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Thread: 108 Bows for Happiness

  1. #1

    108 Bows for Happiness

    I found this today and wanted to share it. I believe this is a Korean zen practice, but I'm not to sure. Anyway here it is:

    108 Bows

    Before bowing, I prepare the proper mindset:

    - Bowing is one way to purify myself.

    - Through bowing, I learn how to humble myself and how to have a healthy body and mind.

    - I bow to realize that others' lives are just as valuable as mine.

    - I bow to get rid of my selfishness.

    - I bow because it is the desire of my true self.

    - I bow for all living things, and for peace in the universe.


    1. I bow to wonder where I came from and where I am and where I am going.

    2. I bow to appreciate my parents for giving birth to me.

    3. I bow to think about who I am.

    4. I bow to find my true self.

    5. I bow to always appreciate my body and spirit.

    6. I bow for the well-being of my body and spirit.

    7. I bow to think about my true desires.

    8. I bow to find myself and to learn how to control myself.

    9. I bow to appreciate the life I live today.

    10. I bow to give thanks for being alive.

    11. I bow to think about how much I love myself.

    12. I bow to be able to always love my family.

    13. I bow to feel happiness and peace of mind through love.

    14. I bow to look for happiness only through love.

    15. I bow to know that unchangeable love is flowing through the universe.

    16. I bow to the teacher who has shown me the right way.

    17. I bow to feel that love originates inside me.

    18. I bow to reflect that my teacher's lessons are inside me.

    19. I bow to feel that all living things, and the universe, are inside me.

    20. I bow to remember that my ancestors and gods are inside me.

    21. I bow to ask for forgiveness from the people I have hurt, because it hurts the whole universe.

    22. I bow to take care of myself and not to do bad things.

    23. I bow to rid myself of arrogance.

    24. I bow to rid myself of false humility, even if I am in bad circumstances.

    25. I bow to call attention to the good in others, but not the bad.

    26. I bow to keep others' secrets.

    27. I bow to rid myself of hatred of others.

    28. I bow to rid myself of anger against others.

    29. I bow to not repeat anything I have not heard.

    30. I bow to not repeat anything I have not seen.

    31. I bow to always be ready, but not to expect things to be easy.

    32. I bow to avoid expecting obedience from others.

    33. I bow to avoid expecting difficulty in my life.

    34. I bow to make the best of each moment in my life.

    35. I bow to live a righteous life.

    36. I bow to repay even the smallest debt of gratitude.

    37. I bow to not put my own needs over the needs of others.

    38. I bow to not be stingy to others.

    39. I bow to not harm others in order to get ahead.

    40. I bow to try not to obtain valuable things with little effort.

    41. I bow to have the power to control my desires.

    42. I bow to reflect that life is more valuable than anything else.

    43. I bow to know that suffering comes from an attached mind.

    44. I bow to avoid making foolish mistakes out of ignorance.

    45. I bow to try to attain deep wisdom.

    46. I bow to learn to be nice to people, even if I have negative feelings toward them.

    47. I bow to avoid clinging to the strong in order to hurt those who are weaker than me.

    48. I bow to be honest with myself, and also to avoid flattering others.

    49. I bow to be true and honest with myself above all others.

    50. I bow to know that happiness, unhappiness, and desire are all within my mind.

    52. I bow to realize the value of living a smooth, peaceful life.

    53. I bow to avoid looking back at the past, and to not worry about the future.

    54. I bow to own possessions, but not to be controlled by them.

    55. I bow to know that I can find peace by being patient.

    56. I bow to know that having a repentant mind is the best mind.

    57. I bow to find freedom through wisdom.

    58. I bow to control my mind, not to be controlled by it.

    59. I bow to be diligent in my efforts to improve myself.

    60. I bow to be thankful for the hard times I have had, because they have made me strong.

    61. I bow to keep my original pure mind, even when time passes.

    62. I bow to pray with a thankful mind for everything.

    63. I bow to be thankful that I can find myself in silence.

    64. I bow to reflect on the value of living a pure, honest life.

    65. I bow for the people who are working in bad conditions.

    66. I bow for the people who are starving, poor, and living hard lives.

    67. I bow for the people who work to provide me with healthy food.

    68. I bow to have a generous mind, even if I don't have enough for myself.

    69. I bow for the precious lives of my children, who I have brought into the world.

    70. I bow for my partner, who became one with me through love.

