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Thread: Sit-a-Thon for a good cause?

  1. #1

    Sit-a-Thon for a good cause?

    Hi guys,

    Some time ago I read something about a Sit-a-Thon organized by the SFZC.
    I don't remember the specifics of this anymore, but I got the idea maybe we could do something like that "Treeleaf Style".

    This is just a half-baked idea, I don't know if it is feasible, but here some thoughts:
    - Since we are not bound by timezones we could do a 24 hour Sit-a-Thon via G+, where everyone could join and leave the hangout whenever they please. Since hangouts are limited to 10 persons AFAIK we could open additional hangouts when there are lots of people.
    Everyone who sits can donate some money via Paypal (or not if they cannot afford it)
    - We could invite non-Treeleaf members to this Sit-a-Thon in other Buddhist internet communities, via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    Platforms like Sweeping Zen, Tricycle, etc. might be good places to advertise this.
    For a small donation of ones own choice (via Paypal?) non-TL members could become a member of a G+ Sit-a-Thon group in order to join. If someone cannot donate, they can participate as well.
    - After the Sit-a-Thon we could donate the raised money to a good cause.

    This is probably just a crazy idea, I don't even know if it is technically feasible - I just wanted to mention it.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  2. #2
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Timo,
    A bright idea from a good place, but you know, when SFZC did it I didn't quite agree with the idea.

    I feel Zazen is complete in itself and shouldn't be put at the service of a cause. It is useless. It contains all. It is not for something outside itself. I think SFZC's initiative subverted that reality of our seated samadhi. Zazen is not utilitarian.

    Although, by all means we should be of service when we stand up, as we indeed are in another sense when we sit.

    That's just my unsui take on things. A personal view from a trainee.

    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
    Hi Myozan,

    You are right, this is indeed a good point.
    And of course I agree that Zazen does not fulfill a certain purpose, but is whole as it is.
    That "Sit-a-Thon adaption idea" popped into my mind when I thought about the SFZC initiative, so yes, please consider it as a spontaneous idea which was not thought through.

    I have changed my mind - we should really not do it.

    Thanks a lot for your valuable input and gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    Hi Timo,
    A bright idea from a good place, but you know, when SFZC did it I didn't quite agree with the idea.

    I feel Zazen is complete in itself and shouldn't be put at the service of a cause. It is useless. It contains all. It is not for something outside itself. I think SFZC's initiative subverted that reality of our seated samadhi. Zazen is not utilitarian.

    Although, by all means we should be of service when we stand up, as we indeed are in another sense when we sit.

    That's just my unsui take on things. A personal view from a trainee.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Hmmmm. I don't know about what you say, Myozan. I think that your view is very narrow perhaps.

    Zazen is not utilitarian, has no purpose. But don't get hung up on the strict purpose of it being to have no purpose! That would be getting hung up in another way, and is seeing things in a one-sided way too.

    We engage in Samu Work Practice, Takuhatsu mendicancy and all manner of activities ... even washing the dishes in Ango ... with that same "mushotoku" non-gaining mind. We clean with the goal of cleaning, yet drop all goal of cleaning at once. The very purpose of Zazen is to help us realize and embody the lessons of "having no purpose".

    In other words ... Zazen has no purpose, yet it can also have a purpose at the same time ... such as sitting a 24-hour Sit-A-Thon for Charity or the like.

    I feel we should do this. Let's plan something, perhaps as part of our upcoming Day of Service. We can sit for 24-hours beyond all thought of time. We can sit to help Sentient Beings, without thought of Sentient Beings in need of helping. We can sit for Charity beyond all thought of giver, giving, gift or receiver. We can sit for no purpose, all for a good purpose.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-20-2013 at 02:12 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo,
    I tend not to agree. And narrow view or not, you're the boss. :-)

    Anyway, maybe I'm wrong.

    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."

  6. #6
    We sit for all Sentient Beings. That is Purpose right there.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Here is what we are talking about. San Francisco seems to have held the Sit-a-thon mostly for their own fundraising (as they explain here), but I feel that we should do it mostly to raise money for some public charity. Maybe like a "walk-a-thon", people will pledge some amount for every "mile" of Zazen sat. We invite Zen folks of all stripes to join us, Buddhists of all stripes, meditators of all stripes.

