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  • July 21st, 2012 Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai

    Hello All,

    Please 'sit-a-long' with our weekly FRIDAY/SATURDAY 'LIVE FROM TREELEAF' 90 minute ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE from 9am Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 8pm, Los Angeles 5pm (Friday night), London 1am and Paris 2am (early Saturday morning)

    ... and to be visible at the following link during those times and any time thereafter ...

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at GOOGLE+ IS HERE:
    CLICK ON THE TAB ON LOWER RIGHT FOR 'FULL SCREEN


    http://youtu.be/KrJB5Dtouu8

    FOR THOSE NOT ALREADY MEMBERS OF THE CIRCLE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE POSTED FOR FUTURE WEEKS. WE ARE NOW LIMITED TO 10 INDIVIDUALS WITH CAMERAS, BUT ANY NUMBER CAN WATCH LIVE 'ONE WAY' AND SIT-A-LONG. IF JOINING WITH CAMERA, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE IS MUTED:

    00:00 00:15 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA in English ONLY) and Dedication
    00:15 00:45 ZAZEN
    00:45 00:55 KINHIN
    00:55 01:25 ZAZEN
    01:25 01:30 FOUR VOWS & VERSE OF ATONEMENT


    As you can see, our Zazenkai consists of chanting the 'Heart Sutra' in English (the words are at the link below), some full floor prostrations in sets of three (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), followed by our Dedication, Zazen twice for about 30 minutes each, with 10 minutes of Kinhin in between, and we end the sitting with 'The Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'.

    Please download and print out the Chants we will recite at the following link (PDF):


    Chant Book (PDF)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    So, please join us as soon as you can, and we will keep a Zafu open for you.

    Remember, when we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!


    Gassho, Jundo
    This article was originally published in forum thread: July 21st, 2012 Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai started by Jundo View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. BobSpour's Avatar
      BobSpour -
      Many thanks jundo
      just sat the recorded version

      _/\_
      bob
    1. adrianbkelly's Avatar
      adrianbkelly -
      Thanks everyone!

      _/\_

      Ade
    1. Hans's Avatar
      Hans -
      Hello,

      just a quick thank you to all those who sat this weekend's Zazenkai. Your practise is inspiring many people.

      All the best and gassho,

      Hans Chudo Mongen
    1. Marek's Avatar
      Marek -
      Thank you Jundo and all Treeleafers !

    1. Daido's Avatar
      Daido -
      Many thanks Jundo and Treeleaf

      Gassho,

      Daido

      P.S. Jundo you mentioned that the Soto tradition is moving away from zazen facing a wall? What is the background behind that?
    1. Jundo's Avatar
      Jundo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
      Many thanks Jundo and Treeleaf

      Gassho,

      Daido

      P.S. Jundo you mentioned that the Soto tradition is moving away from zazen facing a wall? What is the background behind that?
      Hi Daido,

      Well, there is a modern and a historical reason. The main modern reason, in America anyway, is the influence of the Harada-Yasutani Lineage (through the Maezumi Roshi Lineage and others) who combine Soto and Rinzai Practices (I joke that they are "SINO's" ... SOTO IN NAME ONLY). They are a small group in Japan, but represent perhaps the largest body of Zen Teachers in America. They face into the room in the Rinzai Way.



      Traditionally, Soto Zennies would "face the wall". I actually think it is better for less experienced sitters to do so, as it reduces the sensory stimuli, thereby facilitating calming the mind.



      Perhaps I should do so more at Treeleaf Tsukuba, but our physical layout does not allow it for the middle section. Also, I believe that the sitters' "looking downward toward the floor" also reduces sensory stimulation, so the effect is about the same. For more experienced sitters, I do not believe that it matters ... and, in fact, we should develop the ability to sit anywhere, however noisy, busy or distracting.

      I was surprised when, a couple of years ago, I conducted an unofficial poll among teachers who are members of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America, and found that most of the Soto teachers seemed to be open to sitting either way.

      Anyway ... the historical reason may be a mistranslation of Bodhidharma, regarded as the First Patriarch of Ch'an or the Zen tradition, and a writing long attributed to him (The Two Entrances and Four Practices) that used the term in Chinese "biguan/pi-kuan". Historian Heinrich Dumoulin discusses Bodhidharma's wall-contemplation.

