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Thread: Few questions about monastic life.

  1. #1
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Few questions about monastic life.

    I had a few open questions from my weekend and hoped you may all be able to provide some clarity.

    1. Sheer okesa. I noticed that Ryushin Sensei wore a kesa that was made of a material that seemed see through. I believe I had seen something similar on a video with Nishijima Roshi ...but goldish instead of black.

    2. Rakusi ring. I know different schools do the rakusu a bit differently. But is their significance to the ring? Also their broken needle was more of an M with a line through it..at first I had thought it was a mistake but remembered their school is not traditional Soto.

    3. Dharani. I know that this is similar to a mantra, however what is it's purpose and is it not something used in Soto tradition?

    4. Keisaku. How often are these employed in western Zen centres today?

    5. Dokusan. When dokusan is open in the zendo, why do the monks jump over each other and run to the line. Is this unique to ZMM or is it the norm.

    6. Kinhin. The kinhin was fairly fast and somehow found it hard to keep in zazen. Is this also unique or common in today's Zen centres and monasteries?

    I know many of these are probably just their flavour of Zen. But wanted to ask so I could differentiate between ZMM/MRO and Soto style.

    Thanks

    Gassho

    Shawn

    Sent from my I897 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Hi Shawn,

    A few answers, they may help...
    Japan is a very hot and humid country, so you may find kesa made of very thin material. They sometimes make their way into the West too.
    The ring was originally on the Okesa and the decision was made in the 19th century by Sotoshu officials and two main abbots of Eiheiji and Sojiji to impose its use on the rakusu while taking it off the okesa (for more information dig Diana Riggs work and recent Phd about the okesa). Significance? Make it up. Many and one.
    Keisaku? seen by many as a toy, still reveired by some as a sword of Monju. It tends to disappear.
    Rushing to dokusan ...Sounds like zealous practice to me. Enthusiasm is invited, jumping over each other seems to be...well, you know what I think.
    Zen is zen wherever you are. You are not not going and not coming as Jundo pointed out.
    Flavours are made by palates.Yours. Mine.
    This place you visited (did you?) is great.
    By great understand great.
    Great.
    Big.

    like that.



    gassho


    taigu

  3. #3

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Hi Shards,

    I will just add a few possibilities to Taigu's fine comments. I will leave most of the Kesa questions to him, however ...

    Quote Originally Posted by shards
    2. ... Also their broken needle was more of an M with a line through it..at first I had thought it was a mistake but remembered their school is not traditional Soto.
    Daido Loori Roshi's Mountains and Rivers Order is in the line of Maezumi Roshi, and is a hybrid of Soto, Rinzai and Sambo Kyodan Lineages. I am guessing that the "M" you saw on the Rakusu is the Rinzai mark ... a mountain, seen here a bit ...

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/-jVuNADTSixA/TaWTf ... Rakusu.jpg

    More information on the Soto "Broken Pine Needles" is here ...

    viewtopic.php?p=18574#p18574

    3. Dharani. I know that this is similar to a mantra, however what is it's purpose and is it not something used in Soto tradition?
    Dharani are chants, sometimes intelligible but often unintelligible as the original Indian meanings have been lost and they are chanting phonetically, often felt to have protective, good fortune bringing or other special powers thought to derive from the power of the sound (more than the lost meaning). Mantra are similar, but typically shorter. Dharani are recited as part of standard Soto rituals, and in most other schools of Buddhism.

    I do not recite many Dharani here at Treeleaf, for I tend to consider them too much "hocus pocus and abracadarba".

    Read a bit more here ... by D.T. Suzuki

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/mzb/mzb02.htm

    4. Keisaku. How often are these employed in western Zen centres today?
    The Keisaku is usually used to wake up the dozing or drowsy person in the Zen Hall. It does not really hurt, and the place on the shoulder where it strikes can be very stimulating. Sometimes, one requests to be struck ... sometimes one is struck without requesting. It is not supposed to be used so hard that it hurts someone, but I have seen some cases where the striker went overboard. However, it is now known that it is not traditional ... in old China and India they had more of a long stick with a soft end to gently prod the dozing, though now in China they do use something similar. Now, it is going out of favor in the West as too violent and "Samurai". Nishijima did not favor it, and neither do we at Treeleaf (anyway, we would have to invent an electronic version to strike folks at home! 8) ) I have one in the Zendo, sitting on the Altar, but just to respect tradition. I do not strike anyone with it.