    Seems like a lovely, harmless way to sit without purpose and do something for charity at once.



    This is --not-- to be confused with the "street Zazen" which some folks, like this Teacher from Melbourne, engage in to raise public awareness of Zazen.





    Some portions of our sittings, however, would likely be netcast.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-20-2013 at 04:22 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    What do all our Sangha folks feel about this, by the way??? Chime on in, pros and cons.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo,
    Very interesting question, this.

    I didn't like the SFZC using Zazen to raise money for themselves. I'm still not crazy about sitting Zazen to raise money, even for charity ... or as a public exhibition, like some kind of street performance.

    I am working from my intuition here and haven't worked out these feelings rationally. But I will think about it ... what's the buried reasoning behind this.

    Intention, however, must be a key question. We start to sit with an intention, I guess, but let that go as we sit.

    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."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    My gut tells me, if it is a thing that can help someone else... lets do it... intention, no intention, I don't know ... anyway, we can help by just being there, doing nothing

    Sent from Tapatalk 2
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    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  11. #11
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    If it helps someone, by raising cash for charity, why not?

    Gassho
    Matt

    EDIT: Having read all the comments, I've changed my mind. I agree with what Myoku has posted below.
    Last edited by Genshin; 09-20-2013 at 07:28 PM.

  12. #12
    Money is around...suffering is around...
    Why not use money to ease suffering?
    It's just an instrument...not dirty.

    Gassho.

  13. #13
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi guys,
    You know, I still think Zazen is not a way to raise money. So, I respect what you're saying ... I just don't agree with you. But looks like I'm in a minority. So, who knows... If you do it, I'll be supportive.
    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."

  14. #14
    Timo,
    we are certainly brothers in mind, I had the 24 hour zazen via g+ on my mind too for a while, just not yet found time to "organize" it. I not thought of any monetary thing, and I'm more with Myozan and would keep zazen just being zazan and dana just being dana, no need to separate, no need to do together. Anyway, a 24 hours, full circle of zazen is something I would love to support.
    Gassho and thank you.

  15. #15
    Oh no, I did not want to cause a discussion...

    I just had this idea popping in my head and wanted to know what the Sangha thinks of it. I really did not think this through at all.
    I did not have huge amounts of money in mind - if you drink one beer less in your favourite bar at the weekend and instead spend the money for someone in need (or even for free for those people who cannot afford it.) The money would not have been spent for Treeleaf, but for a good purpose.

    BUT:
    As I said in my second post, IMHO Myozan has made a very good point - but Jundo as well!
    I understand both points of view, and so I am not sure what to think of my own idea anymore. If the Sangha is not unanimously behind it, we should not do it.
    I think there is another pitfall: People outside of Treeleaf could misinterpret the whole event as a kind of PR thing of Treeleaf!
    So my current tendency would be to not do it.
    I am sure we can find other ways of raising money for a good cause if we want to.

    I think Myoku has proposed a good alternative!

    Really sorry for the fuss...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  16. #16
    I think it is a brilliant idea and we should do this. We sit anyway so why not sit with this?

    I'm in if it's a go!

    Gasho

    Enkyo

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sekishi's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, I love the 24hr idea, and I agree with Myoku.
    Gassho, Eric

    髭 Sekishi / Eric

  18. #18
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    Hi guys,
    You know, I still think Zazen is not a way to raise money. So, I respect what you're saying ... I just don't agree with you. But looks like I'm in a minority. So, who knows... If you do it, I'll be supportive.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    With the utmost due respect to all those that are in favor of sitting Zazen for charity I must side with Myozan and would prefer that we not do this. There are many ways that we as a sangha can collectively work together to raise money and I would prefer that we not use Zazen as an event to raise funds. However, I am but one small voice among many.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


    “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

  19. #19
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Time to jump in, I don't often disagree with my Bro but this time I have to. As Myozan said, Zazen is complete, useless it contains all. In my cloudest eyes, it should not be shown, displayed as an internet or street performance.