    71. I bow for all disabled people.

    72. I bow for friends who have been beside me, sharing my laughter and tears.

    73. I bow for moderation, even when I have enough to waste.

    74. I bow for a humble mind.

    75. I bow for humility, so that I can always put others first.

    76. I bow to realize that nature is being destroyed.

    77. I bow to realize that all lives are interconnected.

    78. I bow for all the lives destroyed by the greed of humanity.

    79. I bow for all the ecosystems that are recovering after being hurt by humanity.

    80. I bow to listen to the sounds of life that are all around me.

    81. I bow to realize that my life is the movement of my soul.

    82. I bow to realize that the object of love and longing is life.

    83. I bow to feel my soul being purified when I hear the sound of a clean, clear stream.

    84. I bow to give thanks for being able to hear and enjoy the beautiful songs of birds.

    85. I bow to be refreshed by the feeling of a cool breeze.

    86. I bow to be thankful as I breathe in fresh air.

    87. I bow to be thankful for the sight of beautiful wildflowers that are always present.

    88. I bow to give thanks for the mountains and landscapes that speak to me through wind and snow.

    89. I bow to the Earth, which feeds all living things.

    90. I bow to the sky, which gives life to all living things.

    91. I bow for my own peace.

    92. I bow to hope for peace in everything around me.

    93. I bow for the peace of my neighbor.

    94. I bow for peace within countries that have been separated for no reason.

    95. I bow for peace between countries arguing for political reasons.

    96. I bow for peace and harmony among all religions.

    97. I bow to hope for peace in all dead and living things.

    98. I bow to hope for peace between human beings and nature.

    99. I bow for a mind that is enlightened and peaceful

    100. I bow for harmony between the poor and the rich.

    101. I bow for harmony between the sick and the healthy.

    102. I bow for harmony between those who have learned and those who have not.

    103. I bow for those who have fallen into darkness.

    104. I bow to accept all of the things I have done.

    105. I bow to be thankful for all of the people who love me and take care of me.

    106. I bow to be thankful for all of the good and beautiful things in my life.

    107. I bow to be thankful for my life and to reflect on the lives that are yet to be.

    108. I bow for myself, realizing that my own precious life is like the universe.



    (Link of practice- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7tuP2Muez4[/video]] )

    Gassho and 108 bows to all

    Seiryu

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Brilliant. Thank you. Nevertheless...

    For nothing, for nobody, letting the bow bowing itself.
    Shikan bow, no agenda or intention.

    In our Soto way, we just bow



    ...



    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I agree Taigu Sensei, but the bowing doesn't stop at the end of the 108 bows. That is simply another expression of the bow-less bow of the Buddha. I bow while sitting, I bow while walking. I bow by not bowing, I not bow by bowing.

    Thank you for your comment. =]

    I bow to you in both body and mind by a humble smile.

    Seiryu

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    The number 108 has an interesting significance which I would like to explore further -

    I have just finished reading Norman Fisher's book Sailing Home - an exploration of Homer's Odyssey from a Zen Buddhist perspective. Fisher mentions some interesting facts about the number 108 - it equals the number of prayer beads on a Buddhist mala, the number of human delusions to be overcome in practice, it also clearly has significance in bowing in certain traditions, and 108 equals the number of suitors Odysseus and his faihful son, shepherd, and supporters kill following the contest of strength (to see who can bend the great Odysseus' bow). I am curious to see if this number appears elsewhere in historical, philosophical, or faith traditions. I should probably write Fisher to see if he knows anything more about this. Can anyone help with this?

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  5. #5

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Thanks for this, it's always nice to see something from another tradition now and then. But really, it's not from anywhere else. Korea, japan, America. All depends on where you find yourself and lose yourself and find yourself again and again. Seung sahn is one of my favorite writers, always will be, I think.

    "only go straight 'don't know'". Splendid advice.

    Gassho,
    Myoken

  6. #6

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I too think it is good to check out other traditions from time to time. it is a good reminder that we are all connected. Doing the same thing, expressed in different ways, yet always expressing the same thing.

