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Thread: Fashion for a Clouded Mind

  1. #1

    Fashion for a Clouded Mind

    Sorry, another outbreak of Stupid Question Disorder.

    "What can I wear for my morning zazen that will keep me from freezing, but also from falling asleep again?"
    (trousers with lots of spikes and nettles, yes, but apart from that...)

    Seriously.
    Everything was fine during the short summer when sun and birds were up with me.
    Window wide open, universe chirp chirp.

    Now it is dark and silent before sunrise, and really cold at the open window.
    I don't get a shower or get dressed for work before zazen, I wear pyjamas and a sweater.
    In spring, I used to put all the blankets around me, up to the nose, looked as if I was still in bed, only upright.

    No wonder I had trouble staying awake some days.

    Suggestions??
    What do you wear that's comfy? (I don't have appropriate sports dress that I could use.)
    What about not falling asleep again? Doing push-ups first????
    I've tried prostrations, might work, but dangerous - hit my nose on the floor .

    Zazen is a difficult sports.

    Gassho,
    Danny

  2. #2
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Hello Danny,

    No stupid questions here, so don't worry. When I sit first thing in the morning or sometimes in the evenings, I stretch before I sit. It seems to help breathe some life into my muscles so I'm less likely to fall asleep. If you find you cannot keep your eyes open, try doing a little kinhin.

    I usually sit in stretchy-type clothing, like yoga pants and a t-shirt. In the winter/colder months sometimes I'll even put a blanket around my shoulders if I get chilly.

    Hope this helps...these are just a few things that have helped me.

    Gassho,
    Jinmei

  3. #3
    back when I practiced wicca I wore nothing..lol.. But I like loose clothes. I dont think of the idea of what Im wearing but what is wearing in my mind instead. if its comfy then I go for it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Hey Danny

    You will find there are much more stupid questions around here, especially from me. This might be a good question for Taigu, but you will have to learn what works for you. I just have too much going in the morning so I sit at night. Just adjust your clothes for the weather. I wear a bathrobe, in winter and shorts and t-shirt in summer. Maybe you will find the morning isn't the best time for you to sit. Sit sometime though

    Gassho
    C

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hi Danny!

    I get up always early in the morning but I have a nice big cup of coffee prior to zazen. This takes me about 30 minutes, enough to get my brain in gear and ready.

    And I'm with Kelly here. Most of the times I also do a little yoga warm up before sitting. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes. That heats up my body and allows me to wear light comfortable clothes for sitting.

    In winter, when we have some cold months, I simply sit with as much clothes or blankets as I need. Just like you can see me in this video.

    I was super cold because I'm not used to air conditioners.



    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Hi Danny, I have a poncho from a south American shop that works like a nice fitted blanket, or I wear my house coat over my pyjamas.
    We have good heating here and I don't open the window when it is -20
    Gassho,
    Nindo
    --- In every moment of our sitting all beings are receiving the ultimate help; they are all achieving perfect peace and perfect rest. --- Norman Fischer

  7. #7
    Hi, we do not have serious cold here, but if I need I turn the gas heater on or wear some more clothes.

    I have two ponchos, they're common here but almost nobody except gauchos uses them.
    They're like a blanket with a hole for the head right in the middle.

    Gassho.
    Gassho,Walter

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    I hadn't thought about a poncho, but that's a great solution. My sitting space gets pretty cold in the Winter months and there's no heat up there, so I tend to fling a fleece blanket over me, but I love the idea of the poncho and it won't slide off your shoulders like a blanket.

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  9. #9
    Hi Danny,

    I have my usual dose of caffeine and may exercise for a few minutes before sitting. If I get sleepy I try to keep my eyes as open as possible but sometimes this does not work and I doze off. It is what it is.

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  10. #10
    Hi Danny,

    I like to feel free when meditating; I usually wear a tank top or t-shirt and a long skirt or yoga pants. I keep a big soft knitted shawl next to my zafu for when it gets cold. Very important not to wear anything tickly or itchy! I do a little yoga before I sit. One thing that really helps me in the morning is drinking a glass of water when I first wake up. I find that I wake up slower if I forget to do this. Also I make sure I get a minute or two of bright light, to let my brain know it's morning.

    Gassho
    Lisa

    p.s. maybe we should make a Treeleaf meditation poncho, how cool would that be??
    Last edited by raindrop; 08-20-2014 at 06:58 AM.

