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Thread: What about Titles

  1. #1

    What about Titles

    Greatings,

    taking part of Jukia
    with means, you follow the buddha,
    so also his dharma and the sangha,
    a person become buddhist: follower of buddha
    right?

    what is the true meaning and difference between
    being Budhisattva, Monk, Priest or even Master,
    In my opinion there is no difference,
    only in responsibility and residence?
    why would somebody become Monk or Priest?

    what about subtitles like Reverend, Osho or Roshi?

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Re: What about Titles

    Hi Jiki

    "What's in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiki
    taking part of Jukia with means, you follow the buddha, so also his dharma and the sangha, a person become buddhist: follower of buddha right?
    Well, I do not feel that Jukai "makes you a Buddhist". The Jukai ceremony marks our vow to continue to learn from the Buddhist Teachings, including Zazen and the Precepts, and our aspiration to make all a vital part of our life.

    But if one is living in such way already now, the ceremony of Jukai simply is a party to celebrate such fact. If one is not living in such way, then the ceremony of Jukai is without meaning anyway.

    In the ceremony, one does dedicate themself to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha ... and one receives a "Lineage Document" linking one to the Lineage of Teachers and our little Sangha here. That is a connection that I hope the recipients will feel in their hearts, together with the commitment to keep learning, practicing and walking the Buddhist path. But I would not say that it "makes one a Buddhist". I hope everyone here is walking such path now.

    what is the true meaning and difference between
    being Budhisattva, Monk, Priest or even Master,
    In my opinion there is no difference,
    only in responsibility and residence?
    why would somebody become Monk or Priest?

    what about subtitles like Reverend, Osho or Roshi?
    Well "what is a Boddhisattva?" is a big question, but I truly believe that it is all of us, any of us, who do as we can to "save all sentient beings", and to bring Wisdom and Compassion into this dusty world of Samsara. There are also the Great Bodhisattvas (the "Bodhisattva Mahasattvas") who are symbols of Compassion, Wisdom, Helping, Rescue, Hope ... all sharing this vow to help the suffering beings ... such as Kannon, Jizo, Manjusri and others. Are they real? Taigu and I often say that, for example, "Kannon" is as real as real can be any time any of us does an act of compassion in this world. When we do an act of Compassion, our hands are one pair of her 1000 helping hands.

    Why would anyone wish to be a monk or priest? Well, hopefully, as a calling to fulfill that "Bodhisattva Vow", to be a little more committed to "saving the sentient beings." Ordination is a step down, into service of others through many acts including keeping these wonderful teachings and traditions alive. Soon, we will be having another Ordination of a few new trainee-priests here at Treeleaf, and we can talk more about the meaning then.

    By the way, "monk" and "priest" are both very imperfect names. I once wrote this:


    The words "monk" and "priest" do not really work as good translations of the Japanese terms, and were picked, obviously, from a Judeo-Christian vocabulary. "Priest" carries the feeling of working some power to intervene with God/the spirits, and most Zen "monks" only reside in monasteries for short periods as part of their training ... so both words are not good fits (except when the person is actually residing in a monastery and might be described then as a "monk".). The best translations might be "Companion" "Guide" "Teacher" or (my favorite) "Rabbi (which also means "teacher")".

    A very nice old term for a teacher used in China is "shanzhishi" = a good spiritual friend (Sanskrit kalyanamitra.)

    I prefer "Zen clergy or teacher or minister ". One of the many Japanese terms usually (and awkwardly) translated as "monk/priest" in English is actually closer to "Buddhist companion" , which I care for very much ...

    ?? (the first kanji derives from the "san" of Sanskrit sangha = community, and the second means companion)

    So "Buddhist companion" or "Sangha Friend and Companion" may be the most accurate.

    Of course, many "Zen priests" in Japan and China do reside in temples in which they are largely concerned with performing funeral and other ceremonies for parishioners to appease the spirits, bring good fortune or the like. In such case, "priest" is not inaccurate to describe such folks.
    And what about Master, Reverend, Osho, Roshi (and "Sensei" too)?

