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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

  1. #1

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Hi All,

    I would like to announce our next book selection for the Treeleaf "Beyond Words & Letters" Book Club ...

    ZEN SEEDS, REFLECTIONS OF A FEMALE PRIEST, a series of essays by Shundo Aoyama Roshi.

    http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Seeds-Reflect ... 4333014786

    Shundo Aoyama is well known in Japan as a writer and lecturer on Buddhism. She is the chief priest of the temple Muryo-ji and Abbess of one of the major (and one of the few) training monasteries for female Soto Zen priests (Aichi Senmon Nisodo), and a student of Kodo Sawaki Roshi and Uchiyama Roshi.

    The book is described this way ...

    A female Soto Zen priest writes in plain words about the seeds of enlightenment to be found in everyday life. In this fascinating collection of essays she explains in a clear, engaging style the nature of true happiness, beauty that springs naturally from a compassionate heart, and the joy we can find in life. Combining personal experiences and a knowledge of Buddhist sacred texts, the author makes Buddhist philosophy accessible to everyone. The result is a truly practical and illuminating guide.

    I thank Richard (Shokai) for reminding me of the book a few weeks ago. I am thinking that Aoyama Roshi's voice will be good to follow the "All Boy's Club" of the traditionally male-male Lineage we are now reading in Hixon & Cook, plus the essays in Zen Seeds are very much more modern and "down to earth" than the wild old myths and stories recounted by Master Keizan. I think many folks will appreciate Aoyama Roshi's common sense approach and lovely heart.

    So, GET A COPY EARLY!

    If you would like to see a little video about Aoyama Roshi's life and work at her monastery, here it is (soundtrack in French and Japanese) ...

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xg70tq ... 2-2_webcam

    Gassho, J

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thanks for the video link! My college French was actually useful.

    Look forward to reading this one.

    Gassho

    Jennifer

  3. #3

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Ah, great!
    I knew nothing about her before you made this thread. I ordered the book and I'm very much looking forward to reading it!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  4. #4

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Awesome! I can't wait to get in on this one.

  5. #5

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Interesting, when does this start? Sorry if I missed something, very tired...

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Looking forward to it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Looking forward to a fresh start.

    Gassho,
    John

  8. #8

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Grrreat! Count me in!

    Rimon

  9. #9

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Interesting, when does this start? Sorry if I missed something, very tired...
    Oh, we still have 13 Generations of Ancestors to cover ... so 13 weeks. 8)

    No rush.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Count me in too! With 13 weeks before the reading starts, that gives me time to finish the books I am reading now.

    Jodi

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thanks Jundo Sensei for the video link on Aoyama Roshi. It was a beautiful production! So much to enjoy even if you don't speak French(I don't)!

    Gassho,
    John

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thank you Jundo;

    I just love this book. It was one of the five I was presented with upon joining the zazen group at Shoukoji in Hiroshima. Among which were a translation of the Shobogenzo, a small instruction booklet entitled Shikantaza, Zen Seeds and two other. I read all five at least once. The Shobogenzo struck me as being a neat compendium of ancient writings ( I've since been able to get into it better :shock: ). Shikantaza is the only one I still have. I read it over and over until the pages were worn and I was able to remember how to act in the Zendo :roll: I even followed the pattern on it's back pages to make/sew myself a Zafu; something which lost itself in our move back to Canada. The other four books I gave away to friends who had expressed an interest. As a matter of fact I bought at least twenty copies of Zen Seeds and gave them as gifts. Zen Seeds was a very warm reading. It put words to some of the experiences I had during my early introduction to zazen. I have ordered another copy from Amazon and am very much looking forward to meeting up with this old friend again. And, more importantly, seeing it from all the perspectives of our fellow Sanga Members in the Book Club.

  13. #13

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Just ordered my copy of Zen Seeds. This will be my first participation in the book club and I'm looking forward to it.

    Gassho,
    Tom

  14. #14

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thanks Jundo....I will pick this up.... I love the book club, but I know very behind in our present books. End of the semester and many other "events" going on. I plan to play catch up.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  15. #15

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW
    Thanks Jundo....I will pick this up.... I love the book club, but I know very behind in our present books. End of the semester and many other "events" going on. I plan to play catch up.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW
    No place to catch up ... jump in anywhere. Like life, like the universe that way.

  16. #16

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    No place to catch up ... jump in anywhere. Like life, like the universe that way.
    Thanks Jundo....that does hit the spot. One of these days I'll do a post on all that is been going on in my crazy world!

    Deep gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  17. #17
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Ordered and looking forward to the read.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Hi All,
    The book just recently arrived in the mail. I took the liberty of reading the dust jacket an it sounds like it's going to be a nice read! Damn me to hell for saying it :twisted: but I think I'm going to like/understand this one better than our current book club books!

    Gassho,
    John

  19. #19

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Hi All,
    The book just recently arrived in the mail.
    Why do you think a book like that arrives? 8)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Why do you think a book like that arrives?
    :?:

  21. #21

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Why do you think a book like that arrives?
    :?:
    A koan or two or twenty ...

