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Thread: For Saya

  1. #1

    For Saya

    In 1989, as I was teaching in Latakia in Syria, I have met a young woman who was studying French literature and language at the local University. Her name was Saya. At the time, I was send by the French governement to teach graduate students and adults. She was a very beatiful young lady, full of wit, enthusiasm and drive, full of passion for a freedom she did not have because of the Assad 's regime (the father of the sad ad crual clown they have now). I was sitting secretly and sharing some Dharma stuff with some people ( for instance my dear friend Nafez translated Suzuki Zen mind, beginner's mind into Arabic and got it published). At the time she sometimes visited my flat asking questions about Buddhist practice and she sat a few times. Because of the first Gulf war, I had to move out of the country never to return and we did not keep in touch. Two years later, I met her by chance in a sesshin (intensive period of practice), her head was shaved and she was wearing the okesa. She was a priest in training and studying French in Paris. Her determination and will to change something in her country was much alive in her, and she was planning to go back to Syria to make it happen, somehow. She left and I have never heard about her anymore. Since this civil war started, I think of her everyday. I wonder if she is still alive because knowing her, she must have been one of the leaders of the rebellion. I dearly love her. She is my sister in the Dharma. It is heart-breaking to think about these people I left behind, and it is OK.

    I would like to ask my closest students and everybody willing to join to sit with Saya and all the people that fell and will fall on both sides. That's all really.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  2. #2
    Hi.

    A friend of my friend is my friend.
    I will sit with you, as always.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Taigu,

    I will sit beside you any time...for Saya...and all those who suffer.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Dear Teacher,
    I will sit and chant for your Saya. And all the people of Syria.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  5. #5
    Hello Taigu,

    the emotions triggered inside me through reading your posting somehow reminded me of this (in my ears) beautiful Kirtan by Krishna Das, which has become a kind of theme tune of the Zen Peacemakers Order and has touched me deeply:


    Here are the lyrics:

    Calling out to hungry hearts everywhere through endless time.
    You who wander, you who thirst, I offer you this heart of mine.
    Calling out to hungry spirits everywhere through endless time.
    Calling out to hungry hearts, all the lost and the left behind.
    Gather round and share this meal, your joy and your sorrow,
    I make it mine.






    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  6. #6
    Thank you all, thank you Hans for this incredible profound rendering of the gates of sweet nectar.
    We should really add it to our ritual.
    Don t you think, Bro?

    gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-29-2012 at 09:28 AM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  7. #7
    Hello Taigu,

    I've been singing it almost daily, since I discovered it by chance a few weeks ago

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  8. #8
    Well, count on me, this is going to be one of my daily chants.
    we should also put it in the library.

    gasso


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I will sit for Saya and all who suffer in conflict. Hans, thank you for this chant. I will add it to my daily recitations.

    Gassho
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  10. #10
    I will sit for Saya and for loss and love and for those who sacrifice themselves for others.

    Gassho Taigu

    Daido


  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    I will sit and pray for Metta for Saya and all people courageously working towards helping others.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  12. #12
    Blessings for Saya and all those who strive for peace.

    Thanks for the link Hans - I'm all for introducing a little melody into our chanting. Will order the CD.

    Gassho

    Willow

  13. #13
    In my honest view, blowing on a conch shell, banging on a tabla drum and ringing a bell won't do a damn thing for Saya, or to bring peace to her country. Other measures are needed.

    Neither is it a particularly harmful thing, however, but neither is drinking a glass of water.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-29-2012 at 01:14 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Hans, I have withdrawn my question in deference to your expressed sensitivity. Thank you for introducing us to Bernie's Chalisa/ Gates of Sweet Nectar. It is definitely appropo to Saya's plight.
    Last edited by Shokai; 08-29-2012 at 01:35 PM.
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  15. #15
    Hello,

    may I suggest and add a whispered "please" to not politicise this thread (I didn't start the thread, this is just me sharing my gut reaction).