    108 bows...plus some more


    Seiryu

  7. #7

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen
    The number 108 has an interesting significance which I would like to explore further -

    I have just finished reading Norman Fisher's book Sailing Home - an exploration of Homer's Odyssey from a Zen Buddhist perspective. Fisher mentions some interesting facts about the number 108 - it equals the number of prayer beads on a Buddhist mala, the number of human delusions to be overcome in practice, it also clearly has significance in bowing in certain traditions, and 108 equals the number of suitors Odysseus and his faihful son, shepherd, and supporters kill following the contest of strength (to see who can bend the great Odysseus' bow). I am curious to see if this number appears elsewhere in historical, philosophical, or faith traditions. I should probably write Fisher to see if he knows anything more about this. Can anyone help with this?

    Gassho,
    Yugen
    Hello Yugen,

    The two things that immediately come to mind is the Lanka, where there are 108 statements and negations, and the Buddha is asked 108 questions, and the television show Lost where Desmond had to push that button every 108 minutes.

    If you look up 108 in wikipedia you'll see some examples of where the number can be found. Since it all, almost, boils down to mathematics, it's not that strange that the number keeps popping up here and there in differerent contexts.

    /Philip

  8. #8

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    And I bow to Seiryu for sharing this with us all.
    Gassho
    _/_ (X 108)

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Seiryu, I do think it is important to study other traditions. And I thank you for posting this.

    My concern is that people may think we bow to...Bowing to realize something is still very dualistc, if you read the statements you get the feeling we have a very theistic viewpoint (using a terminology that Trungpa used a lot) and, in Dogen practice, Raihai, bowing is just bowing. In one of his most famous poems, Dogen describes Raihai with the following poetic imagery:

    A white heron
    Hiding itself
    In the snowy field,
    Where even the winter grass
    Cannot be seen.
    This poem expresses the non dualistic practice in which, it is neither nor, in the action of bowing one disappears. Bowing is not a way to manifest merits, purify the self, get bigger gratitude for parents and teachers. We don't sit zazen to become enlightened. We don't bow to get something. Totally relinquishing views, opinions, holly wishes and great ideas, totally casting off concepts and dreams about this and that, we bow. And just bow. From this action of just bowing changes and merits might arise, but this is not in our own hands. Bowing is to totally give up. And not think or beg for results. Bowing is to throw away. And release the spine after Zazen. The white heron cannot be differenciated from the endless snowy field, through this simple bowing everything bows with you, you bow with everything. Winter is not the promise of Spring, Winter does not become Spring: PRACTICE CANNOT BE MILKED ANG GIVE MERITS!!! Practice is practice and your parents are your parents. One thing at a time. When you bow, bow. When you are with your parents, just be with your parents. Each action is complete. Nothing missing. Here, in this Korean text, everything is said to be lacking! Hence the theistic take I was talking about, begging for being given.

    I hope this clarify what I wanted to express. That being said there is a lot to be learned from studying other traditions. But nothing can be really achieved and practiced when mixing traditions. This is why New Age is a dead end.

    gassho

    Taigu

  10. #10

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Thank you for that Taigu your point is well taken. _/_ *Gassho*

    ...But...after all that bowing....six pack abs! :wink:

    ....just joking....

    but you are right, every action is complete in itself lacking nothing...sometimes I forget that...or sometimes it is hard to accept that because the mind is so clever at making us think there is something missing...thank you for that reminder...


    Arigatou

    *Deep Gassho*

    Seiryu

  11. #11

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hi,

    When visiting Korea a few years ago, as well as with a friend's Korean lineage Sangha in America, I had the chance to prostrate 108 times. I found it a lovely practice (all practices are so when the mind is right for them) ... although a little hard on my then 45 year old back and knees!

    However, I so much am in accord with Bro. Taigu on this matter. We do not bow "to get" or "to achieve" or for any ulterior goal. We just bow, let the bowing bow you, bowing bows bowing.

    I bow to my Bro. Taigu in pure, non-ulterior gratitude for reminding us of this.

    I something write this about prostrating ...

    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 bow expresses pure gratitude. 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.
    Are we raising something up over our heads, lifting something over our head, or is the whole world supporting us ... lifting us up when seen as such? Is it truly one or the other? Is it a kind of dance, an embrace?



