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Thread: Talked to interfaith class at work today about being a Monk...

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  1. #1

    Talked to interfaith class at work today about being a Monk...

    ...It was really cool.

    I work at a seminary and they are in the the middle of a unit on Buddhism. After hearing about Jukai the teacher asked me to come in, talk about the path I took to Buddhism, what Jukai is all about, and various things like that.

    It must have gone well because I have had students coming to my office to thank me, check out my rakusu closer, and to borrow books.



    Wahsu / threethirty
    --Washu
    和 Harmony
    秀 Excellence

    "Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body" George Carlin Roshi

  2. #2
    Cool!
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

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

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by threethirty View Post
    ...It was really cool.

    I work at a seminary and they are in the the middle of a unit on Buddhism. After hearing about Jukai the teacher asked me to come in, talk about the path I took to Buddhism, what Jukai is all about, and various things like that.

    It must have gone well because I have had students coming to my office to thank me, check out my rakusu closer, and to borrow books.



    Wahsu / threethirty
    Wonderful!

    And maybe your path will lead to monkhood one day.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Yes, wonderful!

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Great

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  6. #6
    Excellent

    Gassho

    Willow

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
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    Very Nice, I was once wary of telling people about me being a Buddhist, and now could give a heck.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo 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

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakudo View Post
    Very Nice, I was once wary of telling people about me being a Buddhist, and now could give a heck.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    A few times recently, I have been asked to "teach" zazen through friends, and even to city employees, but have not taken it up. Teaching art.. no problem .. all the authority in the world. Zen... No. Perhaps one day I'll ordain and train, but until then, I've seen to much malpractice by self appointed teachers. This isn't referring to the OP!.. the thread just brought up my own complex around this.


    Gassho, Daizan
    Last edited by Daizan; 01-16-2013 at 11:22 PM.
    大山

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    A few times recently, I have been asked to "teach" zazen through friends, and even to city employees, but have not taken it up. Teaching art.. no problem .. all the authority in the world. Zen... No. Perhaps one day I'll ordain and train, but until then, I've seen to much malpractice by self appointed teachers. This isn't referring to the OP!.. the thread just brought up my own complex around this.


    Gassho, Daizan
    Ahh, don't think of teaching zazen as something requiring authority, rather as the slightly more experienced setting an example for the less experienced. I lead a small group here in my hometown (or did until recently, not sure about the coming year) and as the only one with any past formal teaching, I am the one who gets to teach others how to sit. Mainly I show people how to sit, alternative ways to sit, give a few book or online ideas, and then tell them to find a real teacher. Beyond that, we just sit together.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

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

  10. #10
    Hi,

    I see nothing wrong with experienced sitters facilitating (a word I prefer to "leading") a sitting group informally, and showing the ropes of sitting to newcomers. We have several folks around Treeleaf doing so, and I support such activities however I can if needed. Yes, it is important to stay humble and know one's limits, to be aware when one may need to point someone to others, that one is having influence over the life of people who come there, not to give a wrong impression about what is happening and that one should not feel any ego about it ... but that need to be humble and aware of all that is true even for an Ordained Teacher of 100 years experience.

    For a lay person offering a sitting group, I think Neika and Seimyo describe it well above: "Mainly I show people how to sit, alternative ways to sit, give a few book or online ideas, and then tell them to find a real teacher. Beyond that, we just sit together" and " As long as you aren't guiding them along a path, and are simply facilitating their zazen, I don't think it's an issue. I've been organizing a sitting group at work for the better part of a year and short of assisting with the very basics of breathing and sitting, there isn't much to it. You are just offering a great service to those willing to take up the practice. Should your 'sitters' become more curious about Zen, point them to a teacher or a zendo where they can speak with someone that does have the authority to teach another."

    By the way, the title of this thread led someone to write me about what exactly is the difference between Jukai and Monk/Priest Ordination.

    Jukai ("Undertaking the Precepts", sometimes called "Lay Ordination" or "Zaike Tokudo" which means "At Home Ordination") is traditionally for lay folks, and does not constitute becoming a monk or priest (known as Shukke Tokudo, "Homeleaving Ordination"). Even Shukke Tokudo does not constitute one as a full monk/priest, but as simply a "novice" or "trainee" on the first step to what is usually a long process over years to "Dharma Transmission" when one would first really be considered fully Ordained. Of course, these days, Japanese Lineage Priests typically marry and have children, so the line can be a bit fuzzy. However, in my view, the difference is the degree that one is turning to a role of lifetime service and teaching and ministry as the minister and teacher and clergy. That was the subject of my talk just this week ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...IST-CLERGY-%21

    Please read a bit more below written by Soto Priest Nonin Chowaney. (As you will see, "Jukai" and "Zaike Tokudo" are also traditionally somewhat different, but that distinction is really disappearing in American Zen and the two are now treated as one most places).

