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Thread: Let's Celebrate A Family Rohatsu - 2012 !!

  1. #1

    Let's Celebrate A Family Rohatsu - 2012 !!

    Dear All,

    It has been my hope for awhile to make some traditional Buddhist holidays a bit more "family friendly". So, I would like to ask as many Sangha members as possible, especially those with kids, to try out some or all of the suggestions on the following webpage. Please post here in this thread about your experiences so that we can grow this further for the future ... perhaps start some "new timeless traditions!"

    I want to thank Yugen and some of his helpers for coordinating this in the coming days and weeks.

    A PEACEFUL ROHATSU, every-ONE!

    Why this project?

    It is often said that Buddhist groups in the West are somehow not very welcoming of children, and that we lack some things (found in both Buddhism in Asia and in other religions in the West) to communicate basic teachings and practices to kids. In both Asian Buddhism and for other religions in the West (but not yet so much for "Western Buddhism"), "religious holidays" can be a time for families to unite, to bond through customs and practices, and to bring children into the spirit of the time through the celebration. Holidays can be an important time to expose children to Buddhist teachings and values in ways that leave a lasting, positive impression for the future. Is there a way to make various Buddhist holidays more "kid friendly" while preserving the traditional message, values and customs of the original?

    WITHOUT the department stores (by emphasizing, for example, giving to charity, unselfish giving to others, the making of homemade or Buddhism related presents), WITHOUT the glitz and commercialism, we can turn Rohatsu and some other holidays (such as Vesak in the Spring) into FAMILY FRIENDLY events WHILE PRESERVING THE TEACHINGS. The central messages of the holidays ... selflessness, generosity, non-attachment, peace, awakening, compassion, loving kindness ... can be both PRESERVED and PASSED ON to children in a positive way through the vehicle of these holidays. The message on these holidays is now conveyed through chanting and ritual ... so why not through joyous songs and home rituals that the whole family can partake in? NOTHING of the meaning, traditions and authenticity of these holidays need be lost.

    The ideas on our "Buddhist Family Holidays" webpage are a work in progress ... and, we hope, will be further developed and grow with your input. Thus, there is a place for your ideas and comment on each subject (on the webpage and here in this thread), and we look forward to your input and contributions. Particularly, notice our "holiday song writing" and "story writing & art" sections, where we hope to receive submissions from all our Buddhist musicians, writers, artists, animators and the like who wish to create works that may, we hope, become a beloved part of these holidays for years to come.

    Please put some or all of the ideas into practice in YOUR HOUSE, and report to us on how it all goes ...

    Our webpage is ......

    www.BuddhistFamilyHolidays.com

    PLEASE LOOK WHERE IT SAYS "ROHATSU HOLIDAY IDEAS" ...

    ...and for more about ROHATSU, please look here: (http://buddhism.about.com/od/buddhis.../g/Rohatsu.htm)

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-25-2012 at 09:33 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Wonderful! Thank you.


    Gassho, kojip.
    大山

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo!

    I don't have kids, but I have a nephew who would love some dharma stories.

    I will keep you guys posted on how it went

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    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

  4. #4
    Junior Member Oaken's Avatar
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    Yes, a good idea (if we can keep it”WITHOUT the glitz and commercialism”). Several years ago I received a Holiday greeting from the CEO of the company I work for wishing everyone “Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah” I suggested he add Rohatsu to his list for the Buddhist that may work for the company, he was not aware of Rohatsu. By celebrating Rohatsu with our family and friends we will also bring more awareness of Buddhism to our western culture.

    Gassho,

    Tom
    Last edited by Oaken; 11-25-2012 at 01:51 PM.
    Trying to go straight ahead on a narrow mountain path which has ninety-three curves

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo, this is a wonderful idea.

    Gassho
    Michael



    If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
    ~ Dogen Zenji

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo,
    This is great. We are going to take some of these ideas on in our house.
    Gassho and thanks,
    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."

  7. #7
    After reviewing the website and contributions I wanted to thank those involved for putting the love and care into this for our sangha and families that it so obviously contains. It will be interesting to see how this develops as we all become more engaged. Heartfelt thanks as it provides opportunities to share with my family things that are important to me that may be hard for the little ones to understand. Love needs no explanation...thanks.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  8. #8
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    When my children were young we made homemade ornaments (such as dharma wheels and animals) and we created a bodhi-tree for part of our December holiday season.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Jundo wrote: "I want to thank Yugen and some of his helpers for coordinating this in the coming days and weeks."