    So, as Bro. Taigu says so wisely ...

    Bowing is not a way to manifest merits, purify the self, get bigger gratitude for parents and teachers. We don't sit zazen to become enlightened. We don't bow to get something. Totally relinquishing views, opinions, holly wishes and great ideas, totally casting off concepts and dreams about this and that, we bow. And just bow. From this action of just bowing changes and merits might arise, but this is not in our own hands. Bowing is to totally give up. And not think or beg for results. Bowing is to throw away.
    Some lovely thoughts in that list of 108 ... peace, love, gratitude, union, equanimity, strength, humility, generosity, freedom from greed and anger and ignorance. This is what we find in the bowing which is casting off concepts and ulterior motives.

    By the way ... on the sacred number 108! Oh, we have not even scratched the surface. For just some of the many meanings of '108'. have a gander at this. It is wonderful. Be sure to follow the link ...

    The Indian Subcontinent rosary or set of mantra counting has 108 beads. 108 has been a sacred number in the Indian Subcontinent for a very long time. This number is explained in many different ways.

    The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.

    Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2x2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108

    Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

    Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

    9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.

    Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

    Marmas: Marmas or marmastanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

    Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.

    Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

    Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

    Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

    KEEP READING HERE ...

    http://www.salagram.net/108meaning.html
    108 Bows, Jundo

  12. #12

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    the number 108 thing might be a little too over my head :?:

    but I am thankful for the wisdom from both Taigu and Jundo!

    and just to say, I never thought of the 108 practice as something to gain from, I just thought it would be a good practice as is, nothing added to it or taken away from it. I was seeing it as a body practice...no gaining ideas, just bowing but in a framework of '108 bows'

    just wanted to clear that up

    either way I learn alot from hearing the responses from both Jundo and Taigu so that was good!

    112 bows (since I have no more beads on my mala :wink: )

    Seiryu

    p.s...hmmm...is bowing for a six pack...attaching to a desired outcome? :twisted:
    hmmm....

  13. #13

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    p.s...hmmm...is bowing for a six pack...attaching to a desired outcome? :twisted:
    hmmm....

    Strictly speaking, I am actually a doing-non-doing kind of fellow ... washing the dishes to get rid of all the yuck and grime, a job to do and a goal to achieve lest the sink be full of dirty dishes ... AND washing the dishes while all goals, all judgments of "clean vs. dirty" have been fully dropped away ... AND washing the dishes, each swipe of the sponge a total completion, with both "dirty" and "clean" whole and sacred in itself, "dirty" just pristinely "dirty" as it is, dirty not turning to 'clean' any more than winter becomes spring (for winter is wholly winter, spring fully springy) ....

    ... ALL AT ONCE ...

    So, we bow 108 bows to reach the goal of 108, six-pack abs, the end of the effort ...

    We bow 108 bows with no goal to reach, no beginning or end ...

    We bow 108 bows with each bow a total arriving, all bows ever bowed in each bow ...

    We bow for peace, generosity, gratitude, all the rest, freedom from greed, anger, ignorance ...

    We bow without the slightest ulterior motive or thought of something to gain ...

    ... ALL AT ONCE ... ALL AT ONE BEYOND ONE ...

    112 Bows, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    So, we bow 108 bows to reach the goal of 108, six-pack abs, the end of the effort ...

    We bow 108 bows with no goal to reach, no beginning or end ...

    We bow 108 bows with each bow a total arriving, all bows ever bowed in each bow ...

    We bow for peace, generosity, gratitude, all the rest, freedom from greed, anger, ignorance ...

    We bow without the slightest ulterior motive or thought of something to gain ...

    I think that was beautifully written thank you for that eye-opener

    *Endless bows* (It keeps on going up :wink: )

    Seiryu

  15. #15

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I believe spiritual materialism deserves its place here. Why do we want to mix traditions, teachers, religions, practices? Because we feel something is lacking. Our traditions has no bows, well we want some g*****n bows! No chanting? Well I'll take this mantra from here, than one from there, oh this one is nice too...

    And soon our shopping cart is full. All we have is stuff.

    Somewhat like a buffet, when you eat everything you see and savor nothing, all you do is leave overstuffed and under satisfied. Taste what's in front of you.

