August 2008 Archives

Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable



Today's Insta-Zazen© is 40 seconds ... just waiting to cross a street ...

Keishin said it well in another posting in the forum: We can disappear into the here and now, right now.



That's a practice we can do anywhere, any time.




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Today's Zazen is only 1 minute long ... but (sometimes) time does not matter ...


I'm in a dreary government office to file some forms, waiting for my number to be called ... it is taking forever ... a perfect time for Insta-Zazen© (when isn't?).


(for those folks who don't know about Insta-Zazen©, here's a description:

I like to encourage everybody to try Jundo's Patented "Insta-Zazen"© sittings throughout each day. You don't even have to "sit" for these "sittings", but can sit while standing, lying down, jumping on the bed or hanging by one's feet. "Insta-Zazen"© can be of any length, starting from but a moment until infinite time (the same!). We "Insta-Zazen"© at times in our day when just a bit of "Zen Mind"© will change our perspective on all things, when a touch of balance will bring life into balance ...

Just standing in a creeping postal line, in the dentist's chair, when facing a flat tire on the way to work, when driving and stuck in traffic, when the computer crashes, wherever and whenever ... just do what you do in Zazen, with the Lotus Position fully optional (it tends to get in the way while driving or having a root canal, although it might work in the postal line if you keep pushing along.).

This is actually not such a radical departure from "traditional" practice. Life in a Zen monastery, for example, is filled with countless opportunities to bring the "Way of Non-Seeking" tasted on the cushion into daily activities ... what's the difference between the "Dokusan" line and the postal line? Even monks need the dentist. If dropping the incense during the big ceremony at the temple, or dropping the water glass at dinner, just pick it up! Each place is a place for Practice. In fact, if what we do on the cushion stays on the cushion, what's the point??

So, please try Jundo's Patented "Insta-Zazen"© throughout your day. In fact, for a limited time only, three (3) "Insta-Zazen"© sittings can subsitute for one (1) traditional sitting (if sitting 1 or more traditional sittings each day).

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Synchronized Zazen



Now that the games are done for four more years, I'd like to propose that Zazen be made an event for the next Olympics ...





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So, we now see that these lines of the Heart Sutra are shorthand for the "Twelve-fold Chain of Dependent Origination", ruuning from "ignorance" to "old age and death" ...

... and emptiness breaks the chain.

In fact, what "chain"?

(Please excuse a few oral "typos" ... I keep calling the chain the "12 foot chain" ... I am very very sleepy after a long day!)



No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/; No/ old/ age/ and/ death/, No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/



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Let's look at a bit more at the ‘Twelve-fold-Chain' ... (1) chaos or ignorance (sk: avida), (2) action (karma), (3) consciousness (vijnana), (4) the external world (nama-rupa), (5) the six sense organs (shadayatana), (6) contact (spasha), (7) sensation (vedana), (8) desire (trishna), (9) grasping (upadana), (10) possession (bhava), (11) birth (jeti), and (12) sickness, old age and death (jana-marana).




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TODAY (AND TOMORROW) ... THE PROMISED TALKS ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT ...

The Heart Sutra's talk of "Ignorance", "Old Age" & "Death", the human senses and consciousness, alludes to the Buddha's explanation of the 'Twelve-fold Chain of Cause & Effect' (often called the 'Twelve-fold Chain of Dependent Origination' or 'Twelve Causes') ... It describes how our experience of being a separate "self" arises -- and with it, as its mirror reflection, the experience of a separate world not our "self", coupled with desires, judgments, discontents with that world, feelings of passing time and all the rest ...

I am struck by how the Buddha's idea parallels modern theories of the development of a consciousness and a sense of separate identity in the human infant (such as the model by researchers HERE) ... as the child begins to respond and react to pleasant and unpleasant input through the senses, slowly building a hard sense of "self" vs. "other", driven on by its thirst and hunger and other desires ...

In fact, is our Buddhist practice an effort, in some way, to reverse or return to aspects of living that arose or were lost in those first days of our lives? Are we attempting to recover our original undivided state prior to "self/other" but --this time-- free of the greed, anger, fear, need and lack of understanding of the crying newborn? (That's Jundo's theory, which I propose.)



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Nishijima Roshi has written an explanation of the chain that I will quote here at length ...

__________________________________________

Sekishin: What, specifically, are the ‘Twelve Causes?’


Gudo: The ‘Twelve Causes’ are (1) chaos (sk: avida), (2) action (karma), (3) consciousness (vijnana), (4) the external world (nama-rupa), (5) the six sense organs (shadayatana), (6) contact (spasha), (7) sensation (vedana), (8) desire (trishna), (9) grasping (upadana), (10) possession (bhava), (11) birth (jeti), and (12) sickness, old age and death (jana-marana).


Sekishin: To begin at the beginning, what is the meaning of ‘chaos,’ the first of the ‘Twelve Causes?’


Gudo: ... We call it ‘chaos,’ for it is the ambiguous state which is the source of all that is before the mind comes into play, before the mind divides and judges …. At the beginning, nothing is clearly defined or distinguished from any other thing until the mind finds organization therein. Before the mind divides objects, assigning names, distinguishing by characteristics and imposing judgments, there is no figure or ground, no subject or object, no defined relationships of any kind, the whole merging into the whole. This first of the ‘Twelve Causes’ is often referred to in Buddhist philosophy as ‘ignorance’ for we are ignorant of that original nature, seeing only a world of division and judgments, and what there is is very difficult to grasp or understand except by means of inadequate, abstract concepts. And so, in our ignorance, we do not know how to interpret the proper nature of things, we misapprehend this source of our existence, the conditions surrounding our birth. We feel enigma, complexity and an overriding sense of ambiguity with regard to the true state, wherefrom the notion of the person as an individual arises as something separate and apart from the real world, subject from object, ‘this’ from ‘that.’ This process of division by mind into thinking, thinker and discriminated thoughts is the mental process being described in the chain of ‘Twelve Causes,’ beginning with the following of the ‘Twelve Causes’ which is ‘action.’


Sekishin: Are you saying that ‘ignorance’ and ‘action’ are not separate, but combine into a single process?


Gudo: Yes. ‘Action’ really can best be seen as something which combines ‘action’ and ‘chaos.’ We might say that it is human action of the simplest kind, volitional but undirected action like the moving hands and feet of a newborn baby. It is much as the blind flailing about of the tiny baby who, still lacking clear sense of separate self, undirectedly kicks and thrashes amid the chaos of the new environment in which it finds itself. Thus, in the midst of the ‘chaos,’ this movement or ‘action’ naturally arises.



Sekishin: So, in Buddhism, this ‘action’ truly sits at the start of all causal relationships?


Gudo: Yes. ...


Sekishin: And how does this relate to ‘consciousness,’ the next of the ‘Twelve Causes?’


Gudo: ‘Consciousness,’ simple self-awareness, is a function of the workings of the brain, is possessed by each of us. Or, to say it in other words, it is ‘mind.’ It is one of the assertions of Buddhism that this ‘mind’ which each of us possesses is formed and created out of the ‘action’ which precedes it, a sense of ‘self’ much as the newborn infant begins to develop a sense of self, a sense of separation from its environment as its arms and legs flail about amid the chaos, thereby coming to define space and dimension. And as the sense of ‘self’ arises, the sense of ‘not self,’ of the external world, mentally arises as its reflection.


Sekishin: So, that leads us to the relationship of ‘consciousness’ and the following of the ‘Twelve Causes,’ ‘the external world.’


Gudo: Here, ‘external world’ refers to each and every one of the individual things which exist, the multitude of phenomena upon which we have mentally bestowed names and identity ….. In other words, this is the objective world. It means whatever we can grasp with our senses, or if we were to say it in modern terms, it means the ‘physical.’ However, the ‘physical,’ the ‘objective world,’ does not exist independently, but exists in a reactive, responsive relationship to ‘consciousness,’ to ‘mind.’ It is the ‘not self’ reflective of ‘self.’ This is the nature of the relationship between ‘consciousness’ and the ‘external world.’ The existence of ‘mind,’ of ‘consciousness,’ necessarily gives rise to the existence of ideas of an ‘external world.’ But furthermore, the existence of the ‘external world’ necessarily anticipates the existence of ‘consciousness.’ A ‘self’ entails a ‘not self,’ and ‘not self’ requires a ‘self.’ So, there is a ‘co-dependent arising,’ a relationship of interdependent existence, between ‘consciousness’ and the ‘external world.’ In Buddhism, this relationship of mutually dependent existence is often called ‘co-dependent arising’ (jp: engi).


Sekishin: And this connects to the ‘six sense organs,’ the next of the ‘Causes.’


Gudo: The ‘six sense organs’ means the six types of sense organ which receive external stimulation, and refers specifically to eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. In this list, ‘body’ refers to the sense of touch, and ‘mind’ refers to the center point of the other senses which integrates all components of the sensory system into a whole. It is through these senses that information on the external world flows into the brain to be further interpreted, details added to our image of the world.


Sekishin: It seems like a very scientific way of thinking about things …..


Gudo: It is. ...


Sekishin: That takes us to ‘contact.’


Gudo: ‘Contact’ means the ‘coming into contact’ of the ‘six senses,’ the six types of sense organ, with the immediately prior of the ‘Twelve Causes,’ the ‘external world’ which provides the external stimulations to the senses.


Sekishin: Which would bring us to ‘sensation.’ What is meant by that?


Gudo: This is ‘sensation’ as in ‘feeling sensations.’ We might also call it ‘perception.’ Just as ‘contact’ is the passive form of one’s coming into contact with the external stimulations, ‘sensation’ is the active reception and taking in of external stimulations, the perception, the experiencing and actual tasting thereof in the contact.


Sekishin: Which then connects to ‘desire’ in some way?


Gudo: Yes. We might also phrase this ‘desire’ as ‘attachment.’ It is our attachment to the external sensations, which attachment and desire are born as a result of ‘sensation.’ Because we now perceive ‘this’ as opposed to ‘that,’ such discrimination leads to likes and dislikes, and the situation of wanting what we desire. This leads then to the next step, our efforts to reach out for what me want …


Sekishin: ‘Grasping?’


Gudo: Yes. It is the conduct of ‘grasping’ which occurs from the motive of wishing to acquire and make one’s own, by hook or by crook, the things which are the objects of our ‘attachment,’ our ‘desire.’


This brings us to bhava, the next link in the chain, which is the state of a sense of possessing which arises from that ‘grasping..’ Such reaching out has a result: We do get something, and we develop a mental consciousness of possession and ownership. But this possession refers not only to a simple ownership of things as property, but to a fundamental sense of ‘having’ something, for example, of having our own body and having our very life. We feel that we have our thoughts and ideas, our mind. Because such feelings of possession are fundamental to our sense of being, of having a life, it is sometimes called the ‘process of becoming’ because it leads to the following link …..


Sekishin: 'Birth' ...


Gudo: Yes. This ‘birth’ is ‘life,’ our sense of being alive….. It is our sense of our very lives, of our living born from the foundation of that possession. Thus, we feel that we were ‘born.’


Sekishin: So, in Buddhism, it is thought that the state of ‘possessing’ somehow gives birth to our life, gives rise to our mental sense of being alive?


Gudo: It sounds strange, does it not? In our common sense understanding, it may be hard for us to understand. But, such thinking which places the fact of ‘possessing’ in intimate relationship to life, our human lives ….. such thinking is philosophically of very deep meaning I believe.


Sekishin: And so we come to sickness, old age and death.


Gudo: In life, as the years pass, we all come to sickness, old age and death. These are the solemn facts of life which are to be found as the underside of birth and life itself.



Sekishin: So, the ‘Twelve Causes’ come to a close with this final step of sickness, old age and death.


Gudo: It should not be understood in that way. It is not that the ‘Twelve Causes’ draw to an end with sickness, old age and death, but rather all goes round and connects to the first link, to ‘ignorance’ and ‘chaos.’ In that way, our ideas of ‘life’ and ‘death,’ ‘self’ and ‘not self’ and all the rest are swept up and merge, are wholly absorbed once we fully pierce that vale of ‘ignorance.’ So, we really should view the ‘Twelve Causes’ as constituting a circle, the last going right around to merge into the first. Thereby, it is often called by such names as the ‘Wheel of Causation.'

UPDATE: Because of the Ustream system being down, I will repost a prior sitting ...


Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: 'Winking at the Gods'

Is Zen a 'religion'? A 'philosophy'? Something quite else?

I don't think about these questions much in my life. I just live life.

Does 'God' exist? Not exist? Whose 'God'?


I don't think about these questions much in my life. I just live life.

Is there 'Life-after-Death'? 'Reincarnation'? 'Nothing'?

I don't think about these questions much in my life. I just live life.

Were we born for a 'reason'? What reason? No reason?

I don't think about these questions much in my life. I just live life.





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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XVII



IGNORANCE IS BLISS



No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XVI


We will talk about ignorance and suffering in the coming days, but I wanted to jump right into "old age and death" ...


The're not there ... and they never cease!



No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/

Master Dogen wrote in Shobogenzo Shoji (Birth & Death) ...

Just understand that birth-and-death is itself nirvana. There is nothing such as birth and death to be avoided; there is nothing such as nirvana to be sought. Only when you realize this are you free from birth and death.

It is a mistake to suppose that birth turns into death. Birth is a phase that is an entire period of itself, with its own past and future. For this reason, in buddha-dharma birth is understood as no-birth. Death is a phase that is an entire period of itself, with its own past and future. For this reason, death is understood as no-death. In birth there is nothing but birth and in death there is nothing but death. Accordinly, when birth comes, face and actualize birth, and when death comes, face and actualize death. Do not avoid them or desire them. Birth and death as the experience of nirvana.

And he wrote in Shobogenzo Genjo Koan ...

Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring.


NOTE: THE SIGNAL DROPPED DURING THE SITTING,
SO THERE IS NO CLOSING BELL ...
PLEASE KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TIME.
FITTING THAT OUR SIT HAS NO END!


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Semi-Time



We will let the cicadas ('semi' in Japanese) do the guest teaching again today, one last time before the summer ends. Our subject is time, the long and the short of time.

The life span of some species of cicada range up to 17 years, but they live, dormant, in the ground for most of that 17 years, only to finally emerge for a few short weeks to find a mate (that is what the incessant singing is about). The male dies promptly upon completing mating, the female soon after laying her eggs. The newborn grubs return to the ground, and thus the cycle repeats ...


Master Dogen wrote on Time (in Being-Time, Uji) ...

See each
thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one
another. ... Each moment is all being, is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: "TAIGU-ZENKAI"

We are having another special Zazenkai tonight for two hours, in honor of Rev. Taigus visit ... a "Taigu-zenkai"! We will sit 2 periods of about 40 minute Zazen, with 10 minute Kinhin, and a short talk by Rev. Taigu in between (at about the 1 hour mark). We close with the Verse of Atonement and Four Vows.

Specially for tonight, our "Heart Sutra" will be chanted by Rev. Taigu in Japanese.

Please sit-a-long-with-Taigu and Jundo.




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO & TAIGU TOO


At left is another Kesa sewn by Rev. Taigu, the same one he is wearing tonight. We've been filming Rakusu sewing lessons all day for the Jukai, and they will be very helpful I think ..


TOMORROW, WE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL "TAIGU-ZENKAI" ... FROM 9PM to 11PM SATURDAY, JAPAN TIME (CHECK YOUR LOCAL TIME). PLEASE JOIN US AND 'SIT-A-LONG' ... THE LINK TO THE LIVECAST WILL BE POSTED HERE TOMORROW, SHORTLY BEFORE THE SITTING ...


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO & TAIGU


We were going to have a talk on the Heart Sutra today ...

... but Rev. Taigu is visiting to show us how to sew a Rakusu for the Jukai (he sewed the lovely Funzo-e Kesa in the picture), so I thought to let him give the talks the next couple of days ....


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Fat Man Trims Bushes



Our topic today is 'Samu' ... Work Practice ...

... which is just Zazen working ...

While Zazen is at the heart of our Way, other aspects of traditional Zen Practice also should be introduced and encouraged. I have been meaning to do so more and more around Treeleaf. One of the most vital is the non-doing of 'Samu' (traditional work practice) ...

Samu is well described in this excerpt ...


Samu is manual work done with the same concentration as zazen. All masters of transmission, especially Master Hyakujo (720-814), have insisted on this. Even in his old age, Master Hyakujo worked every day in the field with his students. One day, they hid his tools, thinking that their master should spare himself. Hyakujo declared: “A day without working, a day without eating.” And he stopped eating until his disciples gave him back his tools.

In zen, work has great value, because it allows us to practise the Way in action. In the dojo and during retreats (sesshins), zazen is followed by samu, which is when we do the chores to ensure the smooth functioning of communal life. Samu also means putting our efforts at the service of the community, without expecting anything in return. French version of the texts from Zen, by Bovay, Kaltenbach and De Smedt, Albin Michel Publishing, 1993

Yes, Samu is just Zazen in action. It may not look like seated meditation, but it is to be done from the same state of mental balance. Couple this with an attitude of goalless, non-striving, 'just doing', also a hallmark of Zazen. As well, work is to be performed mindfully, as the only action in and of the whole universe : One engaged in Samu should devote to it all care and attention, never wishing for or thinking of anything else.

The result is a job performed diligently and patiently and with certain goals, but with no thought of anything to achieve (of course, not a contradiction in Zen). It may be a continuing job that just needs to be done without end, but we do it with all care moment by moment by moment for the time we have.

I encourage those Treeleaf folks with the time to give a few hours each week to volunteer activities in their community (please consult with me, if you wish, about an appropriate choice of work). However, those with heavy family or employment duties can make that part of that their 'Samu', approaching it with the mindset described above.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sports vs. Politics


Russia, Georgia medalists embrace despite conflict (The Associated Press) -- Their countries may be in a conflict, but a Russian and a Georgian shared a podium and an embrace after winning Olympic medals Sunday. A day after Georgian athletes considered leaving due to violence back home, Vakhtang Salukvadze took the bronze in the women's 10m air pistol. Russia's Natalia Paderina took the silver, and after the medal ceremony, Salukvadze put her arm around Paderina and the two posed together for photographs. Paderina than gave Salukvadze a kiss on the cheek. ... [A]n 18-year-old Georgian who competes in the gymnastics trampoline event, said there should be no difficulties while competing with the Russians. "I think it's not a problem with sportsmen. It's politics," Golovina said. "Sports and politics are different."






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AS I CANNOT GET A NEW SIT-A-LONG POSTED TODAY, HERE IS AN OLDIE BUT GOODIE ...

Looking at 'Right Mindfulness' and 'Right Concentration', we shall receive a lesson from a visiting Master ...


If you would like more information on his lineage, please look here.


(we have a county nature reserve behind our small house in Florida, and this fellow appears on our creek every day in the morning and afternoon. I just waited for him, then sat with him at a respectful distance. If, perhaps , you think it a photograph, please notice the fluttering grass and water at the lower left. He moved a bit, at 19 minutes, then flew away at the end) ...



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(Sitting Time: About 25 minutes)

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Wall Arch

THERE WILL BE NO SIT-A-LONG MONDAY.


ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) -- One of the largest and most photographed arches in Arches National Park has collapsed. Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, said Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. ... For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers. Henderson said the arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion. "They all let go after a while," he said Friday.


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Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Olympics



Watching the Olympics tonight ...

Ah, it's so wonderful when (once in awhile)
the whole world justs gets along ...

THE SIGNAL DROPPED HALF-WAY THROUGH ...

SO PLEASE SELF-TIME IF SITTING-A-LONG



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Buji


DUE TO TECHNICAL HURDLES, THERE WILL BE NO SITTING THURSDAY. SEE YOU TOMORROW!!


Somebody asked about the term "Buji" (無事) Zen, which is often heard not in a positive sense. Here is a typical definition ...

Buji Zen - False zen practice. Those who rationalize "since Buddha-Nature is intrinsically with us, there is no need to practice Zazen", neglecting all the effort needed to overthrow delusion.

As described by Shohaku Okumura, one of the great teachers around today ...

The first kind of sickness [as found in Zen practice]
is sometimes called buji Zen. Buji means “nothing matters;” an “everything-is-OK” kind of Zen. The second sickness is the belief or attitude that we need to practice in order to attain enlightenment as some kind of fancy experience, after which everything becomes OK — that we have no problems at all after such an enlightened experience. This is the belief that, at a point, we become so-called enlightened persons.

These are two basic sicknesses in Zen practice, according to Dogen.


So Zen practice, in our Soto way, is often said to be without goal, with nothing to attain ... yet we have to work very diligently to sit every day, and strive with great effort, all to realize that there is nothing to attain ... Thus, it is the way of effortless effort. We must aim carefully for the goalless goal!

Being the "Buddha" all along, and having not a thing about you that is in need of change ... that does not mean you don't have some work to do to realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change. To realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe (not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is "nothing to add" is an important addition!

And how do you realize that non-realization?

By just sitting to-the-marrow, radically dropping all goals, judgments, attempts to get somewhere or to achieve some realization. That gets you somewhere, and a revolutionary realization!

Get how that goes? :shock:

Only then might one perhaps know "Buji" in its positive meaning ... such as here described by the great living Rinzai master, Eido Shimano Roshi ...
I would like to mention that the most important teaching of Master Rinzai is buji. This term appears more than twenty times in The Book of Rinzai, but there is no English word that reflects exactly what buji expresses.

Bu means no or negation. Ji is event, matter, action, phenomenon, affair, or thing. Literally, buji means to negate all ji. What does that mean? Life is ji. Getting old is ji. Sickness is ji. Passing away is also ji. In fact, from morning to night, we are ji itself. We have a tendency to think that by doing various practices (ji), we can reach a point where delusions disappear and there is nothing further to seek. This view is a deception. How could reality be altered by practice? Yet you may ask, if buji implies doing nothing, then why do we have to practice? Isn’t “doing nothing,” in the usual passive sense of the phrase, enough? At the same time, isn’t our very being one of ji? And isn’t our very being the source of all our problems and suffering? Can we negate or transcend our own limited being?

When we completely realize the true nature of the universe, what seems to be ji is in fact none other than buji. There is nothing to do, no matter how hard we try. From a slightly different perspective, the closest English word to buji is “now” or “as-it-is.” Right now, can you improve now-ness or as-it-is-ness? The answer is obviously no. At this very moment, can you or your circumstances be otherwise? When you understand that this present moment is all there is, you have no choice but to come to a radical acceptance. And it is this radical acceptance that is none other than true peace and composure. Buji means to be one with suchness, the unconditional nature of “let it be,” with nothing wanting, nothing superfluous.

...

[But] I must mention one caution: in the Zen tradition, we often hear expressions such as “suchness” and “accept things as they are.” While these statements are true, they may be a bit misleading. There is an unspoken, underlying truth that things are changing moment by moment. Accepting suchness does not mean that no effort is necessary on your part. A spinning top appears to be stationary, despite being in motion. It is precisely this motion that keeps the top suspended upright. In much the same way, the man of buji is the busiest man, as he needs to change himself and improve himself moment by moment. This is the significance of our practice.
Now, it is time to get to work.



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XV


Let's look some more right in the eyes of our 'Original Face' ...

You should therefore cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inwardly to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.
- Master Dogen's Fukanzazengi



Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/;
not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/; No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/; No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XIV


What if there were really, truly dropped away all thought of subject and object, all that is perceived by the senses, the sensing and the senses themselves ...

What would "be" then (if we drop away even the word "be") ??

There is a reality even prior to heaven and earth;
Indeed, it has no form, much less a name;
Eyes fail to see it; It has no voice for ears to detect;
To call it Mind or Buddha violates its nature,
For it then becomes like a visionary flower in the air;
It is not Mind, nor Buddha;
Absolutely quiet, and yet illuminating in a mysterious way,
It allows itself to be perceived only by the clear-eyed.
It is Dharma truly beyond form and sound;
It is Tao having nothing to do with words.

*
"Sweep away thoughts!" means one must do zazen. Once thoughts are quieted, the Original Face appears. Thoughts can be compared to clouds. When clouds vanish, the moon appears. The moon of suchness is the Original Face. Thoughts are also like the fogging of a mirror. When you wipe away all condensation, a mirror reflects clearly. Quiet your thoughts and behold your Original Face before you were born!

— Daito Kokushi

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/;
not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/; No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/; No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: August Zazenkai

Please 'sit-a-long' with our August "Zazenkai" (running time: approx. 4 hours ... Sound is a little soft despite our new hi-tech microphone. Oh well. Please bear with that.). The sitting schedule is as follows:

00:00 – 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA English Only / SANDOKAI) & ZAZEN
00:50 – 01:00 KINHIN
01:00 – 01:40 ZAZEN
01:40 – 01:50 KINHIN
01:50 – 02:30 ZAZEN & DHARMA TALK
02:30 – 02:40 KINHIN
02:40 – 03:20 ZAZEN
03:20 – 03:30 KINHIN
03:30 – 04:00 FUKANZAZENGI CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING

I SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES.

ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.
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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XIII


How to make the 'Boogeyman' of thoughts go away?




Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/;
not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.


REMINDER: Our Monthly 4 hour Zazenkai will be tomorrow, 9pm to 1am Japan time (Saturday Night). It may be accessed through this blog shortly before.


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