    The question "where have you come from?" ("where has anyone, anything come from and what is there to arrive?") is very common in Zen Koans ...

    Norman Fischer comments on one ...

    Nanquan was either taking a nap or was sick when Zhaozhou went to visit him, so he was lying down. Zhaozhou greeted him. Nanquan said, “Where did you come from?”—a question that they always asked; a question like many Zen questions which is very simple and ordinary and at the same time very profound. “Where do you come from?” “San Francisco.” “Where?” “I don’t know.” This was the kind of question the master would ask to try to ascertain something of the practice of a young novice like Zhaozhou. So Nanquan asked, “Where did you come from?” and Zhaozhou answered, “I came from the Holy Image Temple,” which was the name of the monastery where he had been [famous for its renowned Buddha statue]. Nanquan said, “Did you see the holy image?” Zhaozhou said without any hesitation, “I didn’t see the holy image but now I see a reclining Buddha.”
    Where is the Buddha, where is the Holy Mountain and the Holy Image but right here?

    Without thinking of these things intellectually, we can say that the usual meaning is "Truth is here, there, everywhere ... what comes and can be found is always here, always there, always everywhere."

    HERE are some more like this [my notes in brackets] ...

    Jizo asked Shuzanshu, "Where have you come from?"
    Shuzanshu said, "I have come from the South."
    Jizo said, "How is Buddhism in the South these days?"
    Shuzanshu said, "There is much lively discussion [and debate of philosophical points, arguing perhaps about where "enlightenment" is and how it can be found]."
    Jizo said, "How could that match with our planting the rice field here and making rice-balls to eat? [just living ordinary life right here, enlightened living]"
    Shuzanshu said, "How could you then save the beings of the Three Worlds? [how could we save all beings in all reality just by doing something as mundane as that?]"
    Jizo said, "What do you call 'the Three Worlds'?" [Where are they?]

    When the monk Xiqian came to study with Master Qingyuan Xingsi, the master asked him, “Where have you come from?”
    Xiqian said, “From Caoxi.”
    The master held up his whisk and said, “Do they have this in Caoxi?” [what's right before and is your eyes?]
    Xiqian said, “Not in Caoxi, nor even in India [where the Buddha lived].”
    The master said, “You haven’t been to India, have you?” [how can you go to a place to meet the Buddha?]
    Xiqian said, “If I had been there, it would have been there.” [He's already "there", and "there" is no place to go ... so where is it?]
    The master said, “If you haven’t been there, how can you say that? Try again!” [Still, you have to get to this "no get to place to get"]
    Xiqian said, “Master, you should say something. Don’t rely on your disciple for all of it.”
    The master said, “It’s not that I mind saying something, but I fear that there will be no one to
    carry on my practice.” [If I feed you the answer, you will not learn to speak for yourself]
    (Xiqian later became the most illustrious disciple of Master Qingyuan)
    The monk Shenhui once came to visit Master Qingyuan.
    The master asked, “Where have you come from?”
    Shenhui said, “From Caoxi.”
    The master asked, “What is the essential doctrine of Caoxi?”
    Shenhui suddenly stood up strait.
    The master said, “So, you’re still just carrying around common clay tiles.” ["your answer is too pat, by the book" You stand there like a frozen statue ... YAWN!]
    Shenhui asked, “Does the master have any gold here to give people?”
    The master said, “I don’t have any. Where would you go to find some?”`[What does the master have to give that people already do not have? Where do you look for it?]
    Once a monk asked Qingyuan, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?”
    The master said, “It’s just like this!”
    The monk asked further, “What else do you have to teach these days?”
    The master said, “Come closer.”
    The monk moved closer.
    The master said, “Keep this in mind.” [Coming from India, coming closer ... arriving just like this]

    When Huairang first arrived, Master Huineng asked, “Where did you come from?”
    Huairang said, “From Mt. Song.”
    The master asked, “What is it that has come?”
    Huairang was stuck and couldn’t answer. He then decided to stay and practice there.
    Eight years later Huairang one day said to Master Huineng, “Now I have an understanding.”
    The master asked, “What is it?”
    Huairang said, “To say or do anything misses the mark.”
    The master asked further, “Then is there any real practice to do, or awakening to experience?” [Now that there is nothing to come, nothing not come, do you still have any practice to do and places to get to, realizations to realize?]
    Huairang said, “It’s not that there isn’t practice and awakening, it’s just that they can’t be defiled.”
    The master said, “Just this that can’t be defiled is what is upheld and sustained by all the awakened ones. You are like this, I am like this, all the ancestors in India were like this.”
    One day Qingzhu was in the storehouse sifting rice. Master Guishan came in and said, “Food from donors should not be treated carelessly.”
    Qingzhu said, “It’s not being treated carelessly.”
    The master reached down and picked up a single grain of rice that had fallen on the floor and said, “Where did this come from?”
    Qingzhu did not reply. The master said, “Don’t take for granted even this single grain. A hundred thousand grains can be born from this one grain.”
    Qingzhu said, “A hundred thousand grains can be born from this one grain, but where did this one grain come from?” [all time and space in a single grain, all grains as each grain ... what is the original soil of that grain? Where is it?]
    The master laughed and went back to the abbot’s room.
    One day Master Xuefeng asked a newly arrived monk, “Where did you come from?”
    The monk replied, “From across the mountains.”
    The master asked, “Have you met Bodhidharma?”
    The monk said, “Blue sky, bright sun.”
    The master asked, “How about yourself.” [Did you meet yourself in the blue sky?]
    The monk said, “What more do you want?”
    The master hit him. [Sometimes a hit is a friendly criticism]
    Master Xuefeng asked another monk, “Where did you come from?”
    The monk replied, “From Jiangxi.”
    The master asked, “How far is Jiangxi from here?”
    The monk said, “Not far.”
    The master held up his whisk and said, “Is there any space for this?”
    The monk said, “If there were space for that, then Jiangxi would be far away.”
    The master hit him.[Sometimes a hit is a loving pat of appreciation]
    So, where did the Wisdom in the book come from, and how can it arrive? :shock:

    Gassho, J

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thank You
    _()_

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Thank you Jundo Sensei!
    Having your notes in brackets was of great help in understanding these Koan. There were so many moments where your coments cut through the confusion and made the mysterious seem obvious!
    I compare it to magic. I have a few friends who are professional magicians. I have seen so many things that have blown my mind. Example the Floating Bowling Ball, Floating Table(they use the same principal). When not in the know(unenlightened) they are amazing to see and impossible to figure out. When in the know(enlightened) you see past the mystery and confusion where others get stuck. When I found out how the they work I was like "that's it!!?? It's sooo simple, I can't believe I couldn't figure it out!"
    I had the same experience with your commentary. I seems so difficult to understand when being read, but with a little explanation(in brackets!) it then appears so simple and one wonders how they could not have figured it out in the first place!

    Gassho,
    John

    [youtube] [/youtube]

  24. #24

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Got the book in the mail today! Looks great!

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Got the book in the mail today! Looks great!

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW
    Why do you think a book like that arrives?


    Gassho,
    John

  26. #26

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Just got my copy today. Read the first essay, and my reaction was like- :shock: :| :!: :mrgreen: ops: :cry: :evil:

    So this is going to be fun.

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  27. #27

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    I bought this book, just like I buy them all. I'm good at buying books... ops: :wink:
    I'm currently reading through the Patriarch books (the current discussion) at about one chapter each day now, just to try to get through them...I'm only up to the 7th guy.

    And, I went ahead and bought the original 2 books that Jundo mentioned in December that he was thinking about doing regarding Zen women. Hmmmm, I like to buy books :P

    Maybe...just maybe I'll read the Seeds together with you and join this discussion. Who knows...but thanks so much for laying down a bed of grass for me in the discussion forum on the books that I don't get to in time, so that when I get lost or confused I have a comfortable place to come and lay down, and in the resting start to understand a little bit more.

    Gassho, ann

  28. #28

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Like TomB I am looking forward to be able to share with the sangha via the reading of this book. I have just ordered it from Amazon (UK) where there are 3 reviews. The interesting fact (noticed by someone else, not me) is that 2 of the reviews are actually written 4 months apart by the same person - in the first one he gives it only one star, but in the later one it gets 5 stars!!!!1

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    seiryu wrote;
    Just got my copy today. Read the first essay, and my reaction was like- :shock: :| :!: :mrgreen: ops: :cry: :evil:

    So this is going to be fun.
    I'm glad you liked it enough to share that :lol:

  30. #30
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Quote Originally Posted by chessie
    I bought this book, just like I buy them all. I'm good at buying books... ops: :wink:
    You and me both, sister.

    I hope you do join in the discussion! I've started reading Seeds . . . a little bit every day . . . and it's really good so far.

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  31. #31

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Just orderd it.. Looking forward to reading it.

    gassho
    Ola

  32. #32

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Ordered a copy and am really looking forward to it.

  33. #33

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Hi.

    As all things will change so will the Treeleaf Bookclub.
    With our next bookclubbook we will try something new, and let you do something more for a change.
    We will let you run a week each, posting about three stories, much like the priests of Treeleaf has been doing this bookclubbook, making it more of an communal sanghaproject.

    So, if you feel up to it and want to try it out, please pm me or post something in the thread over at the bookclubsection (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3837).

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen, Treeleaf Librarian

  34. #34
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Just got my book too! Looks like a good one to read. Now I just need to finish the other two books I am reading.

    Jodi

  35. #35

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    Just got my book... Happy Dance! lol

  36. #36
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Next Book Club Book! - ZEN SEEDS

    We need not but sit in bliss upon our lotus leaf, watching life pass us by.
    The question "where have you come from?" ("where has anyone, anything come from and what is there to arrive?")
    What does it matter? We are here, now !


    Just got my book... Happy Dance! lol
    thanks Risho, Jundo & Gudo for the flashback 8)

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