November 2008 Archives

REMINDER: our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat' is scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008! (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand'). DETAILS CLICK HERE

Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

Tonight's sitting is especially dedicated to all victims of violence, war and terrorism ...

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

We continue preparations for our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat' scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008 (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand'). DETAILS CLICK HERE ...


Going to the toilet is nature, is life, is Practice, is Zazen. All the Buddhas and Ancestors had to pee and poo, and so do you. But how we do our duty makes all the difference!

Master Dogen devoted an entire chapter of Shobogenzo to latrine procedures ... and during our Retreat we should see going to the toilet as a sacred ritual. First, drop all thought of "clean" and "dirty" ... flush such discriminatory ideas away!

However, even as we drop all idea of "clean" and "dirty", we try to stay clean (we are always working on several levels in Zen) ... so, if wearing a Rakusu, remove it and hang it outside the toilet room before entering. Then Gassho 3x (or, if you wish, do full prostrations 3x) toward the door of the toilet room and recite the following

Adoration to all the Buddhas.
Adoration to all the limitless teaching.
Peace! Speak! Blaze! Up! Open!
To the glorious, peaceful one for whom
there is no disaster whilst upon the water-closet, Hail!


Of course, maintain silence in the bog. No reading material and, while one need not assume the Full Lotus Posture on the commode, one should do one's business with the sense of stillness-in-motion and non-attaining that is Zazen. Go with with Flow! Truly, peeing is only action in that moment, a perfect act complete unto itself ... it is not you peeing, or even the whole universe peeing in that instant (although it is that too) ... for 'tis Just Peeing.

On exiting, bow again 3x to the toilet door and recite ...

Using the toilet
I vow with all beings
To eliminate defilement
Removing greed, anger and ignorance.

Then be sure to wash you hands ...

By the way, a similar ritual should be performed prior to entering the bath or shower. In that case, please recite ...

Bathing the body,

may all living beings

be clean in body and mind,

pure and shining within and without.

And Ven. Thich Naht Hanh offers this for tooth brushing ...

Brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth,
I vow to speak purely and lovingly.
When my mouth is fragrant with right speech,
A flower blooms in the garden of my heart.

PRINT THESE OUT AND POST THEM AROUND YOUR BATHROOM!!



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For our upcoming Retreat, I'd like to look again at ... Kinhin
...



When doing kinhin (walking meditation), walk clockwise around the room, holding your hands in shashu position (there are two versions, employed in different lineages - see photos at right and below). From the waist up, your posture should be the same as that in zazen. (Although exact procedures vary from place to place) take the first half step with your left foot at the peak of the first inhalation. Stand still while exhaling. At the peak of the next inhalation, take the next half step. This sequence is repeated for the whole of the kinhin period. Walk slowly and smoothly, without dragging your feet. Generally, keep up with the pace of the group, and maintain equal distance person to person. Do not drag your feet or make noise. At the end of kinhin, bow from the waste (some groups bow in Gassho, some in Shashu), walk quickly around the room until you return to your seat. Kinhin is usually for 5 or 10 minutes, between seated Zazen (today, we will walk a bit longer, about 20 minutes)

Shashu Hand Position.
Bring your left thumb to the middle of your left palm and close your fist around it. Hold your left fist in front of your chest and cover it with your right hand. Some lineages have the fingers of the right hand face forward (see photo above), some face upward (see photo below) Extend both elbows to the sides so that your forearms form a straight line.



REMEMBER: EVEN AS WE MOVE, THERE IS NO WHERE TO GO

(today's explanation runs a little long, about 15 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of walking)




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: RETREAT - IV

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At our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat' scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008 (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand'). DETAILS CLICK HERE ...

... there will be times of prostrating (Raihai), done in a series or three (Sanpai) ...

I am often asked to whom or what we are bowing ... Is it to some thing, god, person or effigy?

I answer by saying that there is nothing that's true that is omitted from our bow. We might consider that we're simply bowing to the whole universe, and to ourself and the other people around us … after all, 'All is One'! The hands, palms upwards, are raised in a gesture traditionally symbolic of lifting the Buddha's feet over one's head, but that truly means lifting all things of the universe over one's head. It's appropriate to cultivate an attitude of emptying, letting go, receptivity and gratitude in our bows.

If there is some physical or personal reason not to prostrate, a simple Gassho can be substituted. However, there is greatness in the humility of the prostration.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: RETREAT - III

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It is traditional to have a Buddha Statue in the Zen Hall ... or, rather, a statue of Manjusri Bodhisattva astride a Lion, a symbol of Wisdom ...

But, really, any Buddha (or Bodhisattva) statue or picture will do.

In fact, where in these do you see or not see the 'True Buddha"?










NOTE: SIGNAL DROPPED DURING SITTING.
IF SITTING-A-LONG, PLEASE KEEP TIME



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: RETREAT - II

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Today we will look at how to enter, walk through and be seated in the ''Zendo' ( 'Sitting Hall' ) ...

For our Retreat, it is suggested that one find a quiet, isolated space at home, where one can be alone with just a Zafu (and one's computer too! Of course, your computer will be dedicated to our Retreat that weekend, not any other web surfing!). A bare or uncluttered room is suggested, but if that is not possible, remember that true "clutter" is found in the mind.

There should also be a single Buddha Statue (although a "Buddha Statue" need not be a "Statue of a Buddha", and can be a flower, stone, rubber ball, coke bottle or any item in the whole universe ... we will talk about that in a later 'sit-a-long'). Place the 'Buddha Statue' on a small, raised table, preferably in the center of the room ... not against the wall. We place the 'Buddha Statue' in the center of the room, not against the wall, as we wish to avoid passing in front, but always pass behind if we need to cross the room. (However, if one must pass in front, then that is alright ... but it is nice to offer a little apologetic bow when passing. :-) )


When entering the Zen Hall, hold your hands in
Shashu position and step forward with your left foot at the left side of the entrance. When leaving the Zen Hall, step out with your left foot at the other side of the entrance. After entering the hall each time, bow in Gassho toward the Buddha Statue and go to your seat. DO NOT cross in a diagonal 'short cut' across the room if needing to cross, but walk the 'long way' following the length of the walls, crossing behind the Buddha Statue (if in the center of the room). At all times when walking, please keep one's hands in Shashu (see picture at left)




When you arrive at your seat, face the Zafu cushion and bow in Gassho. Fluff your Zafu while rotating it clockwise, then Gassho again to the Zafu. Next, turn around to the right (clockwise) until your seat is behind you, and Gassho to the open room. Sit down on your Zafu, spin around to the right (clockwise), and sit facing the wall. (If you cannot easily spin around, it is alright just to sit down facing the wall).


At the end of Zazen, the procedure is reversed ... Spin to the right (clockwise) until again facing the room, and carefully (especially after a long sitting) stand up. Turn again to the right (clockwise) to face the Zafu, fluff it again while rotating, and replace it (or for Kinhin, place it out of the way). Gassho toward the Zafu. turn again right (clockwise) to face the room, Gassho toward the room. If beginning Kinhin turn to the left. If leaving the Zen Hall, retrace your steps to enter. Bow in Gassho toward the Buddha Statue before exiting.

To the degree possible, we will maintain silence during our two day Retreat. Keep all talk to a minimum, and avoid to speak unless truly an emergency.


... Jundo will now demonstrate:

<
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REMINDER: our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat' is scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008! (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand'). DETAILS CLICK HERE

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




Press on arrow for 'play'
NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE

.__________________

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: RETREAT - I

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.
We will have a few talks over the coming week or two, in preparation for our 'Treeleaf Two-Day Online Retreat', scheduled for LIVE NETCAST over the weekend of DECEMBER 6 and 7, 2008! (and available in recorded form after that, for participation any time 'On Demand').

The Retreat is in celebration of our first all-online JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts Ceremony, to be in early January) as well as ROHATSU (the celebreation of Shakyamuni's Moment of Realization under the Bodhi Tree some 2,500 years ago, traditionally celebrated in Japan during the week leading up to December 8th)

If you would like more information on the Retreat and Jukai (you can sit the retreat even if you are not participating in Jukai), please watch for information here and in our forum ...


Talks here in the coming days will cover such hot topics as "How to Chant" "How to Oryoki" "How to Bow" "How to Go To The Bathroom during a Retreat" (Really) and many others.

In the coming days, some additional materials (including the 'Chant Book' and various "Retreat Pointers") will be available for download. Watch for them here, on this "Sit-a-Long" blog.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Master Mantis

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We have another guest teacher today, a praying mantis that my son Leon caught in the garden. I think I'll try to persuade Leon to let him go tomorrow, but before then ... maybe Master Mantis can preach the Dharma today ...





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MORE Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions

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We had some more 'BIG' questions that some folks asked about ...

Is the universe truly 'One'? HERE
Is reality random, unintended?
HERE
Can Buddhist's love?
HERE

Those followed previous 'BIG' questions! About Satori (HERE) and whether life has a purpose, and whether a 'Divine Plan' is unfolding (HERE)

But this song by the 10,000 Maniacs (and some others) might say it best after all ...

Please give a listen hear ... GREAT TUNE!


Everybody's wondering what and where they all came from

Everybody's worrying 'bout where they're gonna go

When the whole thing's done

Nobody knows for certain,

And so it's all the same to me

I Think I'll just let the mystery be



Some say once gone, you're gone forever

Some say you're gonna come back

Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior

if in sinful ways you lack

Some say that they're comin' back in a garden

Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas

I Think I'll just let the mystery be



Some say they're going to place called Glory

And I ain't sayin' it ain't a fact

But I've heard that I'm on the road to purgatory

And I don't like the sound of that

I believe in love and I live my life accordingly

But I choose to let the mystery be



Everybody's wondering what and where they all came from

Everybody's worrying 'bout where they're gonna go

When the whole thing's done

Nobody knows for certain,

And so it's all the same to me

I Think I'll just let the mystery be.



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I receive e-mails sometimes from folks who feel that my talks are 'too heavy' ... when I speak of dropping 'life' & 'death', time as a state of mind, our self as an illusion and the world just a dream ...

cause that's all HEAVY STUFF!

Other folks write to say that I'm 'too light', that I should be more traditional, take the Teachings more seriously, not water down the Buddha's message by making it more understandable ...

... cause that's all FLUFFY STUFF!


Well, I prefer to just drop the 'STUFF' ...

...
heavy and light.





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Today, we finish our series of talks on 'The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra' ... finishing with no beginning or end ...



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

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

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







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NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
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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




Press on arrow for 'play'
NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE

.__________________

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: Heart Sutra XXXII

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It's one handy dandy, nifty jifty, super duper Mantra!


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/.

Traditionally, a "mantra" is a religious or mystical syllable or syllables first arising in the Vedic religion of India, which (while uses varied according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra) was often said to have magical properties. Mantras were said to be spiritual conduits, words or vibration instilling sounds bringing one-pointed concentration in the devotee, but also to be used in ceremonies to accumulate wealth, avoid danger, or eliminate enemies.

I do not put much stock in "magic"

Yet I know that the Perfection of Wisdom is more magical and powerful than mere magic.





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A 'shout out' for my favorite of all Mahayana Sutras ... the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra.

The story is noteworthy for a couple of reasons:

First, in the tale, 'ol Vimalakirti is an unordained, married lay person (a father and businessman) who 'bests' all the Buddha's great disciples and Bodhisattvas in his understanding of the Dharma. It means that lay folks can stand head and shoulders with anyone in this practice!

Second, Vimalakirti speaks of Enlightenment within Samsara, that one can be in this world yet free of this world. That is found in passages such as the following (Robert Thurman trans.)

He lived at home, but remained aloof from the realm of desire... He had a son, a wife, and female attendants, yet always maintained continence. He appeared to be surrounded by servants, yet lived in solitude. ... He engaged in all sorts of businesses, yet had no interest in profit or possessions. To train living beings, he would appear at crossroads and on street corners, and to protect them he participated in government. ... To demonstrate the evils of desire, he even entered the brothels. To establish drunkards in correct mindfulness, he entered all the cabarets. ... He was honored as the businessman among businessmen because he demonstrated the priority of the Dharma. He was honored as the landlord among landlords because he renounced the aggressiveness of ownership.


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/.



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... a classic sit-a-long ...

The very next town to Treeleaf, Tsukuba happens to have, according to Guinness World Records, THE WORLD'S TALLEST BUDDHA IN THE WHOLE WORLD!! (and maybe the world's tallest statue in the whole world!!), taller than the Statue of Liberty, the Obelisk in Trafalgar Square and even Godzilla (imagine what this 'Buddhzilla' would do stompin' on Tokyo if he were not so peaceful) !!



The image is of Amida Buddha, and the interior is a golden, laser lighted, fantastical recreation of the Buddha's Pure Land. And while I like my Buddhas 'beyond big or small', some folks sure like their Buddha's BIG! (you can read more about the statue HERE)

So, please have a look & sit-a-long with

THE GIANT BUDDHA!!


(Sitting Time: About 25 minutes)

.



...Continuing our look at "low self-esteem" ...

Someone wrote to ask whether all the "self acceptance" and embracing ourselves "just as we are" which I described last time means that, for example, a wife beater or alcoholic or thief should just accept themselves like that, "just as they are", not seek to change or live any other way.

No!

Please recall that, in our Zen Way, we can live on several channels at once ... seemingly contradictory, yet not contradictory at all.

I want to reach for Jundo's handy-dandy "acceptance without acceptance" formula here, and apply it to our personal natures:

So, in our "Just Sitting" Shikantaza, we completely accept the universe, and all in it, just as it is.Thus, living our life is much like living in a house with a leaky roof, spiders and broken windows. In Master Dogen's way, we simply sit to drop all resistance to the house we have been living in all along, to realize that there is nowhere to 'go' in life, to cease all efforts to add to or take away from the structure, to let go of the ego's insisting on how things "should be" in order for the house to be "good" ... Then we find, in dropping that resistance, that the house we have always been in is "perfectly what it is", and we can be joyful right where we are. HOWEVER, we can be content with that house even as, hand in hand, there is still much serious repair work to do (an acceptance-without-acceptance of the leaky windows, spiders and creaky doors). There is nothing to prevent our fixing those, even as we accept their existence! We can accept and not accept simultaneously, repair what needs to be repaired.

We have goals for repair even as, on the other "track", we drop all goals and thoughts of repair.

So, even as we can accept that we are a wife beating alcoholic, we should immediately set to not be so! One simply cannot taste the fruits of Buddhist practice if one is so filled with anger, violence, pain and need that one is a violent, abusive alcoholic!

And what guides us onto the smooth path for life?

Yes, the Precepts.

Gassho, Jundo




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Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen (but on Sunday!),

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

o
NOTE: OUR WEEKLY 'LIVE' ZAZENKAI WILL BE TOMORROW (SUNDAY) THIS WEEK

Someone wrote to ask about "low self-esteem".


I'm curious about people's views on self-esteem. On one hand, having good self-esteem leads to a positive and happy life. People with high self-esteem are confident, friendly, out-going and not afraid of taking risks. On the other end of the scale you have people with very low self-esteem and I think this is a key issue for many people with a history of depression ...How do you go about increasing your self esteem? Are there are specific [Buddhist] practices/exercises ... which could help?


My teacher, Nishijima Roshi, describes Buddhism as a philosophy of "optimism". When I first heard that, it struck me as strange, because I had thought our way was to drop all "likes" and "dislikes" about life, which I thought meant that we must be "neutral" and rather ambivalent to everything.

But now I see Nishijima Roshi's point, and it applies to the question of 'self-esteem' too.

You see, in our Zen Practice we are often doing several seemingly contradictory things all at once, hand-in-hand, without the least conflict or contradiction.

So, on the one hand, it is vital that we learn to fully and completely drop the "self", drop the ego and all our 'self-centered' thoughts and ideas. We fully and completely drop all "likes" and "dislikes", and all other judgments. We accept life "at it is". This is Shikantaza.

But the funny thing that happens when you accept the world as "just what it is", is not numbness or neutrality or cold "whatever" ambivalence ... Instead, it can be more an experience of "going with the flow", harmony with "what is", oneness, allowing and embracing. Life is "just what it is", and that's just fine! YIPPEE!