    5. Dokusan. When dokusan is open in the zendo, why do the monks jump over each other and run to the line. Is this unique to ZMM or is it the norm.
    This is a Rinzai thing, but also seen in Soto monasteries during Sesshin. It is simply an expression of enthusiasm.

    Here is an unusual film of a Rinzai style Dokusan (called "Sanzen"), with students presenting the "MU" Koan to Harada Shodo ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjyqGnWGftE&feature=related[/video]] ... re=related


    6. Kinhin. The kinhin was fairly fast and somehow found it hard to keep in zazen. Is this also unique or common in today's Zen centres and monasteries?
    This is the Rinzai style. Some Rinzai groups almost run.

    I know many of these are probably just their flavour of Zen. But wanted to ask so I could differentiate between ZMM/MRO and Soto style.
    They are heavily influenced by Sanbokyodan and the Yasutani-Harada Lineage. You may read a little more about that here ...

    http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications ... df/456.pdf

    For that reason, they do tend to put "Kan'na" (Koan) Zazen first, and I have always felt that they treat Shikantaza as something secondary and explain it rather strangely. However, Daido was a wonderful wonderful teacher and his many recorded talks are masterly.

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Very interesting... thanks for sharing your experiences, Shawn!

  5. #5
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Hi all,
    Just one little note from me: on Paul Haller Roshi (SFZC) retreats here in Ireland, Kinhin was a brisk walk outdoors. A big line of thirty people walking in the open air. It was a real stretch of the legs, great after hours and days of zazen. But when it rained we reverted to slow-mo indoor kinhin. The normal kind.
    Gassho

  6. #6

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    I wonder about some of those things as well, being that I live not too far from the Fire Lotus Zendo, the local branch of ZMM. And what I found interesting was, being that the fire lotus was the first zendo I have ever been to, when I first did a slow Kinhin it felt different to me...

    I have always wanted to go up to ZMM just for the fun of it...do you think it is an overall worthwhile venture...?

  7. #7

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    I wonder about some of those things as well, being that I live not too far from the Fire Lotus Zendo, the local branch of ZMM. And what I found interesting was, being that the fire lotus was the first zendo I have ever been to, when I first did a slow Kinhin it felt different to me...

    I have always wanted to go up to ZMM just for the fun of it...do you think it is an overall worthwhile venture...?
    Hi.

    Yes, its all good practice as some old fool around here says...
    But really, i do believe it is good to go see what, and how, other people are doing, gives you a perspective of things.
    And if you don't go, you might miss a gem. And just to be clear that doesn't imply that there aren't any other gems out there...
    But really, don't hesitate.
    If you want to go, if not, don't.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Hi All,
    Now that we've heard about and seen a video of Rinzai's Dokusan*I have a couple of questions.

    1) What is the proper protocol and etiquette for a Sotoshu Dokusan?

    2) What is the proper protocol and etiquette for a Treeleaf Dokusan?

    Gassho,
    John

  9. #9

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    I too found this post to be very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Gassho,
    Dustin

  10. #10
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Thank you Jundo & Taigu for your helpful responses. I'll spend some time looking into the information provided.

    One comment on the Dokusan protocol for ZMM/MRO. Entering and exiting had a very specific etiquette, the talk was very serious and direct. In the video Jundo provided, the running was very similar except it was only in the zendo and to the back. Something like:

    - While zendo was in zazen, the monitor came out and announced that the Dokusan line was open and which persons and sides of the zendo could enter.
    - As soon as he finished speaking, there was a flurry of running to the back of the zendo while those not going to Dokusan stayed in zazen. (Was honestly a bit distracting considering during zazen we were not even to swallow.)
    - Those going to Dokusan bring their zafu with them to continue meditation while in line.
    - When in the line, the abbot (Ryushin Sensei) would ring the bell to announce he was ready for next person.
    - When proceeding into the abbot's room, you would bow in gassho, do a prostration to the altar, gassho again. Then move over to in front of Ryushin Sensei, gassho, full prostration but stay kneeling, slide forward in seiza to the zabuton provided (directly in front of him) and remain in gassho until he acknowledges you. (He is in zazen until this.) Then present your name and practice (counting breaths, koans, or shikantaza). After this there is your question, some very direct dialogue, and it ends with either him feeling it is over by ringing the bell, or you saying "Thank you sensei." and gasshoing.
    - After this he rings his bell (if he hadn't already) and then the next person comes in, then you both will do another gassho, prostration, gassho to the altar afterwhich you leave.
    - Finally you return to the zendo, grab your zafu and return to your assigned zabuton in the zendo to resume zazen.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Shawn, you didn't mention this: Thinking about what you are going to say to the n-th degree while waiting in the line, and then entering and raising your head from the prostration with a blank mind and a stupid grin :shock: That was usually my experience with MRO dokusan in New Zealand :wink:

  12. #12

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo
    Shawn, you didn't mention this: Thinking about what you are going to say to the n-th degree while waiting in the line, and then entering and raising your head from the prostration with a blank mind and a stupid grin :shock: That was usually my experience with MRO dokusan in New Zealand :wink:
    I remember that; rehearsing my question in my head, and after all the formalities and bowing, I just stared at Shugen Sensei with a blank face, not even remembering what my question was...awesome indeed...!

    The funny part was that he kept just stared at me back...

    the beauty of zen, you jump, push to reach the front of the dokusan line first, only to have a staring contest with a zen teacher...

  13. #13
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Thank you Jundo for your reply, was very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Dharani are chants, sometimes intelligible but often unintelligible as the original Indian meanings have been lost and they are chanting phonetically, often felt to have protective, good fortune bringing or other special powers thought to derive from the power of the sound (more than the lost meaning). Mantra are similar, but typically shorter. Dharani are recited as part of standard Soto rituals, and in most other schools of Buddhism.
    Yes it definitely felt strange to be chanting something that had no apparent meaning. But then again, I suppose there is meaning in having no meaning.

    I was able to find the one they chanted called Sho Sai Shu:

    http://onedropzendo.org/sutras/s-light.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    The Keisaku is usually used to wake up the dozing or drowsy person in the Zen Hall. It does not really hurt, and the place on the shoulder where it strikes can be very stimulating. Sometimes, one requests to be struck ... sometimes one is struck without requesting. It is not supposed to be used so hard that it hurts someone, but I have seen some cases where the striker went overboard. However, it is now known that it is not traditional ... in old China and India they had more of a long stick with a soft end to gently prod the dozing, though now in China they do use something similar. Now, it is going out of favor in the West as too violent and "Samurai". Nishijima did not favor it, and neither do we at Treeleaf (anyway, we would have to invent an electronic version to strike folks at home! 8) ) I have one in the Zendo, sitting on the Altar, but just to respect tradition. I do not strike anyone with it.
    At their zendo it is something you request as the monitor walks around the zendo by gasshoing. I did not partake since I felt that I've sat for 6 years without it and to 'try it out' would somehow be touristy and disrespectful. Though hearing the two "thwaps" from neighbouring sitters was enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    They are heavily influenced by Sanbokyodan and the Yasutani-Harada Lineage. You may read a little more about that here ...

    http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications ... df/456.pdf

    For that reason, they do tend to put "Kan'na" (Koan) Zazen first, and I have always felt that they treat Shikantaza as something secondary and explain it rather strangely. However, Daido was a wonderful wonderful teacher and his many recorded talks are masterly.
    What was quite interesting from a lineage perspective was that Daido Roshi had taken the tradition and modified it to be even more American. During a teisho, Ryushin Sensei had talked about how they try to make things more accessible to the western mind and hence their Eight Gates of Zen practice. I was able to talk to Ryushin Sensei and three of the senior monastics about shikantaza practice and it seems that many students will switch back and forth between koan & shikantaza, however most will start with koan as much of the western practitioners like to have goals and a sense of progression. Seems quite different from my practice, but somehow with vague similarities.


    Thank you once again for your detailed response.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

  14. #14

    RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    I must say... Sounds very cultish

    Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express

  15. #15

    Re: RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I must say... Sounds very cultish

    Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express
    Sitting in front of a computer, talking to someone across the world while doing zazen on a pillow in the middle of you room...I sure to some can sound...cultish... :shock:

    Be aware of how you address another's practice...it shows how one is beginning to think that there way is better, (the only way up the mountain... :shock

    Practice is very personal and intimate. Go with what speaks to you...gassho to those on other paths and styles, realized ultimately that there is no difference...