  11. #11
    maybe we should make a Treeleaf meditation poncho, how cool would that be??
    All of life is our poncho!

    Danny, I have a couple of different weight blankets but also tend to start with the blanket around my shoulders and then drop it to just around my legs if I get too hot.

    As others have said, a wee bowl of tea or coffee helps with staying awake.

    Gassho
    Kokuu

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokuu View Post
    all of life is our poncho!
    lol!
    --- In every moment of our sitting all beings are receiving the ultimate help; they are all achieving perfect peace and perfect rest. --- Norman Fischer

  13. #13
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    I have tried sitting in the morning and before bed, but I had the same problem of falling asleep so now sit in my car on my lunch break. It is one the only times and places I can guarantee not being interrupted and usually don't have the falling asleep problem.

  14. #14
    Thank you all for your answers!
    I think I'll try the caffeine-approach (maybe a pine-sound-boiled-tea would be nice?) and look for something ponchoesque...
    I'd like to cover my arms too, so this "poncho" will probably just be a blanket with an opening for the head in the middle. Maybe a collar, a zipper on the front, and a sling-pocket on the inside, to rest my arms in...
    I want to stick with sitting in the morning, as I have been doing so for almost five months now, and forming habits takes time. I find sitting in the evening more work (to let thoughts pass), but also easier to do (not to fall asleep), a whole different affair.
    I also often fall asleep when trying zazen on the train after work (not bad).

    Thanks for taking the time.
    Gassho,
    Danny

  15. #15
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Now Danny, this is exactly why the kesa, the robe of sitting is designed for, primarily to cover the body-mind and protect it from heat and cold. A light kesa for summer, a thick one for winter. Wrapped in the Buddhist robe, all is well. You may also wrap yourself in a blanket wearing it on the left shoulder.
    this is all I have to say on this although it is a profound topic which I will address in further teachings.

    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.

  16. #16
    I'm looking forward to teachings what should be taken into consideration regarding dressing for zazen.I'm confused by the different dress codes or interpretations for priests, people with Jukai, and without.As long as many small steps and stitches (which one is more?) prevent me from maybe one day wearing a kesa, I'll use blankets.Gassho,Danny

  17. #17
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Hi Danny,

    The kesa has nothing to do with receiving jukai or becoming a priest. It is the robe of sitting. your birthright. Anybody can wear a kesa.
    My advice would be for you to start sewing.

    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.

  18. #18
    Taigu

    It would be lovely if you could lead us through sewing a kesa at some point, maybe beginning early in the year so those who wish can have one ready for next autumn?

    I had similar thoughts to Danny in thinking that the kesa was the province of the unsui.

    Gassho
    Kokuu

  19. #19
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Hi Danny,

    The kesa has nothing to do with receiving jukai or becoming a priest. It is the robe of sitting. your birthright. Anybody can wear a kesa.


    Taigu
    Thank you very much teacher...this is simply a beautiful teaching for my deluded mind.

    Deep gassho

    Sent from Tapatalk 2
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    Kōshin / Leo



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

  20. #20
    Dear Taigu,

    I think I was confused by another, older post
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ighlight=okesa

    If I have permission, I would really like to try sewing a kesa.

    Once I've started sewing at all, which will be my vacation (starting tomorrow) project: sewing the inflatable travelling zafu.
    My mother used to sew a lot in her youth (I never saw her doing that and never had any interest to learn), and is now thrilled to pass on her knowledge.
    I've stocked up on band-aids.

    Unfortunately, I'm clumsy, but fortunately also patient.

    Gassho,
    Danny

    P.S.: Reading a few older posts, I seem to have some time to learn sewing on non-ritual objects? Don't want to hurt anyone here. I just don't have a clue.
    Last edited by Danny B; 08-22-2014 at 09:33 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Taigu,

    I would also like to begin sewing a kesa with your permission. Like Kokuu I thought it was for an unsui.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  22. #22
    Hi Guys,

    I am thinking of taking my Kesa off, or better said, taking off the Kesa that can be seen with the eye. I may wear it sometimes to commemorate our Tradition, and I may wear a Rakusu many times (which is an expression of Kesa). But I would not emphasize wearing of the Kesa as much. Taigu and I will come to take two rather different approaches on this and some other ways.

    I will speak about this more in coming days, when I return to Japan.

