Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: April 3rd-4th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI!

  1. #1

    April 3rd-4th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI!

    Today's Talk will be with Master Dogen's BENDOHO, The Model For Engaging The Way. Please see below in this thread.

    Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night), London midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 4am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

    ... to be visible on the below screen during those times and any time thereafter ...



    The Sitting Schedule is as follows;

    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN

    Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

    Please download and print out the Chants we will recite at the following link (PDF):

    Chant Book (PDF)





    I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-03-2015 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Dogen's BENDOHO, The Model For Engaging The Way

    Bendoho is a short, abbreviated (if you can believe that!) manual of some of the very many rules and guides for monk's conduct, written when Dogen Zenji was first establishing Eiheiji. Such rules and standards for Zen monastics are by no means unique to Dogen, but reach back centuries earlier to China in nearly identical form and content (except for small details) and perhaps to India too. When Dogen went to study in China, he experienced just such a lifestyle and daily schedule, and sought to bring that way of Practice to Japan and to the monasteries he would establish there, with small modifications and adaptions to suit his own culture and preferences.

    There is tremendous attention to detail and regimentation. Subjects covered included even the proper position to sleep in, wash and go to the toilet (in later writings, Dogen added even more fine detail). Those who have some idea that Zen is about "do your own thing, whatever rings your bell, to hell with all the rules", are always surprised to read such writings. Where is the supposed "freedom" of Zen?

    And in reading these rules for monks in monasteries in places like ancient China and Japan, what does it have to do with us ... living in our 21st Century suburban houses with cars in the driveway, kids to take to school, movies on Netflix and work in the office? It seems so far removed (my job today will be to show that it really is not so far removed, and that "freedom" is not always found where you think it will be! )

    The following comes from Shohaku Okumura and Taigen Leighton's wonderful translation in "Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community, A Translation of Eihei Shingi"

    If you wish to read a PDF version with footnotes, it is available at pages 63 to 81 here:

    I have BOLDFACED some sections for everyone to read (and ask you to quickly look through the rest), and Ordained folks should read the entirety with footnotes when they can.


    The Model for Engaging the Way (Bendoho *)
    [written at] Daibutsuji [1 the original name for Eiheiji]

    All buddhas and all ancestors are within the Way and engage it; without the Way they would not engage it. The
    dharma exists and they appear; without the dharma they do not appear. Therefore, when the assembly is sitting,
    sit together with them; as the assembly [gradually] lies down, lie down also. In activity and stillness at one with
    the community, throughout deaths and rebirths do not separate from the monastery.2 Standing out has no
    benefit; being different from others is not our conduct. This is the buddhas' and ancestors' skin, flesh, bones,
    and marrow, and also one's own body and mind dropped off.3 Therefore, [engaging the Way] is the practiceenlightenment
    before the empty kalpa, so do not be concerned with your actualization. It is the koan before
    judgments, so do not wait for great realization.4

    For evening zazen, when you hear the bell, put on your okesa, enter the monks' hall, settle into your place, and
    do zazen.
    5 The abbot sits on the abbot's chair facing [the statue of] Manjushri and does zazen, the head monk
    faces the outer edge of the sitting platform and does zazen, and the other monks face the wall and do zazen.6
    While the abbot does zazen, a bench is set up behind a screen at the back of his chair, where either a jisha or
    anja may be in attendance on the abbot.7

    When it is time for zazen, the abbot enters the hall from the north side of the front entrance, and goes in front
    of Manjushri, bowing and offering incense.8 After greeting Manjushri, the abbot does one circumambulation of
    the hall with hands in shashu; returns and bows to Manjushri; goes and bows to the abbot's chair; turns
    dockwise and bows again toward Manjushri; tucks his robe sleeves under his arms; sits on the chair and takes
    off his slippers; and folds his legs and sits with legs crossed.9 The jisha and anja keep standing inside the
    entrance to the south side, not accompanying the abbot during the circumambulation. After the abbot is sitting
    in his chair, the jisha and anja bow to Manjushri and quietly sit on the bench behind the chair. The jisha or anja
    keeps the abbot's [chip] incense container.

    If the abbot is going to sleep in the monks' hall, a sleeping tan is set up between the shuso and the abbot's
    chair.10 When it is time to wake up, [the abbot] returns to the chair and does zazen. (During morning zazen the
    rule is for monks not to wear their okesas. The abbot's okesa is hung over his chair.)11 When evening zazen is
    supposed to end, during the second or third watch at either the first, second, or third portion according to the
    abbot's direction, the han is sounded.12 When the han stops sounding, the monks gassho*, fold their okesas,
    wrap them in cloths, and place them above the cabinet [at their seats].13 The abbot does not remove his okesa
    but gets up from the chair, goes before Manjushri and bows, and leaves through the north side of the front door.
    The jisha and anja both leave first and stay in front of the monks' hall, respectfully waiting for the abbot's

    One of them lifts up the curtain [in the entryway] to help [the abbot] leave. They also do this when the abbot
    enters the hall. If the abbot is sleeping in the hall, one or two anjas stay at the bench behind the abbot's chair,
    and one or two jishas sleep at the next place after Manjushri's jisha or next to the new monks' seats [in the outer
    hall]. 14

    [After removing okesas] the monks continue zazen for a while. Slowly and deliberately they unroll their quilts
    [and bedding], place their pillows, and lie down when the others do.15 Do not remain sitting when the other
    monks do not, or look around at the assembly. Do not arbitrarily leave your place and go where you should not.
    Just to go along with the community and lie down is the correct manner.