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    Apart from rising from our zafus and smiting Asad and his henchmen with the sword of Manjushri, what other measures did you have in mind?
    I wish I knew, Rich. A true international peace-keeping force to defend human rights worldwide would be a start, although unlikely any time soon. A world in which we take a stand to defend people, and not fishing and oil rights, would be a better place.

    But, no, I am not going to bang on a drum and sing "kumbaya" for poor Saya and her people even though it makes us feel good to do so. Please feel free.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-29-2012 at 01:37 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    I will sit for Saya and all suffering.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Jundo; I hear you and agree and, do say a silent prayer.
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    Jundo; I hear you and agree and, do say a silent prayer.
    I couldn't hurt, and I do hope some power is listening.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Taigu,

    I will sit with you, Saya, my Dharma brothers, sisters, and all of those suffering in Syria.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  21. #21
    Here is the full Gate of Sweet Nectar Ceremony from Bernie's website. Frankly, I do not feel that any of the goo goo ga ga and GYA TA YA TA would do a darn thing for Saya and Syria or the "hungry ghosts" wherever found, and I would not support its being performed here ...

    =============================

    Gate of Sweet Nectar text:

    (Run and 3 bows)
    (Officiant offers incense)
    Ø Ø Ø ∆
    Gate of Sweet Nectar
    Ø(Sung 3x) Calling out to hungry hearts Everywhere through endless time You who wander, you who thirst I offer you this bodhi mind.
    Calling out to hungry spirits Everywhere through endless time Calling out to hungry hearts All the lost and left behind
    Gather round and share this meal Your joy and your sorrow I make mine.
    (Officiant offers incense)
    Invitation for all our Aspects to be in attendance
    (Everyone in gassho)
    Ø
    Buddham Saranam Gacchami
    Ø
    Dhammam Saranam Gacchami
    Ø
    Sangham Saranam Gacchami
    Ø
    Being One with the Buddhas in the Ten Directions
    Ø
    Being One with the Dharma in the Ten Directions
    Ø
    Being One with the Sangha in the Ten Directions
    Ø
    Being One with all the Formless Forms throughout space and time
    Ø
    Being One with the great Manjusri Bodhisattva
    Ø
    Being One with the the great compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
    Ø
    Being One with our original teacher Shakyamuni Buddha
    Ø
    Being One with our lineage from Mahakasyapa Sonja
    Ø
    Being One with the Mahayana Saddharma Pundarika Sutra
    Ø
    Being One with Maha Prajna Paramita
    Ø

    Supplication for the Raising of the Bodhi Mind
    Vow to feed the hungry spirits.
    ° (officiant bows at altar) Attention! ° (halfway to bowing cushion) Attention!
    ° Raising the Bodhi Mind, the supreme meal is offered to all the hungry spirits throughout space and time, filling the smallest particle to the largest space. All you hungry spirits in the ten directions, please gather here. Sharing your distress, I offer you this food, hoping it will resolve your thirsts and hungers.
    Prayer of food sharing.
    Ø I pray that all who receive this offering will return its merits to all Buddhas \\ and to all creations throughout space and time: in this way they will be thoroughly satisfied.
    Prayer for raising the Bodhi Mind.
    ° I further pray that in receiving this meal all your sufferings will be eliminated, and that you will be liberated, so that being joyously reborn you will play freely in the fields of the Pure Land. Raising the Bodhi Mind and practicing the Enlightened Way, you become the future Buddhas without any further regress. Those who realize the way first, please vow to liberate all others throughout all space and time.
    Prayer for fulfilling these vows.
    Ø I further beseech you to sustain me day and night and give me courage to fulfill my vows.
    Prayer for transferring the merit of this practice.
    ° In offering this meal, I pray that you give its merits equally to all creations in the Dharma worlds. Please transfer the merits of this offering to the Dharma world of True Reality, to unsurpassable enlightenment, and to all the Buddha wisdoms.
    Repeated prayer to attain the Enlightened Way.
    Ø With all our love, with all our spirit, and with all our energy, \\ inviting misery and suffering no longer, we vow to accomplish the Way. \\ May all creations in the Dharma world swiftly ° accomplish the Buddha Way together.