    Gassho,
    Taylor (Myoken)

  16. #16

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    I believe spiritual materialism deserves its place here. Why do we want to mix traditions, teachers, religions, practices? Because we feel something is lacking. Our traditions has no bows, well we want some g*****n bows! No chanting? Well I'll take this mantra from here, than one from there, oh this one is nice too...

    And soon our shopping cart is full. All we have is stuff.

    Somewhat like a buffet, when you eat everything you see and savor nothing, all you do is leave overstuffed and under satisfied. Taste what's in front of you.

    Gassho,
    Taylor (Myoken)
    Lovely. As you know, that is sometimes called "spiritual materialism" ... spiritual, never satisfied, consumerism.

    Gassho, J

  17. #17

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I loved the 108 reasons. Thank you for sharing them! I don't feel they will change the way I bow however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    I believe spiritual materialism deserves its place here. Why do we want to mix traditions, teachers, religions, practices? Because we feel something is lacking. Our traditions has no bows, well we want some g*****n bows! No chanting? Well I'll take this mantra from here, than one from there, oh this one is nice too...

    And soon our shopping cart is full. All we have is stuff.
    This is important I feel, thanks.
    It is one of the reasons why I don't want to add too many practices or rituals too soon. For now, I'm sticking to daily sitting, vow and repentance.
    But bowing is slowly becoming a natural part of my life and practice too. It started after reading Zen mind, Beginner's mind by Suzuki Roshi, who (among many other Zen masters) believes bowing is a very important practice. At first it didn't really speak to me. I didn't understand its importance. But now I find myself bowing most days, without thinking about it. Not so much to people I meet, but to the universe after sitting, to nature when I'm taking a walk, to the dog or my kid out of affection, to myself. I think it's important that the bow comes from the heart, that is comes naturally, spontaneously, initiated from nothingness. In that way it's an act of pure practice, of pure mind, the activity of a Buddha. If you feel like bowing, bow.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  18. #18
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Indeed Pontus but let me explain...

    at the beginning you bow to something, nature, people, statue, teacher,
    then you bow whenever you feel like doing it
    comes a time where you bow because you bow, nothing special
    and then bowing bows itself

    All these ways to bow exist here and now. Choose one, the others vanish. That is why in the teachings of Dogen we insist that we should not bow to anything and because we feel like it. Understanding this with your marrow is important. When expressing the Buddha-Dharma, one has to be very precise, very clear. Otherwise, it gets muddy quickly. And if you think the bow comes from the heart, it is very likely not: true heart in activity does not know itself, knows no indulgence of "I feel like bowing to a kid, a dog, nature or myself". Sentimentality is one of my biggest problems .

    Because your voice is wrapped with authority, please, allow mine to answer straightforwardly.

    Your choice of not adding too many rituals too soon sounds very valid to my young beginner's ears. And thank you for your practice.

    gassho


    Taigu

  19. #19

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    at the beginning you bow to something, nature, people, statue, teacher,
    then you bow whenever you feel like doing it
    comes a time where you bow because you bow, nothing special
    and then bowing bows itself
    Ah, thank you.

    All these ways to bow exist here and now. Choose one, the others vanish. That is why in the teachings of Dogen we insist that we should not bow to anything and because we feel like it.
    I know very little of Dogen's teachings still. Would you like to elaborate on this so I may get a better understanding on Dogen's view, or point me to where I can learn more about his view on bowing? What I meant to say is that when the bowing comes naturally, spontaneously, I feel it is my true self bowing and not my ego. This understanding is perhaps not correct?

    Understanding this with your marrow is important. When expressing the Buddha-Dharma, one has to be very precise, very clear. Otherwise, it gets muddy quickly. And if you think the bow comes from the heart, it is very likely not: true heart in activity does not know itself, knows no indulgence of "I feel like bowing to a kid, a dog, nature or myself". Sentimentality is one of my biggest problems .