    (The Sutra of the Three Thousand Deportments says that there are five kinds of manners for lying down. The
    first is for your head to be in the direction of the buddha. The second is not to look at the buddha while lying
    down. The third is not to stretch out your legs together [rather than keeping them bent]. The fourth is not to lie
    down on your back or front. The fifth is not to raise your knees.)16 Definitely sleep lying on your right side and
    not on your left side. When you lie down your head should be towards buddha. Now [in the monks' hall] our
    heads are toward the joen*, so our heads are toward Manjushri. Do not sleep lying on your front. Do not raise
    both knees and lie on your back. Do not sleep on your back with your legs crossed. Do not stretch out your legs
    together. Sleep without taking off your robe.17 Do not be shamelessly naked as in the manner of those from
    outside ways. Do not sleep with your belt untied. Lying down at night, remember the brightness.

    Toward the end of night, hearing the sound of the han in front of the head monk's office (which is sounded at
    the fourth or fifth part of the third watch or the first, second, or third part of the fourth watch according to the
    abbot's decision), the assembly gets up gently, not rising precipitously. Do not still remain sleeping or lying down, which is rude to the
    assembly. Quietly take your pillow and place it in front of the cabinet, not making noise as you fold it. Be
    careful not to disturb the people on the neighboring tans.

    Stay at your seat for a while, cover yourself with your quilt, and do zazen on your zafu. 18 Strictly avoid
    shutting your eyes, which will bring forth drowsiness. If you repeatedly open up [i.e., flutter] your eyes, a faint
    breeze will enter them and you will easily be aroused from your sluggishness. Never forget that passing away
    occurs swiftly and you have not yet clarified the conduct of the Way. Do not distract the assembly by
    stretching, yawning, sighing, or fanning yourself. In general always arouse respect for the assembly. Never
    disdain or ridicule the great assembly. Do not cover your head with your quilt. As you become aware of
    sleepiness, remove the quilt and with a buoyant body do zazen.

    Hearing an opportunity [from the sounds of people's movements], proceed to the washrooms and wash your
    face.19 (Hearing an opportunity means when it is not crowded with other monks washing their faces.) Carry the
    shukin hanging over your left forearm with both ends either toward or away from you.20 Let yourself down
    lightly from your seat; walk softly by a convenient route toward the back entrance; with both hands quietly pull
    aside the curtain; and leave.

    If your place is in the upper [north] side of the hall, leave from the north side [of the back entrance], first
    stepping out with your right foot. If your place is in the lower part, leave from the south side, first stepping out
    with the left foot. Do not make noise dragging your slippers or stamping on the ground. While going to the
    washrooms through the back passageway and well shed, when you meet someone en route do not talk with each
    other.21 Even if you do not meet anyone, how could you dare to sing or chant? Do not drop your hands down in your sleeves but hold them up in shashu and proceed. When you arrive at the sink area, wait for a place. Do not push aside the other monks. When you get a space, then wash your

    The manner for washing your face is: hang the shukin over your neck with both ends hanging down in front of
    you, then with each hand grab one end, put them under the left and right armpits, and cross both ends over each
    other behind you. Again, bring them under both armpits to your front and tie them down on your chest. Your
    whole collar and both sleeves are tucked in tight above your elbows and below your shoulders as if fastened by
    a robe cord. 22 Next, hold your tooth stick, gassho*, and say:

    Holding the tooth stick,
    I vow with all beings
    that our minds will attain the true dharma,
    And naturally be pure and clean.

    Then chew the tooth stick and chant:

    Chewing the tooth stick in the morning,
    I vow with all beings
    to care for the eyeteeth
    that bite through all afflictions.23

    Buddha said not to chew more than a third of the tooth stick. Generally, you must clean your teeth and brush
    your tongue in accordance with dharma.24 Do not brush your tongue more than three times. If your tongue gets
    red from irritation you should stop. In ancient times it was said, ''For a pure mouth chew the tooth stick, rinse
    your mouth, and brush your tongue."25 When you are doing this in front of others, cover your mouth so they
    will not see and become disgusted. Of course you should spit where others cannot watch. Temples in Song China do not have a place in their washrooms for chewing tooth
    sticks. Now at Daibutsuji we have a place for this in our washroom.

    With both hands take your face basin to the front of the stove [in the washroom], put down the basin, and take a
    ladle and scoop hot water into it. Then return to the sink and lightly use your hands to wash your face carefully
    from the basin. Properly clean your eyes, your nostrils, around your ears, and your mouth until they are clean.
    Do not waste lots of hot water by using it immoderately. When rinsing your mouth, spit out the water outside
    of your basin. Wash your face with your body bent and head low, not standing straight, so that you do not
    splash water in your neighbor's basin. With both hands, scoop up hot water and wash your face, removing all
    grime. Next, use your right hand to untie the shukin and wipe your face. If there is a communal towel you may
    use it. Do not make noise with your ladle and basin or make sounds while gargling that may startle or disturb
    the pure assembly. In ancient times it was said, "Washing your face during the fifth watch is fundamentally for
    the sake of practice." 26 How could you spit loudly or rattle your basin to make noise in the hall and disturb the

    The dignified manner for returning to the hall corresponds to the way of exiting mentioned previously. Return
    to your place, cover yourself with your quilt, and do zazen in accord with dharma. If you wish, you need not
    use your quilt. Do not yet put on the okesa.

