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Verse of Food for Spirits

Next, if it is main meal time, put out food offering for spirits (this is called “distribution for spirits”). Procedure for this is as follows. First bow in gassho, then using index finger and thumb of right hand pick up approximately seven grains of rice, place on handle of bowl swab, and chant Verse of Food for Spirits:

Oh spirits, we now give you an offering; this food is for all of you in the ten directions.

jiten kijinshu
gokin suji kyu
suji hen jihō
ishi kijin kyu

(Food for spirits should positively not exceed approximately seven grains of rice. In the case of glutinous rice cakes, put out a piece about the size of half a penny; or in the case of noodles, a piece about 3 cm—1 inch—long. Rice gruel [served at morning meal] is not offered to spirits. Because there is no offering for spirits at gruel time, Verse of Rice for Spirits is not chanted, and immediately following Verse of Five Contemplations assembly raises bowls and chants, “The upper portion is for the three treasures... etc.”)