    I would like to express my appreciation to Jundo for his gracious (and unnecessary) recognition of the team that has worked on the Global Day of Service and Buddhist Family Holidays.... it is really our privilege to be of service and practice together!

    I would like to offer my perspective on one aspect of Jundo's remark: my Sisters and Brothers support my practice and help me on the path by working with me and and contributing skills and efforts in putting these sangha projects together - they are not my "helpers" nor am I in any position of responsibility. I am a practitioner who is fortunate to be in the company of wonderful and intelligent people who give freely of their time and talents to create a wonderful community of practice. I learn from all of you, and it is I who benefit from your advice, ideas, skill, and love. I owe you all my thanks and gratitude. Far from a position of leadership, I am in a position of service to all of you.

    In the coming days we will offer some ideas for Buddhist Family Holidays that might facilitate our practice together. It is our hope that sangha members share their holiday practice experiences in this thread. More to come.

    Deep bows,
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 11-26-2012 at 10:02 PM.
    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
    Thank you to all who worked on this. I have been searching for a way to make our practice more family friendly. Right now the kids just wonder why we sit so much...

  11. #11
    It is just my partner and I, but think I'm going to celebrate the week using the suggestions on the website. Is there any thinking on celebrating the week starting on the 8th or finishing on the 8th?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GregCundiff View Post
    It is just my partner and I, but think I'm going to celebrate the week using the suggestions on the website. Is there any thinking on celebrating the week starting on the 8th or finishing on the 8th?
    Hello Greg,

    As I have experienced it, Rohatsu is the week finishing on the 8th--easy way for me to remember is that it's the first week of December. I could be completely wrong, though.

    In Gassho,

    Saijun
    To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. --RBB

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Rohatsu is Japanese for "eighth day of the twelfth month." The Buddha was enlightened on the eighth of December when he looked up at the morning star. The brightness of this planet was seen by Buddha at the end of a week straight of deep meditation. Several Zen Centers in the U.S. are holding week-long sesshin to observe this event and conclude on either the eighth of ninth of the month. The eighth coincides with the western, Gregorian calendar.

    Greg (and everyone), please let us know which activities you choose to observe!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 11-28-2012 at 12:22 AM.
    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

  14. #14
    Hello all,

    This is a project near and dear to my heart, as I try to teach my boys about morals and principles important in our family (I hesitate to term them "Buddhist" principles, because I feel they are shared across religious traditions- love, compassion, honesty, etc.).

    We will be observing the nights of enlightenment, where we will review the 8 rungs of the eightfold path, share stories and sit zazen together. I am going to try to video some of these, my boys feel a little uncomfortable about being on camera, but I will try. If I can, I will upload it to youtube and post a link here. If not on video, I will post what story we read and what we talked about. We will begin tomorrow which is Dec. 1, with "Right View".

    My oldest is getting a little too old for some of the crafting (at least he thinks he's too old), but we do have our bodhi tree up and it is lit with white and blue lights. I look forward to what others are doing.

    take care all and thank you to all who have contributed to this wonderful endeavor,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    Last edited by KellyRok; 11-30-2012 at 03:01 PM.

  15. #15
    Hello all,

    Okay, so we did video our sitting. Please keep in mind, I'm just a mom who's trying to teach her kids something about what we practice here . I don't look the greatest, nor do I sound the greatest on video, and I'm very much a student who is still learning herself.

    So that is my disclaimer, and if you feel inclined to watch and sit with the video below, that is up to you. We didn't discuss right view too indepth, because we have discussed it as a family before. That way you can add what you would like in your own discussions with your family.



    yours in practice,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    Last edited by KellyRok; 12-02-2012 at 02:30 PM. Reason: trying to put in link to youtube

  16. #16
    Wonderful!!!!

    Wonderful!!!!

    So, Wonderful!!!
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-02-2012 at 02:51 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by KellyRok View Post
    Hello all,

    Okay, so we did video our sitting. Please keep in mind, I'm just a mom who's trying to teach her kids something about what we practice here . I don't look the greatest, nor do I sound the greatest on video, and I'm very much a student who is still learning herself.

