bows in gassho again, exits hall, and returns to place. Two abbot’s quarters assistants, following Sacred Monk’s acolyte, rise from seats, enter from south side of front door, go before abbot, stand together and bow in gassho. One takes abbot’s bowls (oryoki); the other removes table. They bow in gassho again, exit hall, and wait for abbot to come out.

Rector, upon hearing mallet strike block, intones Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World in a drawn-out voice:

Abiding in this ephemeral world like a lotus in muddy water,
The mind is pure and goes beyond, thus we bow to Buddha.

shishi kai jiki kun
jiren kafu jashī
shin shin jin cho ihi
kishu rinbu jo son

Monks of great assembly gassho and listen. When rector comes to phrase, “we bow,” all together lower heads.

When verse is finished, monks of great assembly place bowls (oryoki) to left side of sitting place, get down from platform to see off abbot. Abbot stands up from chair, bows together with great assembly, bows in gassho in front of Sacred Monk, and exits hall (after morning gruel, if abbot has business to attend to and will not give morning convocation dharma instruction, when Verse of Purity While Abiding in the World is finished, bell for release from convocation is rung three times). Following this, staffs of various quarters exit hall. Members of sangha hall assembly mount platforms, raise bowls (oryoki) in both hands, face name plaques and lower heads, hang bowls on hooks above platform boxes (if sangha hall has no such hooks, place bowls on top of platform box), and bow in gassho.

(When formal meals are held in temples that have no sangha halls, it is permissible to use main hall as an imaginary sangha hall, lining up meal tables four together and practicing in accordance with procedure for taking meals.)