    Dharani for the Invitation for the Manifestation of all the Gods and Demons Ø
    NOBO BO HO RI GYA RI TA RI°TA TA GYA TA YA
    Ø Being one with the Unconditioned°Tathagata.
    Dharani of Hell Crushing and Hungry Spirit Throat Opening
    Ø OM BO HO TEI RI GYA TA RI°TA TA GYA TA YA
    Ø Being one with the Boundless°Tathagata.
    Dharani of Expansion Prayer upon the Food and Drink
    Ø NO MAKU SA RA BA TA TA GYA TA BARO KI TEI OM°
    SAN BA RA SAN BA RA UN
    Ø Being one with all Tathagatas and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, °
    please nourish and sustain us.
    Dharani upon the Dharma Taste of the Sweet Nectar
    Ø NO MAKU SO RO BA YA TA TA GYA TA YA TA NYA TA OM
    SO RO SO RO HA RA SO RO°HA RA SO RO SO WA KA
    Ø Being one with the Inconceivable Body Tathagata,
    let the nectar of Dharma°spring forth.
    Dharani of feeding all the Hungry Spirits (Gassho)
    (Repeat 14 times)
    Ø(1st x)NO MAKU SAN MAN
    DA° (14thx) BO TA NAN BAN
    (Repeat 7 times)
    Ø(1st x)Being One with all Buddhas, °
    (7th x) I turn the water wheel of compassion.

    Dharanis for Inviting the Buddhas of the Five Families
    (Sanskrit is read once, English twice. Everyone in Gassho)
    Invitation for the Manifestation of the Buddhas in the Padma Family
    Ø NA MU TA HO NYO RAI NO BO BA GYA BA TEI
    HA RA BO TA A RA TAN NO YA TA TA GYA TA YA
    JO KEN TON GO FU KU CHI EN MAN °
    Being one with all Buddhas in the Unifying spheres,
    integrating all families, wealth and wisdom are in abundance.

    Invitation for the Manifestation of the Buddhas in the Ratna Family
    ØNA MU MYO SHIKI SHIN NYO RAI NO BO BA GYA BA TEI
    SO RO BA YA TA TA GYA TA YA
    HA SHU RO GYO EN MAN SO KO °
    Being one with all Buddhas in the Livelihood Spheres,
    extending generosity, perfection of both body and mind appears.

    Invitation for the Manifestation of the Buddhas in the Buddha Family
    ØNA MU KAN RO O NYO RAI NO BO BA GYA BA TEI
    A MI RI TEI A RAN JA YA TA TA GYA TA YA
    KAN PO SHIN JIN RYO JU KE RA KU °
    Being one with all Buddhas in the Formless Spheres,
    bodies overflow with boundless Dharma and our life is fulfilled.

    Invitation for the Manifestation of the Buddhas in the Vajra Family
    ØNA MU KO HAKU SHIN NYO RAI NO BO BA GYA BA TEI
    BI HO RA GYA TA RA YA TA TA GYA TA YA
    IN KO KO DAI ON JIKI JU BO °
    Being one with all Buddhas in the Study Spheres,
    throats are opened and eating and drinking fully satisfy.

    Invitation for the Manifestation of the Buddhas in the Karma Family
    ØNA MU RI FU I NYO RAI NO BO BA GYA BA TEI
    A BA EN GYA RA YA TA TA GYA TA YA
    KU SHITSU JO RI GA KI SHU °
    Being one with all Buddhas in the Service Spheres, •
    all sufferings of the Hungry Spirits • are healed.

    Dharani for Raising the Bodhi Mind (Everyone in Gassho)
    (Once) Officiant: OM BO JI SHI TA BO DA HA DA YA MI °
    All: OM BO JI SHI TA BO DA HA DA YA MI
    (Twice) Officiant: Now I have raised the Bodhi Mind. °
    All: Now I have raised the Bodhi Mind
    Dharani of Giving the Bodhisattva Samaya Precepts
    (Everyone in Gassho)
    (Once) Officiant: OM SAN MA YA SA TO BAN °
    All: OM SAN MA YA SA TO BAN
    (Twice) Officiant: I am the Buddhas and they are me. °
    All: I am the Buddhas and they are me.

