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Thread: Bowing

  1. #1

    Bowing

    Bowing is an essential part of practice. By essential I don't mean that it is something that you have to do "or else...". It is a natural part of the Buddhist path. When we bow, we don't really bow to anything in particular. We might bow to a statue of Buddha. We might bow to empty space. The main point is to bow. Bowing realizes bowing. That doesn't mean that bowing doesn't effect our experience, or that it doesn't effect our path. A Buddha bows. But it's essential not to make it a big deal. When we bow we bow without holding on to "bowing".

    Gassho

  2. #2
    Myoshin
    Guest

    Re: Bowing

    I always liked bowing.

    The reason I do it now is still because I enjoy doing it.

    Gassho,
    Kyle

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    2,906

    Re: Bowing

    Excellent reminder Will. may I add that bowing is wonderful for the back as a natural way to let go of the spine and undo unecessary tensions. It is a great practice before and after still sitting. Bowing is also very important in your daily life, to do it in an invisible way anytime you meet somebody.
    My first teacher,more than 30 years ago, was a very mature and experienced monk, Tai Seki, the big rock, and the guy was very awake. Once, a younger student of his, started to bow in the street at his feet. The monk asked him: "did you loose anything?" and started to look for something on the ground as if he was helping the student...never again this student tried to bow before him. The lesson was learned, attachment to bowing and showing bowing is not bowing.
    Myoshin, give the Korean school bowing practice a go, I may learn to like it less...Anyway, likes or dislikes is not the point. Doing is it. Don't you think?
    Bows

    Taigu

  4. #4

    Re: Bowing

    When i bow i just bow. to nothing in particular but just doing it with no thought of why. it is just an act like walking... or anything else.

    Gassho, D.

  5. #5

    Re: Bowing

    We had some "bowing practice", and discussion of the many ways of seeing and "just bowing" bowing, in preparation for our last Rohatsu retreat ...

    Please have a listen and a bow ...

    At our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat' scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008 (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand'). DETAILS CLICK HERE ...

    ... there will be times of prostrating (Raihai), done in a series or three (Sanpai) ...

    I am often asked to whom or what we are bowing ... Is it to some thing, god, person or effigy?

    I answer by saying that there is nothing that's true that is omitted from our bow. We might consider that we're simply bowing to the whole universe, and to ourself and the other people around us after all, 'All is One'! The hands, palms upwards, are raised in a gesture traditionally symbolic of lifting the Buddha's feet over one's head, but that truly means lifting all things of the universe over one's head. It's appropriate to cultivate an attitude of emptying, letting go, receptivity and gratitude in our bows.

    If there is some physical or personal reason not to prostrate, a simple Gassho can be substituted. However, there is greatness in the humility of the prostration.

    (give the recording a moment to start)
    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... eat-3.html
    Please excuse that the model is semi-out of shape middle aged guy (I have often thought of adopting the Korean Zen practice of 108 bows per day ... ). I now bow each day a few times to keep my bowing sharp.

    http://www.koreanbuddhism.net/life/essa ... q=0&page=1

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