    But it is true that the Kesa has been used as a wrap for warmth, as well as wraps and blankets of all kinds ...



    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-23-2014 at 04:22 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Dear Jundo,

    I'm looking forward to hearing this, too.

    I'll just try how my first sewing experience (a zafu, nothing wrong with that?) turns out.
    If sewing gives me some of the introspection into the moment, the (no-)self, the material, the craft, I get from wood work.

    Only wood work being more noisy, my neighbours would prefer me sewing...

    I do sculpting without any electricity, things you could make with a saw and a milling machine within a couple of minutes take me hours.
    Not for tradition, I simply like the process.

    What do I do this for, need this for? Dunno.
    Does not even keep me warm (least I burned it in a fireplace).

    Gassho,
    Danny

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Stupid Question Disorder (SQD): an observable phenomenon in practitioners of zen characterized by enquiry into the nature of existence and the creation of mind phenomena that obscure its elemental nature. A progressive condition; ameliorated by working with colleagues and sitting Zazen. Symptoms: curiosity; openness; progressive spaciousness of the mind; laughter.

    No known cure.

    There is no such thing as a stupid question. Just the foolishness of questions left unasked.


    Deep bows
    Yugen
    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

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Stupid Question Disorder (SQD): an observable phenomenon in practitioners of zen characterized by enquiry into the nature of existence and the creation of mind phenomena that obscure its elemental nature. A progressive condition; ameliorated by working with colleagues and sitting Zazen. Symptoms: curiosity; openness; progressive spaciousness of the mind; laughter.

    No known cure.

    There is no such thing as a stupid question. Just the foolishness of questions left unasked.


    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Wonderful Yugen.

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  26. #26
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Yugen, pretty close, although one might say that it depends where the question arises from, as to the answer it should be given to the source , never to the words uttered or written.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-23-2014 at 03:54 PM.
    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.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Hello all

    For me I think, there is a time for more traditional and there is a time to throw that all out and just sit in your jeans. I do like, respect and see the need for traditional garb in the Zen tradition. Just like school uniforms, or professional attire; I feel there is something about this that sets the tone. The practice demands repetition and regular, well, practice. Kesa and rakusu may help set the tone and bring a certain somberness and special separate mental space to the ritual of sitting, just as lighting candles, incense, prostrations, chanting etc. Of course, within these traditions, they are also very practical. Keeping oneself warm is one example.

    On the other hand, if you are wearing a kesa to somehow lift yourself up, or to practice sheer Nipponery, then it could easily be a distraction from the intent of the whole practice. Look at me! Now I am a REAL Zen Buddhist! The fact that so many have posted above how they thought the kesa was just for Unsui illustrates my point.

    In the practice of Kung Fu, one thing we talk about is a saying "you have trained the room, not the form". This means that though you can perform your training form ( kata in Japanese) in the school,when you try to do it in an open field or at home, you have quite forgotten it. I have begun to see that I have become used to sitting at certain times, and in a certain way. Perhaps having certain clothes is yet another layer of this tendency to habit. I see the need for sitting in different ways in my practice so that it doesn't just become a routine, but an active practice that requires "nothing special". I want to be able to defend myself with Kung Fu if the need arises anywhere anytime. I want to be able to be mindfully present in the same manner, wearing kesa, jeans, scrubs bathing suit.

    I look forward to Jundo and Taigu's teachings and expressions in this.

    Gassho
    C
    Last edited by Clark; 08-23-2014 at 04:32 PM.

  28. #28
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Fashion for a Clouded Mind

    Taigu,
    I agree with you. Our questions are like koans - used to approach the heart of the practice. I believe as we progress we come to realize there is only one question - and the answer can be found only by oneself - good friends in practice can only share the path. Many of the questions we see on the forum - should I be a vegetarian- should I consume alcohol as a Buddhist - can I wear a Kesa - should I sit in Burmese or Lotus - are all "preliminaries" or gateways to that one question.

    Hisamatsu Shinichi had it right i think when he wrote that all questions, all Koans, could be reduced to the Fundamental Koan - the one question.

    All we can do in the meantime is encourage exploration, and a teacher will help a student do that. I am just a novice priest, not a teacher, and this is only my opinion.