We even then (and this sounds strange) accept the "self" as "just what it is" too. So, strange as it sounds, by dropping our sense of "self" and "self-centered ideas" and judgments of things, we even drop our self-centered ideas on what is "wrong" with our self ... and we accept our "self" as just what it is too! :shock:
[PLEASE READ THE FOREGOING SENTENCE AT LEAST TWICE!]
:wink: :wink:

We realize that our thoughts are, to one degree or another, a fictional story we write for ourselves ... and it is up to us how we write the story. So, if you want to judge negative, neutral or positive ... the universe will let you do that. Up to you.

Thus, one might say that our ENTIRE Zen Buddhist Practice, all of it, is about dealing with the issue of "self-esteem". The most important goalless goal you must attaininglessly attain is to see right through that fictional "boogeyman under the bed" that is your "self" and "self-centered" judgements ...

... about everything, including your self!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

So, drop all thought and judgments in Shikantaza, drop all judgments about everything ... including about what a loser you think you are! :)

Gassho, Jundo

PS- Another thing about "self-esteem" is, once you have it, you must not become its prisoner, allow it to run to excess. Everything in balance, everything in moderation. But that is only an issue once you get the self-esteem! :)






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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XXX

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Picture of Buddha catching a cigarette break







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/.






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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Under Construction

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I sat today next to a noisy, smokey, busy construction site ... but my microphone did not work. (So there is no timing bell today too ... )

Well, I think you get a sense just by looking.

Silence and stillness are not a matter of one's surroundings. That's true building upon a solid foundation.



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A silent sitting today.

By the way, if you happen to be in the U.S. and voting today ... those long lines are an excellent place for standing Zazen!




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: OBAMA '08

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After some consideration and hesitancy, I have decided to offer my political endorsement in the U.S. presidential race:

GO BARACK!

(having my endorsement should finally put him over the top!!)

Although our Way transcends all differences and petty politics, and is beyond war and poverty and a lack of health care ... yet it certainly is about those things too!

My Dharma Brother, Brad Warner, recently published an essay which I agree with in part, yet strongly disagree with in part ... He wrote:


Politics take place in the realm of the human mind, where good and evil exist. Politicians are like stage magicians using sleight of hand to draw attention away from reality.

It’s none of my business who you vote for. I’m sure you agree with that. But I’ve been pretty horrified by what I’ve seen from a number of American Buddhist teachers who think it is their business. Way too many Buddhist teachers and Buddhist centers in this country think that Buddhism and liberal politics are one and the same. ...

My own teacher’s teacher, Kodo Sawaki, said, “The right wing is completely wrong. The left wing is also completely wrong.”
...

Listen. Voting is good. So get out there and vote. But watch your level of excitement about the process. Those highs and lows are damaging. For all the feelings of loss, disenfranchisement, and powerlessness the guys who wanted to make that book about Bush’s re-election felt, the world survived his second term more or less in tact. I may be too cynical about the whole thing, but I’ve always loved that joke where an Englishman tries to explain American politics to a fellow Englishman. “On the one hand they have the Republican party which is analogous to our Conservative party,” he says, “and on the other hand they have the Democratic party, which is analogous to our Conservative party.”

Perhaps the very slight differences between one candidate and another have some value. I would never say they didn’t. Just don’t get your panties in a bunch if your guy loses or celebrate the ultimate triumph of good over evil if he wins. I‘m sure all of you politicos reading this will say you already know that. But any scan of the TV when the results are announced will prove otherwise. All that elation and all that hopelessness ripple outward like a wave.

The balance that you retain or lose right now will ultimately have a far greater effect upon the world than who gets elected.


I must disagree with Brad on some of that, for we cannot have our heads in the sand. Yes, we should not cling to one sided opinions. Yes, we should not see the world in "us" versus "them" terms. Yes, the true "revolution" must start within each of us. But the fact of the matter is that, for all its imperfections, politics does make a difference.

Much damage has been done to my country and to the world these past 8 years.

It is not time to look away. It is time to start the healing.


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Please 'sit-a-long' with our November "Zazenkai" (running time: approx. 4 hours) ...

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 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
02:30 – 02:40 KINHIN
02:40 – 03:20 ZAZEN
03:20 – 03:30 KINHIN
03:30 – 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE RECITING THE METTA CHANT IN THE LAST PERIOD

Also, please welcome my son Leon, who joined us for the first sitting :-)

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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