    When you want to change your robe, do not leave your place but change there.27 First cover yourself with your
    day robe, then quietly untie your sleeping robe and remove it from your shoulders, letting it fall around your
    back and knees so as to cover you like a blanket. When you have fastened your day robe, take your sleeping
    robe and store it in the cabinet at the back of your seat. To change from your day robe to your sleeping robe, of
    course do it the same way. Do not expose yourself while changing robes and do not stand on the platform and drag your
    dothes while folding them.

    Do not scratch your head [scattering dandruff]. Also do not play with a juzu [rosary] making sounds that
    distract the assembly. 28 Do not chat with your neighbors on the platform, and when either sitting or lying
    down, line up evenly with each other. Getting on or off your seat, do not crawl around on the platform. Do not
    make noise by brushing off your seat.

    During the fifth watch the han in front of the head monk's office is sounded three times. After the abbot and
    head monk are seated in the hall, the monks should not enter or leave through the front entrance. Do not fold up
    your sleeping mat and quilt, but wait for the signal of night's end, opening the great stillness, when the unpan in
    front of the kitchen and the hans before various halls are hit in sequence.29 That is the time to fold up the
    sleeping mat and quilt, put them away with your pillow, and lift the curtain [in front of your cabinet where you
    place your bedding]. Then put on the okesa and sit facing each other. Also at the signal, the curtains at the
    windows and front and back entrances are raised, incense is prepared, and a candle is lit in front of Manjushri's

    The procedure for folding up the quilt is: when you hear the signal of night's end, take one comer of the quilt
    with each hand and fold it together vertically, making two layers. Then again fold it vertically into a long fourlayer
    pile. Next fold it over the top horizontally and again a fourth time to make sixteen layers. Put it all the
    way back behind the sleeping mat and fold up the mat right under the quilt with the pillow inserted in the quilt.
    Place the quilt with the folds toward you. Next gassho* and with both hands take the okesa and its wrapping
    cloth and place them both on the quilt. Then gassho* and open the wrapping cloth so it covers the quilt with
    both ends spread out and folded over the quilt to the left and right. Do not wrap it around the front and back of the quilt. Next, gassho * to the okesa;
    with both hands raise it up and place it on the top of your head. Gassho* and arouse your vow, uttering this

    Magnificent robe of liberation,
    A formless field of blessing,
    I unfold and wear the Tathagata's teaching,
    Fully saving all beings.

    After putting on the okesa, turn around to the right and sit facing the center. When you fold the quilt, do not
    stretch it out so that it reaches over onto the next tan, and do not do it abruptly, making an uproar. Simply
    comport yourself with decorum and respectfully accord with the assembly. After the signal of night's end, do
    not stretch out your futon and quilt and go back to sleep. After breakfast you may drink tea or hot water in the
    shuryo*, or resume sitting at your place.30

    The procedure for morning zazen is that, a short time after breakfast, the ino* [monks' supervisor] hangs the
    "zazen" [lacquered] plaque in front of the sodo* and then sounds the han. The head monk and the assembly,
    wearing their okesas, enter the hall, and [the monks] do zazen facing the wall at their places. The head monk
    does not face the wall, but the choshu* [department heads] sit facing the wall like the other monks. The abbot
    does zazen at his chair.

    Monks in zazen do not turn their heads to look and see who is entering or leaving. When you want to go out to
    the washrooms, before you leave your seat first take off the okesa and put it on the quilt. Then gassho* and get
    down off the tan, turning clockwise to face the edge of the tan. Put your feet in your slippers as you get down.
    Going in or out, do not look at the backs of the people doing zazen, but just lower your head and proceed

    Do not walk with long strides, but advance your body together with your feet. Look at the ground about six feet
    straight in front of you and take half-steps. 31 Walking with unhurried calm is exquisite, almost like standing
    still. Do not slide your slippers noisily so as rudely to distract the assembly. Keep your hands together in
    shashu inside your sleeves. Do not droop your sleeves down alongside your legs.

    When you fold up your okesa, do not stand on your seat or hold the edge of the okesa in your mouth. Do not
    hold up the okesa and shake it vigorously. Also, when you fold it, do not step on the okesa or hold it under your
    chin. Do not touch the okesa with wet hands or leave it on Manjushri's altar or on the ends of the long
    platforms [toward the center of the monks' hall]. Do not sit with the edges of the okesa spread out and pressed
    down underneath you. Always watch to make sure that the okesa is arranged neatly. When you want to put on
    the okesa, first gassho* towards it. After you put down the okesa, the usual custom is to raise your hands in
    gassho*. You should know [these practices for taking care of the okesa]. During zazen, do not wear the okesa
    when you leave your place and go outside the hall.

