SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: RETREAT - VI (Nature Calls)

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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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