    Clark: forms and routines are essential to practice but even these at some point become obstacles to moving forward and genuinely opening the mind and living completely, leaving nothing behind. I am nowhere near this point and may never be, but realize its out there. Ironically, reaching the point of "freedom" allows us to immerse ourselves in the forms and rituals - the forms become us and we become an expression of the form. In martial arts a point is reached where your kata no longer looks like your teacher's but becomes your own.... And your teacher tells you to stop imitating them and find your own expression. But you know this.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 08-23-2014 at 07:04 PM.
    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

  29. #29
    Yugen, thank you

    Gassho
    Lisa

  30. #30
    I have always felt out on a limb regarding the tradition of the Kesa/Rakusa.
    This is a personal view and in no way reflects a lack of respect for tradition or questioning of what feel right for others.
    I would be happy to sew a Rakusa or Kesa as a meditative, symbolic act but I know in my heart that I do not want to wear either
    of these garments.
    For myself I only want to come to Zazen 'blind and naked' (metaphorically!) because I do not think it matters what outer garments a person wears - whether a lay person, an unsui or a priest. I just end up asking myself 'Who does one wear this garment for - the eye of an external beholder or the inner workings of the heart? The heart has no care for what a person wears.
    Can one be an unsui or priest without wearing the robes of tradition? Is there an authentic zen practice outside of tradition?
    I do not know the answer to these questions.
    Do we put people off by following tradition? This bothers me. Zen is a wonderful practice but how many people see the ghosts of past negative religious experiences in the robes, the chanting, etc. Do we care more for this than really helping people and being totally approachable. Isn't Zen ultimately about love.
    Just some questions and not meant to offend - but ultimately they lead to the most troubling question for me personally - 'how can I belong here if this is what I feel'

    Gassho

    Willow

  31. #31
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    To wear a garment to elevate our ego can come from the type of clothes we choose to wear. I can be a proud peacock sitting on my zafu whether donned in robes or my birthday suit. The truth is neither would make me feel very good about myself. When I go to the zafu I go to sit. What I have on is of little consequence. Rituals are important but rituals are not what compels me to sit. Wearing a Kesa to feel cool is to me being disrespectful of the tradition and what the Kesa represents. What would be the point of sewing a Kesa just to be proud? What would be the honor to the ancestors that sewed their Kesa.

    When I sewed my Rakusu I walked the path of the ancestors and I did so humbly. My Rakusu is nothing to be proud of, it is nothing more than strips of cloth stitched together but it is the same one sewn by the ancestors of our tradition. When placed over my head I do not look into the mirror to see how it looks because I must go sit. Do I wear my Rakusu each time that I sit? No. Many times the need to sit does not allow time for the ritual of placing the Rakusu over my head. Sitting is a must. Sewing a Rakusu and wearing it is not.

    Would I be a proud peacock if I were to be allowed to sew a Kesa? I would hope not. If that would be the purpose then I would rather not waste my time. If I were sewing a Kesa for the same reason that I sewed my Rakusu then I would be spending my time well. There is much to be said for this tradition that we are all a part of but we must not allow it to become some 'golden calf' to our mind.

    If I am granted permission to sew a Kesa then so be it, if I am not, then I must go sit either way. The need to sit, this is what drew me to this path that we all walk together, the other traditions simply round it out in a nice way.

    This is yet another reason this Sangha is so important, being able to walk together, share together, and sit together; whether we are sewing or not.

    Gassho,
    Heishu
    Last edited by Heishu; 08-23-2014 at 11:42 PM.


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

  32. #32
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Dear Willow,

    I very much respect your opinion and deep feeling about this tradition. You happen to be in tune with your teacher which I find very auspicious and great. As a form of respect for Jundo your teacher and my Dharma brother I won't explain here why I disagree. If at one stage you want to know, pay me a visit.
    I gave a big chunk of this useless life of mine to sewing robes , offering them and wearing them in the still state. It doesn't make me superior or different from you. if you inquire about the meaning of the robe , the layers of its implications and meanings, you would maybe have a different take on this.

    But yes, a robeless Zen is possible, J Beck, Tony Parker, and quite a few teachers dropped the robe, some even dropped the transmission, some dropped everything.

