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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

  1. #1

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Dear All,

    I am very content to make this announcement, on behalf of Taigu and myself, and ask everyone sitting with our Sangha to join in its celebration. In the coming months, OUR SANGHA WILL WELCOME THROUGH "Home Leaving" ORDINATION FOUR NEW NOVICE-PRIEST TRAINEES, well known faces around here ... Dosho (Scott), Soen (Ian) and Shinkai (Allison). They will join our present Novice-Priest Trainees, Shohei, Fugen and Mongen.

    From time to time, after undertaking Zen practice for many years, a person may feel in their heart a certain calling. They may wish to train in our traditions and embody them in order to keep this way alive into the next generation as clergy. They may feel a calling within themselves to live as a servant and minister to the community, to the Sangha and to all living beings.

    Traditionally, in India, China, Japan and the other Buddhist countries of Asia, one was expected to leave one’s home and family behind in order to begin the necessary training and practice of an “apprentice”. Thus, the ancient ceremony of ordination in Buddhism became known as Shukke Tokudo, “Leaving Home to Take the Way”. Now, in modern Japan and in the West, one of the great changes in the nature of Buddhist clergy has been that most of us function more as “ministers” than “monks”, with family and children, often with outside jobs as “Right Livelihood” supporting us, while ministering to a community of parishioners. This, in keeping with changes in cultures and society, has done much to bring Buddhism out from behind monastery walls. While, now, we may be living in a monastic setting for periods of weeks or months (and thus can be called “monks” during such times), we then return to the world beyond monastery walls, where these teachings have such relevance for helping people in this ordinary life. We are not bound by monastery walls, dropping all barriers separating "inside" from "out". Thus, the term “leaving home” has come to have a wider meaning, of “leaving behind” greed, anger, ignorance, the harmful emotions and attachments that fuel so much of this world, in order to find the “True Home” we all share. In such way, we find that Home that can never be left, take to the Way that cannot be taken.

    Someone’s undertaking “Shukke Tokudo” is not a “raising up” of their position in the Sangha, it is not an honor or “promotion” into some exalted status, not by any meaning. Far from it, it is a lowering of oneself in offering to the community, much as all of us sometimes deeply bow upon the ground in humility, raising up others and the whole world above our humbled heads.



    It is to volunteer and offer oneself as the lowest ‘sailor on the ship’ at the beck and call of the passengers' well-being and needs, a nurse to help clean soiled linens, a brother or sister to sacrifice oneself for a family, a friend offering to help carry a burden. One must be committed sincerely to serve and benefit others, and one must not undertake such a road for one’s own benefit, praise or reward.

    What is more, the undertaking of “Shukke Tokudo” is not the end of the road of training, not by any meaning. Far from it, it is but the first baby steps. Perhaps, years down the road, the person will find that that they still have the inner calling to continue this path … and, perhaps, years down the road, they may have embodied this Tradition sufficiently to continue it and be certified as full “priest” and a teacher … but there is no guaranty of any of that. For this reason, one undertaking “Home Leaving” is not yet recognized in the Zen world as truly a fully ordained “priest” for many years, and is called an “Unsui”, meaning “clouds and water”. The best translation in English is “apprentice priest” or "novice priest" or “priest trainee”. Perhaps, years down the road, some trainees will be felt to have embodied these traditions sufficiently in order to function independently as teachers … but not necessarily. For now, they are just school children expected to learn … with the future not assured, and no promises about future promise. (Of course, we are all beginners, all children … all learning from each other … teachers learning from students too).

    We hope that, in the coming years, other people will feel this same calling. It must be by mutual decision. It is not something that should be rushed into, nor rushed through. Although people are all different, maybe a good time to first consider such a thing would be only after practicing for 5 years or longer, and then it should be deeply thought about (and non-thought about) for longer still before first taking on the responsibilities of being an apprentice student-priest.

    For now, Taigu and I are pleased to announce that Soen, Shinkai and Dosho will be our next “class”. Perhaps, it would be better to say “our next test subjects”, joining Mongen, Shohei and Fugen in a great experiment here. The reason is that, given the nature of our Sangha, the coming years of training will have to be done in some traditional ways and some very new, innovative ways. If anyone wishes to download and read a very long and detailed statement of the ‘goalless goals’ of training that these people are expected to follow and come to embody … here it is (33 pages, PDF).

    http://sites.google.com/site/jundotr...edirects=0&d=1

    These “Treeleaf Sangha Guidelines for Training Soto Zen Buddhist Clergy” are based, as closely as we can, upon guidelines for priest training established by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) of North America. The process of training, with no guaranty that it can ever come to flower, will take several years. As our Guidelines state:


    These Guideline seek to address four main topics for individuals wishing to train as clergy and teachers of Soto Zen Buddhism within the Treeleaf Sangha:

    1. Purpose – What are we training priests for? How should a priest trainee gain necessary skills to function when out on their own, and how are they expected to function and conduct themselves both during and after training?

    2. Standards – How do we train priests? What do we expect from a priest after ordination? What areas of work are essential?

    3. Elements – What are the specific activities, events, and processes that make up priest training?

    4. Stages – What do we expect of a person before ordination (shukke tokudo)? What, if any stages should priests pass through after ordination?

    However, these Guidelines, and our Sangha’s program of training, are necessarily works in progress, and an ongoing endeavour, and thus subject to great experimentation, constant adjustment, flexibility and change throughout their unfolding.


    VISION:

    The purpose of priest training is to prepare individuals for a life dedicated to exemplifying the Dharma with integrity via empowering them to extend Buddhist teachings and Soto Zen practice out in the world, all in keeping with the traditional teachings of Soto Zen Buddhism and the philosophy of our Lineage.

    Priest training encourages the continuing unfolding of the Bodhisattva ideal characterized by the Six Paramitas of giving, ethical conduct, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom. Yet the heart and flowering of our way is always Shikantaza, sitting and moving in stillness without grasping or rejecting any of the constantly arising and changing phenomena of life as-they-are, the life practice of the Buddhas and Ancestors manifesting and realizing the Genjô-kôan, the fundamental point actualized through this life-practice

    Although much of the training and experience-gathering to be acquired, by necessity in our Lineage, must occur at a distance, with some ingenuity and in small steps and pieces, all must be part of an unbroken whole. It is the quality of the results which matter most, and the maintenance of integrity throughout, more than the traditional road followed to arrive at the destination. In this training, both teacher and student must use care, employ great effort and creativity, overcome any hurdles and pay constant attention to detail such that no aspect of training is neglected.

    Training, sometimes in a residential setting and sometimes not, sometimes in a group with others and sometimes by the student's own endeavors, will be based on the following perspectives …


    The period of formation that follows upon novice ordination (shukke tokudo) may continue for any number of years prior to possible (although never inevitable) Dharma Transmission, but truly continues as a lifelong endeavor that will sustain individuals dedicated to exemplifying the Dharma and the the Bodhisattva ideal. Completing formal priest training will mean that an individual has internalized the tradition, is capable of transmitting it, and vows to devote her or himself to a life of continuous practice and service.The individual’s dedication to the elements of priest training must enable him or her to maintain a regular, disciplined zazen practice, to instruct and guide others in their practice, to present and discuss the history and teachings of Buddhism and Soto Zen, to perform services and ceremonies in the Soto style as appropriate and required in the circumstance, and to actively nurture and serve both Sangha and the larger community and society.

    In addition, priest training must make the individual aware of the highest ethical standards which must always be maintained by a member of the clergy, thereby assisting him or her in maintaining such standards in his or her personal life at all times. Training will also enable the individual to demonstrate personal qualities that inspire trust and confidence and encourage others to practice. Finally, training will enable the individual to clearly understand – and communicate to others – the relationship of Zen teaching and practice to everyday life.

    We hope that you will join us in wishing Shinkai, Soen, Dosho well in their start on this long undertaking. Soen's Ordination by his Teacher, Rev. Taigu Turlur, is planned to occur during our upcoming Winter Retreat in Belgium in December. Dosho and Shinkai will be Ordained by me, Jundo, sometime in the early Spring. That ceremony is planned to occur much as our last Ordination Ceremony, on Three Continents simultaneously using all means of modern media, dropping all thought of place and time.

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=18165

    I include brief information on each of our prospective Ordainees below, although most of you will know them very well from their almost daily participation here over several years, and the energy, wisdom and compassion they always bring to our community.

    What is more, we hope that they will be merely the most recent among other folks to follow in the years to come. I will write more about that below. As in all we undertake in our Sangha, the ceremony will not be limited to a specific location, much as our annual Jukai here at Treeleaf … and we hope that you will all join us for the ceremonies when the time comes.

    Gassho, Jundo, and Taigu


    * Soen (Ian Kilroy) - Ian began to meditate as a teenager in the 1980s but only started a regular, daily meditation practice in the late 1990s. From 2000, Soen sat regularly with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in Dublin, Ireland, where he lives, and then with various Zen and Tibetan groups, until finally settling on Soto Zen practice as the way he wanted to follow. He took the precepts, with Paul Haller Roshi of San Francisco Zen Centre, in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi, in 2010, and that same year discovered Treeleaf, where he is the student of Rev. Taigu Turlur. Soen is married to the lovely Isabelle, from Toulouse in France, and they have two beautiful young boys. A writer and former journalist, Soen now teaches journalism in DIT’s School of Media, in Dublin.

    * Shinkai (Allison 'Al' Baxter) - Al has been practicing meditation since she was a child when her dad taught her how to calm herself in times of stress. In 2006 She became intensely interested in Buddhism after she attended a talk by Thubten Chodron at the University of Texas. In 2007, she discovered Treeleaf Zendo, and took Jukai with Jundo in 2009. In daily life, she is married to her partner of 8 years and works at Facebook. She says that she is honored to be serving the sangha.

    * Dosho (Scott Morgan) - Scott is a stay at home dad to two sons, age 6 and 2. Scott is 36 years old, and has now been married for 10 years. Scott wants to mention that, "without the 3 of them and their love, support, and patience, I would not be here I am quite sure." Despite what Scott describes as his "shy" nature, he fast became a warm and caring heart of this community, always offering a wise and helpful word to those in need.
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-09-2013 at 02:34 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 Treeleaf “Home-Leaving Ordinations

    As I mentioned in the foregoing announcement ...

    What is more, we hope that they will be merely the first among other folks to follow in the years to come. I will write more about that below.

    If there is anyone who has been sitting with our community for some time, has read the above description of Ordination and of the role of a Priest, and feels in their heart some calling to the Path for the future ... please feel free to privately contact Taigu or me, Jundo, and we can begin a slow and careful discussion and reflection on such possibilities.

    Not for this year, or for next year ... as these things, like any calling and commitment, should not be rushed ... but for perhaps somewhere down the road. One must carefully weigh these matters, see if one has the 'Right Stuff' ... and sit with these questions deeply and lovingly. However, there are many good hearts around this community who may have the makings ... perhaps ... someday ... of good Soto Zen Clergy, Good Ministers and Good Teachers of the Way. On the other hand, such things are not the road for most or even many, not even the right road for many who may feel drawn that way.

    We would be happy to discuss such questions with anyone at any time, and see what doors may open somewhere down the road.

    Gassho, Jundo and Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 Treeleaf “Home-Leaving Ordinations

    So thankful to be celebrating this step with the sangha.

    Leaving home
    I vow with all beings
    calling, commitment
    all bring me back to the source.

  4. #4

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 Treeleaf “Home-Leaving Ordinations

    it moves my heart, to you you four going this way,
    thank you so much and all the best
    _()_
    Peter

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Dosho (Scott), Soen (Ian), Shinkai (Allison) and Heitetsu (Chris), my sincere best wishes to the four of you. You are to be commended for taking this gigantic first step into the role of serving. Let me just remind each of you that if ever i can assist in anyway, please, just call.

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hello all,

    I am extremely grateful to Jundo, Taigu, and my families, both my wife and sons as well as the folks here at Treeleaf that have made all this possible. It is with a very joyful heart that I shall continue to serve the sangha I have come to love. And my deep congratulations to my fellow priests in training!

    Deep bows to you all.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Scott is 33 years old
    But I am most grateful to Jundo who, through a miracle, has managed to shave 3 years off my life!

    I was 33 when I began at Treeleaf, but alas I am now an infinitely older and wiser 36.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Thank you for having me as part of this wonderful Sangha. I am very happy and grateful to my teacher Taigu, to the founder of this Sangha, Jundo, and to you all here for Treeleaf and its continued growth and flourishing. I hope I can in some small way contribute positively to our shared and endless journey. And what company to share that journey with: Shohei, Fugen and Mongen; Dosho, Shinkai and Heitetsu; and each and every one of you that follow this way with Jundo and Taigu.
    Deep bows all,
    Soen

  8. #8

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Exciting news indeed!!
    Congratulations Dosho, Soen, Shinkai and Heitetsu!!
    Let the Hazing begin...er I mean ...


    Gassho
    Shohei

  9. #9

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Best wishes and good luck to you guys. Thanks for making the commitment to serve at Treeleaf.

  10. #10

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    As someone who has been thinking of making a more serious commitment to Zen I applaud you guys for making this step and taking on more responsibilities towards helping yourself and the others in front of the Sangha. Wish you all the best and we will be watching you!! :twisted:

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congratulations and Good Luck!

    And, Thank You of course!

    Ron

  12. #12
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    This is AWESOME news!!!! Heartfelt congratulations to Dosho, Soen, Shinkai and Heitetsu! _/_ _/_ _/_

    Gassho,
    John

  13. #13

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Good luck to the new "old folks"!

    :twisted:

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congrats to all of you. Very exciting news!

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  15. #15

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Wonderful to hear! All of you have been very helpful and encouraging during my year here at Treeleaf. You all have unique perspectives, but share a strong commitment to the Sangha. I know you will all be model unsui-- Looking forward to the ceremony!

    _/_

  16. #16

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hi.

    Happy trails, people!

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    _/_ _/_ _/_ _/_

    One for each of you.

    Congratulations!

    Jen

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    A deep bow to each of you as you embark on this journey. Thank you for your commitment!

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  19. #19

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hello all,

    Congrats to another wonderful group of people who are dedicated to Treeleaf and this lovely practice! Thank you for everything you already do.

    _/_

    Kelly/Jinmei

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Deep gassho to all of you!

    Congratulations are in order

  21. #21
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Deep bows of congratulations to the four of you

  22. #22

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    How wonderful! So far we have come from the days where Jundo simply said he vowed to sit with who ever wished to join him on line for the next ten years. I am so grateful that I have been able to be part of Treeleaf as it grows.

    My gratitude to all of you taking this next journey,

    Jim

  23. #23

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    If I may ask, what are your motivations for taking this deep step? Do you all have longer term ideas or see it more as deepening relationship with the Sangha?

    Just curious!

  24. #24

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    If I may ask, what are your motivations for taking this deep step? Do you all have longer term ideas or see it more as deepening relationship with the Sangha?

    Just curious!
    Hey Matto, thanks for this question. As I told Jundo when I talked with him about this step, for me it is more about deepening my commitment and continuing my Zen education. It's a vow to take things beyond words and letters and start getting to know what it is to "leave home" and take my robe and bowl out into the marketplace. I don't have any particular grand ideas about teaching or anything like that. I will be a lifelong student.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Gassho

    Gassho

    Gassho

    Gassho

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hi Matto, and thanks for the question.
    I have no plans. I am feeling my way along the path, moment by moment. I am following the guidance of my teacher and teachers. I do not know what's around the next corner.
    Gassho
    Soen

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    If I may ask, what are your motivations for taking this deep step? Do you all have longer term ideas or see it more as deepening relationship with the Sangha?
    Hi Matt,

    There will be robes, there will be a ceremony, there will be a "title"...but other than that I see what I am doing merely as the extension of a goalless path that began over 3 years ago when I stumbled upon Treeleaf. I have always tried to serve the sangha in my time here and I will continue to do so as long as I am able. I am just so very grateful to all the members of the sangha for making this place what it is and what it shall become...together...as one.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  28. #28
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho

    Hi Matt,

    There will be robes, there will be a ceremony, there will be a "title"...but other than that I see what I am doing merely as the extension of a goalless path that began over 3 years ago when I stumbled upon Treeleaf. I have always tried to serve the sangha in my time here and I will continue to do so as long as I am able. I am just so very grateful to all the members of the sangha for making this place what it is and what it shall become...together...as one.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Gassho to that

  29. #29

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Deep, deep bows to every fellows receiving shukke tokudo!
    Thanks to all of them for their commitment to this Sangha!

    Sampai!
    Jinyu

  30. #30
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Thank you all for each sharing intimate details about your decision to walk this path _/_

  31. #31

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congrats to you all!

    Gassho,

    Risho

  32. #32

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Awesome!!!

    Congratulations!

    Gassho,
    Eika

  33. #33

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving" ORDINATIONS

    Thank you all for your commitment to our practice.

    Deep bows,

    Shawn

    Sent from my I897 using Tapatalk

  34. #34

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hello,

    my heartfelt congratulations to all of you. Like watching the acorns of a a real oak tree, it is wonderful to see how something so new like this online based Sangha of ours can lead to the successful ripening of so much dedication.
    Thank you so much for your commitment to the dharma.

    Deep bows and gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  35. #35
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congrats, and thank you to all for your dedication, excellent news.
    Gassho ~ D.

  36. #36

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving" ORDINATIONS

    Just finished reading Kaz's translation of Shobogenzo in relation to "Leaving the Household" and was truly amazed to read the following sections on home leaving:

    "Clearly know that the attainment of the way by all Buddhas and ancestors is only accomplished by leaving the household and receiving the precects. ... None of those who have not left the household are Buddha ancestors."

    Also:

    "...unsurpassable enlightenment is fulfilled at the moment you leave the household and receive the precepts. It is not fulfilled other than on this day"

    And Buddha stated in The Treatise on Realization of Great Wisdom:

    "Breaking the precepts as a home leaver is better than keeping them as a layperson. You cannot experience emancipation by keeping the precepts as a layperon."

    So this is a very big deal...Much moreso than I preciously realized. I in many ways had assumed it was a formality of the religious aspects of the school. Almost like a certification or degree. Not realizing it's foundation had such weight and surprising ramifications.

    Beyond the gratitude for what the unsui mean to our little corner of the world...I would also feel congratulations are in order for taking such a large step in your practice. May many follow.

    Gassho

    S

    Sent from my I897 using Tapatalk

  37. #37

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by shards
    Just finished reading Kaz's translation of Shobogenzo in relation to "Leaving the Household" and was truly amazed to read the following sections on home leaving:

    "Clearly know that the attainment of the way by all Buddhas and ancestors is only accomplished by leaving the household and receiving the precects. ... None of those who have not left the household are Buddha ancestors."

    Also:

    "...unsurpassable enlightenment is fulfilled at the moment you leave the household and receive the precepts. It is not fulfilled other than on this day"

    And Buddha stated in The Treatise on Realization of Great Wisdom:

    "Breaking the precepts as a home leaver is better than keeping them as a layperson. You cannot experience emancipation by keeping the precepts as a layperon."

    So this is a very big deal...Much moreso than I preciously realized. I in many ways had assumed it was a formality of the religious aspects of the school. Almost like a certification or degree. Not realizing it's foundation had such weight and surprising ramifications.
    Hi Shawn,

    Dogen also wrote (in Bendowa, I believe): "[Enlightenment] depends solely upon whether you have a sincere desire to seek it, not upon whether you live in a monastery or the secular world."

    It may be more a matter of the time and circumstances in which Dogen wrote each of these passages, and the audience he was speaking to.