    Gatha for Transference of Merit
    ØBy this practice I sincerely wish to extend all my love to my own being, friends, enemies, family and community, and to all creations for so much done on my behalf. •
    May those who practice in this sphere continue to empower, to enrich, to enjoy. •
    May those who have gone be released from suffering and nourish peacefulness. •
    May all creations in the three worlds receive loving benefactions .•
    May those suffering on the three paths come to atonement and be cleansed of all their ills. •
    May they be liberated from samsara • and arise in the Pure Land • together.°


    Dedication
    (Chanter) Buddha nature pervades the whole universe, existing right here right now. In reciting the Gate of Sweet Nectar we dedicate its merits to:
    •The all-pervading and everlasting Three Treasures, All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the realm of prajna wisdom, All protectors of the Dharma And all beings in the Dharma worlds. •
    Let us forever remember the causes of suffering. Let us forever believe in the end to suffering. May we always have the courage to bear witness, To see ourselves as Other and Other as ourselves. May penetrating light dispel the darkness of ignorance. Let all karma be resolved and the mind flower bloom in eternal spring. May we all ascend to enlightenment, great peace and love And let us vow to feed all the hungry spirits together.

    Closing Verse
    (Everyone in Gassho) Ø (1st, 3rd and 4thx)
    This is our life,
    The length of our days.
    Day and night
    We meditate upon it.
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-29-2012 at 02:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Although sitting for Saya may not help her or her country it was still asked as something to do by a friend. In my opinion that make all the difference. I take the request in all seriousness. Action for our friends and all others as well. Non-action of course is action as well and both have outcomes. Which will you choose?. Just my opinion.

    Daido


  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Well said - a deep bow

    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  24. #24
    I am also going to sit for Saya, and all the suffering oppressed around the world. I hope it has some effect, and what else is there to do pending true world action? In sitting, we realize a realm in which there is no Saya or Syria in need of saving from the start, and rising for the cushion, hopefully we take some realistic action to save them nonetheless.

    I just won't pop in a CD or sing TA BO DA HA DA YA MI for her.

    I own a couple of Khrisna Das CDs, by the way. Indian music rings my bell. However, I do not think it has anything to offer poor Saya in this case, any more than humming Disney's "It's a Small World After All". Nice sentiment, but no particular magic ... and rather distracting from what truly is happening in the world.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu for sharing your story of Saya. By all means, I will sit for her and the others who remain in countries without basic freedom. Let us hope she is safe and living life.

    Thank you Hans for posting the lovely song.

    Gassho,

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    A true international peace-keeping force to defend human rights worldwide would be a start
    Just want to point out canada has a bit of history in that end of things.

    http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/teach_resources/peacefact
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...eping_missions

    not to mention those on ladies and gentlemen on the local peace (police) keeping scene


    Also I do not chant much else but the heart sutra and the other regular zazenkai stuffs/Sesshin stuff, and I see no harm in any kind of positive thought when that is all we have at that moment.

    Getting off our Duffs, out and working in our community (local or global or universal if you will) is a must and possibly the only way, but it has to start somewhere?

    Sometimes that is all I can give at that moment (and probably safest for all... no one need me going in half cocked!)

    I do not say "I will keep you/them/all in my (sometimes best - meaning positive) thoughts"
    as a light thing to just make me feel good - its not to set my ego up for another jump...its heart/mind/body felt and I DO this, keep the suffering of others in the forefront of my mind as something to work towards ending in any way I can(knowing its beginning-less and endless. In that light I also give a quick wink and nod to the Universe as it were...(Buddha/Alah/God/Spaghetti Monster) for an end to the needless suffering (Might be careful what I wish for as that could come in a big ol comet or meteor ) I do and still will work towards being able to hands-on help where possible.

