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Thread: Rakusu Etiquette

  1. #1

    Rakusu Etiquette

    Hi all,

    If someone travels and sits zazen with a sangha, should they (could they) wear their Treeleaf Rakusu?

    I ask because I have choosen to sew a brown Rakusu, and the San Francisco Zen center's guidelines indicate brown to denote Dharma Transmission and blue for laypeople. Additionally, members of my local Zen group who have taken Jukai wear blue.

    Also, after I have completed Jukai, is it "against-the-rules" to not wear my Rakusu when sitting Zazen? For example if I travel to the San Francisco Zen center, I would feel uncomfortable wearing my brown Treeleaf Rakusu considering their guidlines.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: Rakusu Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesVB
    Hi all,

    If someone travels and sits zazen with a sangha, should they (could they) wear their Treeleaf Rakusu?

    I ask because I have choosen to sew a brown Rakusu, and the San Francisco Zen center's guidelines indicate brown to denote Dharma Transmission and blue for laypeople. Additionally, members of my local Zen group who have taken Jukai wear blue.

    Also, after I have completed Jukai, is it "against-the-rules" to not wear my Rakusu when sitting Zazen? For example if I travel to the San Francisco Zen center, I would feel uncomfortable wearing my brown Treeleaf Rakusu considering their guidlines.

    Thank you in advance.
    Hi,

    It is perfectly acceptable, and in fact, the usual practice, to wear one's Rakusu when visiting another Zen group. In fact, with so many hundreds of visitors to San Francisco Zen Center from all over, I would be surprised if they enforce such a rule with visitors.

    As well, even when joining another Sangha as more than a visitor (for example, as a regular sitter there), you can wear your Rakusu obtained at some other Sangha (I mean, there might be a Sangha here or there that would ask you not to ... but it is very unusual, and I have not heard such a thing. Maybe I once heard that the Kennett Roshi Lineage insists that outside Jukais "don't count" there ... I don't want to speak out of turn, so if anyone knows, please correct me. But I have never heard of anyone being told not to wear a Rakusu given by another Lineage).

    And if, for some reason, you choose not to wear your Rakusu ... no, you will not be struck by a bolt of lighting from heaven. :roll: But, you should wear it ... that's what its for!

    By the way, the rule about color is not usual, although Sangha here and there make these kinds of rules sometimes (I have heard some places that make a distinction, for example, on folks with and without a ring ). In most Sangha, the different colors or ring/no ring have no special meaning, except that "black" is for a priest trainee.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: Rakusu Etiquette

    Thank you Jundo,

    That's exactly what I wanted to know.

    P.S. What are you still doing up? Isn't it 2:30 am for you?

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