    When they hear the first lunch signal from the kitchen, the monks all gassho* and zazen is finished.32 Then the
    monks leave the hall wearing their okesas. Zafus remain on the tans until after lunch, when they are stored.
    When the first lunch signal sounds, the ino* has a doan* take down the zazen plaque.33

    (During morning zazen, the zazen plaque is posted. For the other zazen times do not display the plaque. At
    hosan* times put up the hosan* plaque, and take it down when the evening bell sounds.34 To signal zazen, in
    the morning a han is struck, in the evening the bell is rung. The monks enter the monks' hall wearing their
    okesas and do zazen facing the wall at their places. Before "end of night" [right after waking up] and during
    mid-afternoon [between about 3 and 5 P.M.] just do zazen without the okesa. At
    mid-afternoon go to your place in the hall carrying the okesa over your left forearm and take out your zafu for
    zazen. Do not yet stretch out your sleeping mat, or you may follow the old custom of spreading it out partway.
    Take your okesa from your arm, fold it up and put it on the quilt, and do zazen. For before-end-of-night zazen,
    put the okesa on the cabinet and do not move it.)

    When you do zazen always use a zafu. 35 Sit in full-lotus position, which you do by first placing your right
    foot on your left thigh, and then putting your left foot on your right thigh. Or you can also sit in half-lotus, in
    which you simply press your left foot on your right thigh. Next put your right hand on your left foot and your
    left palm on your right palm facing upwards, with thumb tips lightly touching. Sit upright, with the back of
    your head straight above your spine, not leaning to the left or right, or to the front or back. Your ears should be
    in line with your shoulders and your nose in a line with your navel. Place your tongue against the roof of your
    mouth with teeth and lips closed. Keep your eyes open, not too wide or too narrow, without eyelids covering
    the pupils. Your neck should not bend forward from your back. Just breathe naturally through your nose, not
    loudly panting, neither [trying to breathe] long nor short, slow nor sharp. Arrange both body and mind, taking
    several deep breaths with your whole body so that you are relaxed inside and out, and sway left and right seven
    or eight times. Steady and immobile, settle into sitting and think of what is not thinking. How do you think of
    what is not thinking? Beyond-thinking.36 This is the essential art of zazen.

    When you get up from sitting, rise gradually.37 When you get down from the platform, also descend gently. Do
    not lift your feet high or take long strides, hastily running ahead. Keep your hands in shashu in your sleeves,
    instead of dropping them down. Do not bob your head, but just look down ahead of you. Go carefully and
    slowly without making a commotion. When you attentively follow the assembly according to this dharma, it is exactly the criterion for engaging the Way.
    The procedure for hosan * is as follows. Hosan* occurs after mid-afternoon zazen. When the great assembly
    finishes lunch in the monks' hall, put away your zafu, leave the hall, and rest at your study place in the shuryo*.
    After a little while, at mid-afternoon (in worldy terms, at the end of the hour of the sheep [3 P.M.]), return to
    the monks' hall, take out your zafu, and do zazen. From then until the next day's lunch, the zafu stays out at
    your place.

    Before hosan*, the head monk enters the monks' hall. The head monk's route for entering the hall is to go along
    the north walkway and enter the south side of the front entrance. After striking the han in front of the head
    monk's office three times, the head monk enters the hall and sits at his place after offering incense to Manjushri.
    Next the doan* announces to the monks in various offices that the head monk is sitting in the hall, or else the
    doan* may inform the monks by striking the han in front of the shuryo* three times. Upon hearing the han, the
    monks enter the hall, put on their okesas, and sit facing each other at their places. At this time, people doing
    zazen facing the wall put on their okesas and turn to sit facing each other. After reporting to the abbot, the
    doan* displays the hosan* plaque [in front of the monks' hall].38 After that, the doan* lifts the curtain in front
    of the hall and enters, bows to Manjushri, goes and faces the head monk in gassho*, and bows. Then, leaning
    over in shashu, the doan says in a soft voice, "Osho* hosan*." [The abbot discharges the students from
    meeting.] The head monk listens silently in gassho*. Next the doan* returns to the front of Manjushri and, after
    properly bowing, stands straight in shashu and loudly calls out, "Hosan*." (This should be exclaimed very
    slowly.) Then the doan leaves the hall and hits the bell three times for hosan*. (This is done, in worldly terms,
    about the middle of the hour of the rooster [6 p.m.].)

    When the monks hear the bell they bow, as during meals, acknowledging the people next to them [by bowing
    straight ahead]. If still in the hall, the abbot gets up from sitting and bows; then after bowing in front of
    Manjushri, the abbot leaves the hall. The monks get down from their places, bow acknowledging their
    neighbors, unroll their sleeping mats, and lower the curtains [in front of their cabinets].

