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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: The Stories of the Buddha's Birth

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: The Stories of the Buddha's Birth

    April 8th is traditionally celebrated as Buddha's Birthday in Japan!


    A funny thing about Buddha's Birthday in Japanese Buddhism ... it is on a different day from the day in most of the rest of Asian Buddhism, where the date varies year by year and the holiday is known as "Vesak". Vesak in Japan (known in Japan as Hana Matsuri ... Flower Festival) is celebrated on April 8th each year ... although he was born in late April or May in most other countries (having two or more birthdays is no problem for a Buddha. Truly, his birthday is your birthday, plus he is born every moment). It is not a public holiday in Japan, and is barely noticed by the general population, unlike many other places in Asia. Even in temples, it is usually celebrated rather quietly.

    In some descriptions, the story goes like this ...

    Twenty-five centuries ago, King Suddhodana ruled a land near the Himalaya Mountains.

    One day during a midsummer festival, his wife Queen Maya retired to her quarters to rest, and she fell asleep and dreamed a vivid dream. Four angels carried her high into white mountain peaks and clothed her in flowers. A magnificent white bull elephant bearing a white lotus in its trunk approached Maya and walked around her three times. Then the elephant struck her on the right side with its trunk and vanished into her.

    When Maya awoke, she told her husband about the dream. The King summoned 64 Brahmans to come and interpret it. Queen Maya would give birth to a son, the Brahmans said, and if the son did not leave the household he would become a world conqueror. However, if he were to leave the household he would become a Buddha.

    When the time for the birth grew near, Queen Maya wished to travel from Kapilavatthu, the King’s capital, to her childhood home, Devadaha, to give birth. With the King’s blessings she left Kapilavatthu on a palanquin carried by a thousand courtiers.

    On the way to Devadaha, the procession passed Lumbini Grove, which was full of blossoming trees. Entranced, the Queen asked her courtiers to stop, and she left the palanquin and entered the grove. As she reached up to touch the blossoms, her son was born.

    It is said that auspicious signs herald his birth, the sky was clear with brilliant sunshine, flowers bloomed and birds sang. Directly after his birth nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted two steams, one cool and one warm, of the purest fragrant rain from their mouths that gently cascaded to bathe the newly born Prince. The baby Prince immediately took seven steps and seven lotus flowers sprang from beneath his feet.

    Flowers drifted down from the heavens. The young Prince purified in body and mind from the rain, pointed one hand towards the heavens and one towards the earth and he said,

    "Heaven above and earth beneath, I am the Honoured One, the One who liberates all who suffer in the Three Realms."

    Anyway, that is one version of the story.

    But whether with or without magic elephants, heavenly dragons and talking babies, we can be inspired by this truly wondrous story (or stories)



    Oh, and today's talk is inspired by David Loy's little book 'The World Is Made Of Stories'

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-08-2014 at 09:01 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    mohamed zen
    Guest
    Very true . Our life is made of stories .
    Thank you very much dear Jundo

    Gassho

    أرسلت من GT-N7000 بإستخدام تاباتلك

  3. #3
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Dear Jundo,

    Thank you.


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

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sekishi's Avatar
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    Lovely, thank you Jundo.

    My current understanding is that in our sitting, we uncover the story before our stories, our "original face", that which comes before "I am", "I need", or "I want" (or even "be", "need", or "want"). Sometimes, maybe we even glimpse it, as it always is (observed or not) - we see the writing on the page instead of only living in the cloud of the narrative itself.

    I was particularly struck by Daiho Roshi's recent talk, and have been carrying it around since last week. Honestly, I sometimes struggle a little with the dichotomy of "fixing samsara" (similarly I struggled with this during Jukai - we cannot possibly "not take life"). How do we engage in a fundamentally broken world? Are we simply telling ourselves beautiful stories? Your analogy of "writing your own story", in which "my hands" become "Kannon's hands" is a beautiful one and has helped heal this illusory divide for me. Seeing the writing on the page (our practice) does not preclude picking up a pen and writing our own book! Quite the contrary, how difficult it would be to create a new narrative without seeing the writing!

    Deep bows,
    Sekishi

    髭 Sekishi / Eric

  5. #5
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo, for this teaching. It is wonderful to have stories to hear and to share that are woven into this tapestry of existence.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sydney's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jundo.

    I just got the "crazy idea" to upload a 20-minute silent video to YouTube, and put it in a playlist followed by the sit-a-long video on auto-play. That way one could just sit for twenty minutes and then hear the talk.
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.
    http://gplus.to/sydneytinker

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Great! Thanks Jundo. Lovely.
    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."

  8. #8
    Wonderful teaching Jundo ... always enjoy your expression, thank you! =)

    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.

  9. #9
    Thank you, Jundo!


    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    no thing needs to be added

  10. #10
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Thank you... a much needed lesson...now, to write todays story.

    Gassho

    Sent from Tapatalk 2
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



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

  11. #11
    Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  12. #12
    Thank you Jundo!
    Great talk.

    Gassho
    Genki


    Björn

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