  16. #16

    RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Yes, that much is clear. But the extreme deference (both physical and verbal) to a teacher in a formal environment like that is a bit different.

    Ultimately there is no difference, but actually there is...

    I'm not saying their way is "wrong," simply that you're not going to see me jumping across the room to have someone admonish/praise me!

    Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express

  17. #17

    Re: RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Yes, that much is clear. But the extreme deference (both physical and verbal) to a teacher in a formal environment like that is a bit different.

    Ultimately there is no difference, but actually there is...

    I'm not saying their way is "wrong," simply that you're not going to see me jumping across the room to have someone admonish/praise me!

    Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express
    I wouldn't jump either...I once saw a monk fall over trying to reach the Dokusan line first....

  18. #18

    Re: RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Thank you Shawn for sharing the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I'm not saying their way is "wrong," simply that you're not going to see me jumping across the room to have someone admonish/praise me!
    I sincerely doubt that praising is the purpose here. Though I must admit it does sound "counter zen" to me too. I assume it goes back to the time when people were really eager to learn the dharma and be ready to even give their arm for it.

  19. #19
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    Re: RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I must say... Sounds very cultish
    One man's cult is another man's practice.

    Almost everyone I met asked about my practice and were amazed at Treeleaf. Some may stop by some day. Other's were in disbelief that it could be authentic...however I would argue they really mean traditional.

    Gassho,

    s

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: RE: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Yes, that much is clear. But the extreme deference (both physical and verbal) to a teacher in a formal environment like that is a bit different.

    Ultimately there is no difference, but actually there is...

    I'm not saying their way is "wrong," simply that you're not going to see me jumping across the room to have someone admonish/praise me!

    Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express
    It pays to look very closely at the whole bowing matter. Who is bowing? Who do you bow to? What does it mean to you? There is respect for the teacher, yes, but the teacher is probably the guy who does the most bows during the day, considering the liturgy. Personality drops away, pure form is left. I think the form around dokusan makes it clear that this is not just going to be a chat, this is a moment within the long chain of dharma encounters throughout the ages.

    The answer you get is always your own. It may just take some time to realize this.

    _/_

  21. #21

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    I probably shouldn't have said anything... hope I didn't offend anyone. The picture Shawn painted of dokusan just seemed so absurd I had a hard time believing anyone would actually do that. But as Seiryu pointed out, sitting on a cushion staring at a wall is pretty absurd too.

    Everything is pretty dumb.

    _/_

  22. #22
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I probably shouldn't have said anything... hope I didn't offend anyone. The picture Shawn painted of dokusan just seemed so absurd I had a hard time believing anyone would actually do that. But as Seiryu pointed out, sitting on a cushion staring at a wall is pretty absurd too.

    Everything is pretty dumb.
    Well if you did offend someone then maybe they need to check their attachment to their beliefs. I'm with you...it's all pretty absurd...and wonderful somehow. :twisted:

    Gassho,

    s

  23. #23

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I probably shouldn't have said anything... hope I didn't offend anyone. The picture Shawn painted of dokusan just seemed so absurd I had a hard time believing anyone would actually do that. But as Seiryu pointed out, sitting on a cushion staring at a wall is pretty absurd too.

    Everything is pretty dumb.

    _/_
    I think you're on to something here though. It's a good practice to be accepting of others.

    How's about this for being a part of Buddhist tradition too:

    A kapala (Sanskrit for "skull") or skullcup is a cup made from a human skull used as a ritual implement (bowl) in both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra (Vajrayana). Especially in Tibet, they were often carved or elaborately mounted with precious metals and jewels.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapala

  24. #24

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen

    But really, i do believe it is good to go see what, and how, other people are doing, gives you a perspective of things.
    And if you don't go, you might miss a gem. And just to be clear that doesn't imply that there aren't any other gems out there...
    Yes, just to be clear ... even though every chef may have a different way of making the soup, that does not mean that many soups can't be all simultaneously delicious! The practice there may be lovely and powerful medicine right for some. Same but rather different, different but ultimately the same. I just think it good for the "informed meditator/student chef" to know where various traditions or teachers may be coming from before settling on the style of cooking right for them!