    But you know, that's just me, and that's just an opinion and a very strong gut feeling.

    We have many ways and many talents here.

    Help-a-charity-a-Thon can have many forms. How can the formless matrix of all Buddhas be one of them? Can the vast ground be picked up as a fruit?

    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.

  20. #20
    Yes, Taigu and I have a different approach here. So, talking with him, what we may do is just let those who wish to join in, sit in ... those who wish to sit it out (ha ha) sit it out.

    In my view, Zazen is Whole and Complete, Sacred, the Only Action in All Time and Space in each Moment of Sitting, Kannon's Arms and Eyes, All the Buddha's Sitting, Pristine and Pure. Serious Stuff.

    But at the same time, let's not be too precious about it, losing the openness, good humor and ordinariness of it all. It ain't some holy idol. How can its Pristine Purity ever be stained? Zazen is life!

    Arthur Braverman tells the story of Kodo Sawaki's Dharma Bro, Sodo Yokohama, who spent his life sitting Zazen in the park, inviting all to join him ...

    Yokoyama sat in a park practising zazen and inspiring travellers. If traditional *Japanese dance is poetry in motion, Yokoyama’s upright sitting posture was motionless poetry. Many took his photograph and were encouraged by the image of this monk whose practice was to follow his heart. ... While living at a nearby boarding house, he spent his days sitting in a bamboo grove at Kaikoen Park in Komoro, playing tunes on a leaf, brushing poems he’d composed in a delicate calligraphic style, and practising zazen. He entertained travellers, helping them feel younger through their contact with him. He considered that his life in the park and his relationship with the passers-by to be his religious practice. The travellers bought his brushed poems through which he made a modest living.
    http://homelesskodo.blogspot.jp/2012...is-buddha.html



    There is a time to sit Zazen with holy seriousness, a time to sit Zazen with tears, a time to sit Zazen with fun and laughs. Yippey!

    Yes, we sit to help all the Sentient Beings. Dana (Giving and Charity) is Zazen, Zazen is simply Dana. There may be a time too when sitting is just sitting and Dana is just Dana, but there can be a time when we sit to feed the poor, house the homeless, cure the disease. Zazen, though seemingly still, can also be Kannon's countless helping hands and eyes in motion.

    Zazen is useless, goalless, has no purpose ... and so we always sit for the benefit of all the Sentient Beings, our Bodhisattva Vow. Though Zazen is useless, Kodo and Sodo never ceased to teach about it, publicly demonstrate it, care for all the suffering beings who might benefit. Yes, the purpose is how very useless it is, and its non-utility its very Purpose ... Goalless Goal.

    There is a time to sit alone in one's room or mountain hut, a time to sit with others. There is a time to sit like Yokoyama in the park, by his purposeless act introducing so many to the freedom of Zazen. In this Sangha, we all already regularly sit online for just that reason ... to be together, to share with anyone who wishes to sit, to introduce our simple ways to those who may be curious and would benefit to hear. We do not selfishly hoard or secrete our Zazen. We always sit as Buddha, sitting to help all the Sentient Beings.

    Buddha would sit before the masses of lay folks and all beings on Vulture Peak, Vimalakirti sat in bars and brothels to inspire. How can Zazen be sullied, where can it be hidden?

    So, in discussion with Taigu, I think we will go ahead ... and those who want to sit for charity can sit, and those who do not need not. All interpretations are fine. All good Zazen.

    Gassho, J

    PS - This thread became a wonderful teaching opportunity.
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-21-2013 at 04:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    That was wonderfully said Jundo. We all walk the same path, but we walk in our own way.

    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.

  22. #22
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a good idea to give people the choice.

    Please, Bro don't make me say what I haven' t said:

    (...). We do not selfishly hoard or secrete our Zazen. We always sit as Buddha, sitting to help all the Sentient Beings.(...)

    Sometimes our rhetoric needs to be carefully crafted.

    And let me repeat it again: Zazen cannot be used.

    Neiher Sodo nor Kodo were sitting for charities. Please don't make them sit for what they did not sit for.
    They sat for nothing.
    And out of this, they could give.

