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Thread: site about the abbots of Eiheiji

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    site about the abbots of Eiheiji

    Just to share an insteresting discovery, a site about all the abbots of Eiheiji since Dogen in Japanese but with plenty of interesting documents. With a special page on Niwa Zenji, Nishijima's teacher and our ancestor in the lineage:

    http://eiheizen.jimdo.com/永平寺77世-丹羽廉芳禅師/

    and a magnificent portrait of the guy.



    gassho丹羽廉芳禅師.jpg


    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
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Thanks Taigu,
    Wish I could read Japanese. Great portrait ...

    ... that reminds me. I asked Isabelle for an eyebrow trimmer for Christmas. I have no hair on my head, but plenty sprouting above my eyes and in my ears!

    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."

  3. #3
    Wonderful, thank you Taigu.

    Gassho
    Shingen/Michael
    倫道 真現

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

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    One more motivation to continue my Japanese learning.

    Thank you Taigu.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  5. #5
    Wonderful!!

    I will set about to translate it over the coming weeks, and we can publish it here (it seems all public information). I see Nishijima Wafu is mentioned in there once. I also order a book by Niwa Zenji, mentioned in the article, that I did not know.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-15-2013 at 03:43 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu.

    A translation would be amazing Jundo.

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  7. #7
    That would be interesting to read, especially since the Google translation to English was even more confusing than not being able to read the Japanese. As an aside, it would actually be very interesting to know more about many of the individuals in the lineage.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  8. #8
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Are there any books about our forebear in English, by any chance?
    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."

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo, it would be wonderful if you could at least translate the biographical bits.
    And no, unfortunately, nothing in English about Niwa's Dharma.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 01-15-2013 at 07:21 PM.
    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.

  10. #10
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    I always felt a deep connection with Niwa, very humble and soft, and I vividly remember when he came to the West. Little did i know at the time that I would be one of his great grand sons one day. Here is some stuff I wrote a few years ago.

    Like a laughing and beaming cat
    Eternal rambling of the brook
    the cow enters the stream
    your eyebrows like brushes
    and teeth and tongue
    gulping deep blue sky
    dolls you playing with
    at five or six years of age
    dressing them endlessly
    your shaved head under the sharp blade
    the incense cloud and fragrant pine
    the loud voice of the valley
    shaking the rocks
    rocking the silent moon
    not making sense of anything
    loosing track, wiping footprints
    how can one walk the rain
    what is the faith of trees, bees, birds?
    Not answering
    bleeding laughters
    merely gazing
    with gentleness
    you ascend the Eiheiji seat
    and bow at dogs in secret
    Niwa
    my blood in yours
    and yours in mine
    soiled
    as this all world
    seal in space
    not even a ripple
    or stir
    or chatter
    or whisper
    the seal where two moons
    collide
    and turn into
    each other
    Niwa
    like a rambling and beaming cat
    eternal laughing of the brook
    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.

  11. #11
    Taigu, can you tell us anything about him?
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Neika View Post
    Taigu, can you tell us anything about him?
    I can tell you this little bit ...

    Although he was as mainstream, orthodox and traditional as could be, Abbot of Eiheiji (Dogen's temple, the monastery of all training monasteries in Japanese Soto Zen ... he was the "Pope" of the Zen Vatican) ...

    ... he was also very dynamic in his belief that one must support the coming of Zen to the West, and in Ordaining and making his Dharma Heirs some folks who were reformers, not completely orthodox and traditional, out in the worlders, who were strong critics of how dusty and musty Soto Shu (the Soto Zen Church) in Japan often had become. That is why he made his Dharma Heirs some unique types and reformers like Taisen Deshimaru and our Nishijima Roshi. Niwa actually did so, expressing their hope that the spread of Zen overseas would result in something more dynamic and alive than what Zen had sometimes become in Japan, and that it would actually bounce back to give Japanese Zen a much needed kick in the shins.

    Here is a little film of him, produced years ago, which shows him in formal Dokusan with a young priest. (That's him from the 1:15 to about 4:45 mark) ...



    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    Fascinating thread - will look forward to the translation.

    Gassho

    Willow

  14. #14
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    The guy was pretty unusual, as a very young child he loved to play endlessly with dolls and had quite feminine taste. Not at all what you would expect from a Zen priest, after Sawaki Kodo s death he took the newly ordained Deshimaru under his protection and wing and slways invited him in his temple with his European students. Desjardin did shoot Niwa giving Dokusan and his sitting is absolutely majestic and natural. When Deshimaru died and as he was about to become Eiheiji s abbot, he agreed to give transmission to three students of the late teacher. He came to France to do so and visited sanghas and other teachers in Spain, Italy and Germany. Totally open to the West, he was a leading exemple of the transmission to the westeners. The stories about him are many, his love for bowing even in front of a dog if a dog would go by, he also was the first abbot not to miss a single early morning sit in Eiheiji zendo ( the tradition is for the abbot to sit in his room on his own) Niwa had a heart as broad as the sea.

    Last year a rakusu with Niwa s calligraphy ended up in my hands, a pure miracle, unheard to me, which I also see as a confirmation of a bond between the great grand father and his miserable great grand son beyond life and death.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 01-16-2013 at 09:12 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.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    The guy was pretty unusual, as a very young child he loved to play endlessly with dolls and had quite feminine taste. Not at all what you would expect from a Zen priest, after Sawaki Kodo s death he took the newly ordained Deshimaru under his protection and wing and slways invited him in his temple with his European students. Desjardin did shoot Niwa giving Dokusan and his sitting is absolutely majestic and natural. When Deshimaru died and as he was about to become Eiheiji s abbot, he agreed to give transmission to three students of the late teacher. He came to France to do so and visited sanghas and other teachers in Spain, Italy and Germany. Totally open to the West, he was a leading exemple of the transmission to the westeners. The stories about him are many, his love for bowing even in front of a dog if a dog would go by, he also was the first abbot not to miss a single early morning sit in Eiheiji zendo ( the tradition is for the abbot to sit in his room on his own) Niwa had a heart as broad as the sea.

    Last year a rakusu with Niwa s calligraphy ended up in my hands, a pure miracle, unheard to me, which I also see as a confirmation of a bond between the great grand father and his miserable great grand son beyond life and death.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Wonderful story Taigu, thanks you. I'm always amazed by the interconnectiveness of everything.
    Gassho, Shawn Jukudo Hinton.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  16. #16
    Thank you Taigu. A very deep bow for the story.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  17. #17
    Looking foward to the translation!


    Gassho, Kaishin / Matt
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

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