      "In an ancient text ascribed to Bodhidharma, his way of meditation is characterized by the Chinese word pi-kuan, literally wall-gazing or wall-contemplation. Except for the word pi-kuan, the same passage is found in a Mahayana sutra; it reads: "When one, abandoning the false and embracing the true, in simplicity of thought abides in pi-kuan, one finds that there is neither selfhood nor otherness, that ordinary men (prthagjana) and saints (arya) are of one essence." (Zen Enlightenment, p. 38).

      The actual meaning of "wall gazing" may not be a literal "sit while gazing at a wall", but closer to "sit as if a wall seeing". Nobody really knows what the term originally meant however. The great Zen Historian Yanagida Seizan has (ala Shikantaza) interpreted the term to denote a sort of witnessing of the world with the steadfast detachment of a wall in which one “gazes intently at a vibrantly alive śunyatā (emptiness).”

      So, whether facing the wall, or away from the wall ... just sit, without thought of in or out.

      Gassho, Jundo
    1. Shingen's Avatar
      Shingen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
      Hi Daido,

      Well, there is a modern and a historical reason. The main modern reason, in America anyway, is the influence of the Harada-Yasutani Lineage (through the Maezumi Roshi Lineage and others) who combine Soto and Rinzai Practices (I joke that they are "SINO's" ... SOTO IN NAME ONLY). They are a small group in Japan, but represent perhaps the largest body of Zen Teachers in America. They face into the room in the Rinzai Way.



      Traditionally, Soto Zennies would "face the wall". I actually think it is better for less experienced sitters to do so, as it reduces the sensory stimuli, thereby facilitating calming the mind.



      Perhaps I should do so more at Treeleaf Tsukuba, but our physical layout does not allow it for the middle section. Also, I believe that the sitters' "looking downward toward the floor" also reduces sensory stimulation, so the effect is about the same. For more experienced sitters, I do not believe that it matters ... and, in fact, we should develop the ability to sit anywhere, however noisy, busy or distracting.

      I was surprised when, a couple of years ago, I conducted an unofficial poll among teachers who are members of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America, and found that most of the Soto teachers seemed to be open to sitting either way.

      Anyway ... the historical reason may be a mistranslation of Bodhidharma, regarded as the First Patriarch of Ch'an or the Zen tradition, and a writing long attributed to him (The Two Entrances and Four Practices) that used the term in Chinese "biguan/pi-kuan". Historian Heinrich Dumoulin discusses Bodhidharma's wall-contemplation.

      "In an ancient text ascribed to Bodhidharma, his way of meditation is characterized by the Chinese word pi-kuan, literally wall-gazing or wall-contemplation. Except for the word pi-kuan, the same passage is found in a Mahayana sutra; it reads: "When one, abandoning the false and embracing the true, in simplicity of thought abides in pi-kuan, one finds that there is neither selfhood nor otherness, that ordinary men (prthagjana) and saints (arya) are of one essence." (Zen Enlightenment, p. 38).

      The actual meaning of "wall gazing" may not be a literal "sit while gazing at a wall", but closer to "sit as if a wall seeing". Nobody really knows what the term originally meant however. The great Zen Historian Yanagida Seizan has (ala Shikantaza) interpreted the term to denote a sort of witnessing of the world with the steadfast detachment of a wall in which one “gazes intently at a vibrantly alive śunyatā (emptiness).”

      So, whether facing the wall, or away from the wall ... just sit, without thought of in or out.

      Gassho, Jundo
      Thank you for this Jundo ... mostly I sit facing the wall as that is the way I have it setup, but I also face out when I just sit in my everyday life.

      Gassho
      Michael
    1. Daido's Avatar
      Daido -
      Interesting. Thanks for the perspective.

      Gassho,

      Daido
    1. Myoku's Avatar
      Myoku -
      Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
      Interesting. Thanks for the perspective.

      Gassho,

      Daido
      Yes, indeed, thank you Daido for bringing it up and Jundo for the info,
      _()_
      Myoku
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