    In the different Zen Buddhist schools, there are specific ceremonies, or milestones in practice, through which a person formally expresses a commitment to follow the buddha way. These ceremonies differ from school to school, but overall, they follow a specific pattern. I am only intimately familiar with the Soto Zen Buddhism process, so here it is:

    In Soto Zen Buddhism, there are three ceremonies by which a person formally assumes a specific place within the sangha: jukai, zaike tokudo, and shukke tokudo.

    Jukai (Jap.) means "receiving the precepts." During this ceremony, a person expresses a commitment to live either according to the Five Original Precepts for Lay People or the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts. Those accepting the Five Precepts receive a wagesa, a strap-like garment worn around the neck; Those accepting the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts receive a rakusu , a bib-like garment also worn around the neck. In both ceremonies, a Buddhist name and lineage papers tracing the person's dharma heritage back to Shakyamuni Buddha can be given, but in some lineages this in only done if the person accepts the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts. Some practitioners go through the Jukai ceremony more than once.

    Zaike Tokudo literally means "staying home to accomplish the way," and is sometimes referred to as "Lay Ordination." This ceremony is no longer recognized by the Soto Zen heirarchy in Japan, but is performed in the West. However, jukai and zaike tokudo are sometimes confused, however, and the same ceremony is called by one term or another, depending on where it's performed. Neither ceremony, however, confers any ecclesiastical (or clergy) standing on those completing it.

    Shukke Tokudo literally means "leaving home to accomplish the way," and is also referred to as "Priest Ordination." During this ceremony the person also commits to living according to the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts and receives an Okesa (priest's robe) and lineage papers. After this ceremony, the person is a novice priest in an ecclesiastical (or clergy) system. The person then embarks on a period of training that hopefully culminates in Dharma Transmission, after which the person becomes a lineage holder capable of transmitting the lineage teaching as it was transmitted to her or him.
    We had and will have future Shukke Tokudo. In fact, I will have an announcement in that regard in the coming days.

    Also worth mentioning is that the use of the English words "monk" and "priest" (and some other common names thrown about) are even a bit strange to describe the situation of Buddhist clergy in Japan. Here is a recent discussion on that ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post90358

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-17-2013 at 02:41 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    We had and will have future Shukke Tokudo. In fact, I will have an announcement in that regard in the coming days.

    Also worth mentioning is that the use of the English words "monk" and "priest" (and some other common names thrown about) are even a bit strange to describe the situation of Buddhist clergy in Japan. Here is a recent discussion on that ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post90358

    Gassho, J
    Wow, what a tease.
    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
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    One does not necessarily need to become ordained to show another how to sit. As long as you aren't guiding them along a path, and are simply facilitating their zazen, I don't think it's an issue. I've been organizing a sitting group at work for the better part of a year and short of assisting with the very basics of breathing and sitting, there isn't much to it. You are just offering a great service to those willing to take up the practice. Should your 'sitters' become more curious about Zen, point them to a teacher or a zendo where they can speak with someone that does have the authority to teach another.

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  13. #13
    I facilitated public sitting for a number of years for the local Lay Forest Sangha, but stepped aside. One reason was I felt people got the wrong impression. Being a good talker with some charisma when inspired, sometimes new people approached after thinking I was Enlightened. ...and maybe I liked that. They were so ready to see that in a teacher figure. Needless to say, I wasn't Enlightened. So sitting with some friends..giving pointers from experience is ok, but giving classes feels inappropriate (can't speak for anyone else though!). When teaching art there is a sense of natural "authority" that is appropriate to assume. Assuming that in Buddhist matters feels inappropriate. Online community activism is different, it isn't uncomfortable. I guess the bottom line is ...it is good to share a healthy thing.

