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Thread: Shohei has decided to leave the priest training

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Shohei has decided to leave the priest training

    Dear all,

    Shohei has decided to leave the priest training.
    He is an amazing fellow with a boundless heart and his caring presence has helped and inspired us over the years.
    Priests in training do often stop. Many of the priests i sat with 35 years ago have left now. Nothing unusual.

    In fact, one can never leave this training, one cannot actually stop this as shikantaza belongs to the timeless. Wherever Shohei goes, whatever he does, he is our brother and friend. We wish him the very best and he knows he is home, here and now, anytime he wishes to visit and sit with us.

    Take great care of yourself!

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Shohei, I respect your decision and wish you the best.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Thank you for your service at Treeleaf.

    Gassho

    Shawn
    Last edited by Shawn; 05-13-2014 at 01:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Shohei, I too respect and support you in anyway I can. You are our brother now and always will be. Thank you for all the wonderful things that you have done and do.

    Be well my friend! =)

    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 Juki's Avatar
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    Shohei, I only got to sit with you once. It was just the two of us on the Saturday night before the last Ango period started. After we sat Zazen, you were kind enough to talk to me about my practice for about twenty minutes. I will never forget that kindness. You are a fine person, and I hope that your training stays with you always. Thank you.

    gassho,
    Juki
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  6. #6
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Shohei, thank you for the time you have put into Treeleaf. You will be missed, but you will always be with us.

    Gassho
    Joyo

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    So odd and sad to see him so suddenly disappear, but that's life. I truly wish him all the best. We'll see him around.
    迎 Geika

  8. #8
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Safe and peaceful paths before you. Thank you for your time here.
    Gassho
    C

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    Thank you and peaceful journeys

    Deep Gassho
    Seizan

  10. #10
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Shohei, I wish you all the best of everything! Your presence and support here has been invaluable to me and so many others. Wherever you are, wherever you go, I hope you find your "happy."


    Kelly/Jinmei

  11. #11
    Thank you Taigu and Shohei,
    thought not being the most "visible" priest in the boards here, Shohei did alsways inspire me a lot. Thank you,
    and thank you that you took the step to be a priest in training, some years ago. ... enough said,
    Thank you and Gassho
    Myoku

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Shohei, I'm sorry to hear it . . . and yet, I'm sure the decision wasn't easy and you made the one that was right for you. I hope all is well and you'll still be around here!

    Gassho

    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    The more I learn, The less I know.

  14. #14
    That must have been a difficult decision, Shohei. All good wishes for your onward journey.

    Gassho
    Andy

  15. #15
    Deep bows.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Take care Shohei. Must've been quite a conundrum...ing decision to make. Be well brother.

    Gassho, John

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Deep bows Shohei.

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  18. #18
    I am surprised and sorry to hear this, but I fully respect that decision (must have been hard).

    I hope everything is fine and you will still participate actively in our sangha.
    All the best for you and thank you for your practice and what you have been giving to this sangha!



    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    no thing needs to be added

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this news Shohei.
    Gassho, Jakudo

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk
    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

  20. #20
    Take care Shohei.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  21. #21
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    A sad and hard decision to make, take care Shohei.... I remember how much respect and love you showed us for the Kesa, maybe see you around still?

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



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

  22. #22
    Senior Member TimF's Avatar
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    Deep bows, Shohei....

    Gassho,
    Tim
    "The moment has priority". ~ Bon Haeng

  23. #23
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    you all seem to attend a funeral...MAYBE IT IS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! COME ON GUYS, JUST ENJOY!


    gassho

    T.
    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
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    In fact, one can never leave this training...
    "You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave ... " (Hotel California)

    Hi Shohei, thank you for your service. Now go get a life ... may all go well for you!
    Gassho,
    Nindo

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Taigu,

    I think I understand what you are saying, but for newer folks it may sound like you are saying we should not allow any feelings of sadness or loss come to the surface. I certainly am still upset, but as time has passed I know that different is something to be embraced. Yet now, so soon after the public announcement, are you saying people shouldn't feel sad or have a sense of loss? Speaking only for myself, I would think it counterproductive to think of these feelings, at least for now, as a source of joy.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    you all seem to attend a funeral...MAYBE IT IS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! COME ON GUYS, JUST ENJOY!
    EDIT: I forgot to say what Yugen said so well...this is just my view, which may very well be deluded. So, that's why I asked.
    Last edited by Dosho; 05-13-2014 at 07:51 PM.
    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.

