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Thread: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

  1. #1

    April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hi All,

    I am announcing a half-day or full day retreat (to be determined) on the Saturday or Sunday just before Tuesday, April 8th ... in celebration of BUDDHA'S BIRTHDAY!!!! It will be the first of our monthly "Zazenkai" retreats from that point forward.

    The retreat will feature a bit of chanting, bowing, Samu (Work Practice) and lots and lots of Zazen. It may feature an Oryoki meal as well. For information on these practices, please review the series of little talks

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/search?q=zazenkai

    and printed materials for our first one day 'Zazenkai' Retreat (PDF Files):

    http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com/Tr ... 312007.pdf

    http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com/TR ... AT1105.pdf

    As with our prior retreats, I will try to schedule a time to get some live netcast coverage in Europe and North America. However, if this is not possible ... no matter. There is a recorded version which is just the same, and can be accessed at any time. All we need to do is drop all thought of "here" "there" "now" "then" ... and we are all sitting together!

    In Japan, Buddha was born in April ... although he was born in May in most other countries (having two or more birthdays is no problem for a Buddha). In some descriptions, the story goes like this ...

    Vesak, or Visakha (pronounced way-sak), is a celebration that commemorates the Buddha's birth .... It is named for the month of May and is celebrated on the full moon, when the Buddha's mother is said to have given birth to him in a garden in the Himalayan foothills while en route to her parents' home. (for different schools of Zen, which is a tradition of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, the Buddha's birthday is celebrated according to a different calendar and falls on April 8th [Jundo, in Japan, where it is called "Hana Matsuri" ... the Flower Festival]; his enlightenment and death are also assigned to different days). According to most Buddhist calendars, he would be 2,548 years old this month [Jundo].

    Vesak is the most important holiday in the Theravada Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia, though its observance varies from culture to culture. In the United States, it has become the occasion for a common celebration that unites different Buddhist traditions and schools, Asian and non-Asian, immigrant and convert, Theravadin and Mahayana .

    Vesak celebrations are a time for the rededication of one's commitment to the Buddha's teachings and to practice. At temples all over Southeast Asia and in the West, lay devotees clean the building and festoon it with lights and lanterns. Sometimes, a special pavilion is built for monks to sit on as they meditate and chant through the night. At Metta Forest Monastery outside San Diego, a monastery in the Thai Forest tradition, lay practioners come for a candle-lit procession, to make offerings, to chant, and to sit through the night in meditation. The celebration ends the following morning with a communal meal served to the monks by dozens of laypeople. "It is a time to honor the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha, and to recommit to practice," says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the monastery's abbot. "Something like a New Year's resolution."

    No account of the Buddha's birth was recorded at the time, but Buddhist legend describes how the baby sprang miraculously from his mother's side, in what is today Nepal. Recent archeological research claims to pinpoint the exact location. In Thich Nhat Hanh's elegant telling of the life of the Buddha, "Old Path, White Clouds," he describes the birth like this:

    "Mahamaya, Siddhartha's mother [the wife of a great king of the Indian Sakyan clan], had a premonitory dream before giving birth to him: A magnificent white elephant with six tusks descended from the heavens surrounded by a chorus of beatific praises. The elephant approached her, its skin white as mountain snow. It held a brilliant pink lotus flower in its trunk, and placed the flower within the queen's body. Then the elephant, too, entered her effortlessly, and all at once she was filled with deep ease and joy.

    "The king summoned all the local holy men to divine the meaning of this dream. Their conclusion: 'Your majesty, the queen will give birth to a son who will be a great leader. He is destined to become either a mighty emperor who rules throughout the four directions, or a great Teacher who will show the Way of Truth to all beings in Heaven and Earth.'

    "It was the custom in those days for a woman to return to her parents' home to give birth there. Mahamaya...set out for Ramagama, the capital of Koliya. Along the way she stopped to rest in the garden of Lumbini. The forest there was filled with flowers and singing birds. Peacocks fanned their splendid tails in the morning light. Admiring an ashok tree in full bloom, the queen walked toward it, when suddenly feeling unsteady, she grabbed a branch of the ashok tree to support her. Just a moment later, still holding the branch, Queen Mahamaya gave birth to a radiant son."

    The story goes that sages arrived at the scene and washed the baby in perfumed water (which is why practitioners of Zen and other Mahayana schools celebrate the birthday by pouring water over a figure of the baby Buddha). Then Mahamaya's attendants wrapped him in silk and carried him to the palace. But seven days after the birth, Mahamaya died (there is no account of how or why), and her sister, Mahapajapati, who was also married to the Buddha's father, became his surrogate mother. After the Buddha's awakening, when he began to teach, Mahapajapati became his first woman disciple and led the order of bhikshunis, or ordained nuns.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/25/story_2530_1.html
    Anyway, that is one version of the story ... and it leaves out the part where he was said to be walking and talking at birth ...