    My gobbly gook or others I do not see the harm.

    Just my useless 2 cents

    Gassho
    Shohei

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Isn't practice realisation?
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  28. #28
    I will sit for Saya and wish her and her people well. It's amazing the things I take for granted in my life. I mean just amazing. I do take note of things I'm thankful for, but it's not too soon afterward that I'm off again into some drama that steals my focus from not remembering all the blessings I've been endowed with.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Hello,

    may I suggest and add a whispered "please" to not politicise this thread (I didn't start the thread, this is just me sharing my gut reaction).

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Very occasionally - seemingly out of the ether - a whole lot of heat blasts off the pages of Tree Leaf.

    I liked the chant Hans (didn't successfully download it - the version I ended up with was spoken so lacked the melody) - but am I missing something concerning wider issues concerning Bernie Glassman, Zen peace movements, whatever?

    I feel you offered an emotional response to Taigu's memories/current thoughts of someone he held dear and that's the point that matters.

    The full version of the chant that Jundo typed in is very long - not something I'd be adding to my daily ritual - but if others find it helps them to connect to the suffering in the world what harm is there in it?

    Isn't this the same as prayer - is it any different to chanting the heart sutra?

    In an ideal world connection leads to action - if chanting helps people to connect so be it.

    Gassho

    Willow

  30. #30
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    It is not often that we hear about practitioners in Arab countries.
    The hardship in Syria is unimaginable. Yes, we should sit with them.
    Thank you for the post, Taigu.

  31. #31
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    We are all family.

    Saya is our sister too and we will sit for her and for peace.

    Thank you for sharing, Taigu.

    Deep gassho,

    Kyonin

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    In 1989, as I was teaching in Latakia in Syria, I have met a young woman who was studying French literature and language at the local University. Her name was Saya. At the time, I was send by the French governement to teach graduate students and adults. She was a very beatiful young lady, full of wit, enthusiasm and drive, full of passion for a freedom she did not have because of the Assad 's regime (the father of the sad ad crual clown they have now). I was sitting secretly and sharing some Dharma stuff with some people ( for instance my dear friend Nafez translated Suzuki Zen mind, beginner's mind into Arabic and got it published). At the time she sometimes visited my flat asking questions about Buddhist practice and she sat a few times. Because of the first Gulf war, I had to move out of the country never to return and we did not keep in touch. Two years later, I met her by chance in a sesshin (intensive period of practice), her head was shaved and she was wearing the okesa. She was a priest in training and studying French in Paris. Her determination and will to change something in her country was much alive in her, and she was planning to go back to Syria to make it happen, somehow. She left and I have never heard about her anymore. Since this civil war started, I think of her everyday. I wonder if she is still alive because knowing her, she must have been one of the leaders of the rebellion. I dearly love her. She is my sister in the Dharma. It is heart-breaking to think about these people I left behind, and it is OK.

    I would like to ask my closest students and everybody willing to join to sit with Saya and all the people that fell and will fall on both sides. That's all really.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  32. #32
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    We all sit together as one in this world of suffering and especially with those who are enduring in the hope that our sitting will reach those who are enduring thus strengthening them.

    There are so many people like this.


    Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Heisoku; 08-30-2012 at 12:26 AM.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  33. #33
    I will sit

    Gassho
    Ola

  34. #34
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    I will sit as well


    Shugen
    Shugen
    明道 修眼

  35. #35
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Saya puts a Buddhist story to all the strife in Syria, and when I sit I sit with her already, but knowing this story adds to my knowledge of that sitting with her strife in a new and profound way, and for that I am grateful to you, Taigu.

    The chant seems like a form of metta, a chant we already do, but much more melodious, catchy yet uniquely meaningful. I like it on many levels, though I don't expect to add it to my practice.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  36. #36
    I will sit with Saya and the whole stream of suffering going on every day near and far. I can't imagine a solution in Syria. There is so much intrigue involving so many different countries and interests . No white hats, no happy ending... at least not for some time it seems. I hope there is some stability so some kind of ordinary life can go on.

    Gassho, kojip.
    大山

  37. #37
    Someone wrote to ask me to explain a bit more.

    Isn't this the same as prayer - is it any different to chanting the heart sutra?


    I chant the Heart Sutra for what it teaches on Emptiness, and chanting the chant and being chanted by the chant, all is thrown into the living dance of Emptiness. That is magic enough to heal the world, and I do not chant it in any way for some wizard's power it may provide to help the poor world and the world's poor.

    I recently saw the great folk singer Pete Seeger, now 94, do a rendition of the below sacred chant. If one wants to chant the Gate of Sweet Nectar with that same heart of compassion to fix this world, then they are just the same. It makes our heart feel good, inspires, maybe helps us keep up the struggle to fix this broken world. If someone wants to chant Gate of Sweet Nectar with that same spirit as Bodhisattva Bro. Seeger, I will chant with you with all I have ... I get goosebumps ...



    ... but chanting some hocus pocus nonsense while believing or hoping it has mystical effect on the world situation beyond being an inspirational folk tune? No, that's a waste of good breath and I will not have it around my parts of here. (Also, the whole thing .... whether singing some Buddhist Chant or humming a Pete Seeger protest song ... is in danger of becoming just another example of middle class people sitting in their air conditioned suburban homes feeling that they are doing something to change the world. We must be cautious about that too.)

    This is a continuation of another conversation we recently had on Dharani such as those which fill the "Gate of Sweet Nectar", and the whole abracadabra at its core ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post82771

    This Saturday, for our monthly Zazenkai, I have decided to replace our usual chant of the "Identity of Relative and Absolute" (another chant that speaks worlds, and is no mere magic spell) with the following, and if we chant it will all one's heart, all sincerity, it will have as much meaning as chanting the "Gate of Sweet Nectar" for all the suffering beings in the world ...

    (Run on Inkan bell and 3 bows)
    (Officiant offers incense)
    Ø Ø Ø ∆
    IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL
    Ø [accompanied by mokugyo drum]

    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small, small world

    its a world of laughter and a world of tears
    its a world of hopes and a world of fears
    there's so much that we share
    that is time we're aware
    its a small world after all

    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small, small world

    there is just one moon
    and one golden sun
    and a smile means friendship to everyone
    though the mountains divide
    and the oceans are wide

    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small world after all
    its a small, small world


    Truly a beautiful, powerful, hopeful song if one let's it into one's heart.

    Sorry, just how I feel about some Buddhist rituals.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-30-2012 at 03:32 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Then Bro...

    Why Metta or keeping anybody in our thoughts?
    If this is all Abracadra and useless magical thinking , what to say of the Japanese ending of the Hannya Shingyo and its ridiculous phonetical rendering of the original Sanskrit? What to say of the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo and the content of all the dedications we sing?



    In my humble lineage, there is a strong mystical element at work, a powerful perception of nature and its forces, elements of shamanism, far from the shores of cynicism and the only trust in gold and gun power. I am not far from the sufi poets anf feel at home in Shinto shrines ( what seems to irritate you in Hixon s prose is what I love) Taking action and playing my part in the visible world, I also surrender to the unknown and celebrate the oneness of all things. Dreams, visions and symbols play their part in this,I am not forcing anything, just allowing the dance.

    And you do too!!! that s why your rejection is a bit out of tune with your song.

    The source of it all being, and there we agree, the boundless empty field of Shikantaza.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-30-2012 at 05:44 AM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  39. #39
    Hello,

    here's another two cents of mine. Taigu wrote a (in my view/experience) couple of very emotional lines referring to actual life experiences of his that also tie in with recent tragical political developments. He invited people to sit with him. I posted a link to a short seven line chant version of the Zen tradition's Sweet Gates of Nectar thingie, which hadn't really been part of my practise before hand and which I found very powerful due to its having a melody and it being so brief. Nobody in this whole thread ever even suggested that sitting down and/or even incorporating a tiny seven line chant from our tradition was going to be the best way of dealing with a political crisis. Nobody claimed any of the words would transform into magical fireballs. Nobody.
    It was (as I and I guess most others understood it) just about sitting with/for Saya and really connecting with the reality at hand.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  40. #40
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    That's how I read it as well: just sitting with/for Saya, with maybe a , maybe a virtual , maybe a chant... a at the universe/life/god/whatever... or a song...