    After returning to the shuryo *, the monks bow to their neighbors and sit facing each other at their desks. They
    may have a hot drink if they wish. Sometimes hot drinks are served [formally], with the head monk of the
    shuryo* sitting in his place. The shuryo* manager offers incense before serving the drinks with the assembly all
    in gassho*.39 The shuryo* manager may offer incense wearing his okesa over his left arm or after putting on
    the okesa, depending on the instruction of the abbot or the custom of the particular temple.
    The procedure for the shuryo* manager to offer incense is, first, to go and bow [at the bowing mat] facing
    Avalokiteshvara.40 Then he walks to the front of the incense burner and with his right hand offers [chip]
    incense; then turns dockwise, in shashu, and returns to the front [of the bowing mat] and bows. The shuryo*
    manager walks in shashu to the upper [right] side of the shuryo*, halfway between the first seat of both main
    platforms, and bows [towards the right end of the shuryo*]. Then, after turning clockwise in shashu, he passes
    in front of Avalokiteshvara and walks to the lower [left] side of the shuryo*, halfway between the first seat of
    both main platforms, and bows.41 Then, after again turning clockwise in shashu, he goes back to face
    Avalokiteshvara and stands in shashu after bowing. After that, hot water or tea is served. When tea is finished,
    [the shuryo* manager] again offers incense and bows, following the same procedure as before.