    Because your voice is wrapped with authority, please, allow mine to answer straightforwardly.
    I know that sometimes I may sound as if I speak with some authority. ops: It's a fault of mine that I have to be observant of and I thank you for pointing it out. Please do so again if needed. It is not intentional and I try to add a little disclaimer every once in a while, so that other members may know that my postings should never be taken as the 'truth' or coming from an authority, that it is my understanding and my feeling, deluded as it may be. If there is authority behind the words, I try to cite the source when possible. Thank you for being straightforward, even though in this case, it hurts my ego a little bit.

    'Heart' may very well have been a bad choice of words here, I don't know. I'm not used to expressing these things and it's very hard sometimes to choose the right words, especially when it's not your first language. But it's good practice in many ways! After the word 'heart' I said "naturally, spontaneously, initiated from nothingness". That was meant to be in the spirit of "true heart in activity does not know itself", but put in poorer words. That is also what I meant when I said "I find myself bowing" and not "I feel like bowing". In my last line however, I did say "if you feel like bowing, bow". A better way of of putting it would have been "if you find yourself bowing out of no reason, don't resist it". Please correct me if you feel this is wrong.

    Thank you for the poke and for forcing me to express myself more clearly and precisely.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  20. #20

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I'm loving these responses! Its cool because I just found that practice and thought to share it without much thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    I believe spiritual materialism deserves its place here. Why do we want to mix traditions, teachers, religions, practices? Because we feel something is lacking. Our traditions has no bows, well we want some g*****n bows! No chanting? Well I'll take this mantra from here, than one from there, oh this one is nice too...

    And soon our shopping cart is full. All we have is stuff.

    Somewhat like a buffet, when you eat everything you see and savor nothing, all you do is leave overstuffed and under satisfied. Taste what's in front of you.
    I wouldn't go as far to call it spiritual materialism. It is not that something is lacking or I want something that I do not have. Not at all. I do feel that everything is an expression of zazen, whether doing sitting zazen, walking zazen, bowing zazen, not doing-zazen zazen, what is not an expression of zazen? It is not spiritual shopping because my cart is empty...just looking, and feeling how others express the same the thing. other wise our view can become very limited. "If it is not Soto zen done this way, I won't even look at it." I know this is not what is happening here, but this is an outcome I have seen with many other practitioners, "There way or the high way" so to speak. This beautiful practice is to remove blinders not to take off old ones to put on new ones.

    When the Buddha was alive he thought from the heart, and express his profound discoveries outside of a real religious framework. Now, it feels like we are trying to do the same by putting the same teachings inside a box called Buddhism, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism...etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    This is important I feel, thanks.
    It is one of the reasons why I don't want to add too many practices or rituals too soon.
    I agree, sometimes doing too much at the same time becomes an obstacle.

    Forgive my ranting just wanted to add to the already interesting discussion. Thank you!

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  21. #21
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hi Pontus,

    I often like to think of one teaching of my good old teacher Chodo: the miror principle. What you see in others is nothing but you. And it works very well between you and me! :lol: :wink: What I call authority in you I often call my f....... arrogance. Must be a scholar scar of some sort...
    Anyway thank you for your patience and willingness to learn and sit and bow and listen.

    Dogen's chapter on bowing and obtaining the marrow could be a good start, you'll find it in Shobogenzo Raihai Tokuzui:

    http://hcbss.stanford.edu/research/proj ... ation.html


    The poem I quoted could be chewed until It chews you. Once the flavour gone, go on and on.This is Soto practice. It is quite clear in its metaphors, don't you think? And of course, the good old Dogen with years of observation of nature from his ermitage, he has a good eye for the merging of the relative and the absolute. It is called Raihai, by the way, which means prostration.

    A white heron
    Hiding itself
    In the snowy field,
    Where even the winter grass
    Cannot be seen.

    To understand Dogen, ultimately, sit and practice. Tap into where he speaks, breathes and moves from. And that you are already doing.

    I don't understand much to Dogen and by far I am no scholar or specialist of his work, I just found out one day that it was kind of easy and jazzy and I loved the beat, water-like, flowing already everywhere. For years the damn thing resisted my every attempt to open the shell. I just found out that what he is talking about is my very life. Not far to go. Round the corner so to speak. Something like that.