    There is room in life for something that doesn t come from opinions, preferences and feelings. This is the very essence of Mahayana Buddhism. I don't even call it love.

    take great care

    gassho

    Taigu ( a name I deserve fully, big stupid bloke is spot on)

    PS: as a tribute to your sincere practice and the beautiful wisdom of your teacher, I will give more and more time to the sewing of the Buddhist robe and teach as widely as possible not minding about the ghosts of old religion and the fact that I put people off.
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-23-2014 at 11:59 PM.
    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
    I associate the kesa with ordination, and have aspired to ordain for much of my life. I associate the robe with old friends who broke this heart with their wisdom and compassion. I have felt that it would not be appropriate to wear robes until my speech and conduct can dignify them. This is why I have never stepped up, out of respect, ....and an acknowledgement of my uncooked bullshit. It won't work the other way around, with robes dignifying uncooked bullshit as crazy wisdom.

    At this point I would like to sow robes ..or not. What matters is shared practice within sangha, and living a husband, father, brother, son, friend, neighbor, stranger, earthling. Tradition always begins looking like stepping away from tradition. It has always been that way in the stream of Buddhadharma. It is all good.

    I'm happy to carry on here at Treeleaf, robe or no robe.


    A very sleepy gassho.
    Daizan.
    Last edited by Daizan; 08-24-2014 at 02:55 AM.
    大山

  34. #34
    Hi,

    I know that there is no right or wrong way that Taigu and I understand the Kesa, the Buddha Robes. Our Robe Chant calls ...

    Robe of Liberation boundless. Field beyond both form and formless. Wearing the Tathagatha's Teachings. Vowing to save all sentient beings.

    The Robe is and stands for all Endless Reality and Enlightenment. The Robe is and stands for all Objects and the Suchness which sweeps through all Objects. The Robe is and stands for the Buddha's Teachings and our vow to (however endless) rescue all the sentient beings.

    The Process of Sewing is truly a lesson in Sewing our Life ... Stitch by sincere Stitch, thoughts of progress dropped in favor of each individual stitch as itself the point, mistakes accepted yet corrected as we can, the care (or lack thereof) shown in the never-finished result, the whole product never produced nor ended nor perfect yet perfectly what it is.

    BUT one may also know that the true Kesa is not made of cloth, and for the sincere Buddhist is always worn when a good life is lived. My "Kesa" is not simply made of cloth, but is rather this whole world and the sky which covers me. The living of life moment by moment is also a sewing "stitch by stitch", and the needle and thread merely how we live in this instant. It is much like saying that wearing a crucifix around one's neck does not, just by that, make one a good Christian (let alone a good human being), and in the end the Cross is but two pieces of ordinary wood nailed together. Should one choose, one may find all the meaning of Jesus' Teaching in the Cross, or one may find that the True Cross is not some thing at all. Some Buddhists may come to hold faith in the Kesa in a very similar way to the Christian and his Cross.

    I find that some folks ... Buddhist, Christian or of other religions ... need the pomp and ceremony, incense and costumes, mystery and dance as a doorway to the Teachings. That is fine, and such is what religions have relied upon across the centuries: The grand cathedrals and gold temples, the arcane ceremonies and language and ritual objects. Many faithful need priests, mumbling mystical formula, to conduct the way. That is good for those who need, and such is the doorway that is right for such folks.

    But I also believe that the profound Truths of this Buddhist Paths are all around us, and that the most ordinary aspects of our lives are just as sacred. Free of all the above, the Power of these Teachings manifests just as powerfully ... with every blade of grass a Cathedral, your home a Temple, the daily activities of our lives a "sacred ritual" when known as such. We are each priests in our way when realized in priestly behavior. The t-shirt we wear now is a sacred "Kesa" in a Buddha's eye. Such knowing of the "ordinary miracle" of this life is a doorway for other folks.

    So, in the near future, this Sangha will offer each of these Paths to folks. Individuals so suited may choose to walk one, or choose to walk the other or (perhaps the wisest course) to walk each for a time when suitable to their needs. They may even choose other Paths to combine with these (I, Jundo, would like to offer a Practice with less overtly religious elements ... and free of many superstitious beliefs and fairy tails ... and would like to continue to emphasize a way of Zen Practice that anyone ... Christian or Jewish or Muslim, Atheist or Agnostic ... might find open to them, for I truly believe that there is nothing incompatible in this Practice with any of that if someone's heart and mind is open. All good Paths.) In fact, the religious pomp and circumstance of "Buddhist Religion" ... the statues and robes and ceremonies ... can interfere with some peoples' abilities to understand and feel at home in the Practice ... even as, for others, all that is their gateway.