    Gassho


    T.
    Last edited by Taigu; 09-21-2013 at 07:43 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.

  23. #23
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    And, it is a fine thing if we can disagree. There is room for people to sit and collect money if they wish to do so.
    Please go ahead.

    And thank you Timo and Jundo for making this possible.

    I ll do takuhatsu and work and will give the money my way.

    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.

  24. #24
    I m conflicted on this. Raising money for charity is a great thing but I also don't like the thought of turning Zazen into something for something when there are other methods of achieving the same aim. I also struggle with asking people to give me money for something that I do anyway but, with my limited health, I have not yet thought of another way to raise funds for dana. Will have to sit with that for a while.

    All good wishes to those taking part.

    Gassho
    Andy

  25. #25
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    "Whole and Complete, Sacred, The Only Action in All Time and Complete in Each Moment of Sitting, Kannon's Arms and Eyes, All the Buddhas Sitting Pristine and Pure."

    THE best 'Jeopardy' answer EVER!!


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  26. #26
    Friend of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    I don!t know what to say on this so I will say nothing - after all my teacher has said my practice is to 'shut up!'

    But talking of takuhatsu I came across this wonderful example of practicing takuhatsu I wonder if you can guess by whom:
    Great fun and sadness again in JR station, the guards don't let me be there more than a few minutes, a very sticky one followed right beyond the bus station to make sure that the undesirable gaijin-beggar-monk was not in the way. Part of me finds it quite entertaining, part of me feels very sad for these people that lost tolerance. As long as I wear the boundless Okesa and sing the name of the Dharma, I am but a piece of nothing. The bloke minds sometimes. The kesa doesn't mind, it is all part of this practice anyway. So I ended up doing a couple hours on the other side of the pavement, standing just next to two beautiful dustbin, nice looking trash cans. Side by side, the dustbin and I, we practiced takuhatsu. Everytime people trashed something, I bowed, realizing that the dustbin could not.
    Gassho
    David
    Last edited by Taikyo; 09-21-2013 at 09:30 AM.

  27. #27
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    This gaijin beggar must be our own...
    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
    Thanks all for the imput and thoughts. I think I changed my mind on this point and call for not using sitting itself as the way to collect funds. We have so many other ways and so many talents among us to give the very same intiative a different shape. In any case I want to ask Taigu if he could tell us some more about doing Takuhatsu. I for one have been thinking of this for a while now. Doing this form of practice and giving whatever was colected to chairity. Maybe this is stretching things a bit but what if we start a Takuhatsu initiative with the same purpose?

    Dear Taigu, would consider showing us the way and maybe point to some reading about the propper way of doing Takuhatsu?

    Gassho

    E.

  29. #29
    Friend of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    I too would too would like to learn more on doing takuhatsu.

    Gassho

    David

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    And let me repeat it again: Zazen cannot be used.
    This has turned into a very interesting discussion. Of course! Zazen cannot be used! Of course!

    I feel we have two groups simply viewing things differently.

    One group feels that Zazen is "being used" at the charitable event, that "Zazen is being used in order to raise money for a good cause, and to do so somehow spoils the purity and wholeness of Zazen".

    But I cannot see things such way at all.

    I express that, if I were to sit at such an event, "Zazen sits without goal, use or motive, totally pristine ... and we sit all together in such way, and raise money for a good cause. So long as the heart is still, one cannot spoil the purity and wholeness of Zazen." Thus, in my view, one might sit without goal, use or motive ... and do so while raising money for charity, at an anti-war protest or simply to spread the message of Zazen in a public park.

    What is the difference between the two views? I feel it is simply the mind's ideas and the interpretations one imposes. If one feels, perhaps, that something is being "used" or "spoiled", it is just a mental judgment. My Zazen cannot be spoiled so long as my heart is pure and drops all motives, judgments of lack or sense of "something wrong". That's just my feeling.

    So, as said, some folks can sit Zazen at a "sit-a-thon" to feed the hungry or cure a disease ... and they can do so while dropping all thought of goal or motive. All is Pristine.