    Gassho
    Last edited by Daizan; 01-17-2013 at 12:18 AM.
    大山

  14. #14
    Fortunately, everyone here knows me, so there is no way of anyone ever assuming I might be enlightened. Quite the opposite in fact, I'm pretty sure that everyone else has become my teacher.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

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

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,

    I see nothing wrong with experienced sitters facilitating (a word I prefer to "leading") a sitting group informally, and showing the ropes of sitting to newcomers. We have several folks around Treeleaf doing so, and I support such activities however I can if needed. Yes, it is important to stay humble and know one's limits, to be aware when one may need to point someone to others, that one is having influence over the life of others who come there, not to give a wrong impression about what is happening and that one should not feel any ego about it ... but that need to be humble and aware of all that is true even for an Ordained Teacher of 100 years experience.

    For a lay person offering a sitting group, I think Neika and Seimyo describe it well above: "Mainly I show people how to sit, alternative ways to sit, give a few book or online ideas, and then tell them to find a real teacher. Beyond that, we just sit together" and " As long as you aren't guiding them along a path, and are simply facilitating their zazen, I don't think it's an issue. I've been organizing a sitting group at work for the better part of a year and short of assisting with the very basics of breathing and sitting, there isn't much to it. You are just offering a great service to those willing to take up the practice. Should your 'sitters' become more curious about Zen, point them to a teacher or a zendo where they can speak with someone that does have the authority to teach another."

    By the way, the title of this thread led someone to write me about what exactly is the difference between Jukai and Monk/Priest Ordination.

    Jukai ("Undertaking the Precepts", sometimes called "Lay Ordination" or "Zaike Tokudo" which means "At Home Ordination") is traditionally for lay folks, and does not constitute becoming a monk or priest (known as Shukke Tokudo, "Homeleaving Ordination"). Even Shukke Tokudo does not constitute one as a full monk/priest, but as simply a "novice" or "trainee" on the first step to what is usually a long process over years to "Dharma Transmission" when one would first really be considered fully Ordained. Of course, these days, Japanese Lineage Priests typically marry and have children, so the line can be a bit fuzzy. However, in my view, the difference is the degree that one is turning to a role of lifetime service and teaching and ministry as the minister and teacher and clergy. That was the subject of my talk just this week ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...IST-CLERGY-%21

    Please read a bit more below written by Soto Priest Nonin Chowaney. (As you will see, "Jukai" and "Zaike Tokudo" are also traditionally somewhat different, but that distinction is really disappearing in American Zen and the two are now treated as one most places).



    We had and will have future Shukke Tokudo. In fact, I will have an announcement in that regard in the coming days.

    Also worth mentioning is that the use of the English words "monk" and "priest" (and some other common names thrown about) are even a bit strange to describe the situation of Buddhist clergy in Japan. Here is a recent discussion on that ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post90358

    Gassho, J
    Thank you for this Jundo, I have a much better understanding now. One day, I hope the path of Shukke Tokudo comes before me.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

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

  16. #16
    I should clarify one point here... When I talk about not assuming "authority" with regards to the Dharma.. it is in reference to other people. ...not this body and mind. Although I am deeply grateful for teachers in both the official sense, and in the sense that everyone is my teacher... and humbled by 1001 knocks of this head against the wall.....

    ...the buck stops at my zafu. Treeleaf is my home in part because that is acknowledged and encouraged and supported. Jundo and Taigu are open handed.

    Gassho, Daizan.
    ...must be tired.. just typing. goodnight.
    Last edited by Daizan; 01-17-2013 at 04:27 AM.
    大山

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I should clarify one point here... When I talk about not assuming "authority" with regards to the Dharma.. it is in reference to other people. ...not this body and mind. Although I am deeply grateful for teachers in both the official sense, and in the sense that everyone is my teacher... and humbled by 1001 knocks of this head against the wall.....

    ...the buck stops at my zafu. Treeleaf is my home in part because that is acknowledged and encouraged and supported. Jundo and Taigu are open handed.

    Gassho, Daizan.
    .
    Yes.

    ... it is important to stay humble and know one's limits, to be aware when one may need to point someone to others, that one is having influence over the life of people ..., not to give a wrong impression about what is happening and that one should not feel any ego about it

    Isn't this a wise approach too when sitting-teaching oneself by ourself?

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-17-2013 at 05:27 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes.

    ... it is important to stay humble and know one's limits, to be aware when one may need to point someone to others, that one is having influence over the life of people ..., not to give a wrong impression about what is happening and that one should not feel any ego about it

    Isn't this also a wise approach too when sitting-teaching oneself by ourself?

    Gassho, J
    I falter on every count, Jundo. .. and I am here, all messy and broken.

    Gassho, Daizan
    大山

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