    ... 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."
    But magic elephants, heavenly dragons and talking babies aside (I can take em or leave em... mostly leave'em), we will be celebrating together a truly monumental event!!

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ... 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."
    But magic elephants and talking babies aside (I can take em or leave em... mostly leave'em), we will be celebrating together a truly monumental event!!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Awwww...now that's my favorite part of the story!!! Magic elephants, raining flowers, and *DOOD!* talking babies that can make loutses grow as they walk!! Just too wonderful for words! I'm such a sucker for a good fairy tale!

    Seriously, Wesak is my absolute favorite ceremony. I've really been able to feel complete joy on both a physical *and metaphysical level. The only part that added a bit of sadness was the part where Mahamaya dies. But, there we have the Four Noble Truths...the joy of the birth, the pain of that which passes away...

    In Gassho~
    Lynn

  3. #3

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Fantastic, Jundo. My parents will be in town at that time so I don't know how much I'll be able to do that weekend. Otherwise, I join all of you the weekend after.

    Gassho,
    Tracy

  4. #4

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Superb!

    I will be joining the retreat!

  5. #5

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    My first Zen retreat, this is going to be great!!

    Hmm, all the Zazenkai Operator11 videos seem to be down for me today, maybe they're having a temporary tech glitch.

    Skye

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Skye,

    I've tried a couple of different times to watch them and had no luck.

    Ron

  7. #7

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Yes, the "Operator 11" company is near bankruptcy and has had all kinds of technical glitches. Sorry for that.

    If those talks are not available there, I have another way to make them available.

    But, all things are impermanent.

    Gassho, Jundo

  8. #8

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Vesak Zazen Mania!
    I'm in! Can't wait!

  9. #9

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Yes, quite looking forward to this! Jundo, If you could please repost those vids I know I could greatly appreciate the chance to watch them.

    Gassho,
    Damian

  10. #10

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Sounds good, count me in.

    Gassho,
    Kelly

  11. #11
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    All being well I will be with my family up a mountain on 8 April so won't be able to do more than think of you all. I'll hope to "catch up with" the retreat later.

    Gassho

    Martin

  12. #12

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    I'll be at work but will catch up later, too. I'll be thinking of you..... :wink:

    Linda

  13. #13

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    I can't make it as I will be on family holiday but I hope it goes well and all works out for you all.

    All the best

    Philip








    (my son started speaking at only a few months old. The problem is he kept on saying just one word.
    enema. ops:
    I wonder what it could mean?)

  14. #14

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Quote Originally Posted by plankton
    (my son started speaking at only a few months old. The problem is he kept on saying just one word.
    enema. ops:
    I wonder what it could mean?)
    :lol: :lol: :lol:
    My son was one of those non-speaking types for a long time. Just sat and smiled...very content. One day, when he was about to turn 2.5y/o, I went to the day care to pick him up. The woman opened her front door with eyes like a deer and she said, "Eli started to talk...AND HE HASN'T STOPPED!!" Apparently, he'd decided "today is the day" and he just went full bore, full sentences, and did not shut up!! Maybe not surprisingly, he now speak fairly fluent Japanese, Spanish and German, and is teaching himself Czech and Russian.

    Hang in there...maybe you have a Dr. in the making!!!

    In Gassho,
    Lynn

  15. #15

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    haha nice story Lynn,
    Six languages must be fantastic. I'm struggling with two but can see the benefits and joy from them.
    Thanks for the positive thought about that "word". I'll try to remember it when in public.

  16. #16

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Thanks Jundo!
    I will be joining in live. *
    EDIT:
    erm scratch that i will be sitting at a different moment as i will be @ work(thats a tuesday). Since the only connection i have capable of handling streaming video is @ work taking the day off to be able to sit would just mean being @ work with ppl at my door all day Guess ill just have to be quiet and practice through out the day

    Gassho
    Dirk

  17. #17

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    This sounds marvellous - I am currently in negotiations with wife and children . I imagine I will be doing the recorded version - is it possible to save the recording to a datastick ?? I could then snuck away to a distant part of the house on a laptop.

    Kind regards

    Jools

  18. #18

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hi,

    More than a data stick, I would suggest springing for a WiFi wireless connection for the house (broadcast station and receiver). If it is not already built into your laptop, you need a receiver card too for your laptop. Easy to install. Not terribly pricey, but pricey like any electronics.

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/wireless-network.htm

    Gassho, Jundo

  19. #19

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Thanks Jundo
    I have a green light from the family - so will have a go at digging out the old laptop tomorrow and getting hold of the wireless stuff (spoke to the techy chaps at work today) - will keep you posted
    Best wishes
    Jools

  20. #20

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hi!

    sounds good. i dont have internet for my use right now but i am here. see you!