    So that is my disclaimer, and if you feel inclined to watch and sit with the video below, that is up to you. We didn't discuss right view too indepth, because we have discussed it as a family before. That way you can add what you would like in your own discussions with your family.



    yours in practice,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    Wow ... As Jundo put it, Wonderful, wonderful.

    Gassho
    Michael



    If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
    ~ Dogen Zenji

  18. #18
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Kelly, thank you so much for sharing this.

    Gassho
    Alan

  19. #19
    Thanks for sharing, Kelly! This is really great .

    I struggle with how to share this all with my still very young daughters especially since this is all still relatively new to me. This year we are keeping it simple and doing the 8 candles (lighting a new one each night before dinner). We sit holding hands for a quiet moment breathing together and being thankful. I imagine as they get older we will add to the traditions each year.
    Gassho,
    Lindsay

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Hi Kelly/Jinmai;

    You and your boys are fantastic !! I was so impressed by your practice that i sat along with you guys. And, the pot lid has such a beautiful tone, I wouldn't trade it for many bells.

    Thank you and gassho, Shokai

    p.s. looking forward to watching and sitting Day 2
    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.

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Kelly,
    This is great. So inspirational. Thanks to you and your boys for sharing your practice.
    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."

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Kelly,

    That is awesomesauce!!! I am most grateful for your teaching.

    So proud of you and your boys for doing this!

    Deep bows!

    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.

  23. #23
    Thanks for sharing, Kelly! That is really great!
    Gassho, Kaishin / Matt
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    This is fantastic!

    I will sit with you guys today.

    Thank you, Jinmei! Your kids rock!

    Deep, deep bows.

    Kyonin
    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

  25. #25
    Thank you all for your replies! My boys felt a little embarassed at first, but since they have seen your comments, they are excited to do another one together.

    Unfortunately, we've fallen behind in our nights of enlightenment. The weather here has been really nice and my boys have spent every minute outside, after school. Tonight they are both starting Tae Kwon Do classes, so I may not get another video sitting until later in the week.

    I will also post a couple pictures of our Bodhi tree, and of gifts my boys have made for their Grandparents.

    take care all,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  26. #26
    I can almost feel the good karma flying around.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  27. #27
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KellyRok View Post
    迎 Geika

  28. #28
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Awesome Kelly! Thank you for sharing all of this.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Thanks Kelly.

    Gassho

    Shawn

  30. #30
    Gassho to you three buddying Buddhists.
    The thought occurs to me: "This is why Bodhidharma came to China."
    Thanks for practicing. Ed.


    Will fast THE 8TH.
    Last edited by Ed; 12-06-2012 at 12:05 PM. Reason: add fast
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  31. #31
    Cool! I have wondered at what age I could introduce some of this practice to my daughter, who is almost 8 yrs old. Seeing this video, perhaps I can begin to do so. Thanks for sharing! Gassho, Matt

  32. #32
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    Thank you Kelly for sharing this sitting with you and the boys. And, grateful that you shared this with all Treeleafers. Coming across the video during a routine review of Treeleaf updates, not intending
    to sit at that moment, but found after your sons stilled themselves in dhyana mudra, and the bell was struck that...there it all is....sitting in the study with you. Gassho to each of you.

    I, too, discovered the extra value of a pot lid as a meditation bell decades ago, as a young, budding trainee. And it's tone was actually richer than
    a gong later purchased mailorder from the Buddhist Bookstore in SF. I makes one appreciate what is here, before us, right now.

    And joy to your family during this season of Shakamuni Buddha's enlightenment.

    Kindess...

    Richard

  33. #33
    Thank you all for your encouraging and beautiful comments! I feel clumsy with the teachings, but I do the best I can.

    Shokai and Richard - I had thought of buying a meditation bell or gong many times. But my boys enjoy the ring of our makeshift lid as do I, so I think I take your advice and stick with it.

    Wishing all retreat sitters this weekend a peaceful retreat. I will be doing the recorded version on Monday and Tuesday, so that I may spend Rohatsu and celebrate with my boys over the weekend.

    bows to you all in practice,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  34. #34
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    There's no clumsy in Zen
    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.

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