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Are sadness and joy mutually exclusive? I would think they travel in company..... emotions are not one-dimensional and do not have an inherently separate existence......

    Just the opinion of a very new and deluded priest-in-training.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Treeleaf Sangha Shuso Ango Head October 2014
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  27. #27
    Friend of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    I think we should read Taigu's post carefully. For me the message is in the words, "MAYBE IT IS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

    Gassho
    Taikyo

  28. #28
    Thanks shohei for being such a compassionate person.

    White bird must fly or
    He will die.



    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  29. #29
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Best wishes on your new endeavors, Shohei. Gassho, Matt J

  30. #30
    I just figured that a trainee does not enter the situation on a whim... it is a big life decision, and teachers do not accept anyone who approaches them as a candidate. So there is a certain investment of time and effort, and confidence..etc. It is just a change, people come and go, but it is not like changing your socks. Having no information at all it is only natural to imagine there must have been some difficult choices at some point... and maybe some sadness for someone.

    I'm glad to hear it is not a heavy.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  31. #31
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taikyo View Post
    I think we should read Taigu's post carefully. For me the message is in the words, "MAYBE IT IS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!
    And maybe it isn't.

    I actually agree with Taigu's entire statement and don't believe he was telling people how to feel, but I think some might take "you all seem to attend a funeral" as criticizing them for expressing sadness. But, again, I may be wrong...and that's why I decided to ask.

    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.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I know that it's Shohei's business, but I think I just want to know if there is an issue within the Sangha, or if it is simply a change of heart.
    迎 Geika

  33. #33
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    Taigu,

    I think I understand what you are saying, but for newer folks it may sound like you are saying we should not allow any feelings of sadness or loss come to the surface. I certainly am still upset, but as time has passed I know that different is something to be embraced. Yet now, so soon after the public announcement, are you saying people shouldn't feel sad or have a sense of loss? Speaking only for myself, I would think it counterproductive to think of these feelings, at least for now, as a source of joy.

    Gassho,
    Dosho


    I'm going to agree with this. This is a pretty serious piece of second-hand information; none of us (apparently) knows what happened--how exactly are we supposed to respond? One person has left training before without a word, essentially disappearing without a trace, and it appears to be happening again. So forgive us if we're a bit sad to seem to be losing someone who's been here for many years.

    Gassho

    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  34. #34
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Nenka says what I feel better than I...
    迎 Geika

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
    I'm going to agree with this. This is a pretty serious piece of second-hand information; none of us (apparently) knows what happened--how exactly are we supposed to respond? One person has left training before without a word, essentially disappearing without a trace, and it appears to be happening again. So forgive us if we're a bit sad to seem to be losing someone who's been here for many years.

    Gassho

    Jen
    Jen thank you,

    I agree with what you say.

    Being relatively new here I have not had a close connection with Shohei but I did feel sad that his photo is no longer by his posts.

    It seems to me that if a valued member of a sangha (or any close group) suddenly disappears without saying goodbye it will impact. That is not to demand an explanation - it just seems strange to me that the person wouldn't say goodbye themselves - that the news would be announced by proxy?

    Anyway - perhaps this is a Zen thing and I'm missing a point.

    Gassho

    Willow

  36. #36
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Sadness and mourning, joy and happiness, we are dealing with a Brother who has chosen not to continue his training. Is this a funeral? Not for me. Is it a loss? Most certainly. When I posted my comment, I was reflecting how I feel about hearing of Shohei's decision to cease training as a Priest in this Sangha. I continue to respect Shohei's choice and I continue to wish him the best. One of the many things that I do appreciate about this Sangha is that we all really do care about each other. We share the good and the bad. Isn't this why we are members?

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  37. #37
    Since the Buddha's time, since Dogen's time, in monasteries in India or China or California, novice priests have sometimes left training or, due to some change in life, have gone on their way. It is fine, it is human. Stuff just happens.

    And sometimes that winding path brings them back around, so Shohei knows he is always welcome here. It would not be true Training and Practice if people were not always free to leave ... or did not have to sometimes struggle with the commitment involved.