    1. "Model for Engaging the Way" is "bendoho *," which also could be read, "Dharma for Practicing the Way."
    This was written at Daibutsuji, "Great Buddha Temple," founded by Dogen* in 1244 in the mountains of
    Echizen Province (now called Fukui) near the Japan Sea, away from Kyoto. The name was changed by Dogen*
    in 1246 to Eiheiji ''Eternal Peace Temple," named after the Eihei era in Chinese history (58-75 C.E.) when the
    first Buddhist sutra was introduced to China.
    In several places in this essay, Dogen* describes how a certain procedure should be done. What we have
    translated as the method, procedure, manner, or custom for doing something also could be read as the
    "dharma" for doing it.
    2. "Not separating from the monastery" refers to a saying by the great Zhaozhou. Dogen* quotes it in the
    "Gyoji*" ("Continuous Practice") essay in the Shobogenzo*, "If you do not separate from the monastery for
    your whole life, even if you do not speak for five or ten years, nobody can call you mute. Thereafter, even
    buddhas cannot budge you." Whereas Zhaozhou says, "your whole life" or "one life," Dogen* says not to
    separate through "death and life [birth]," i.e., throughout many lifetimes. For an English version of
    Shobogenzo* Gyoji*, see Francis Cook, How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Zen Master Dogen's*
    "Shobogenzo*" (Los Angeles: Center Publications, 1978), pp. 175-203.
    There is variation in Dogen's* writings, and also among contemporary Soto* training centers, about doing
    late-night sitting practice after the designated bedtime. In some of his writings, e.g., his poetry, Dogen*
    extols such practice. The main point is to harmonize one's practice with that of the entire assembly. Practice
    is not to be conducted in a competitive manner or in a way that will disturb others.
    3. "Skin, flesh, bones, and marrow" are terms used by Bodhidharma to characterize his different disciples.
    "Body and mind dropped off" (datsuraku shinjin) is an important term for Dogen*; it refers to complete
    4. "Practice-enlightenment" here is shusho*. Sho* can also be translated as certification or authentication. The
    "empty kalpa" is the age
    before the creation of the universe. "Actualization" here is genjo *, which also means manifestation, or the
    present phenomena. "Koan*" (public cases) is used as a term for stories and dialogues of ancient masters
    that are sometimes used as meditation objects. Here it simply means the essential truth. ''Genjokoan*" is the
    name of one of Dogen's* major essays. "Judgments" is chincho*, which also means omens or signs. "Great
    realization" is daigo or dai satori, which has sometimes been interpreted as a special experience resulting
    from practice a view Dogen* is here refuting.
    5. The monks' hall is called undo [cloud hall] here by Dogen*; it is also often called sodo*.
    Although English grammar necessitates saying "do zazen," strictly speaking we could say zazen does you,
    or zazen does zazen.
    6. The word for abbot is juji*, literally "[one who] resides in and maintains [the temple]." The abbot's chair, the
    isu, is traditionally a wooden armchair, separate from the monks' sitting platform. Its seat is large enough to sit
    cross-legged on, and it faces Manjushri. Manjushri (literally, shoso* or "holy monk" throughout "Bendoho*") is
    the bodhisattva of wisdom, whose statue is traditionally on the central altar in the monks' hall. The head monk,
    the shuso, faces the center of the monks' hall, toward the joen*, the edge of the monks' platforms on which
    eating bowls are placed during meals.
    7. A jisha is the abbot's attendant, usually a senior monk capable of fulfilling ceremonial and administrative
    needs. An anja acts as a personal assistant for monks in important positions.
    The "Bendoho*" includes many technical Japanese terms commonly used in Zen monasteries. After the first
    italicized use of these terms in the text and notes we usually give them without italics.
    8. The front entrance is usually on the east side of the monks' hall, so that Manjushri faces east; the north side
    of the front entrance, where the abbot's chair is, is to its right as one enters. This directional orientation may be
    changed based on topographical needs of individual temples. However, we shall designate as a standard the
    "north" side as to the right of Manjushri (when facing Manjushri). "Bowing" here is monjin, or greeting with a
    standing bow in gassho*, i.e., with palms joined
    together, fingers outstretched. Hereafter, "bowing" means a standing bow in gassho * unless otherwise
    9. "Circumambulation" is jundo*. During this jundo* at the beginning of zazen, the abbot reviews the
    assembly, noticing attendance and posture. In modem Soto* Zen, Shashu means hands folded at chest height
    with forearms parallel to the floor. The right hand covers the left hand, which is dosed in a fist with thumb
    inside. Sometimes in "Bendoho*," this hand position is called isshu and "shashu'' refers to holding the hands
    flat against the chest (not in a fist) with thumbs interlaced. It seems that D6gen here intends the modem shashu
    hand position.
    10. A tan is the long platform on which monks sit, eat, and sleep. Zazen is done facing the wall, while meals
    are taken facing out to the center of the room. The tan is also deep enough for the monks to sleep at their
    places, unlike the abbot's chair, which is only large enough for sitting.
    11. The passage, "During morning zazen... over his chair." is not in the text of the popular Rufubon edition of
    the Eihei Shingi, which was published in 1794 by Gento* Sokuchu*, the fiftieth abbot of Eiheiji, although it
    does appear in the footnotes. However, this passage does appear in the text of the Shohon edition of Eihei
    Shingi published by Kosho* Chido*, the thirtieth abbot of E'theiji, in 1667. This is also true of many other
    passages to follow in the Eihei Shingi. We have placed these passages in parentheses.
    12. A han is a hanging wooden block that is struck with a wooden mallet to signal events in the monastery.
    Traditionally Soto* monasteries (including some to the present) divide the time between sunset and sunrise into
    five watches or ko. Each of these is also divided into five shorter periods called ten. The second and third ko, or
    watch, would be roughly between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M., varying seasonally with the length of the nighttime. The
    abbot's directions for the daily schedule might be made for an entire practice period.
    13. At the foot of each tan is a wooden cabinet, kanki, with two large shelves for storing bedding and some
    personal items.
    14. Manjushri's jisha (called the shoso* jisha) takes care of the altar
    and makes meal offerings to Manjushri. Manjushri's jisha, the new or visiting monks, monks who attend to
    guests, and the temple administrators all have their places in the outer hall [gaitan or gaido *], which is just
    outside the curtained entryway to the main or inner hall [naitan or naido*]. Both inner and outer halls are
    arranged with assigned places based on monks' positions and seniority. Generally, the monks with more
    important functions have their places closer to the altar, i.e., to the center of each hall.
    15. "Quilt" is hi, a thick cloth used as a cover when lying down.
    16. The number three thousand in the name of The Sutra of the Three Thousand Deportments derives from a
    bhikshu's approximately two hundred fifty regulations multiplied by four for the positions of walking, sitting,
    standing, and lying to make one thousand; and then multiplied by three for past, present, and future. This sutra