    Other folks can choose not to do so, or they can do some other activity to raise money for the poor. Some might conduct Takuhatsu or some other good works. All lovely.

    Maybe the folks from San Francisco can join me. All good Zazen.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-21-2013 at 01:55 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  31. #31
    I am glad a compromise could be found and the discussion turned out in such an interesting way.
    It is good to see that although both of our teachers have different opinions about this they accept it. This gives me a feeling of trust.

    So how about dedicating the whole event to someone (or something) and just posting a link for those who wish to donate if they really want to?
    Just as an example:

    "We dedicate this Sit-a-Thon to Weera "Tony" Chulsuwan who [fill in very short description]..... (If you want to support him with a small donation you can follow the link below.)"

    So IMHO the main focus would not be on the money at all - and people could still give something if they really feel the need to.
    And Zazen would remain our precious, useless (non-)activity, all complete in itself.

    What do you think?
    Is this actually technically feasible?

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  32. #32
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    First, a remarkable article from Okumura roshi on takuhatsu:

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/pdf/...13/de13_08.htm


    I must say , unless vyou are really willing to do it, takuhatsu is not a form for the West. I know that some folks do it: mount Shashta priests, or Eido sensei from Olympia Zen center:

    http://www.olympiazencenter.org/yaho...G.85135626.pdf

    Asfar I am concerned:

    Keep a simple heart
    Whatever comes in my way, accept it
    See all people and forms as Buddhas and your teacher
    Try not to be bothered by heat, people teasing or rejecting and beautiful women ( very distracting in Takuhatsu)
    Sing along, heart sutra mostly
    Stand or walk. But always slowly ( rinzai monks tend to almost run)
    Understand that there is nobody to give or receive and yet in order to take place hand and bowl meet

    Hope this helps

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 09-22-2013 at 02:54 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.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    First, a remarkable article from Okumura roshi on takuhatsu:

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/pdf/...13/de13_08.htm


    I must say , unless vyou are really willing to do it, takuhatsu is not a form for the West. I knowbthat some folks do it: mount Shashta priests, or Eido sensei from Olympia Zen center:

    http://www.olympiazencenter.org/yaho...G.85135626.pdf

    Asfar I am concerned:

    Keep a simple heart
    Whatever comes in my way, accept it
    See all people and forms as Buddhas and your teacher
    Try not to be bothered by heat, people teasing or rejecting and beautiful women ( very distracting in Takuhatsu)
    Sing along, heart sutra mostly
    Stand or walk. But always slowly ( rinzai monks tend to almost run)
    Understand that there is nobody to give or reeive and yet in order to take place hand and bowl meet

    Hope this helps

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Beautifully put Taigu - I felt your expression.

    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.

  34. #34
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Yep, having guys with a slightly different take is a great opportunity, i highly respect my Bro s flavour of practice, mine is of course sometimes different. As I reflected, this is where it might come from:

    As long as I remember, as a small child, I used to invent rituals and religious forms to relate to things around me ( trees, fields, animals, sky etc.)
    As a teenager I got interested in esoteric forms and greatly liked the poetry of Rumi and the likes
    Always felt a connection with the mystics from many traditions ( Christianity, Islam, Hinduism)
    Felt very attracted to shamanism and many other similar streams
    Used to be a great reader of the beat generation, Kerouac, GInsberg, loved their way of looking at it
    Made sewing and mending robes one of my main practices
    Totally amazed by Sawaki's radical approach to sitting
    Completly foreign to the culture of charities,
    Completly convinced that European people are different from American people, and all is well, nobody s better ( people might not like this statement, nevertheless 50 years made it very obvious to my clouded eyes)

    Hence my love of Dharanis, esoteric forms, real magic of life, plain and simple sitting, shaving my head, wearing the kesa and changing myself and what is immeditely around me rather than giving money or vote for guys so they do the job.

    Oh, I forgot! I don t trust politicians and don t believe in their integrity. They are a bunch of liars that are only concerned with themselves and their own agendas. Much like Sawaki roshi, I have no time to loose with any kind of authority and believe in people not systems.