    Different Right Paths, each suited to different feet perhaps ... but one Mountain.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-24-2014 at 04:26 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Hi Jundo,

    do you want 10,000 questions now, or do you want us to wait until you get back home and explain in more detail what these changes are?

    Gassho
    Lisa

  36. #36
    Yes, please wait until I get back home in a few days, and Taigu and I can begin to discuss things. The changes will not be so radical as some may anticipate.

    I describe it as two chefs making two tasty bowls of soup, each suited to different tastes. However, there is only One True Taste.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #37
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    ... the fact that I put people off.
    Taigu, if you put people off, then Dokan's house would have been empty. I don't believe that this is the case. Speaking strictly for me, I appreciate the differences in teaching, and deeply respect both your paths.

    Gassho,
    Nindo
    --- In every moment of our sitting all beings are receiving the ultimate help; they are all achieving perfect peace and perfect rest. --- Norman Fischer

  38. #38


    I feel like throwing a bread crumb into a pond and seeing a giant wave rise up.

    Thank you for all of your answers, and thank you for answering what I had not known how to ask.

    Yugen, thank you for your interpretation of my "disorder", I enjoy it.

    Being so new (yes, that excuse again), I was first very happy to see Jundo in T-Shirt. See my introduction, about all those scary people in robes on the internet elsewhere. I'm not into ceremony for pomp.

    Then, I was very intimidated by the rakusu and could not identify with it.

    Now, looking for something to keep me warm, I've watched some of Taigu's talks about the kesa, and it caught me with its beauty. Not the fabric, I'm really not looking forward to wearing some strange stripes around me, but the patches.

    My life is all patches, patches of body-mind, but still wholeness.


    Now I'm not afraid of the rakusu any more. Wearing it or not wearing it, permitted or not permitted, my life is already it.

    Sometimes it needs two bowls of soup to feed one.
    Forgive me if I'm being too hungry.

    Deep bows to all of you, my teachers,

    Gassho,
    Danny

  39. #39
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880295806.jpg
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    Gently and without hurry. Stiching life, stich by stich, breath by breath. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

    Gassho

    Myoho

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Dear Willow,

    I very much respect your opinion and deep feeling about this tradition. You happen to be in tune with your teacher which I find very auspicious and great. As a form of respect for Jundo your teacher and my Dharma brother I won't explain here why I disagree. If at one stage you want to know, pay me a visit.
    I gave a big chunk of this useless life of mine to sewing robes , offering them and wearing them in the still state. It doesn't make me superior or different from you. if you inquire about the meaning of the robe , the layers of its implications and meanings, you would maybe have a different take on this.

    But yes, a robeless Zen is possible, J Beck, Tony Parker, and quite a few teachers dropped the robe, some even dropped the transmission, some dropped everything.

    There is room in life for something that doesn t come from opinions, preferences and feelings. This is the very essence of Mahayana Buddhism. I don't even call it love.

    take great care

    gassho

    Taigu ( a name I deserve fully, big stupid bloke is spot on)

    PS: as a tribute to your sincere practice and the beautiful wisdom of your teacher, I will give more and more time to the sewing of the Buddhist robe and teach as widely as possible not minding about the ghosts of old religion and the fact that I put people off.
    Dear Taigu,

    thank you for these words.

    It is maybe hard to understand through a message board another's point of view. I followed the retreat in Washington and
    was not 'put off' by you or any of the ceremony. The teaching session on Dogen was wonderful. I have the greatest respect for
    the way in which you convey tradition, and the more mystical aspects of Zen - that you hold dear - are also close to my heart.

    I also think it's lovely that you sew the Kesa, teach and give these robes to others. In my view - that is an act of love.

    The robe is at the authentic centre of your heart - yes? I could not wear one unless I was certain I felt this too - it would be wrong and insincere.

    These message boards can be frustrating - so much more I would like to discuss.

    Take great care too,


    Gassho

    Willow
    Last edited by willow; 08-24-2014 at 12:07 PM.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo View Post
    Taigu, if you put people off, then Dokan's house would have been empty. I don't believe that this is the case. Speaking strictly for me, I appreciate the differences in teaching, and deeply respect both your paths.

    Gassho,
    Nindo
    yes

    C

  42. #42
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    That is lovely!