    And I certainly don't think there is anything about Zen Mountain Center that is "cultish"! Also, Daido's talks always have rung the bell, and resonated with my heart, when I have listened to them. Very recommended if you can find some online (not just to read, because his gravel voice is part).

    I do think that that Lineage tends not to present Shikantaza well, as it is always somewhat through the lens of their emphasis on attaining Kensho, and their seeing Koan Zazen as their main practice. However, that may have softened over the years.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Hi All,
    Now that we've heard about and seen a video of Rinzai's Dokusan*I have a couple of questions.

    1) What is the proper protocol and etiquette for a Sotoshu Dokusan?

    2) What is the proper protocol and etiquette for a Treeleaf Dokusan?
    The "formal" Sotoshu Dokusan procedure and etiquette in a monastery is about what Shawn described. Many in the West, especially the good 'ol 'take it easy'USA, have "gone casual"... and it is a "Hi, how's it going?" thing. I am of such school. I write a bit more about that here, with a funny video too ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2826

    I would not call such intricate procedures and traditions as "absurd", but more of a formal dance, a ceremony, a ritual.

    However, whether formal or informal, in a Soto dokusan, the emphasis is usually not on "presenting a Koan" in the Rinzai way. Rather, it may be a general question about practice ... a formal or informal "how's practice going?".

    Gassho, J

  25. #25

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    I did want to ask, Shawn, what was it that led you to ZMM in particular?

  26. #26

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    And I certainly don't think there is anything about Zen Mountain Center that is "cultish"! Also, Daido's talks always have rung the bell, and resonated with my heart, when I have listened to them. Very recommended if you can find some online (not just to read, because his gravel voice is part).
    ZMM has a website with their Dharma talks:
    http://wzen.org/category/podcast/
    and online radio:
    http://wzen.org/broadcast-schedule/

  27. #27

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    One of my favorite presentations of "Shikantaza" from that Lineage is by Yasutani Roshi. In reading the following, it makes sense if one realizes that Yasutani was coming from the hard, samurai, militaristic, macho, "no pain no gain, Kensho or die trying" Rinzai tradition ... even though he was a Soto priest teaching Soto and Shikantaza. Most of the description is not much different from how Taigu and I might describe Shikantaza around here, but I boldfaced some parts where Yasutani Roshi's Rinzai flavor and emphasis on "explosive Kensho" really stands out.

    Now, most of Yasutani Roshi's Western descendants in America and other places have certainly eased up on that, and present Shikantaza in a more "goalless, effortless" way much as one might encounter around Treeleaf. However, I feel that they still sometimes present Shikantaza as secondary to the race for Kensho.

    Shikantaza

    Hakuun Yasutani

    (1885-1973)



    The Fukanzazengi by Dogen Zenji is good instruction, but is very difficult to understand. It is especially hard to comprehend how to work with the mind, and how the practice relates to enlightenment. I will briefly explain how to practice shikantaza.

    Generally speaking, zazen can be described in three phases: first, adjusting the body, second, the breathing, and third, the mind. The first and second are the same both in koan Zen and shikantaza. However, the third, adjusting the mind, is done very differently in the two practices.

    To do shikantaza, one must have a firm faith in the fact that all beings are fundamentally Buddhas. Dogen Zenji says in the ninth chapter of Precautions on learning the Way:
    You should practice along with the Way. Those who believe in the Buddha way must believe in the fact that their own self is in the midst of the Way from the beginning, so that there is not confusion, no delusion, no distorted viewpoint, no increase or decrease, and no errors. To have such faith and to understand such a way and practice in accordance with it is the very fundamental aspect of learning of the Way. You try to cut off the root of consciousness by sitting. Eight, even nine out of ten will be able to see the Way- have kensho- suddenly.

    This is the key to practicing shikantaza. But this does not at all mean that one must believe that one's small-minded, self-centered life is Buddha's life-on the contrary! Casting all sorts of self-centeredness away and making yourself as a clean sheet of paper; sit, just firmly sit. Sit unconditionally, knowing that sitting itself is the actualization of buddha-hood- this is the foundation of shikantaza. If one's faith in that fact is shaky, one's shikantaza is also shaky.

    In doing shikantaza you must maintain mental alertness, which is of particular importance to beginners-and even those who have been practicing ten years could still be called beginners! Often due to weak concentration, one becomes self-conscious or falls into a sort of trance or ecstatic state of mind. Such practice might be useful to relax yourself, but it will never lead to enlightenment and is not the practice of the Buddha Way.

