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Jundo
05-09-2021, 12:23 AM
It looks like I accidently deleted an old thread trying to revive it.

Our new member, Anisa F, asked ...


At what point should one start to wear a Wagesa or a Rakusu? Is it optional? I have noticed that during the Zazenkais and weekly sittings most sangha members will wear the Rakusu or the Wagesa, but I don't know if I should wear one because I'm new to Soto Zen and this sangha. Are they something all sangha members should wear?

To which Kokuu responded ...


Hi Anisa

Members sew a Rakusu before they take Jukai (receiving the sixteen Zen precepts) and can wear it after that. The next Jukai preparation will begin in September ready for the ceremony in January 2022.

Kesas are mostly worn by members who have taken full/home-leaving ordination (Shukke Tokudo).

However, despite this, there is no hierarchy of sangha membership or practice and sitting without a Rakusu or Kesa is just the same as with. They are a reminder to those who have taken vows of the importance of the precepts and path of the bodhisattva. We have some members who have been here for years and chosen not to take Jukai or sew a Rakusu. It is totally optional.

Gassho
Kokuu
-sattoday/lah-

To which I responded ...


One small correction to what Kokuu wrote ...


Kesas are mostly worn by members who have taken full/home-leaving ordination (Shukke Tokudo).

In the Nyoho-e sewing tradition, to which Nishijima Roshi, Kodo Sawaki Roshi and this Sangha partake, anyone who has undertaken Jukai may sew and wear a full Nyoho-e Kesa during Zazen and practice, not only ordained folks.



And all is restored. gassho1

Gassho, J

SatTodayKAH

Jundo
05-09-2021, 12:32 AM
By the way, what is a "wagesa?" some may wonder. How is it different from a Rakusu?

"Wagesa" (輪袈裟) means "loop Kesa." Generally, in the west, the Rakusu is much more common to receive at Jukai. In Japan, Wagesa are usually given to active parishioners of a particular Soto temple, not all of whom have received Jukai. I have been handed a couple in Japan without any ceremony attached. It is also given to participants sometimes as part of Jukai in Japan, I believe, but not so common. It is a simpler item (in construction and cost) them the Rakusu. Here is a Soto Wagesa.

https://shop.r10s.jp/gold/nakaido/objects/800/11700015-03.jpg

The priests of some other sects of Buddhism, such as Pure Land, wear a larger wagesa in place of a Rakusu.

https://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/12/5a/69dc65d781639f6635e0e84492b7eddc.jpg

The Wagesa, like the Rakusu, developed as an abbreviate Kesa for less formal purposes. Apparently, the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives use this for Jukai for lay folks, thus some Sangha in the west connected to the OBC and Kennett Roshi, like Domyo Burk's group, use them I think.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Hōkan
05-09-2021, 01:04 AM
I'm looking forward to Jukai preparations later. First to re-study the precepts and, second, to try to sew a Kesa. I'm told it takes much more time and much more effort to sew a Kesa and I know that I needed a lot of help with my Rakusu so who knows how it will go... Also, I had Tomoe Katagiri-Sensi (and a bunch of others in my Jukai session) to help me last time but she's retired now. Anyway, I hope I can participate.

I Sat Today

Kyousui
05-09-2021, 01:39 AM
And there are those of us who can't sew a Rakusu because of mental or emotional difficulties. That doesn't preclude us from taking Jukai, the Rakusus are provided by members of the Sangha who are or believe they are, capable of of sewing and partaking of the meditative practice.
SAT LAH

Shinshi
05-09-2021, 03:29 AM
I'm looking forward to Jukai preparations later. First to re-study the precepts and, second, to try to sew a Kesa. I'm told it takes much more time and much more effort to sew a Kesa and I know that I needed a lot of help with my Rakusu so who knows how it will go... Also, I had Tomoe Katagiri-Sensi (and a bunch of others in my Jukai session) to help me last time but she's retired now. Anyway, I hope I can participate.

I Sat Today

Hi Hokan,

We follow in the same tradition as Tomoe and are more than happy to help you through the process. Really a Kesa is just a really big Rakusu, with a couple little extras. But big, so more time - not really more effort after the extra time. :) More more time, not more skills. :)

We are here for you when every you want to get started.

(and just a quick FYI, I started sitting at the Minnesota Zen Center when Dainin Katagiri (and Tomoe) were there. I lived just a few blocks away.)

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Anisa F
05-09-2021, 04:32 PM
Thank you Kokuu and Jundo for clarifying that for me! [gassholook] Very interesting and I feel relieved to finally understand Rakusus and Kesas clearly. :) I will definitely be looking into Jukai as I continue my studies as well. Thank you!

Anisa
SatToday

Nengei
05-10-2021, 12:02 AM
*waving at Hōkan from Rochester*

Gassho,
Nengei
Sat today. LAH.

serenewolf
05-14-2021, 02:07 AM
Where can we learn to sew a Kesa? There is a series of videos on sewing a Rakusu but i have been unable to find one for a kesa.

Gassho
David
Sat/lah

Kotei
05-14-2021, 04:59 AM
Where can we learn to sew a Kesa? There is a series of videos on sewing a Rakusu but i have been unable to find one for a kesa.

Gassho
David
Sat/lah
Hello David,

after sewing a Rakusu and studying/taking the Precepts (Jukai), you can ask Jundo for permission to sewing a full Kesa.
There will be a Howto document and of course plenty of help from those who already undertook the journey.
You'll find it very similar to sewing a Rakusu, just many more stitches and some minor differences, but the Rakusu sewing knowledge is imho indispensable.

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Heiso
05-14-2021, 10:39 AM
I need to step away from the kesa thread - not this year!

Gassho,

Heiso

StLah

serenewolf
05-14-2021, 05:22 PM
Hello David,

after sewing a Rakusu and studying/taking the Precepts (Jukai), you can ask Jundo for permission to sewing a full Kesa.
There will be a Howto document and of course plenty of help from those who already undertook the journey.
You'll find it very similar to sewing a Rakusu, just many more stitches and some minor differences, but the Rakusu sewing knowledge is imho indispensable.

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Thank you, i was unaware of the order of events or where to start. Once i am able to get some sewing equipment and learn how to sew i will be able to start on the Rakusu.
Gassho
David
Sat/lah

Kotei
05-14-2021, 07:29 PM
Thank you, i was unaware of the order of events or where to start. Once i am able to get some sewing equipment and learn how to sew i will be able to start on the Rakusu.
Gassho
David
Sat/lah
The next round of Rakusu sewing and Precept reflection as part of the preparation for Jukai in January will start in September.
Starting together in September with buying the right material and practicing the first stitches usually works fine.
We're doing this as a group, which is a wonderful thing and provides help and encouragement.
You can have a look at last year's preparation and sewing in this section here: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?57-ANGO-JUKAI-PRECEPTS-STUDY-SEWING-FORUM

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Tai Shi
05-19-2021, 07:07 PM
I can say I were my rakusu for every sitting and every formal Zendo practice and On few occasions I have worn it at other than Treeleaf occasions. I feel deep gratitude for my sangha because my rakusu was a gift. When I could not sew because of disabilities my sangha made my rakusu a gift. I will wear it into the next world someday not soon. I am humbly hoping to complete Jukai with adequate care this year and then in January.
Gassho
sat/ lah
Tai Shi


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