    Now you have a good idea of the extent of my dellusion!

    And you don' t need to agree with me to join me on the cushion!


    Ultimately, I don t care about all the above when roaming the empty field of shikantaza
    Gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 09-22-2013 at 05:45 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.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I like your explanation, Taigu.
    迎 Geika

  36. #36
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    This thread was just brought to my attention today and I can see validity to both sides. I tend to fall into the "Why not?" category because, if we are saying that sitting cannot be "used" for something, then I think we are holding to our views too tightly and elevating it to something that is sacred. It is just zazen.

    Now, that can mean both that we are treating it as something high and mighty or walking all over it with muddy shoes. It is a fine line between ordinary and extraordinary. Zazen is neither and both.

    Perhaps North Americans are different from Europeans. It took a rather risky (some would say reckless) attitude for my ancestors to look west to the Atlantic Ocean and say, "I'm going to head out to the horizon and keep going." What did it take for Dogen to look west to China?

    I will think on this some more, but if people want to do this I find it difficult to tell them they cannot do it. More zazen? More dana? Hard for me to call that anything but a win-win. But I will not condemn anyone who says it is not.

    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.

  38. #38
    Thank you, Taigu. This has turned into such a wonderful discussion.

    Completly convinced that European people are different from American people, and all is well, nobody s better
    While Americans may be different from Europeans, there is so much variation among people in all cultures ... well, let us just say that even Americans are of so many kinds, even Europeans are of so many kinds. For example, here is a photo I found of some folks from the AZI (Deshimaru Lineage) in France engaging in a "public Zazen" demonstration at something called the "Japan Expo".

    Encouraged by Roland Rech, I quickly contacted the organisers of the famous Japan Expo. For 11 years this has been the most important event of its type. For four days every year at the beginning of July, in the huge Parc des Expositions at Paris-Villepinte, it brings together hundreds of French and Japanese exhibitors: publishers of manga, anime or video games, record companies, fashion designers, sellers of all kinds of goodies, gadgets, toys, clothes, food, and also many cultural associations. Last year, to attract 180,000 visitors from France and all across Europe ... In the lecture presentations, your humble servant, alias “Master Banana” came out with his microphone patter “Zen how-to-manual” style while monks and nuns did zazen perched on the lecturers’ table, dominating the room with their impressive motionless postures while a spectacular slideshow of Buddhist manga was projected over them. During this strange zazen, I simply presented our practice to the spectators, trying to enlighten, amuse and intrigue them. ... In any case, it seems that the motionless beauty of the zazen posture in the middle of this friendly chaos has struck people’s minds because, after participating three times, we are now among the ‘events not to be missed at Japan Expo’ and the organisers insist on our continued presence.

    http://www.zen-azi.org/en/node/180


    Yes, banana on the Rakusu as Manga girls sit "useless" Zazen ... good European sensibilities!

    We are so much one. I also felt at one with trees, fields and animals as a child, and I love Rumi, Kerouac and Ginsberg.

    While I do understand the power of many esoteric rituals and practices, and believe it good medicine for many, for other folks it may not be so. I often say that one person's "mystical sacred teaching" is another man's superstition and hocus-pocus. Buddhism has room for all such folks. So, I am simply trying to provide a doorway into Buddhism for some who cannot relate to what is (to their eyes, and that is all, and not meant to be so in everyone's eyes) possible superstition, magic&incantation, baseless historical myth ... yet who can relate to and benefit from the remaining core Teachings nonetheless. Folks who might benefit from something more magical and mystical can find plenty of places to practice such way with other Teachers. I am trying to preserve many ancient Traditions while presenting something fitting modern times and culture, all without tossing the "Baby Buddha our with the Bath Water".

    The wonderful thing about our Sangha is that, for example, those who wish to chant Dharani or the like can find voices to join them with you and others, and those who do not wish to chant Dharani or find them silly or not resonating in their hearts (I do not) are free not to do so. We are a very diverse place!

    Oh, and I believe that sometimes we should be DEADLY SERIOUS AND SOLEMN about Zazen and other Rituals ... and sometimes joke around like asses, cause it just ain't so serious and who cares? Please, stick a banana on your Rakusu!

    I sometimes say that our Sangha needs to be like a pharmacy, with many prescriptions on the shelf, some suited to one person but not another, some the right medicine and dosage for Tom but not for Mary. How wonderful that you and I, Taigu, are so alike like brothers, though a little bit not the same. I love you, Bro.

    Oh, and I don t trust most politicians either!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-23-2013 at 01:25 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  39. #39
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo.

    Politicians were once human,too.

    Metta to all.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  40. #40
    I don't have much to add, but thank you everyone for your comments - this has been a great thread to read and to see the balance of respect for each others views and understandings.

    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.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    I didn't get quite through all of the responses, but the Dalai Lama commented a little bit on money in his How To Practice Book. Something along the lines of "money is for people, people aren't for money." A part of our Jukai ceremony focuses on Bodhisattva aspects. If we have the opportunity to help, shouldn't we? Whether it has to do with tradition or not? Whether it has to do with anything at all or not? Helping others is helping others, whether zazen is complete as zazen or empty or full or sick or sad or hungry or happy...

    I think it's a good idea and doesn't corrupt anything

    Deep Gassho,
    Seizan

  42. #42
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the honest and interesting dialog.

    My first reaction to this idea was 'why not' but as I read the different view points and searched myself, I began to understand Taigu's perspective. Zazen is zazen, and doesn't really need purpose beyond itself. While I would support the effort, it would be my preference if we could find an alternative means of supporting a cause.

    Having said that, I would be all in to experiment with the practice of takuhatsu or public sitting.

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Seimyo View Post
    Zazen is zazen, and doesn't really need purpose beyond itself.
    Let me say and say again ... whether one wishes to maintain Zazen as its own as some will, or whether one wants to sit Zazen with a banana in the Rakusu or to raise awareness or money for charity ...

    ... ZAZEN IS ZAZEN AND DOES NEED OR EMBODY A PURPOSE BEYOND ZAZEN.

    Whether one chooses to sit or not to sit, banana or no banana , never forget that.

    Gassho, J

    PS - Chris, love the new bee keeper get-up. How are the hives going?
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Given freewill I will generally always choose banana except with bees.

    Bees are wonderful teachers. Just today they let me know that my mind was wandering while introduced the beehive to visiting in-laws by lighting up my pinkie finger after I accidentally smashed one of the girls putting the hive back together. Here are pictures if anyone wants to have a look. (Bees, not pinkie finger)

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Seimyo View Post
    Given freewill I will generally always choose banana except with bees.

    Bees are wonderful teachers. Just today they let me know that my mind was wandering while introduced the beehive to visiting in-laws by lighting up my pinkie finger after I accidentally smashed one of the girls putting the hive back together. Here are pictures if anyone wants to have a look. (Bees, not pinkie finger)

    Gassho
    Seimyo
    Wow these are great Seimyo! Hmmmm ... maybe a new project next year???

    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.

  46. #46
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    In my narrow and little mind, I see no wrong in sitting together as a sangha to help the world.

    But that's just me.

    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

  47. #47
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seimyo View Post
    Given freewill I will generally always choose banana except with bees.

    Bees are wonderful teachers. Just today they let me know that my mind was wandering while introduced the beehive to visiting in-laws by lighting up my pinkie finger after I accidentally smashed one of the girls putting the hive back together. Here are pictures if anyone wants to have a look. (Bees, not pinkie finger)

    Gassho
    Seimyo
    Thank you Seimyo for the link, I really enjoyed that. I wish you the best with your bees.

    Gassho,
    Heishu

    P.S. My deep apologies for going off topic.


    “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

  48. #48
    I sit zazen with no purpose, for nothing, and not-nothing, for all sentient beings.
    I jump to Myozan/Taiugu's side.
    I will participate.
    In gassho and awe of this wonderful sangha,
    Seido
    "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






  49. #49
    No sides.

    For those to whom this speaks, we will likely organize a day in the coming few months. We will provide ample alternative ways to join in.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-25-2013 at 04:17 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

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