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Thread: ROHATSU RETREAT - Nature Calls!!

  1. #1

    ROHATSU RETREAT - Nature Calls!!



    In preparation for our upcoming Treeleaf Annual 'AT HOME' Two Day 'ALL ONLINE' ROHATSU (Buddha's Enlightenment Day) RETREAT ... to be LIVE NETCAST on the weekend of Saturday & Sunday, December 7 and 8, 2012 (though starting Friday night in some time zones) ... DETAILS HERE ...

    Going to the toilet is nature, is life, is Practice, is Zazen. All the Buddhas and Ancestors had to pee and poo, and so do you. But how we do our duty makes all the difference!

    Master Dogen devoted an entire chapter of Shobogenzo to latrine procedures (two chapters, actually!) ... and during our Retreat we should see going to the toilet as a sacred ritual. First, drop all thought of "clean" and "dirty" ... flush such discriminatory ideas away! However, even as we drop all idea of "clean" and "dirty", we try to stay clean (we are always working on several levels in Zen) ... so, if wearing a Rakusu, remove it and hang it outside the toilet room before entering. Then Gassho 3x (or, if you wish, do full prostrations 3x) toward the door of the toilet room and recite a 'Gatha' such as the following (by Ven. Thich Naht Hanh):

    Defiled or immaculate,
    increasing or decreasing--
    these concepts exist only in our mind.
    The reality of interbeing is unsurpassed.


    Of course, maintain silence in the bog. No reading material and, while one need not assume the Full Lotus Posture on the commode, one should do one's business with the sense of stillness-in-motion and non-attaining that is Zazen. Go with with Flow!

    Truly, peeing is only action in that moment, a perfect act complete unto itself ... it is not you peeing, or even the whole universe peeing in that instant (although it is that too) ... for 'tis Just Peeing. On exiting, bow again 3x to the toilet door and recite a Gatha such as ...

    Using the toilet I vow with all beings to eliminate defilement, removing greed, anger and ignorance.

    Then be sure to wash your hands (there is something to recite for that as well) ... By the way, a similar ritual should be performed prior to entering the bath or shower. In that case, please recite a Gatha such as ...

    Bathing the body,
    may all living beings
    be clean in body and mind,
    pure and shining within and without.


    We will have similar recitals of "Gatha" for use when brushing the teeth, washing the face and hands. They are printed in our "Chant Book" HERE (PDF), available for download for use during the Retreat.


    For our upcoming Rohatsu Retreat, PLEASE PRINT OUT THE GATHAS IN OUR CHANT BOOK AND POST THEM AROUND YOUR BATHROOM!! IT IS ALL SACRED!

    More here ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 11-27-2013 at 02:44 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for this. Is that link to the chant book correct? I get some pointers for Rohatsu instead.

    Gassho
    Matt

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

    I think this is the link he meant to post, said to be from last year in another post:

    https://5ac880c0-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites....attredirects=0

    Hopefully that works.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by MattW View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for this. Is that link to the chant book correct? I get some pointers for Rohatsu instead.

    Gassho
    Matt
    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
    Thank you Jundo,

    I remember last years Rohatsu and when I had this Gatha by the bathroom ... caught my brother having a read.

    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
    Quote Originally Posted by MattW View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for this. Is that link to the chant book correct? I get some pointers for Rohatsu instead.

    Gassho
    Matt
    Thank you guys. Link should be fixed.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    YEa! thanks J.

    Gassho

    kb
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Even aware that "these concepts exist only in our minds" these Gatha put the "fun" back in fundamental!

    Thank you.


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

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    > Shingen!

    So, I need to know, pleaseódo we do prostrations outside or inside (in other words, before entering or after entering?)

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Last edited by ZenHarmony; 12-02-2013 at 06:16 PM. Reason: forgot to ask a question!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenHarmony View Post
    > Shingen!

    So, I need to know, please—do we do prostrations outside or inside (in other words, before entering or after entering?)

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    You do prostration during ... very tricky. Also, be sure to be sitting in the Lotus Posture the whole time.

    Actually, we prostrate before and after.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    LOL Okay, apparently, I wasn't very clear. Do you enter the bathroom and then do prostrations, or do you do prostrations before you open the door?

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  11. #11
    Hi Lisa,

    I do not think it matters. One might also employ a simple "Gassho" if one feels so.

    By the way, if one would like to see Master Dogen's actual "rules" for the Toilet, you may be rather surprised. A most detailed ritual, right down to the squatting and clean-up. Please feel free to adapt any of this you wish, including the spatula, ash and pebbles.

    After monks began to reside in temple quarters, they constructed a building that they referred to as ‘the Eastern Quarters’. Sometimes it was called a water closet and at other times a lavatory. It is absolutely essential to have a lavatory in a place where a family of monks resides.
    When going to the Eastern Quarters, you should be sure to take a hand towel with you. The way to do this is to fold the hand towel in half and put it over your left shoulder, letting it hang down over the sleeve of your gown. When you have
    arrived at the Eastern Quarters, you should hang your towel over the clean-clothes pole. Hang it in the same way it was when it was hanging on your shoulder. If you come wearing a nine- or seven-striped kesa,* you should be sure to hang it next to your towel. You should hang it so that it will not fall off. Do not hastily toss it over the pole.
    You should be sure to pay particular attention to the name marker. The name marker is for putting your name on the pole. Write your name on a piece of white paper in the shape of a full moon and then align this marker on the rack. We use a name marker so that we will not forget where we have put our robe. When our monks come in numbers, we must be sure not to confuse our place on the rack with that of others.
    If a number of monks come and line up at this time, make shashu* and bow in greeting to the others. When bowing in greeting, you need not bow deeply: simply hold your hands in shashu before your chest and bow in recognition of the others. When in the Eastern Quarters, we acknowledge the monks assembled by bowing to them even when we are not in our robes. If your two hands are not occupied or you are not carrying something in them, you should keep them in shashu and bow.
    If one of your hands is already occupied, or when you are carrying something in one hand, you should make your bow with a one-handed gasshō.* In bowing with a one-handed gasshō, the hand is raised, with the fingers slightly cupped as if you were going to use the hand to scoop up water; the head is lowered slightly, as in greeting. When another monk behaves in this way towards us, we should behave similarly: when we behave in this way, the other monk should do likewise.
    The procedure for taking off your undershirt and outer robe is to remove your robe along with the undershirt by bringing the two sleeves together in back, putting the two arm holes together, and lifting up the sleeves. You then fold the two sleeves, one atop the other, over the garment. Next, with the left hand, grasp the back of the collars and, with the right hand, draw up the robe and fold it down the middle of the sleeve bags7 and the two collars. Having folded over the two sleeves and collars, you again fold the robe in two, lengthwise, and drape it over the pole with the collars on the far side; the skirt of the robe and the sleeve cuffs hang on the near side of the pole. That is to say, the robe hangs at the waist over the pole.
    Next, avoid mistaking whose towel is whose when there are two poles and two towels are hanging one in front of the other. So that your towel does not get separated from your robe or get taken by someone who has not hung up a towel, tie it down by wrapping it around your robe two or three times and tying it, without letting your robe fall onto the ground. Then, facing your robe, you make gasshō.
    Next, you take a sash cord and hang it over your shoulders.8 Then go to the wash stand and fill a clean bucket with water; carrying the bucket with your right hand, go into a toilet stall. In putting water in the bucket, do not fill it to the brim, but fill it up nine-tenths of the way.
    When you reach the lavatory door, you should change your slippers. Put on a pair of rush slippers, leaving your own slippers by the front of the lavatory door. This is what is meant by ‘changing slippers’.

    It says in the Procedures for Cleanliness in a Zen Temple, “When you need to go to the Eastern Quarters, by all means anticipate this need. Deal with it in time, so that you do not hurry from urgency. Give yourself time to fold your kesa, and leave it on your table in the Monks’ Quarters or on the clean pole in the lavatory.”
    Upon entering the toilet stall, close the door with your left hand. You next pour just a little water from your bucket into the toilet basin. Next, put the bucket in front of you in the place provided for it. Then, while standing, face the basin and snap your fingers three times. Whilst snapping your fingers, your left hand is held in a fist at your left side at waist level. Next, you lift and gather up your under-skirt by its corners, face the door and, straddling the basin between your feet, squat down and relieve yourself. Do not soil either side of your garments; do not let them get stained front or back. During this time, you should remain silent. Do not talk or joke with the person in the next stall, chant, sing, or recite anything aloud. Do not spit or blow mucus from your nose onto the area around you. Do not strain or make grunting sounds excessively. You should not write on the walls. Do not dig at or draw on the ground with your toilet spatula; it should be used for cleaning yourself after you have evacuated your bowels. Also, if you use paper, you should not use old paper or paper with characters written on it.
    You should keep in mind the difference between a clean spatula and a soiled one. The spatula is eight inches long, triangular in shape. In thickness, it is the width of one’s thumb. Some are lacquered, others are not. Put your soiled spatula
    in the used spatula box. Clean ones will already be in the spatula stand. The spatula stand is kept near the sign in front of the toilet basin.
    After using a spatula or paper, the way you clean yourself is as follows: hold the bucket in your right hand and moisten your left hand well. Then, cupping some water in your left hand, you first clean off your genitals three times. Then, you wash your buttocks. This is the way you should clean yourself.
    Do not tip the bucket roughly, spilling the water into your hand and quickly using it all up.
    After you have finished cleaning yourself, put the bucket down in its proper place; then, take the used spatula and wipe it clean and dry with paper. You should wipe your genitals and buttocks dry. Next, adjust your under-skirt and robe with your right hand, and, also with your right hand, pick up the bucket. Then go out the door, take off the rush slippers, and put on your own. Next, you return to the wash stand and put the bucket in its original place.
    Next, you should wash your hands. With your right hand you take a spoonful of ashes, place it atop some pebbles, drip some water on them, and wash your contacting hand with your right hand,9 using the pebbles to scour it, just as though you were cleaning rust off a sword. You should wash with ashes in this manner three times. Then, you should take some sand, add some water, and wash three times. Next, take some cleansing powder made from ground orange seeds in your right hand, moisten it with water from the small bucket, and wash by rubbing your hands together. The washing should be done thoroughly, even up your forearms. You should wholeheartedly devote your attention to washing in a conscientious manner. Ashes thrice, sand thrice, and cleansing powder once—all together seven times, an appropriate number. Next, you wash in a large bucket. This time, you simply wash in cold or warm water, without using any cleanser, sand, or ashes. After washing once, transfer that water into the small bucket, put in fresh water, and rinse both hands. In the Avatamsaka Scripture, a verse says:
    When washing your hands,
    By all means pray that all sentient beings
    May acquire the finest hands
    With which to receive the Buddha’s Teachings.
    When you use a water ladle, you should, of course, hold it with your right hand. When using it, do so quietly, without making a great noise with bucket or ladle.
    Do not splash water about, scatter the cleansing powder, or get the area around the water stand wet. That is to say, do not be hasty or careless: do not be disorderly with things or treat them roughly.
    Next, you dry your hands with the towel for general use or dry them with your own towel. Once you have finished drying your hands, go to where your robe is hanging over the pole, undo the sash cord, and hang the cord over the pole. Next, hang your towel over your left shoulder and rub some incense on yourself. There is rubbing incense for general use. It is made of fragrant wood in the shape of small vials. The size of each is about the thickness of a thumb and four times that amount in length. You take a piece of string about a foot long and thread it through the holes that are bored in each end of the incense stick. This is hung over the pole. When you rub it between the palms of your hands, the fragrance of this incense will naturally impregnate your hands.
    When you hang your sash cord over the pole, do not hang it over another one so that they become entangled, and do not leave it in a disorderly fashion.

    When matters are handled in this way, everything will be a purified Buddha Land, a Buddha World well adorned. You should do everything with care, without a lapse: you should not act from haste, as though in a dither. Do not entertain the thought, “If I hurry, I can get back to what I was doing.” You should keep in mind the principle that, when you go to the Eastern Quarters, the Buddha’s Dharma is not something to be talked about, but lived.

    Do not stare at the faces of monks coming and going.

    In cleansing yourself whilst in the lavatory, it is fine to use cool water, since it is said that hot water may cause diarrhea. Using warm water to wash your hands will not prove disturbing to your health. A kettle has been provided for heating water to wash your hands with.
    Concerning the duties of the monk in charge of the lavatory, it says in the Procedures for Cleanliness in a Zen Temple, “Later in the evening, see that water is heated and oil is put out for the night lamp. Always make sure that there is someone to take over the boiling of the water, and do not let the community do it with a discriminatory attitude.” From this it is clear that both hot and cold water are used.
    Shōbōgenzō: On Washing Yourself Clean 62
    If the interior of the lavatory becomes dirty, you should screen off the entry door and hang the sign that says ‘Dirty’ on it. If a bucket is accidentally knocked over, you should screen off the entry door and hang up the ‘Spilled Bucket’ sign. Do not enter the building when such signs have been put up.
    Even though you may have already entered a stall, if there is someone else who snaps his fingers to let you know of his presence, you should leave shortly.
    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...o/007senjo.pdf
    and it goes on like that a bit more ... similar rules exist for tooth brushing, face washing and such ...
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-03-2013 at 01:32 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Wow ... that is a detailed procedure for sure. Very interesting read Jundo thank you. =) Also, full lotus on the thrown ... hmmm ... hope I don't fall off!