    Gassho

    Jarkko

  21. #21

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hi,

    More than a data stick, I would suggest springing for a WiFi wireless connection for the house (broadcast station and receiver). If it is not already built into your laptop, you need a receiver card too for your laptop. Easy to install. Not terribly pricey, but pricey like any electronics.

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/wireless-network.htm

    Gassho, Jundo
    Hi Jundo

    well I took your advice & I now have wireless in my house. Didn't take long to fix & is fairly reliable depending on which room you squirrel away in!! However, the laptop is old and noisy - so forgive me if I have to stoke it with coal every so often. I have got the run of the top of the house - so all I need now is a timetable & some gentle encouragement.

    Best wishes

    Jools

  22. #22

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Since the only connection i have capable of handling streaming video is @ work taking the day off to be able to sit would just mean being @ work with ppl at my door all day Guess ill just have to be quiet and practice through out the day
    Dirk you can actually save the FLV movie to your computer. Just let it play to the end, then go to internet options/view files/ and it should be in there. Copy it and paste to whatever you use ie. flash disk. You then just need a flv player to play it. I recommend Video Lan (a great program).

    Should work. It works for Youtube FLV.

    Also you should rename it and put .flvat the end of the name.

    Gassho Will

  23. #23

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hi Will,

    Might you be more specific on the procedure you are describing? Skye and some of us have been looking for a way to do that, and you seem to have found it.

    Gassho, Jundo

  24. #24

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Getting the videos in FLV format from the sites is easy (eg Video Downloader plugin in Firefox), its converting them into a non-proprietary format that can be played everywhere that's tricky.

    YouTube FLV is well supported by players such as VLC (VideoLAN Client), unfortunately some of the older talks specifically the Operator11 videos use some bizarro audio codec I'm currently trying to find a way to convert.

    Skye

  25. #25

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hey Jundo.

    If it is a FLV file you can go to internet options/settings/view files/

    the flv file should be one of the larger files in there and shouls be the date that you watched it ie. if you watched it a few minutes ago then it should be today's date under last modified or last checked.

    Then you just copy it to your desk top. When you've done that rename the file. So if the file has a name like 12829fff99990, the rename it to ie. sitting 1.flv (make sure you put the .flv on the end) .flv is flash file. The you can watch it with any flv player. There are a lot out there, but I recommend Video Lan.

    You usually have to let it play to the end in order to see it in the settings/view files.

    I'll try it with a ustream talk and see if it works.

    G,W

  26. #26

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Hey Jundo.

    Most of the data that you see in your internet browser gets stored in the options/settings/view files/ (that's for interent explorer

    The flv file should be one of the larger files in there and should be the date that you watched it ie. if you watched it a few minutes ago then it should be today's date under last modified or last checked.

    Then you just copy it to your desk top. When you've done that rename the file. So if the file has a name like 12829fff99990, then rename it to ie. sitting 1.flv (make sure you put the .flv on the end) .flv is a flash file. Then you can watch it with any flv player. There are a lot of free ones out there, but I recommend Video Lan.

    You can even convert it to a different format. I've done it but I'll have to remember.

    You usually have to let it play to the end in order to see it in the settings/view files. You can fast forward it though to right before the end, and then let it play to the end.

    I'll try it with a ustream talk and see if it works.

    G,W

  27. #27

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    That didn't work with ustream because they are streamed unlike youtube.

    I found this tip in ustream help center:

    How to Convert Recorded Video Files to Different File Types and How to Download Them
    You can convert your Ustream Recorded video files to .wmv, .mov, or .mp4. To do so, go your "My Videos" page and click on "Video format conversions". After selecting your format, it will take a few minutes to convert the file. The format name will turn blue next to the "Download" option once the video is converted. You will then be able to download them by clicking on the format type in blue.

  28. #28

    Re: April 8th - Buddha's Birthday 1-Day Retreat ...

    Will wrote:
    I found this tip in ustream help center:

    How to Convert Recorded Video Files to Different File Types and How to Download Them
    You can convert your Ustream Recorded video files to .wmv, .mov, or .mp4. To do so, go your "My Videos" page and click on "Video format conversions". After selecting your format, it will take a few minutes to convert the file. The format name will turn blue next to the "Download" option once the video is converted. You will then be able to download them by clicking on the format type in blue.
    Hi, Will.
    I think that only works if you are the one who uploaded the video. Jundo could save them in these formats, but I can't (or if so, I haven't figured it out yet). Thanks for the research on this . . . I'll dig around too and see if there is a way to save the vids. BTW, vids from google and youtube and the like can be saved using this site http://www.keepvid.com. I've used it to save things like Nishijima's zazen video and the Stuart Davis Show to my iPod and it works well.

    Bill

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