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Myogan
09-08-2017, 01:54 AM
Gassho
合掌
がっしょう

We type this at the end of our posts all the time but what does it mean?

Interestingly, doing a quick search of the forum found only one post of that question being asked
www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?8660-gassho&highlight=gassho

I suspect some of us have just reciprocated the response in kind, some inferred the meaning, and some having heard what it means from others.

Some, having come to zen after being involved in another tradition may have associated it with “Namasté” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste) meaning “I bow to the (spirit, god, divine) in you,” sort of like “I see you” in Navi (http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/I_See_You). In this way it represents in writing not only the spirit of the action but the action itself. And when the action is performed the phrase is spoken aloud.

But would we say Gassho aloud, or is it redundant, like the guy in the movies that says “I salute you” while saluting.
4469

So let’s look at the Kanji, the pictographic characters that form the word, they are 合 and 掌. Taken separately they represent the verb, to fit, and the noun, palm. Together they form the compound word and describe the action being taken, putting hands together. (Interestingly the pronunciation of the individual words in Japanese would be “a tenohira”, and if you put 2 compound words together you can get another word or a unique idiom called a yojijukugo).

So the word doesn’t even represent the bow! What does it mean then!

It is one of many Mudras in Buddhist tradition and I will let others more versed in such things add their experience. But in simple terms it means coming together. In correspondence however, the word gassho entails the mechanics of the mudras and the intent of the bow, a Buddhist “Respectfully yours.”

Out in the Japanese public I believe, that the word is not said with the action, and the action only in certain situations.

I look forward to the discussion, feel free to add your experiences, and if I am in error.

ごめんなさい
4468

合掌
Sat
Inconsistent student of Japanese for 7 years, no JLPT taken.

Jakuden
09-08-2017, 02:07 AM
Hi Myogan, I think I did learn here that Gassho meant "palms together," I think. It was one of the terms I was glad I knew before going to Sesshin. At Sesshin, an instruction to "Gassho" meant just palms together, no bow.
Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Doshin
09-08-2017, 02:45 AM
Wrong or right. To me, it means respect to you whether we agree or differ. If we are together I bow (slighlty) with palms together...but I only do this to those who would understand. Most everyone else I just smile to indicate no hard feelings and I understand we are on the same journey even if we have different understandings. But, that is me.

Gassho
Doshin
st/lah

Myogan
09-08-2017, 02:58 AM
Actually, the first time I heard the word, I thought they said "hansengasho, bow." I don't think the Kwan Um school Sangha I attended ever officially instructed us in the name of the position. It was, "just put your hands like this."
I learned the actual name when looking at the Zazen instructions when visiting a temple in Hawaii. I would be interested if anyone knows the Kanji for Shashu (position of hands in kinhin) as the only translations I could find were archer, bowman, car make or model, and shooter.

After writing the post I found this

Entering the zendo - Hold your hands in shashu position and step forward with your left foot at the left side of the entrance
http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/practice/zazen/manners/
and after reading it I have to wonder do we have to post
👣
at the start of a post?

Zenmei
09-08-2017, 03:08 AM
I learned (probably here) that gassho was the word for the gesture of the hands. I always understood the sign off we use here was a way of saying "if we were face to face I would put my hands in gassho to you". It seems like a mostly Treeleafy thing, I don't see it much elsewhere. I've heard people in other forums making fun of it.

I don't think anyone says "gassho" out loud as a greeting. That would be like saying "handshake" when I shake your hand (although now that I say that, I might try it).

[emoji120], Zenmei (sat)

Jundo
09-08-2017, 03:21 AM
Hi Guys,

Gassho ... 合掌 "Ga'/Gou/Kou/Au" = Meet/Fit/Together Shou/tenohira/tanigokoro = Palms .... two become one, a greeting. Ever been to McDonalds in Thailand?


http://tastythailand.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Ronald-McDonald-in-Bangkok-Thailand.jpg


Shashu ... 叉手 ... sha/sa/mata = crossed, forked, intersecting and shu/te = hands.