    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.

  13. #13
    Another ritual before entering the Tosu in a monastery, one bows to the "toilet protector" ... Ususama-myoo ...

    In Zen temples, the toilet (the "Tosu", or "Eastern Hall") is one of the three important pracctice places where one must maintain silence. (The others are the zazen hall and the bath.) Dogen zenji's shobogenzo includes one chapter titled "Senjo" describing manners appropriate for the toilet. Most of these rules are followed even today.This statue of Ususama-myoo (seen here at the entrance to a Tosu), also called Katokongoo, symbolizes the virtue of purification, and is said to transform impurities. Each person pays respect by bowing to Ususama-myoo when entering and leaving the tosu, thus expressing the hope for purity.

    Here is Ususama-myoo at the door to a "Tosu"



    ... another larger version:


    Last edited by Jundo; 12-03-2013 at 02:55 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Wow, I guess we'll have to get some clean Toilet Tissue rather than using the Sear's Cattalogue like we've been acustomed for years
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    Wow, I guess we'll have to get some clean Toilet Tissue rather than using the Sear's Cattalogue like we've been acustomed for years
    Yuppers ... Have to get that special brand ... The one with the pillowy softness. 🙌

    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
    Here is the portion of Dogen's instructions about actual behavior in the stall ... The finger snapping, as I recall, is to alert any "toilet spirits" to move out of the way in the hole, cause a surprise is coming ...

    Upon entering the toilet stall, close the door with your left hand. You next pour just a little water from your bucket into the toilet basin. Next, put the bucket in front of you in the place provided for it. Then, while standing, face the basin and snap your fingers three times. Whilst snapping your fingers, your left hand is held in a fist at your left side at waist level. Next, you lift and gather up your under-skirt by its corners, face the door and, straddling the basin between your feet, squat down and relieve yourself. Do not soil either side of your garments; do not let them get stained front or back. During this time, you should remain silent. Do not talk or joke with the person in the next stall, chant, sing, or recite anything aloud. Do not spit or blow mucus from your nose onto the area around you. Do not strain or make grunting sounds excessively. You should not write on the walls. Do not dig at or draw on the ground with your toilet spatula; it should be used for cleaning yourself after you have evacuated your bowels. Also, if you use paper, you should not use old paper or paper with characters written on it.
    You should keep in mind the difference between a clean spatula and a soiled one. The spatula is eight inches long, triangular in shape. In thickness, it is the width of one’s thumb. Some are lacquered, others are not. Put your soiled spatula
    in the used spatula box. Clean ones will already be in the spatula stand. The spatula stand is kept near the sign in front of the toilet basin.
    After using a spatula or paper, the way you clean yourself is as follows: hold the bucket in your right hand and moisten your left hand well. Then, cupping some water in your left hand, you first clean off your genitals three times. Then, you wash your buttocks. This is the way you should clean yourself.
    The kind of wooden butt scrapers that Dogen is referring to are likely these, found by archaeologists in Japan although from about 500 years earlier. I suppose that splinters were a concern. No, the toilet paper rolls at the top of the picture did not exist at the time ...



    Here, by the way, is the traditional Japanese toilet design until modern times ... but squat toilets (so-called "Turkish style") are still very common, and sometimes the Western "sit down" type cannot be found especially in buildings more than 30 years old.



    More information on Japanese toilet history than you probably want or need ... here:

    http://markystar.wordpress.com/2012/...anese-toilets/

    In fact, when I first came Japan about 25 years ago, the "sit down" toilet where I lived still had instructions like this (not made up) for older Japanese who might not be familiar with how to use it.



    Fortunately, if you come visit Japan and get stuck in one of those older buildings, you can find instructions like this sometimes for Westerners on the squat type:

    http://travelmemoir.files.wordpress....ese-toilet.jpg

    Here is a famous Koan by Master Un Mon (Yun Men).

    A monk asked Ummon, "What is Buddha?"
    Ummon said, "A dry shit-stick!


    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-04-2013 at 03:08 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Wow Jundo ... the toilet spatula, I think I am going to have that image stuck in my head.

    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.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Oh my, this conversation is making me red in the face, but hilarious--you guys are hilarious!!!!!


    Treena

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