If all goes to plan, I should be visiting Jundo this summer and start the kesa project online. What is it about? As you know, wearing the kesa is a very important point in Zen practice in our tradition. We already have a complete set of videos about sewing a rakusu that we designed prior to the last Jukai, the rakusu being the small version of the kesa. Many of you would like to sew a kesa now. A couple of very adventurous, bold and courageous sitters already did it and I am both amazed and very proud of their work. So, let's start!
Let's make it clear that only the people with the experience of sewing a rakusu are invited to sew a kesa. You actually need that experience to really be able to pull it together by yourself, without any direct instruction.
Sewing a kesa (big or small) should only be for the people receiving Jukai. It is not another toy. It has a profound meaning connected to shikantaza and the understanding of the Buddhist path. And please, read this excellent teaching of Kishigami roshi: http://www.zen-road.org/index.php?optio ... 27&lang=en
You have three ways to go about it, go to my blog and fish the information there... http://nyohoekesa.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_archive.html , go at the bottom of the page and read all the way up, please.This blog is designed following the instructions left by Sawaki Kodo.
You also may get the book of Tomoe Katagiri, the wife of the late Katagiri roshi: Study of the Okesa, Nyoho-e, Buddha's robe published by Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis. It is a great book following Hashimoto Roshi's instructions ( a bit different from Sawaki Kodo). I shall stick to Sawaki's original teachings and measurements as explained on my blog but please, feel free to go for Hashimoto Roshi's method, particularly if you get hold of the book and relate well to written instructions. The book is also very precious for it has detailed drawings about stitches, how to fold the corners and so forth...
I will also need the help and active participation of some of you, three people come to mind : Jinho for her great experience and expertise, she is our best ruler and iron teacher, no doubt; Shohei for his experience of sewing freelance and brilliantly succeeding and Dosho for his kindness and devotion to the process. Sorry if i have left somebody out...But basically, we all have to help each other.
Let me know of your observations. Ask any question you would like.