One tends to walk through a Zendo or Monastery with hands in Shashu.

One greets other priests with Gassho, and also upon leaving. Since we can't see our Gassho I type "Gassho." If people in other places make fun of our "Gasshoing" to each other ... I simply Gassho to them as well.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Myogan
09-08-2017, 03:24 AM
That would be like saying "handshake" when I shake your hand (although now that I say that, I might try it).

But we do say "high five" when doing it. (though we don't have an emoji anymore http://www.businessinsider.com/the-prayer-hands-emoji-is-changing-2015-3)

Gassho
Sat

Myogan
09-08-2017, 03:52 AM
Shashu ... 叉手 ... sha/sa/mata = crossed, forked, intersecting and shu/te = hands.

Thank you so much for the translation Jundo. If I had just used Jisho.org I might have translated the Kanji pair in a very inappropriate way. (look at the second meaning for 叉 http://jisho.org/search/叉%20%23kanji). None of my desk references had the character as it appears to be JLPT1

Gassho
Sat

Jundo
09-08-2017, 04:06 AM
You mean "crotch" for 叉??

"Crossed Crotch Hands" is a somewhat similar gesture, but usually only found when the Chanting takes too long before someone can get into the "Tosu" (東司, the "Eastern Office", i.e., the rest room of the monastery) ...


https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/t/man-hands-holding-his-crotch-wants-to-pee-urinary-incontinence-concept-78856563.jpg

:cool:

Gassho, J

Geika
09-08-2017, 06:35 AM
It is simply a replacement for the visual of bowing or putting palms together when greeting or acknowledging someone in the zendo or sangha. Since we are not seeing each other, we indicate the old tradition of bowing to one another by typing, "gassho." I don't think anyone is thinking, "gassho," verbally when it is typed. No one says, "gassho," when actually bowing. Typing it is simply a placeholder and an indication of greeting and respect. Some people will do other things to indicate it, like : _/|\_, or write, "hands palm-to-palm." Some people omit it entirely, and that is okay. When we all met in San Francisco, none of us were saying, "gassho." We just bowed. There just isn't really a simple way of showing it without writing it or typing out a little picture. It is by no means a requirement to do so, however. I mean, if we want to be literal, we could just paste pictures of ourselves bowing every time we finish a post or wish to express respect.

Pyramid hands, sat today, lah

Eishuu
09-08-2017, 08:09 AM
I'm getting a bit confused about the second kanji. Are there different way of writing it as it looks different on Jisho? In terms on primitives I am familiar with the kanji that has the primitive for mouth and hand as the second 2 components (going top down) with space around the mouth primitive, but it looks different here like the mouth bit (the square) is squashed up into the top (I learnt kanji from Heisig's book so sorry if this doesn't translate and sounds like nonsense!). In general, are there different stylistic ways of writing the same kanji? (Sorry, really technical question - but the only way I can memorise words is relating them to the kanji I have memorised already).

Relatedly, I would be interested how other people tackle learning and remembering kanji...but that's probably another thread.

ありがとうございます。

合掌
Lucy
今日は座りました。
18ヶ月間ぐらい日本語を勉強しています。
(Been studying Japanese for about 18 months)

Jundo
09-08-2017, 09:40 AM
I'm getting a bit confused about the second kanji. Are there different way of writing it as it looks different on Jisho? In terms on primitives I am familiar with the kanji that has the primitive for mouth and hand as the second 2 components (going top down) with space around the mouth primitive, but it looks different here like the mouth bit (the square) is squashed up into the top (I learnt kanji from Heisig's book so sorry if this doesn't translate and sounds like nonsense!). In general, are there different stylistic ways of writing the same kanji? (Sorry, really technical question - but the only way I can memorise words is relating them to the kanji I have memorised already).

Relatedly, I would be interested how other people tackle learning and remembering kanji...but that's probably another thread.