    In Japanese Soto, "Roshi" does not imply any particular rank or attainment beyond being a fully ordained priest who one wants to refer to with some respect due to age or the like (the Rinzai folks use the term in a more specific way ... see this article for more details).

    http://archive.thebuddhadharma.com/issu ... nter02.htm

    Soko Morinaga, a well respected Japanese Soto Zen teacher, once famously said, "A roshi is anyone who calls himself a roshi and can get other people to do the same."

    A "Sensei" in Japan is a general title that can be applied to anyone from a school teacher, to a lawyer or doctor, to a politician. It is NOT a common title in the Zen world in Japan to denote some particular rank or attainment, and its use in the West for Zen teachers is pretty much a complete Western invention. There is no sense in Japan or China that "Sensei" is a lower rank, or less attained than a "Roshi". From a Japanese language/cultural point of view, it is rather amusing that in the West teachers are making artificial ranks based on those terms.

    In the rules of the Soto-shu in Japan, an "Osho" is anyone who has received Dharma Transmission (plus has done all the proper paperwork, ceremonies, and paid the needed fees to Soto-shu). Again, the Rinzai folks define the term a little differently. The term "Osho" comes from the Indian "acharya", which is a guide or instructor in religious matters.

    In my view, "master" is someone with some "mastery" in an art or tradition to pass on and pass down ... from carpentry to medicine to martial arts to Zen Buddhary. It need not mean the "master" is perfect (one can be a "master carpenter", yet not every corner will always be smooth; a "master surgeon" cannot cure every patient, and even the most gifted may sometimes make a bad cut). However, one should be pretty darn skilled.

    "Reverend" is a nice general term to refer to clergy or a minister.

    In my case (I think Taigu feels the same way), just call me Jundo or or Rev. Jundo (or Rabbi) or Cap'n Jundo. Maybe, in a few years, you can start calling me Admiral Jundo. Call me Roshi or Sensei. My father from Brooklyn used to say, "Call me whatever, just don't call me late for dinner"

    A rose by any other name is still a rose. A lemon by another name is still a lemon.

    Gassho, Jundo (a name)

  3. #3

    Re: What about Titles

    Gosh,
    that's a very complete explanation
    which I owe you many thanks

    I'll have to read a few times
    to fully and properly understand.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: What about Titles

    Thank you Jundo Sensei Rabbi Master Reverend Osho Roshi that was quite the post on titles. It cleared up confusions I've had on some of these names.

    Gassho,
    John

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: What about Titles

    Jundo-oso;

    Thank you for clearing all that name stuff up.
    And so, what DID the Rabbi say when he walked into the bar (note; he could also have been a barrister);
    "When one gets a lemon, make lemonade !! :roll: "

  6. #6

    Re: What about Titles

    Oh Captain, my Captain!

    So it seems that we are pretty flexible with the whole title thing. How does Grand High Puhbah of "Zen Budhary" sound?

    I think that titles only really serve their purpose when they have a weight to them. Each additional title bears the weight of responsibility, and with each title one assumes, one assumes the weight of the responsibility that accompanies it.

  7. #7

    Re: What about Titles

    A teacher by any name is still a teacher. Some folks around Treeleaf could be called Snuffy Smith and i still would hold their utterances in high regard. Mankind sure likes titles now don't we. I wonder why? A Buddhist Work in Progress, Shogen

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: What about Titles

    And, what's wrong with Snuffy Smith?? :lol:

    Chris; were you standing on your desk when you uttered the Captain Thing?? :roll:
    (ref: Dead Poet's Society) :lol:

  9. #9

    Re: What about Titles

    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai
    And, what's wrong with Snuffy Smith?? :lol:

    Chris; were you standing on your desk when you uttered the Captain Thing?? :roll:
    (ref: Dead Poet's Society) :lol:
    One can not utter that line without standing on one's desk! Of course, the keyboard was so far away I had to type it with my toes, but it was worth it.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: What about Titles

    Of course, the keyboard was so far away I had to type it with my toes
    I hope you took time for a pedicure first!! :lol:

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