    When you thoroughly practice shikantaza you will sweat-even in the winter. Such intensely heightened alertness of mind cannot be maintained for long periods of time. You might think that you can maintain it for longer, but this state will naturally loosen. So sit half an hour to an hour, then stand up and do a period of kinhin, walking meditation.

    During kinhin, relax the mind a little. Refresh yourself. Then sit down and continue shikantaza.

    To do shikantaza does not mean to become without thoughts, yet, doing shikantaza, do not let your mind wander. Do not even contemplate enlightenment or becoming Buddha. As soon as such thoughts arise, you have stopped doing shikantaza. Dogen says very clearly, "Do not attempt to become Buddha."

    Sit with such intensely heightened concentration, patience, and alertness that if someone were to touch you while you are sitting, there would be an electrical spark! Sitting thus, you return naturally to the original Buddha, the very nature of your being.

    Then, almost anything can plunge you into the sudden realization that all beings are originally buddhas and all existence is perfect from the beginning. Experiencing this is called enlightenment. Personally experiencing this is as vivid as an explosion; regardless of how well you know the theory of explosions, only an actual explosion will do anything. In the same manner, no matter how much you know about enlightenment, until you actually experience it, you will not be intimately aware of yourself as Buddha.

    In short, shikantaza is the actual practice of buddhahood itself from the very beginning-and, in diligently practicing shikantaza, when the time comes, one will realize that very fact.

    However, to practice in this manner can require a long time to attain enlightenment, and such practice should never be discontinued until one fully realizes enlightenment. Even after attaining great enlightenment and even if one becomes a roshi, one must continue to do shikantaza forever, simply because shikantaza is the actualization of enlightenment itself.

    Hakuun Yasutani (1885-1973)

  28. #28
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    These words of Hakuun Yasutani spoke to me the most:
    Even after attaining great enlightenment and even if one becomes a roshi, one must continue to do shikantaza forever, simply because shikantaza is the actualization of enlightenment itself.
    Very beautiful!

    Thank you Jundo Sensei for your response to my question on Treeleaf Dokusan protocol.

    Gassho,
    John

  29. #29
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I did want to ask, Shawn, what was it that led you to ZMM in particular?
    Well. For the years before Treeleaf I had sustained my practice on books and podcasts...ZMM via Dharma Communications has helped my practice in this way for years.

    Thus when looking for a place for intensive practice, it was either ZMM or SFZC...or maybe both!

    Gassho

    Shawn

    Sent from my I897 using Tapatalk

  30. #30

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Just to repeat what should be repeated ... I posted this elsewhere today ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Just to be clear, Taigu and I strongly encourage folks ... if you can find the time ... to go for retreats of a few days and full Sesshin (even a full week or two if you can) at places, and "traditional" (i.e., very Japanese style) retreats and Sesshin are good experiences. ZMM/MRO is a good place to experience that [as is SFZC, several other places in North America and Europe].

    Now, someone might ask too, "if each moment is all time and space, what is the purpose of an intensive Sesshin?" Well, I often say that, sometimes, we need to practice a bit long and hard, morning to night ... sitting and wrestling with 'me, my self and I' ... all to achieve nothing to attain! Going to Retreats, Sesshin and such is a powerful facet of this Practice and not to be missed.
    Of course, we have our Annual "All Online" two-day Retreat too (currently scheduled for the weekend of December 3rd & 4th, via live netcast) at Treeleaf Sangha ... traditional (yet "fully online") ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... 10---.html

    ... but this is a case where it is actually good to go to a retreat center and practice with folks for a time (if at all possible ... which it ain't for everybody).

    Gassho, J

  31. #31

    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Hej everyone,

    I found this website where you can watch Entering the Mountain Gate by John Daido Loori.

    http://www.dharma-tv.net/more_daido.html

    I really liked it!

    Gassho,
    Sjors

  32. #32
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions about monastic life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I probably shouldn't have said anything... hope I didn't offend anyone.
    Yes it's OK to question these things. That's the only way to sort out the black sheep among teachers. No offense taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Everything is pretty dumb.
    Yes!!! (I want to do a big Taigu laugh now, but I am in the office....) :P

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