    Gassho,


    Quote Originally Posted by MyoHo View Post
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880295806.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880318108.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880339688.jpg

    Gently and without hurry. Stiching life, stich by stich, breath by breath. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

    Gassho

    Myoho
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by MyoHo View Post
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880295806.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880318108.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1408880339688.jpg

    Gently and without hurry. Stiching life, stich by stich, breath by breath. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

    Gassho

    Myoho

    Beautiful Myoho. =)

    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.

  44. #44
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Danny,

    I am so happy that you began this thread. Inquiry, that is how we learn. As a child we ask Mom and Dad; what is that, why is that, how is that, and so much more. I am an old man now and I still seek questions of life. Danny, stay hungry my friend, we gain when we hunger for truth and knowledge.

    As a Sangha we learn from each other. This Sangha is a patchwork of people, each one of us so different and yet so much alike. We come to this place as an individual but yet we are sewn together as one Sangha. Just as the patches of cloth are sewn together to make a Rakusu or Kesa, so to, each person in this Sangha helps hold together one another as we gather and discuss things together.

    Our teachers our talking about changes, change is good. We grow stronger by being flexible with the many variations of life. I like what Jundo has said and I look forward to the possibilities. I like Jundo's and Taigu's way and respect them both. They are two panels of the Kesa that is called Treeleaf.

    I have never looked at being Buddhist as being part of a religion, though I know that some Buddhist do. I never felt that the Buddha had formed a Church. To me his teachings are instructions he gave to help people deal with life. I like the many traditions and yet I do not see them as religious acts. I like to experience a statue of Buddha, a candle, and even the occasional scent of incense. I like to chant the Heart and Metta Sutras. I like to bow. I like that I have sewn a Rakusu. I like the experience of observing the rituals. Must I experience them each and every day? No, for then I feel that I have allowed them to become something that they are not.

    Gassho,
    Heihsu


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

  45. #45
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I associate the kesa with ordination, and have aspired to ordain for much of my life. I associate the robe with old friends who broke this heart with their wisdom and compassion. I have felt that it would not be appropriate to wear robes until my speech and conduct can dignify them. This is why I have never stepped up, out of respect, ....and an acknowledgement of my uncooked bullshit. It won't work the other way around, with robes dignifying uncooked bullshit as crazy wisdom.

    At this point I would like to sow robes ..or not. What matters is shared practice within sangha, and living a husband, father, brother, son, friend, neighbor, stranger, earthling. Tradition always begins looking like stepping away from tradition. It has always been that way in the stream of Buddhadharma. It is all good.

    I'm happy to carry on here at Treeleaf, robe or no robe.


    A very sleepy gassho.
    Daizan.
    Daizan,

    If we wait for our life to be perfect before we embark on sewing the Kesa, life may have ended while we waited.

    Gassho,
    Heishu


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

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Heishu View Post
    Daizan,

    If we wait for our life to be perfect before we embark on sewing the Kesa, life may have ended while we waited.

    Gassho,
    Heishu
    Hello Heishu.

    Others will view sowing or wearing the kesa differently, and that is fair. Embarking on sowing a kesa is, for me, about the decision to ordain. That has nothing to do with life being perfect, or "me" being perfect. It is about having the maturity. If you want to know if I am mature enough to train as a priest...ask my wife, and son....and neighbor. After been around Sangha for a long time this is straightforward to me. It make no difference if others agree or not. That's ok.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  47. #47
    As a Sangha we learn from each other. This Sangha is a patchwork of people, each one of us so different and yet so much alike. We come to this place as an individual but yet we are sewn together as one Sangha. Just as the patches of cloth are sewn together to make a Rakusu or Kesa, so to, each person in this Sangha helps hold together one another as we gather and discuss things together.

    Lisa

  48. #48
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Heishu nailed it.
    So did Daizan in his usual stubborn style.
    Both are right and true to themselves.

    One thing though, this maturity you are talking about, Daizan, is but a flower in the sky.



    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.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    One thing though, this maturity you are talking about, Daizan, is but a flower in the sky.


    Daizan
    大山

  50. #50
    This is a wonderful thread. Only this to add from my little experience: played soccer yesterday in my soccer clothes and cleats and was tackled hard and came away with a big bruise and had a good handshake and hug afterward; wearing my "teaching uniform" now, button down and nice pants, etc, ready to share stories with students and see what they and I see of life and what we can learn together; mowed the grass in old shoes and torn shorts and had maneuver around to avoid a snake; rakusu on when sitting with all the summer insects - all of this one robe.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

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