    When you write : I feel...This is where I would use a word of caution. Action, raw, direct, is totally done without the feeling element. Don't just feel: bow. I would say, your action and what you do is perfect and then you add a tiny bit to it, and it is still perfect but with an accessory, something that doesn't belong. Just bow. Allow the bowing without adding the feeling bit.

    if you find yourself bowing out of no reason, don't resist it
    This is the closest. The most intimate. Because no reason does not necessarily relate to the feeling space. It could be the no thinking, the no thing...

    A real good way to put it and helpful to all osf us.


    I need to sleep now. Thank you for your teaching-being.

    gassho


    Taigu

  22. #22

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Thank you, everybody involved, this thread transformed from something I barely noticed to something touching me deeply,
    _()_
    Peter

  23. #23

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Peter, I couldn't agree with you more.

    Gassho,
    Seiryu

  24. #24

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    I often like to think of one teaching of my good old teacher Chodo: the miror principle. What you see in others is nothing but you. And it works very well between you and me! :lol: :wink: What I call authority in you I often call my f....... arrogance. Must be a scholar scar of some sort...
    Anyway thank you for your patience and willingness to learn and sit and bow and listen.
    I know what you mean. :lol: :wink: Thank you.

    You are French, you are supposed to be arrogant! :wink:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs[/video]]

    Sometimes I get the impression that you are judging your self quite hard? Maybe too hard? You live and breathe compassion. Maybe there could be more love and compassion towards yourself? I think few people would describe you as an arrogant person. At least it's not the impression I get from your posts and videos.

    Thank you for teaching, this thread is a gem.

    Deep bow,

    /Pontus

  25. #25
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    I always enjoy the moment the head touches the floor.
    Not complete but part of the completeness.
    I and earth.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    [pontus wrote:]You are French, you are supposed to be arrogant! :wink:

    Hey now play fair I'm a
    Frenchman too!

    Gassho,
    John

  27. #27

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    I'm a Frenchman too!
    Well, nobody's perfect! :wink: :lol:
    Here's one to cheer you up! :twisted:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS7f6ByrE3c[/video]]

    /Pontus

  28. #28
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    [Seiryu wrote]...but...after all that bowing... Six pack abs :wink:

    If Zen is truely everything(and nothing), as I've heard, why not make it sit ups For happiness :wink:
    108 crunches would surely do the trick for that six pack of abs!

    Gassho,
    John

  29. #29
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hahaha thank you Pontus. :lol:
    At least it can't be said that Frenchmen don't have a sense of humor!

    Gassho,
    John

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Peter,
    You are right, this has turned into quite a great thread/topic. And I was terrible at math!

    Taigu's remarks regarding Dogen really hit home with me - my practice has really evolved towards "just sitting." I bow and touch my forehead to the floor before and after each thirty-minute session. Simplicity is elegant and beautiful and encompasses the universe... For a few months I sat with a Tibetan Buddhist sangha - wonderful, sincere people. This time allowed me to reflect on my own practice. We would meet for two or so hours at a time, and between the chanting, purifications, discussion, and readings, we often would only have time for one twenty-minute sitting. I just want to sit... or "just sit..." I still visit once per month, but do not want to take my practice too far in that direction.

    Thank you all for the perspectives we have touched upon here.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  31. #31

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson

    If Zen is truely everything(and nothing), as I've heard, why not make it sit ups For happiness :wink:
    108 crunches would surely do the trick for that six pack of abs!

    Gassho,
    John
    Vey True! 108 crunches for Happiness is the next practice! Follwed by 108 push-ups!
    Were all gonna be Body-builder Buddhas :P

    Gassho+ 108 jumping-Jacks headed your way

    Seiryu

  32. #32
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hahaha I love it Seiryu! :lol:

    Gassho,
    John

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    The 108 bows seem like a very nice practice not only because of what's said, but because bowing is one of the humblest of activities.

    I think I will do them. Although the crunches and sit ups don't sound bad at all.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. #34

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hi!
    I had the chance to practice this kind of "practice of renunciation" in a Korean Sangha (Kwam Um in Belgium). It is a very nice way to practice "letting go" before getting on the cushion.
    In fact, after some bows, you just don't think about anything, ... the bowing naturally, automatically takes places... very nice experience.
    On the other hand, in the Kwam Um tradition I've experienced, the "bowing procedure" was very precise and even a bit rigid (put your fingers like that, put your feets like that...).

