Why do you live? Three salty meals a day!

In Zen monasteries we use the term “medicinestone” as a euphemism for the evening meal or the last meal that is eaten in the evening in violation of the monastic rule; the term 薬石 literally means „medicine stone“. The buddhist monastic code explicitly forbids to eat after the noon hour. Medicinal stones originally referred to heated stones that the monks and nuns held against their abdomens in the evening to ease the sensation of hunger and provide warmth in cold weather. Zen Monks have no special diet, all food is considered medicine for this chamber of enlightenment.


Because life at the zen temple is entirely supported by donations, we do not waste anything. The act of giving is the base of our lifes, that is why we can not reject any kind of donations.

The dining room is one of the three places for silence, the other two being the meditation hall and the bath. Even for the poorest meal we show deep thanks.
Temple Cook

Besides the abbot the chef is the most important person in the Zen Temple and responsible for the physical well-being and the health of the Zen students and guests. The temple chef prepares all meals wholeheartedly and makes sure that nothing is wasted. He is very appreciated and respected.



Takuan is a japanese style pickled radish. The first step in the traditional process of making takuan is to hang a radish in the sun for a few weeks until it becomes dehydrated and flexible. Next, the redish is placed in a pickling crock and covered with a mix of salt, bran, optionally sugar, perhaps chilli pepper and/or dried persimmon peels. A weight is then placed on top of the crock, and the redish is allowed to pickle for several months. The finished takuan is usually yellow in color and quite pungent.

Kimchi is a traditional korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic and ginger. Kimchi is placed in a earthenware or a container, covered, and pressed down, and let ferment at room temperature for a day or two.


Takuan & Kimchi are an important ingredient in the temple kitchen of the Zen Academy. Since the fermented vegetables have a high nutrient content and are excellent storage, they are important for the winter stock. Since Zen nuns & Zen monks have very little personal property, they depend on the support of the population, among other things in the diet. The takuan & kimchi stocks are a good safeguard against food shortages.



Let us think on how much we have accomplished and how this food has come to us.

Let us accept this prepared food only because we have now performed good deeds.

Let us take only enough food to satisfy our needs, leaving our hunger not quite satisfied.


Let us partake of this food as medicine in order to aid our thin bodies.


Let us accept this food so that we may establish our way.


Student: Killing is a butcher’s jop; how can they attain Buddhahood?
Bodhidharma: I have told you just to see the self-nature; not about the resulting karma; although one who saw self-nature is creating karma, still, he is different from the confused ones; that is, all variety of karma would not imprison him.

Eat what will be served!

No leftovers!


Follow the daily chief!

Don't eat alone!


If you have any questions, please contact us via email or telephone and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.


Insopor Zen Academy
Zen Monk Marcel Reding
Sagenplatz 7
8840 Einsiedeln

Phone: +41 78 408 10 89

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