    Here is the big departure scene from that corny Dogen movie ... (for about 5 minutes from about the 1:21:00 mark here, in this case due to a girl that a cold shower could not cure.) ...



    I believe in tears AND celebration. Every moment of life is a time of celebration ... both the happy times and the sad.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-14-2014 at 02:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    When a teacher is pointing, he is often provoking the dualistic mind. Very much like many of you, i experience a form of sadness ( you might not know about the weekly meetings we both had for 5 years) and, very much like Jundo, a form of joy too. You see, i was challenging the general tendency to go one way...
    But it is true that some people don't really want to be challenged. I am sure that the people who could take my pointer in the depth of their heart could gradually come to a different understanding.

    Be Well, and please, question relentlessly your old ways at looking at the world.

    And don't expect me to agree with most of you. This is not my job.



    Gassho

    The proxy.
    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.

  39. #39
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Dear Willow, dear Jen,

    And I don't know what happened as it was Shohei's choice to drop an email in the priests mailbox without providing any reason. I don't think he needs to, and I leave it to him to do so or not. What I can say is that this us very frequent on brick and mortar practice centers and as Jundo says stuff happens, people change and the show anyway goes on.
    Shohei knows he is most welcome here and may come back anytime he wishes.

    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.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    ... the people who could take my pointer in the depth of their heart could gradually come to a different understanding.
    Thank you Taigu. =)

    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
    Hi all!
    Forgive my late reply, I wanted to respond earlier but i messed up my account in revoking my own admin and training forum permissions, basically locking myself out of everything but private messages (doh)

    Thank you for the concern and well wishes. I am doing fine, and I am still here, just not in the priest training. It was a heavy decision to make and one that had a tinge of sadness for me. That tinge was smaller than the "feelings" I had about not being fully with the training. Half in and half out.
    I felt I could not be of service to folks if I cannot see through some of my own delusions.
    While its true we are always a work in progress and delusions are endless, mine prevent me from seeing past the dark bit of the path, even though I am standing mid-day in a field. I understand this but yet I still fall into my old habits, I need to mature more and reflect longer.
    This is all for personal reasons, nothing to do with Taigu, the training or any one else.

    I am still sitting, sewing and will continue practice.

    My deepest apologies to my Taigu, Jundo, the unsui and of course to the Sangha for the disturbance and disruption, this was not my intention.
    Now back to your regularly scheduled program!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei View Post
    My deepest apologies
    None needed my friend ... life is life, here we are, and here we go. =)

    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.

  43. #43
    I too feel you not have to appologize,
    I know you did what you could and what you write about seeing to ones own delusions and mature, is very true, certainly for me,
    thank you and Gassho
    Myoku

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Shohei,
    We really love you and care for you.

    What you have described is the path I walk every day. I have many questions and doubts regarding my ability to be of service or use to anyone (no, I won't pull the "zazen is good for nothing" rabbit out of the hat here!), and I practice, just as you continue to do. We can continue to support one another with our presence.

    Love and deep bows
    Yugen
    Treeleaf Sangha Shuso Ango Head October 2014
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  45. #45
    Thank you for your reply Taigu

    Shohei - no explanation is needed - I think the members who know you simply wanted to wish you well on your path. I do understand (I hope) where Taigu is coming from. Making a decision that feels 'right' and is true to one's inner self is a cause for celebration.

    I wish you some light on that dark bit of the path you speak of,

    Gassho

    Willow

  46. #46
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Shohei,
    I don't know much. But I wish you well bro.
    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."

  47. #47
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Shohei, no need to apologize for doing what you need to do. This may be the best thing for you and the Sangha. You know that a plum is most flavorful when it has had a chance to ripen. Let your practice continue to ripen and then maybe you will be ready.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  48. #48
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Happy to hear that you are ok Shohei, walking this path at your side, sitting together, piercing delusions

    Lets continue practice

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



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

  49. #49
    Whoa..my first reaction. I pop in and out of Treeleaf quite sporadically...last few years have been "challenging" But I remember you Shohei from back in the day. Perhaps I've been around Treeleaf for about the same amount of time as you. But in the end ...all the best....It's been a joy practicing with you and hope you still hang out at Treeleaf...
    Gassho,
    BrianW

  50. #50
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Metta to all.


    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

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