Oryoki is a very specific way of eating in the zendo/meditation hall in the Soto Zen tradition. It is used during 1-day sittings and multi-day sesshins/retreats. Above is a lengthy, overly detailed (!) and very informal instruction I gave to some students. It is based on the forms used at SFZC's City Center forms/rules/parameters in 2015. ---- Please note there are MANY details and variations of oryoki! This is very much specific to time and place.

It wasn't planned for this instruction to be taped so there's a few ramblings and mis-steps (for instance the order to take out the utensils should be: chopsticks, spoon and then setsu stick/spatula!) so use it to just give you a general sense of how oryoki is done at City Center.

It's too complicated to go into here exactly what makes up the eating bowls, utensils and cloths. SFZC rents and sells them. AND, you can build your own oryoki set for around $35; less if you want to sew your own cloths. So far, the cheapest place to buy the cloth set is at Zabu Zabu. Please buy a WHITE set of cloths for lay practitioners. 

Here's a very short video on how to untie and tie the wrapping cloth; for many beginners, the most important part to learn first!