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Thread: The Sangha, practices and everything

  1. #1

    The Sangha, practices and everything

    I thought I would comment further on some of the practices that a Sangha performs together.

    I saw this quote in the bookclub:

    Uchiyama on page 168,

    There is no one who can claim to always embody bodhi-mind, the mind that aspires to practice and attain enlightenment. Each of us gathers and contributes his or her own little bodhi-mind to the general effort.
    You can't walk the path alone. It is impossible. What is possible, is how you walk the path.

    There is a undecernable oneness to things. That includes everything that arises at this moment. Some may have a deep realization of this, and some might be getting there, and some might be in the dark.

    Eating, sleeping, working, sitting, and bowing together, is a great practice, experience, or even a reminder, that we are in this together. You will never be left out. You cannot be left out.

    Some might see doing things like bowing and Oryoki, from a perspective of "I am doing Oryoki in a room with other people." This is not it. Everything is doing Oryoki at that moment. This includes: the room, the people, the bowl, the sunlight, the birds and so on.

    When we bow, what are we really bowing to?

    Gassho

  2. #2

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Thanks Will, great point!!

  3. #3
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Some might see doing things like bowing and Oryoki, from a perspective of "I am doing Oryoki in a room with other people." This is not it. Everything is doing Oryoki at that moment. This includes: the room, the people, the bowl, the sunlight, the birds and so on.

    When we bow, what are we really bowing to?

    Gassho
    Both sides, Will. Both sides. If you think there is a room, people, a bowl, the sunlight, and the birds - you're already a million miles away from any sort of oneness. In truth, Oryoki is doing Oryoki.

    I just want people to really look at what they're grabbing onto. I'm not a ritual-hating philistine - for instance, I actually like the full bow. It's just that Buddhism in the east has become so funerary - all the life is sucked out of it and all that's left is ritual. Ritual is not virtue. The best rituals are the functional ones - and in this case, oryoki is preferable to the offering to the hungry ghosts, for instance. At least there's a PURPOSE to oryoki - getting everyone fed in a timely fashion. Zendo protocol keeps everyone from running into one another. Bowing just plain feels good. Some of the ritual is just there to prevent everything from becoming utter chaos. That's fine, but a little chaos is okay too.

  4. #4

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    In truth, Oryoki is doing Oryoki.
    Yes. That is another way to put it.

    How can a bird do Oryoki?

    And even though we hear the birds or the birds hear us, we can still call them birds if we are asked.

    Gassho

  5. #5

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    I just want people to really look at what they're grabbing onto
    If they are grabbing at all it misses the point. Doesn't matter if it is tying a shoelace or reciting a Sutra.

    W

  6. #6

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    It's just that Buddhism in the east has become so funerary - all the life is sucked out of it and all that's left is ritual.
    I wouldn't say it is the ritual or practice as much as it is the teacher or abbot. If the teacher doesn't put emphasis on Zazen, in sitting, walking, standing still, lying down and everything in between, then it is not Soto Zen as Dogen intended. If they are more concerned with doing rituals then sitting Zazen, then they should be questioned.

  7. #7

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Btw it's not like that everywhere. When I went to Ei heiji with Jundo and Hans, it was quite a different story. Even Sojiji was bustling with life and we sat Zazen. If I went in there thinking that it is funerary or ritualistic, then that is just ego doing it's thing.

    However, from what I understand, some temples are only like a business doing wedding and funerals (I happened to see a wedding being rehearsed in Kamakura). There was a discussion of this previously. It is a "large" institution in Japan. I can't speak of anywhere else.

    I was somewhat like that. A little upset that Soto Zen was like this. But we can start where we can. With our practice.

    Gassho

  8. #8

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    How can a bird do Oryoki?
    As my 4-year-old would ask, "Que?"

  9. #9
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Wow, Will - four separate replies.

    Let me think on that puzzle for a moment or two.

  10. #10

    Re: The Sangha, practices and everything

    Quote Originally Posted by will

    You can't walk the path alone. It is impossible. What is possible, is how you walk the path.
    Hi.

    This is what caught my eye. It kind of says it all. in a lot of ways.
    Together alone with buddhas.

    May the force be with you
    Tb

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