Please join our SPECIAL MEMORIAL ZAZENKAI in honor of someone who was my friend and teacher of many years, Azuma Ikuo Roshi (東郁雄老師), who left our visible world this week at the age of 94.
Azuma Roshi shared tea with me, practicing his English and answering my silly questions, for most of 10 years when I sat with the weekly lay Zazenkai at Sojiji Honzan in Japan. He was a great Dogen scholar, lecturing us each week on Shobogenzo, and instructor to hundreds of young monks as well as the lay persons' group there (including quite a number of foreigners who would wander in). I may not have stayed with this practice without him. He was always so kind, down to earth.When I came here 20 years ago, my Japanese was pretty bad the first few years, and he lectured in Japanese ... but always took time to summarize each comment in broken English so that I would get the gist. Later, he returned to his temple of Jikouji in Kyushu.
To mark Rev. Azuma's passing, I am chanting today the SHARIRAIMON (Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics) (once in Japanese ... the words are below if you wish to follow along) ... then, we shall continue in our usual way with the HEART SUTRA in English and according to the schedule below.
OUR SITTING SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS (90 MINUTES):
00:00 - 00:20 CEREMONY (SHARIRAIMON in Japanese; HEART SUTRA in English) and Dedication
00:20 - 00:45 ZAZEN
00:45 - 00:55 KINHIN
00:55 - 01:25 ZAZEN
01:25 - 01:30 FOUR VOWS, & VERSE OF ATONEMENT
JUNDO ONLY WILL CHANT THE SHARIRAIMON (Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics) first in Japanese, then in English, then in Japanese ...