  41. #41
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    And yes Taigu, I too will sit and chant for Saya and Syria, and you and all of us...

  42. #42
    I think Jundo s reaction comes from the fact that I suggested that we could incorporate this ritual to our existing body of chants. I understand and respect ( even if I don t totally agree ) his resistance and feeling towards some Buddhist stuff. As Hans suggested, let s leave it there, chant if we wish, and connect with the reality at hand. It is very healthy that we don t always agree ( as we do agree most of the time).

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-30-2012 at 08:04 AM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  43. #43
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    I was actually thinking how refreshing it is to see that the two of you don't always agree (though you usually do).

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    In any case, often magic and empirical realism are just two linguistic registers for describing the same thing. Some sports teams consider it good luck to wear red. Luck and magic. Scientists tell us the colour red provokes a testosterone response improving performance. Science.

    Best then to chant outside the Syrian, Russian and Chinese embassies.

    Humbly in Gassho, with my subjective take on this,
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Then Bro...

    Why Metta or keeping anybody in our thoughts?
    If this is all Abracadra and useless magical thinking , what to say of the Japanese ending of the Hannya Shingyo and its ridiculous phonetical rendering of the original Sanskrit? What to say of the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo and the content of all the dedications we sing?



    In my humble lineage, there is a strong mystical element at work, a powerful perception of nature and its forces, elements of shamanism, far from the shores of cynicism and the only trust in gold and gun power. I am not far from the sufi poets anf feel at home in Shinto shrines ( what seems to irritate you in Hixon s prose is what I love) Taking action and playing my part in the visible world, I also surrender to the unknown and celebrate the oneness of all things. Dreams, visions and symbols play their part in this,I am not forcing anything, just allowing the dance.

    And you do too!!! that s why your rejection is a bit out of tune with your song.

    The source of it all being, and there we agree, the boundless empty field of Shikantaza.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu - this is beautifully put, it may not resonate for all, but the mystical aspect of buddhism is what holds me to the practice.

    Jundo - I still don't understand how we get from Han's post to 'middle class people sitting in air conditioned homes .... etc'
    There is obviously a point to be made - but the context doesn't feel right?

    Anyway - as Taigu said - best to leave it now.

    Gassho

    Willow

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Then Bro...

    Why Metta or keeping anybody in our thoughts?
    If this is all Abracadra and useless magical thinking , what to say of the Japanese ending of the Hannya Shingyo and its ridiculous phonetical rendering of the original Sanskrit? What to say of the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo and the content of all the dedications we sing?



    In my humble lineage, there is a strong mystical element at work, a powerful perception of nature and its forces, elements of shamanism, far from the shores of cynicism and the only trust in gold and gun power. I am not far from the sufi poets anf feel at home in Shinto shrines ( what seems to irritate you in Hixon s prose is what I love) Taking action and playing my part in the visible world, I also surrender to the unknown and celebrate the oneness of all things. Dreams, visions and symbols play their part in this,I am not forcing anything, just allowing the dance.

    And you do too!!! that s why your rejection is a bit out of tune with your song.

    The source of it all being, and there we agree, the boundless empty field of Shikantaza.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Hi Taigu,

    I feel for the suffering of Saya and all the poor people in wars around the world. And for that very reason, I will not throw more ceremonies, religion and superstition at the problem. In fact, religion and superstitions of all kinds (religious, social, political) are part of the cause of Syria's predicament. I believe that there are endless mysteries in life, but I will not substitute magic and fairy tales. That will not help Saya, only perhaps make us feel better.

