As I am soon about to film the long awaited blockburster "how to sew a kesa", I would like to give a few words of caution. To undertake the sewing of the rakusu and the kesa should not be taken lightly. It is the sole robe of zazen, seen as the body of the Tathagata, flesh, blood, bones and marrow of Buddhas. Not something to toy with. You may start a rakusu if you have the intention to take Jukai and receive the precepts. You may sew a rakusu to have it given to you by a teacher, Jundo, Taigu or another teacher belonging to a real lineage. You may sew a rakusu to offer it, yes, to offer it to somebody who sits and wants to undertake Jukai. But, it is best to do it yourself when you about to receive the precepts. It is seen in our tradition as a necessary step. If you don't want to do those Buddhist things, please abstain.
The sewing of an Okesa is a real deed of faith, an incredible journey into our own shortcomings and stupidity. We are very exposed along the way and everybody here that did it can testify...The first requirement to sew a kesa is to have a previous experience of sewing a rakusu. Being the sewing teacher, the wardrobe specialist, I don't accept to instruct and help people that don't have any previous experience of sewing a rakusu. Sorry to sound so blunt but it is just very understandable: you have to practice scales and do a certain amount of practice before working on a difficult piece of music... rakusu sewing will teach you method, stitching, patience, humbleness, discipline, ironing, finger bleedind, neck tension, nerve wracking moments and crisis management...The second requirement is to have received the official permission of your teacher. In fact, if you plan not to receive it from Laurel and Hardy ( :wink: ), well it would be nice to send us a written letter showing and proving that you have been granted permission to sew. I don't want guys over there hoping around wrapped up in kesas doing some rabbit non sense...Because I would somehow feel responsible. Making the decision to share openly this process is a big step. Third requirement: a kesa has to be given by a teacher. A kesa which is not bestowed is not a kesa, but just a piece of cloth. So, if you want to receive the kesa, please ask Jundo or Taigu. They will perform over Skype a very simple ceremony to give it to you.
You may email me or better, ask the questions that come to your mind on this thread. You may also start to get in touch with Jundo and I to ask for permission.
Thank you for your patience and courage.