In the first sentence, Taigu is referring to a quote I posted by Daido Loori ...
Thank you Jundo for reminding us that taking the precepts and receiving the kesa is not a matter of pride, nothing that makes people special. We receive the robe because we are weak and deluded.
When to wear it? Why do we always want rules?
Anyway, first and foremost, we should wear it when we sit. We can wear it everywhere as long as we are not provoking or interfering with people s belief. Avoid it in the toilet not because it is a dirty place but just because your rakusu or kesa could be stained. And when you eat, wash the dishes or do something that could stain it, then you may wear it on your back putting the pine neddle on your throat.
When I go to work, and I am a school teacher, I am always wearing lay clothing. The only reminder of my tradition are three Buddhist bracelets made of beads close to my watch so everytime I check the time I get the reminder in my face. Otherwise, I wear a samue, kind of convenient blueish blackish Japanese garment used by monks, gardeners and some artists to work, also by old grandpas. I have been wearing this for twenty five years. And yes, I wear a rakusu often with my stupid shaved head and my life in rags. And when I do Takuhatsu, I am in the full gear from head to foot, from the large straw hat to the straw waraji...But it is Japan here... And yes, don t leave it in the car or an unattended place if you don t want it to vanish , so many friends have lost rakusu and kesa like that. You may keep it in your bag or leave it on a special place in between two sittings.
Do as you like, folks. But please, understand that the true kesa extend much further than you think, the mandala of this dream is the very flesh, bones and marrow of Buddha. The kesa is to be seen and met in everything.
I typically wear my Rakusu or full Kesa these days for sitting or ceremonies or Dokusan, and not other hours.
Unfortunately, many people see the rakusu received during the precepts ceremony as a kind of status symbol. I once had a student interested in receiving the precepts tell me that it made her feel more important than the other students. It is imperative to understand that taking the Buddhist precepts and wearing a rakusu makes us the servants of other people, not superior to them.Our vow is to be a servant to all sentient beings. We are at their disposal to help them do what they need to do. To me, wearing a rakusu means living the life of a Buddha, manifesting our lives as Buddhas. Buddhas do not put themselves above anything. In Buddha there is no separation.To be Buddha is to not separate yourself from others anytime, anyplace.