    was translated into Chinese by An Shigao, who came to China from Central Asia in 148 C.E.
    17. "Robe" here is sankun, a Chinese-style robe worn beneath the okesa that had two separate top and bottom
    pieces. In the twelfth century, Chinese and Japanese monks adopted one-piece robes, jikitotsu, to wear under
    the okesa.
    18. Zafu is the usual modem word for the round sitting cushion. Here and elsewhere in his writing, Dogen*
    instead usually uses the word futon for what we now call a zafu, as the ton of futon has the meaning "round."
    In contemporary Rinzai Zen, and possibly at Kenninji when Dogen* was there, flat cushions are used for zazen.
    In modem Japan a "futon" is a thick sleeping mattress. The word Dogen* uses for a sleeping mat is mintan.
    Zabuton, the word often used in the West for the square mat the zafu is placed on during zazen, is literally
    "sitting futon." In Japan the square mat upon which a zafu is sometimes placed is called zaniku, and the word
    zabuton is used for smaller, everyday sitting mats.
    19. The "washrooms" or koka*, literally "back shelves," are the toilets and separate washroom at the back of
    the sodo*, off the back passageway.
    20. Shukin is a piece of material, traditionally cotton or linen and off-white or gray colored, about fifteen inches
    by four yards in size. It is
    used while washing in order to tie up the long sleeves of a monk's sitting robe.
    21. The "back passageway" between the sodo * and the washrooms is the shodo* [illuminated hall], so-named
    because it had a skylight in the roof.
    22. "Robe cord" is tasuki, a sash or cord used for tying up robe sleeves.
    23. "Tooth stick" is yoji*, a willow twig whose end was chewed and softened so as to be used like a modern
    toothbrush. Its length was between four and sixteen fingers' width. Both these gathas are adopted from the
    Avatamsaka [Flower Ornament] Sutra chapter entitled "Purifying Practice." See Thomas Cleary, trans., The
    Flower Ornament Scripture (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 1984) 1: 318.
    24. Up to recent times in China and Japan, many people brushed their tongues clean. According to
    contemporary dental hygiene standards, we might appropriately substitute "floss your gums." In the "Senmen"
    [Washing the face] chapter of the Shobogenzo*, Dogen* makes clear that after it is chewed and softened, the
    tooth stick should be used to brush the gums as well as the front and back of teeth. In modern Japanese
    monasteries, Western-style toothbrushes are used, and tongue-brushing is not practiced. The ritual dental care
    and face washing that Dogen* introduced were significant innovations that have spread and been influential in
    Japanese society at large.
    25. This quote, as well as the instruction not to chew more than one third of the tooth stick, is from The Sutra
    of the Three Thousand Deportments.
    26. Also quoted in "The Daily Life in the Assembly" compiled in 1209 by Wuliang Congzhou. See the
    translation by Griffith Foulk in Ten Directions (Los Angeles) 12, no. 1 (1991).
    27. "Robe" here is jikitotsu, literally "sewed together." It is the long one-piece robe as opposed to the earlier
    two-piece, top and bottom robes (see note 17 above). In the following description Dogen* refers to the day
    robe, nichiri jikitotsu, and the sleeping robe, tamin jikitotsu.
    28. Juzu is a rosary or string of beads used by Buddhists, originally to count the number of chants or
    prostrations. See E. Dale Saunders,
    Mudra: A Study of Symbolic Gesture in Japanese Buddhist Sculpture (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
    1960), pp. 174-77.
    29. "The signal of night's end" is called kaidaijo *, or often daikaijo*, literally "opening the great stillness." The
    unpan is a cloud-shaped flat metal gong in front of the kitchen that is struck with a wooden mallet.
    30. The shuryo* is the building behind the sodo* where the monks each have a place for study or rest breaks.
    The regulations for the shuryo* compose a later section of Eihei Shingi.
    31. "About six feet" is one jin, which is literally the length of both arms outstretched to the sides. The effect is
    of looking down at a forty-five degree angle, just as in zazen.
    32. "First lunch signal" is kahan, literally "fire han." Three strikes of the unpan, done when the fire is
    extinguished under the rice, signal that food will be ready soon.
    33. As indicated near the end of "The Dharma for Taking Food," zafus were stored after lunch under the sitting
    platforms. "Doan*" here is short for dosu* kuka anja. Dosu*, another word for ino*, is literally "hall manager."
    The doans*, who are literally the ino's* anjas or attendants, strike instruments during chanting and make some
    offerings (flowers, incense, etc.) to altars. The dosu kuka anja was perhaps a doan* who made offerings.
    34. Hosan*, "release from study," means there is no meeting with the teacher that day.
    35. As elsewhere, the word Dogen* uses here for zafu is futon (see note 18 above). He occasionally also uses
    the word futon for other cushions or blankets, so this might perhaps denote using some "cushion" rather than a
    round zafu.
    36. This refers to a dialogue, quoted by Dogen* in several essays, between a monk and Yaoshan. The monk
    asked Yaoshan what he thought of while engaged in immobile sitting. When he responded that he thought of
    not thinking, or of that which does not think [fushiryo*], the monk asked how he did that. Yaoshan responded,
    "beyond-thinking" [hishiryo*], sometimes translated as "nonthinking." This beyond-thinking refers to a state of
    active awareness that includes both thinking and not thinking, but does not grasp, or get caught by, either
    thinking or not thinking
    When we are sitting, we do not follow or get involved in our thoughts, nor do we stop them. We just let
    them come and go freely. We cannot call it simply thinking, because the thoughts are not pursued or
    grasped. We cannot call zazen not thinking either, because thoughts are coming and going like clouds
    floating in the sky. When we are sitting, our brain does not stop functioning, just as our stomach is always
    digesting. Sometimes our minds are busy; sometimes call. Just sitting without worrying about the conditions
    of our mind is the most important point of zazen. When we sit in this way, we are one with Reality, which
    is "beyond-thinking."
    37. Much of the preceding passage, "Sit in full-lotus position... rise gradually." is identical with a part of
    Dogen's * Fukanzazengi [The way of zazen recommended to everyone], although there are some slight
    variations and additions. See Waddell and Abe, Fukanzazengi.
    38. The word for "abbot" here is DochoDocho* [head of the hall].
    39. According to the Zen'en Shingi, there may be a head monk (shuso) for the shuryo*, different from the head
    monk for the monks' hall, during each practice period. The shuryo* manager, the ryoshu*, fills a separate
    position rotated at weekly to monthly intervals between all of the monks. This person cleans and cares for the
    shuryo* facilities, requests supplies when needed, and settles disputes within the shuryo*.
    40. Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, is the figure on the altar in the center of the shuryo*, just
    as Manjushri is the figure on the altar in the monks' hall. Shoso* [holy monk] is the term used here for
    Avalokiteshvara, just as it was the term for Manjushri in the monks' hall.
    41. Like the monks' hall (sodo*), the shuryo* has an "upper" and "lower" side. The four first seats are those
    closest to the altar.
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-03-2015 at 03:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo, I will be there live.