    The one above from Bendowa was written early in Dogen's career, when he came back from China all eager to spread the Dharma to the whole world, ordained and lay alike. He was very much more open to sincere Zen practice any where, any time, by anyone. The passage was likely written to a lay follower, and was thus very positive on lay practice.

    The second was written a bit later, when Dogen had been kicked out of town with his small band of monks, his dreams a bit tarnished, all to have to take retreat in the lonely cold and snow of remote Echizen Province. Dogen was likely speaking these words to his monks. He turned into the "football coach" or army general, trying to keep the sometimes flagging morale up among his "men" who were probably sometimes wondering why they had left the comforts of home life and "civilization" to live and sit in the freezing cold. It was a "pep talk" to monks about the specialness of monk-iness. Dogen's life was now a monastery morning to night, and it is not surprising that he changed his tune a bit.

    Dogen often spoke out of both sides of his no sided mouth, depending on the setting and his mood. Frankly, Dogen was a man of many moods and visions, and even he is not the "final word" on what Soto Zen is or is not, and who can practice and who cannot, on what "home leaving" is or is not.

    Gassho, Jundo

  38. #38

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Ah context... Admittedly I suffer from probably a common western biblical mentality of what is written is authoritative and does not have any variance nor discrepancies. I need to keep in mind the humanity of the authorship and the audience for which it was initially written. Thank you.

    G,

    s

  39. #39
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Plymouth, Devon, UK
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Deep bows to all those undertaking this step...you are an inspiration.
    Many heartfelt congratulations.

    _/_ _/_ _/_ _/_

  40. #40
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congratulations are in order! Well done, y'all.

    gassho,
    Shujin

  41. #41

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    deep bows indeed.
    Thanks for deciding to follow this path. I'm sure you all will be an asset to treeleaf and the Dharma.

    Gassho

    undo

  42. #42

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Hello all,

    I've been meaning to post, but it's that time in the semester and it just slips my mind. How incredibly exciting! When I first started "stalking" around on Treeleaf it was the year for our very first Jukai. It was too late in the year for me to be a part, but I was able to do so the next year. I was quite amazed with last year's Home-Leaving and so glad the tradition is continuing! Congratulations to Dosho, Soen, Shinkai and Heitetsu! I think of all the lives you will touch with your commitment! Deepest gratitude and respect!

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  43. #43

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    'Chapeau' for all those with this strong commitment,

    Let us hope the dharma is spread by this way around the globe, for many others to benefit from

    Gassho

    Ensho

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    My prayers and best wishes are with all the prospective ordinands. The Sangha only gets stronger!

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  45. #45

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    It's wonderful and exciting to see Treeleaf sprouting new branches :wink:

    Congratulations to all of you for your courage and dedication.

    You continue to inspire.

    gassho
    Greg

  46. #46

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congratulations and appreciation for your commitment Dosho, Soen, Shinkai, and Heitetsui. Gassho Shogen

  47. #47

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Congratulations Dosho (Scott), Soen (Ian), Shinkai (Allison) and Heitetsu (Chris)!
    I am sure you will make put your heart in to it. and nothing that is done sincerely cant be bad.

    Gassho, Dojin.

  48. #48

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin
    nothing that is done sincerely cant be bad.
    A koan or a typo ... all the same, how true!

    EMPTINESS done sincerely can't be bad! 8)

    Gassho, J

  49. #49

    Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2012 TREELEAF “Home-Leaving ORDINATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    It's wonderful and exciting to see Treeleaf sprouting new branches :wink:
    gassho
    Greg
    A good metaphor. I was just watching Mongen's talk on marriage, it struck me that the unsui ceremonies really are striking out new paths in the Treeleaf bloodline. I don't think I quite grasped that at first. We can hope that Jundo and Taigu will be with us at least another half century , BUT at some point (to continue the metaphor) the new branches will have to take over bringing life to the tree.

    As Taigu mentioned in teisho, perhaps not too long from now we will all be sitting together in a Treeleaf Holodeck (as Jundo calls it). Well, whatever may come, it is nice to know that there are new "wicks" to carry the flame forward.

    OK, enough with the metaphors

    Congrats to all again!

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