    The Mantra at the endless-ending of the Heart Sutra, I translated into English (Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond) and perhaps would be better to chant that way (maybe I will start). "Kannon" for me is a paradigm and symbol who lives primarily in our own hearts and hands, and is "real" in the world when we act with compassion. Same for "hungry ghosts", made real by the endless greed in our hearts. I do not believe in the piggy bank of "Merit", so replace the "Dedication of Merit" of our rituals with a simple "Dedication" expressing an aspiration for how the world could someday be. The Kesa is a symbol we have agreed upon by convention to stand for these Teachings. When I "sit with" someone's problems ... a sickness, a death, a lost job, a victim of war ... I do not do so with any belief whatsoever that the sitting will work a cure or help the economy or make peace. Rather, I sit in "Emptiness" where there is no one in need of healing from the first, nothing to stop, nothing to gain. Then, rising from the cushion, maybe we can do something to actually make a difference (that is Zazen too).

    I think we need less hocus pocus and mumbo jumbo and funny hats around here, not more. Sorry, although I can appreciate the "Gate of Sweet Nectar" of Knrisna Das as a lovely little peaceful tune, I associate it in my mind with the larger magical and esoteric ceremony of which it is part. I will have no part of it.

    For all his little quirks, my Lineage is quite squarely with Nishijima and his ilk. I am no simple materialist (neither was he) and, truly, "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy". I am one with nature and its forces, honor the mystery too, and I am no fan of guns or gold. But I would like to send the shamans and garden sprites and flying carpets and devas packing. That is my way of helping Saya and the world.

    Yes, it is good we have perhaps a couple of flavors of Practice around here.

    I am hereby going to ask my students, Hans, Fugen, Dosho, to chant "It's A Small World" each day, with all their hearts (serious request). Maybe "We Shall Overcome" too. It will help Saya.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-30-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  47. #47
    The problem is also historic: in the traditions of India and in the Tibetan Buddhism very influenced by India, it is possible to act on the world by the thought or the word (in Tibetan Bön also). On the other hand the Chinese Buddhism, then Korean and Japanese, is more philosophic. But it is always dangerous to believe that we can act on the world, to dominate it, also techniques developped by these traditions come from India are hidden, secret. For my part, I always found very difficult to accept the world, to let come the sufferings, I think even more difficult than to act on the world, even if it is necessary to help and to keep the ideal of the bodhisattva. So I welcome the feelings of all those who think of Saya, I shall welcome too her face in my heart, with most compassion which I can.
    Kosen

  48. #48
    Hello,

    if there is only one person reading this thread who somehow assumed that posting a link to a mere seven lines worth of poetically expressing/condensing a certain sentiment was somehow in support of practising esoteric ritual instead of getting one's ass in gear (to my knowledge the Zen Peacemakers Orders has been very engaged it seems btw.) in this world I apologise for my posting it and for not being opposed to the idea that one could chant it daily as an expression of one's bodhisattva precepts.

    I think Jundo is making a very valid point regarding needless esotericism and wishful thinking, I just find using the original idea of this thread as a context for making this point quite tasteless.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  49. #49
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I am happy that we are all aware that in sitting together we strengthen our own compassion and practice and also if others notice this then perhaps they will take inspiration from this action. As for other forms of communication, chanting or no chanting it's the intent that counts IMHO. And the whole of the Prajna Paramita Sutra points to the fact that there are more things beyond heaven and earth.
    And as a friend would say, Taigu and Jundo you are both blooming marvellous!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  50. #50
    I do not know if forming an intention and expressing it influences minds elsewhere. I can't honestly be certain. There is a cultural conditioning in this brain ... whenever there is a sudden danger to someone's life and limb, the words "God forbid" .. pops out under my breath. It just happens, goofy maybe, but in that instant it is 100% sincere.. I vote both sending best intention and getting busy were possible at the same time.

    ...and agreed "Taigu and Jundo you are both blooming marvellous!"


    Gassho.
    大山

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