    Thanks to everyone for this thread, some very nice posts indeed!

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  35. #35

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Hi!
    I had the chance to practice this kind of "practice of renunciation" in a Korean Sangha (Kwam Um in Belgium). It is a very nice way to practice "letting go" before getting on the cushion.
    In fact, after some bows, you just don't think about anything, ... the bowing naturally, automatically takes places... very nice experience.
    On the other hand, in the Kwam Um tradition I've experienced, the "bowing procedure" was very precise and even a bit rigid (put your fingers like that, put your feets like that...).

    Thanks to everyone for this thread, some very nice posts indeed!

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Jinyu the temple I stayed at in Korea was associated with the Kwan Um school but we had to do 300 to 1000 bows a day in the morning. My knees and back hurt just thinking about it and like you said it was a very rigid practice with pomp and protocol, but if you bore through the practice you got a kind of runners high.
    Cheers
    Chris

  36. #36

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by ctpowers8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Hi!
    I had the chance to practice this kind of "practice of renunciation" in a Korean Sangha (Kwam Um in Belgium). It is a very nice way to practice "letting go" before getting on the cushion.
    In fact, after some bows, you just don't think about anything, ... the bowing naturally, automatically takes places... very nice experience.
    On the other hand, in the Kwam Um tradition I've experienced, the "bowing procedure" was very precise and even a bit rigid (put your fingers like that, put your feets like that...).

    Thanks to everyone for this thread, some very nice posts indeed!

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Jinyu the temple I stayed at in Korea was associated with the Kwan Um school but we had to do 300 to 1000 bows a day in the morning. My knees and back hurt just thinking about it and like you said it was a very rigid practice with pomp and protocol, but if you bore through the practice you got a kind of runners high.
    Cheers
    Chris
    WHat would you say that you learned from this practice?

  37. #37

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by ctpowers8
    Jinyu the temple I stayed at in Korea was associated with the Kwan Um school but we had to do 300 to 1000 bows a day in the morning. My knees and back hurt just thinking about it and like you said it was a very rigid practice with pomp and protocol, but if you bore through the practice you got a kind of runners high.
    Cheers
    Chris
    A thousand bows in the morning? So, if a correctly performed bow takes approximately 5 seconds, that means that it will take you over one hour and a half to do all thousand. An hour and a half. Of bowing.

    That's gotta hurt.

    /Philip

  38. #38

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    The thousand was once every week for world peace the 300 was regular practice. I got nothing from the practice other than sore knees and back. I didn't even get a six pack, but since it was a very old custom culture won out to practicality in my case.

  39. #39

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by ctpowers8
    I got nothing from the practice other than sore knees and back. I didn't even get a six pack,.
    :shock: No Six Pack!!

    Gotta change my practice to the 108 crunches for happiness then....

    Thanks for sharing, don't think I can even do 300 hundred let alone 1000!!!

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  40. #40

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    Quote Originally Posted by ctpowers8
    I got nothing from the practice other than sore knees and back. I didn't even get a six pack,.
    :shock: No Six Pack!!

    Gotta change my practice to the 108 crunches for happiness then....

    Thanks for sharing, don't think I can even do 300 hundred let alone 1000!!!

    Gassho

    Seiryu[/quote

    Now I have to try this.
    1,000 gasshos,
    Jess.

  41. #41

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Quote Originally Posted by thirst_for_knowledge
    Now I have to try this.
    1,000 gasshos,
    Jess.
    Ya' know I actually did the 108 bows practice and I couldn't walk the next day! :shock:

    I guess I have the work out more. Six Pack aside, it is a good practice for both mind and body, but after having to recover from the practice...I might just stick to good 'ol Zazen.... :wink:
    ....But every now and then I still might..... it is always nice when we bow.....

    Give it a shot

    Gassho

    108 bows to you!!

    Seiryu

  42. #42

    Re: 108 Bows for Happiness

    Hi!
    I heard of the 1000 bows but it is a widely practiced "preliminary" in China and Korea and Tibet. And I've been said that some people, especially people with an "humble condition", practiced bowing and the taking of refuge their all life. I mean it can be the One practice of a lifetime, like we "just" practice Zazen... it is quite inspiring!

    gassho,
    Jinyu

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