ありがとうございます。

合掌
Lucy
今日は座りました。
18ヶ月間ぐらい日本語を勉強しています。
(Been studying Japanese for about 18 months)

Hi Lucy,

Do you mean 掌 ?

There are various ways to write it ...

http://moji.tekkai.com/zoom/%E6%8E%8C/page.html

http://kakijun.jp/page/1286200.html

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Eishuu
09-08-2017, 10:38 AM
Yes. Thank you. Looking at those pages, I think maybe it was just the small size throwing me off. I often find tiny kanji a bit hard to read.

Gassho
Lucy
ST/LAH

Tairin
09-08-2017, 01:52 PM
Interesting discussion. When I first joined Treeleaf "gassho" was one of the many conventions I investigated. If I was going to use it I wanted to know what I was doing. I understood that typing "gassho" was a place holder for the actual act of gasshoing. No one said "gassho" while gasshoing. I understood that literally gassho meant "palms of hands placed together" but that the intention was really to signify a "oneness" or "interconnectedness". No matter, in addition in my mind I understand "gassho" to really mean "respectfulness", "admiration", "appreciation" and when I sign my posts here that is my intent.

What I haven't quite resolved in my mind is the combo of the gassho emoji gassho2 and then signing "gassho". In theory it is redundant but I've resolved myself to not over think this whole Zen-thing and just accept some things as they are gassho2

Palms together with respect, admiration and appreciation to all
Warren
Sat today and LAH

Chishou
09-08-2017, 04:09 PM
Perhaps we can come up with some different ways to signing off a post?

I like;

Homage to the Buddha,
Homage to the Dharma,
Homage to the Sangha,

Bit of a mouthful, but effective.

Simon
今日は座りました。

Shingen
09-08-2017, 04:18 PM
What I haven't quite resolved in my mind is the combo of the gassho emoji gassho2 and then signing "gassho".

That is because gassho and gassho2 is the whole universe and the whole universe is gassho2 and gassho. =)

The whole universe and gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

Tairin
09-08-2017, 04:53 PM
That is because gassho and gassho2 is the whole universe and the whole universe is gassho2 and gassho. =)

The whole universe and gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

gassho2

Gassho
Warren
Sat Today & LAH

Jundo
09-08-2017, 10:22 PM
By the way, I sign my posts with Gassho. That is just what I do. Some make a mark like _/?\_ (I still don't know how :)). But no reason everyone has to do so. In fact, most Leafer's do not, only a small number do. It is not official policy, just what I do.

However, it is nice to Gassho in one's heart when opening and closing communication with other folks around hear, even if one does not write anything. It is just respectful of the other (who is you by the way).

Gassho, J

SatToday(this IS official policy! gassho1) LAH

Geika
09-09-2017, 06:34 PM
(P.S. Jundo, to make a _/|\_, the line in the middle is just the shift plus "".)

Sat today, lah

Jundo
09-09-2017, 11:28 PM
(P.S. Jundo, to make a _/|\_, the line in the middle is just the shift plus "".)

Sat today, lah

AH, well, not on a Japanese keyboard I guess. This might be interesting for you (but few other people! :p ) Notice such additions as the kanji/Kana/Romaji conversion (変更) buttons.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Surface_type_cover_JIS_keyboard_layout_blue.jpg/1200px-Surface_type_cover_JIS_keyboard_layout_blue.jpg


Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Michael L
09-10-2017, 01:37 AM
Is that a straight line above the yen?

_/|\_ sat today

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Jundo
09-10-2017, 02:17 AM
Is that a straight line above the yen?

_/|\_ sat today

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_/|\_

Yep. that seems to be it!

(⌣˛⌣)
._/|\_


Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Geika
09-10-2017, 05:59 AM
Bingo!

sat today, lah

aprapti
09-10-2017, 07:50 PM
i do not know enough about Japanese to say something about the real meaning. others have done that abundantly. I like the interpretation of the Vietnamese zenmaster Thich Nhat Hanh. He calls it an offering of a flower to someone.

here at the end of my posts i put just:

gassho2

Coos

std/lah