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Thread: Juzu

  1. #1

    Juzu

    I sat (Burmese, as usual) zazen with my sangha Sunday; during the third round went and sat in daisan. When I arose, ; my "bad" knee went seriously bad, so I spent yesterday in a chair with my leg up on a pillow, or hobbling about on my cane. As I was convalescing, I took the opportunity to execute a project I've had in mind for a while; a Soto juzu.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Beautiful Piobair.... but I am very ignorant ops: How do you use it??? How many beads does it have (I counted 113)??

    Gassho

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Re: Juzu

    I also have knee problems but have seen dramatic improvement since taking Krill Oil. I recommend the Neptune brand. The 'experts' say their manufacturing process is more advanced.

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Emmet;
    I count 112, including 4 markers (smaller beads. That would be 108 counters and possibly 113; the main bead connecting to the tassle. Was this from a kit or do you select your own beads and go from scratch? As well, are these sandalwood beads?

    p.s. i just depend on exercise and massage to get my knees through the day but, putting them up and making a juzu sounds like an ok idea.

    p.p.s. more on Nenju / Juzu http://bit.ly/irJ2Z6

  6. #6
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    That is indeed very attractive.

    But, yes, how do you use it? And did this really help your knee? If so, I need one! :-)

  7. #7

    Re: Juzu

    Hello,

    excellent work. It looks very nice...wish I wasn't so clumsy.

    All the best and gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  8. #8

    Re: Juzu

    Lovely - I do hope your knee heals soon.

    Gassho

    Willow

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Very nice. Almost looks like agate.

    Yes, I'm interested to hear how they are used in context to our practice. When I first started a practice years ago, I used a sandalwood mala to count mantras. The smell alone was calming. I'm missing them now that I talk about it. :?

    Gassho,
    Chris

  10. #10
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Quote Originally Posted by christhatischris
    I'm interested to hear how they are used in context to our practice.
    This has come up several times over the years:

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2037&p=29037

    and

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=60&p=508

    and

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4120&p=69028

    Lots to read up on but of course Jundo's posts give the most information on the historical and practical aspects.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Thanks Dokan, that was interesting.

    Gassho,
    Chris

  12. #12

    Re: Juzu

    No, it's not a kit. It was a generic mala I bought on EBay and re-strung to meet my needs. It's a 108 bead sandalwood juzu with 4 spacer beads and one parent bead; strung with 3 strands. The tassel is a 4-part square braid (doubled) and finished with a Turks-head knot (back in the day I was pretty good at marlinspike seamanship). To the best of my knowledge the beads represent the 108 obstacles to practice, and the ring represents the Dharma, which encompasses them all, but I defer to Jundo's superior knowledge of the subject.
    I will probably use it for counting repetitions; like metta (as one of my teachers once said; "That's not our practice.....(smile)...but it's a very good practice!"), or gathas I'm trying to memorize.
    I found just the making of the juzu itself to be a good exercise in mindful attention and intention.
    My knee's a bit better, although I suspect that ice, NSAIDs, elevation, and my blackthorn stick is somewhat more therapeutic in this case.

  13. #13

    Re: Juzu

    Quote Originally Posted by Piobair
    To the best of my knowledge the beads represent the 108 obstacles to practice, and the ring represents the Dharma, which encompasses them all, but I defer to Jundo's superior knowledge of the subject.
    The ring represents the ring. 8)

    However, I am going to ask around the Soto Zen teachers network, as I do not know the traditional meaning of what the ring is said to represent. I shall report back.

    Gassho, J

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Nice work!

    Too bad to hear about your knee. Hope it gets better soon.

  15. #15

    Re: Juzu

    Hi,

    Let me report back on the mysterious metal ring found on the "Soto-shu" style Juzu (Mala).

    First, I inquired of the many noted American Soto Zen Teachers of the SZBA and ... got a big zero (shaped much like the ring). Then, I called two Japanese priests who were also not sure. Finally, I telephoned to Ando ... the renowned "Hoiya" (literally, "Dharma Tailor") here in Japan, supplier of Kesa, Koromo, Incense and Juzu to all the finest temples in the Land of the Rising Sun. I received a very patient and long explanation that basically came down to ...

    It represents Emptiness (not to be confused with a "zero" however!), crossing through the 108 virtues and defilements ...

    ... and on a more practical level, it is a counter so one does not lose one's place as one is chanting down the beads (not a major Soto practice, but some do so). It is also found on the Joto (Pure Land) Juzu for that reason.

    However, the gentleman has promised to mail me a more detailed, written explanation of all this ... and I will report back here if there is something more there.

    I still am not sure if that is the right answer, but it is an answer ... and as good as any answer, I suppose. In fact, is that not how so many of our ancient Teachings began, with someone educated guessing, misreading, supposing, imagining or just making it up? If that is not the "traditional meaning" of the metal ring ... let it be so from now on!

    Gassho, Jundo

  16. #16
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    the 108 defilements for sure.
    I once asked a Soto priest here in Japan and he said we did not use these...


    gassho

    Taigu

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Juzu

    Thank you Jundo and Taigu;
    You take me back to Auditor Training days. During an audit, one researches and investigates a specific procedure by sampling transactions then interviewing the persons involved. Inevitably, you come to asking the question, "Why do you do this or that?" And, invariably, the answer is, "Because we've always done it that way!" :shock:

    And so, without further ado;
    ... let it be so from now on!
    Like it's not as if this sort of approach is without precedent. :roll: :lol: :lol:

    Seriously :|, I wear a 27 bead sandalwood mala (on my left wrist from now on :roll: ) because I like/not like the smell of it My wife is allergic to incense but can tolerate the mala. As well, its presence on my wrist helps with mindfulness training throughout the day. I've tried using beads in prayer and/or chanting and it just doesn't seem to work; as in 'do anything." It could have something to do with witnessing all of those hours long 'Hail Mary' sessions the night before a Catholic funeral. :shock:

  18. #18

    Re: Juzu

    Thanks for the research; I've been looking forward to seeing what you've discovered.
    It will be useful tomorrow. I'll be playing our Center's keisu bells for our local Change Your Mind Day, sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Besides chanting the Heart Sutra, at opening and closing the bells will sound 108 times. I'll play with my juzu in my left hand, and the bai in my right. Considering how long it has taken me to develop the ability to count to 10 reliably, 108 unassisted is a bit of a stretch.
    Sadly, a friend's lover has unexpectedly died. I will carry them when offering incense at his memorial, too.

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