    Ordained folks should read the entirety with footnotes when they can
    I also have this book and will start reading getting into it. =)



  4. #4
    You may find the following video very interesting.

    Unfortunately it is in Japanese, but visually is enough. It shows daily life at Eiheiji. Some of the sleeping procedure is from 32:50 mark.

    By the way, our Dharma Grandfather (Nishijima Roshi's Teacher), Niwa Zenji, who was Abbot of Eiheiji at the time, is in the middle (you will see him at 20:00 mark commenting on "Body-Mind Not Two").

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-03-2015 at 04:17 AM.

  5. #5
    I will have a watch before going to sleep ... thank you Jundo. =)



  6. #6
    Though I look forward to the modern interpretation, I have two very literal problems with the etiquette described, and I'm hoping for an answer:
    - first, I can't do this "rotate on your seat" thing. I've tried since rohatsu, but cotton against cotton against cotton lets my zafu stick like velcro, and my back is not rotating on it. Tipps???
    - second, many of the above is about not disturbing the assembly, not disturbing or unsettling quietness.
    My velcro zabuton/zaniku likes attracting dust and crumbs. When should I clean it? (I tend to fluff it when rotating the zafu, which I of course only do to give it a good shape again...)

    Thank you. No, I have no questions where to spit my tooth paste at the moment.

    Lying down at night, remember the brightness. - Shitou is everywhere, isn't he?
    Last edited by Jika; 04-03-2015 at 04:08 PM.

  7. #7
    I have a cold today, so I'll be there, but perhaps not for the whole period.
    _/\_ Shinzan

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you for the reading. I hope to be there live.
    Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Virginia, USA
    "Standing out has no benefit; being different from others is not our conduct."

    But, but, I am an individual! I have Freedom(tm) and am a unique and special flower. I must express this uniqueness whenever possible. Thankfully there are many products and services offered for a modest sum that will help me express this individuality!

    In all seriousness, this line just really jumped out at me. In youth my friends and I were punk / post- punk and "conformist" was a terrible slur. In America, Freedom and Individuality are commoditized through advertising and the mercantile system. There is a constant kind of perverse pressure to be unique (just like everyone else), whereby "freedom" must be actively engaged.

    This practice offers such a different kind of freedom.

    Sorry, probably rambling.

    Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
    Though I look forward to the modern interpretation, I have two very literal problems with the etiquette described, and I'm hoping for an answer:
    - first, I can't do this "rotate on your seat" thing. I've tried since rohatsu, but cotton against cotton against cotton lets my zafu stick like velcro, and my back is not rotating on it. Tipps???
    - second, many of the above is about not disturbing the assembly, not disturbing or unsettling quietness.
    My velcro zabuton/zaniku likes attracting dust and crumbs. When should I clean it? (I tend to fluff it when rotating the zafu, which I of course only do to give it a good shape again...)
    In Japan, the Zafu rests usually not on a Zabuton mat, but on smooth Tatami. So, when one sits down and spins to face the wall, the Zafu spins with you rather smoothly. It is not that the sitter spins but the Zafu stays still, but rather both Zafu and sitter spin together.

    In the West, however, generally the Zafu is on a Zabuton (what you call a "Zaniku), so does not spin so easily. Therefore, I would not try to spin around on the Zafu, but just sit down facing the wall (no spin) if the spinning around is hard.

    I would just dust off the Zafu and Zabuton from time to time between sittings.

    Yugen and I are making a film of "at home" Zendo procedures, and we will be sure to include a demonstration of this.

    Gassho, J


  11. #11
    Hi Jundo!

    I'll be there with my bell ready


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yugen and I are making a film of "at home" Zendo procedures, and we will be sure to include a demonstration of this.

    Gassho, J
    Oh, happy to hear this, I will be looking forward to it. Thank you Jundo and Yugen!

    sat today

  13. #13
    I will be sitting this one-way Sunday evening.


  14. #14
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Sorry everyone, my battery pooped out for the last 15 minutes. ^_^

    Thank you all for coming together to practice. Thank you for the heartfelt Dharma talk Jundo.

    Nine bows,

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

  15. #15
    Thank you Jundo for a wonderful talk and as always, a pleasure to sit with you all. Have a great weekend. =)



  16. #16

  17. #17
    That was awesome, great sitting with you guys, enjoy your weekend and thanks everyone for your Practice

    Thank you for your practice

  18. #18
    This talk was just the reminder I needed, thank you Jundo. Thanks to everyone for sitting.



  19. #19

    Thanks to all.


    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  20. #20
    Thanks Jundo; great to see everyone! Always great to spend some time with you all.


    ​sat today...

  21. #21
    Thank you all. It's a beautiful day here and my next ritual is to replace all the elements of our barbeque grill. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Sat today

  22. #22
    Hi everyone, I really wanted to join yesterday, but did not have the time. I am going to try and sit with the recorded version sometime in the next few days.

    sat today

  23. #23
    I must admit I was not and will not be able to sit this zazenkai due to its length, skipped to Jundo's talk and thoroughly enjoyed it. Apologies if that's frowned upon

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sitting with you all each day

  24. #24
    Thank you all.

    Thank you, Jundo, for the talk and the explanations to my questions. I'm looking forward to the dojokun video too!


  25. #25
    Thank you Kyonin, Jundo and everyone.

  26. #26

    April 3rd-4th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI!

    Thank you Jundo and Sangha

    Many bows to my toothbrush and lawnmower. For me, it easier said than done, but it is my practice and I am grateful for it.

    Last edited by Troy; 04-05-2015 at 03:55 PM.

  27. #27

    April 3rd-4th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI!

    Oops, Iol. I was trying to edit my post not create a new one
    Last edited by Troy; 04-05-2015 at 03:56 PM.

  28. #28
    "Therefore, [engaging the Way] is the practiceenlightenment
    before the empty kalpa, so do not be concerned with your actualization. It is the koan before
    judgments, so do not wait for great realization."


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts