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Thread: September 4th-5th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! ANGO SEASON BEGINS!

  1. #1

    September 4th-5th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! ANGO SEASON BEGINS!

    Today's Zazenkai marks COMMENCEMENT of our ANGO (90 Day Tranquil Dwelling)!

    The Talk today will reflect on "Ango Then and Now" ... (text 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 ...

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at GOOGLE+ IS HERE:
    CLICK ON THE TAB ON LOWER RIGHT FOR 'FULL SCREEN


    FOR THOSE NOT ALREADY MEMBERS OF THE CIRCLE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, INSTRUCTIONS are posted AT THIS LINK. WE ARE NOW LIMITED TO 10 INDIVIDUALS WITH CAMERAS, BUT ANY NUMBER CAN WATCH LIVE 'ONE WAY' AND SIT-A-LONG VIA THE ABOVE SCREEN. IF JOINING WITH CAMERA, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE IS MUTED:


    The Sitting Schedule is as follows:

    00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN
    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
    03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING



    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)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES, AND HAVE ROOM FOR BOWING AND KINHIN.

    ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.


    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 Sekishi; 09-09-2015 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Added podcast link.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Please read the following in preparation for our Zazenkai ... These Passages will be the center of today's talk ...

    Ango Then and Now ...

    What is Ango in our day and time, for householders in the modern West? Is it Ango as the Buddha, Dogen and all the Ancestors Practiced?

    The meaning of the Japanese word Ango [安居] (Skt : varsha or varshika; Pali: vassa ) is “tranquil dwelling”. The origin is the “rainy-season retreat” , the period when Buddhist monks in India stopped their travels and outdoor activities for the duration of the rainy season and gathered at some sheltered location to devote themselves to Practice, study and discipline. One practical reason was because the heavy rainfall made traveling and outdoor activities impractical. But it was also a time when the individual monks in Buddha’s time, spending most of the year scattered here and there in small groups or individually, could gather and unite as a community and Practice together. During the rainy season in India, monks traditionally dwelt in a cave or a monastery for three months—from the sixteenth day of the fourth month to the fifteenth day of the seventh month. During this period the monks learned the Buddha's teachings, engaged in meditation and other practices, and repented their harmful behavior and weaknesses. The tradition is said to have begun during the time of Shakyamuni, was brought to China, and in Japan the three-month retreat was first observed in 683. Now it comes to us.

    In the time of Master Dogen, Ango was a period of intense Practice mostly (but not exclusively) for monks living in a monastery. In his early years, Dogen’s Teachings emphasized that Zazen and Enlightenment are open to all, monks or householders, male or female, everyone. Later in life however, Dogen found himself chased out of the cosmopolitan capital city by other religious groups, turning to live in a remote and isolated monastery in the snowy mountains of Japan. Although in other writings to his lay students, Dogen continued to emphasize how this Way is open to all, his writings like Shobogenzo were meant to be talks heard primarily by his monks, meant to encourage monks in their monastic life and “keep up morale”, and thus, quite naturally, centered on the importance of Practice in a monastic setting.

    But does that mean that Ango is not for householders as well? How has the Practice of Ango evolved as Zen has come to the West, to modern times, and again become open to all, monks or householders, male or female, everyone without distinction?

    We will look at a few passages from Master Dogen’s “Shobogenzo-Ango”, written in his jazzy wild way:

    http://www.bdk.or.jp/pdf/bdk/digital...enzo4_2008.pdf

    ----------

    To meet a summer retreat is to meet the buddhas and the patriarchs. To meet a summer retreat is to realize buddha and to realize the state of a patriarch. .... In this “Ninety days makes a summer,” though the measurement of time is a cerebral measurement, it is beyond only one kalpa or ten kalpas, and beyond only a hundred thousand countless kalpas. ... [The summer retreat] has not come here from another place and another time, and it does not originate from just this place and just this time. When we grasp their origins the ninety days come at once. When we grope for their basis the ninety days come at once. The common and the sacred have seen these [ninety days] as their caves and as their very lives, but [the ninety days] have far transcended the states of the common and the sacred.

    ** a "kalpa" is a vast eon of time measuring billions of years.


    The World-honored One addresses Bodhisattva Round Realization, the great assemblies of monks, and all living beings:

    If you practice the retreat for three months from the beginning of summer, you will abide in the pure state of a bodhisattva, your mind will leave the state of a śrāvaka, and you will be beyond dependence on others. When the day of the retreat arrives, say before the Buddha the following words: “In order that I, bhikṣu/bhikṣuṇī/upāsaka/upāsikā So-and-So, who rides upon the bodhisattva vehicle may perform tranquil practice; that I may harmoniously enter, dwell in, and maintain the pure real form; that I may make the great round realization into my temple; that body and mind may practice the retreat; and that the wisdom whose nature is balance and the peaceful natural state of self may be without hindrances; I now respectfully ask, without relying on the state of a śrāvaka, to practice the three-month retreat together with the Tathāgatas of the ten directions and the great bodhisattvas. By virtue of enacting the great causes of the supreme and fine truth of the bodhisattva, I will not be involved with others.” Good sons! This is called a bodhisattva’s manifestation of the retreat.

    ** a "śrāvaka" might be called a self-absorbed "armchair Buddhist"

    ** upāsaka/upāsikā = laymen and laywomen

    ...

    Once when the World-honored One was doing the ninety-day summer retreat somewhere, on the final day, when the ceremony of public repentance was held, Manjushri suddenly appeared in the assembly, whereupon Makakashō asked him, “Where did you do your retreat this summer?” Manjushri replied, “This summer I did the retreat in three other places.” At this, Makakashō assembled the community, intending to have Manjushri expelled by striking the wooden fish. But just as he had raised the hammer to strike the wooden fish, he suddenly saw innumerable Buddhist temples appearing. He could see that there was a Buddha with a Manjushri at each place and a Makakashō at each place, his hand raising a hammer to expel Manjushri, whereupon the World-honored One spoke to Makakashō, saying, “Which Manjushri do you wish to expel
    now?” Makakashō was immediately dumbfounded.

    [Dogen continued:] Meditation Master Engo, in commenting on this account, once said the following:

    If a bell is not struck, it does not ring; if a drum is not struck, it
    does not resound. Makakashō had already grasped the essential
    function of a summer retreat; Manjushri had rid himself of all duality
    by means of his doing his meditation throughout the ten quarters. This
    very moment in the story is an excellent one, for it expounds the
    functioning of the Buddha’s Teaching. How regrettable to have
    missed such a move! As our dear Master Shakyamuni was about to
    say, ‘Which of the Manjushris do you wish to expel now?’ just
    imagine, what if Makakashō, right off, had given the fish a good
    whack! What mass annihilation would he have then created?

    [Dogen continued:] Meditation Master Engo added a verse to this commentary of his:

    A great elephant does not play about in the narrow path
    that a rabbit makes,
    And what could a little bird know of a great wild swan
    It was just as if Makakashō had created a new way of
    putting the Matter whilst staying within the rules
    and regulations;
    It was just as if Manjushri had grabbed a flying arrow
    within his teeth, having already broken the target.
    The whole universe is one with Manjushri;
    The whole universe is one with Makakashō.
    Face-to-face, each is solemn in his authority.
    Makakashō raised his hammer, but in which place will he
    punish Manjushri?
    Manjushri did It with one fine prick of his needle;
    Makakashō s ascetic practices rid him of all hindrances

    [Dogen continued:]So, the World-honored One’s doing the summer retreat in one place is equivalent to Manjushri’s doing it in three places, and neither is not doing the summer retreat. If someone is not doing the retreat, then such a one is not a Buddha or a bodhisattva. There is no account of any offspring of the Buddhas and Ancestors not doing a summer retreat. You should realize that those who do a summer retreat are offspring of the Buddhas and Ancestors. Doing a summer retreat is the body and mind of the Buddhas and Ancestors. It is the Eye of the Buddhas and Ancestors, the very life of the Buddhas and Ancestors. Those who have not done a summer retreat are not the offspring of the Buddhas and Ancestors: they are neither a Buddha nor an Ancestor. We now have Buddhas and bodhisattvas, be They as humble as clay and wood, as precious as silk and gold, or as wondrous as the seven precious jewels.* All of Them have performed the retreat of sitting in
    meditation through the three months of the summer. This is the ancient custom of abiding within, and maintaining, the Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In short, those who reside within the house of the Buddhas and Ancestors must, by all means, do the practice of sitting in retreat for the three months of a summer.



    A GOOD ANGO TO ALL!!!!
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-06-2015 at 12:36 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Wonderful wonderful, I will be there live. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  4. #4
    Let's kick off Ango 2015!

    I'll be there live with my bell ready

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    I posted this elsewhere, but would like to put it here too ...

    --------------------

    Hi All.

    Besides attending the Zazenkai each time (you will see me there) and listening to all my own talks (I always enjoy my talks and the sound of my own voice, and find them inspirational!) ... plus having Dokusan with myself using a mirror ...

    I will be avoiding all sweets and beer (not that I drink that much to start with) ... which, to be honest, is combining Ango with a late summer intensive push on my ongoing diet! (No reason not to combine the two. In fact, 25 years ago I quit smoking in main part by checking into a Zen Sesshin!)

    I will be increasing my sitting time each day, joining with you in the Global Days of Service and charitable contributions, reciting Metta and the Meal Verses with everyone.

    This reminds me ... keep good humor through the Ango, Jukai and Sewing! Nobody says it has to be a dour and desperate experience. Quite the contrary, good humor is vital.

    In fact, the key to all Zen Training is "not to tight, not too loose". If I may say, one has to ask whether Practice is too loose or too tight. Or just right ... like Goldilocks!

    For example, it is fine to just put it all down, be simple, let the breeze move and the rain fall ... nothing more needed. However, the above needs to be contrasted with simply being negligent, putting it off, doing things half way, avoiding what should be done etc., closing your ears to what you don't want to hear etc. .... Only the person knows which applies.

    Also, in the other direction, one can be diligent, sometimes engaging in hard practice, taking care sincerely and carefully of what needs to be done like at Sesshin ...

    Versus being an obsessive tight ass, rigid, compulsive. That is not good either. Only the person knows which applies.

    And, by the way, it is not particularly good too to run from one extreme to another ... like some folks I know who "commit" on Tuesday, "quit" by Thursday. Slow and steady wins this race to nowhere (in fact, a lot like parenting a child in that way, or even learning the piano! ).

    Time again to tell of Sona and the Lute ...

    [The Buddha said], "Sona, you were a musician and you used to play the lute. Tell me, Sona, did you produce good music when the lute string was well tuned, neither too tight nor too loose?"

    "I was able to produce good music, Lord," replied Sona.

    "What happened when the strings were too tightly wound up?"

    "I could not produce any music, Lord," said Sona.

    "What happened when the strings were too slack?"

    "I could not produce any music at all, Lord," replied Sona

    "Sona ... You have been straining too hard in your meditation. Do it in a relaxed way, but without being slack. Try it again and you will experience the good result."
    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    I will be present.

    Gassho
    Randy
    satoday

  7. #7
    "Well begun is half done"

    I will be there live
    Marc Connery
    明岩
    Myo̅ Gan - Bright Cliff

    I put the Monkey in Monkeymind

  8. #8
    I will participate live..

    Gassho,
    Sergey

    sat-today

  9. #9
    I will be joining live. See you all then.

    -satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  10. #10
    I'm working tonight but will be with you in heart, and will sit this over the weekend.

    Deep bows
    Yugen

  11. #11
    I am working overseas, so unable to join you live, but will sit this 'with' you all when I'm able.

    Gassho,
    Anshu

    -sat today-

  12. #12
    Participating.


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

  13. #13
    Joyo
    Guest
    The hangout is full, so I am participating one-way.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sitting

  14. #14
    Off we go! Thanks to all.
    _/st\_ Shinzan

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Happy Ango everyone. Thank you all for practicing together with the Buddhas and ancestors!
    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    He/him. As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  16. #16
    Joyo
    Guest
    Thank you all. Happy Ango everyone!! Jundo, thank you, excellent talk!

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  17. #17
    Thank you Jundo, Kyonin, and everyone ... Happy Ango! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  18. #18
    Wonderful... Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  19. #19
    Happy Ango everyone!!! Thanks for your Practice...deep bows

    Gassho

    Sat
    Thank you for your practice

  20. #20
    Happy Ango, dear sangha!

    Thank you all for you practice

    In another news, my computer didn't crash! It was slow and I had to turn off the camera several times, but I didn't get booted. That's Ango magic!!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  21. #21
    "It's very traditional. It's just a new tradition!"

    Thank you dear Sangha!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  22. #22
    Thank you everyone for sharing your practice, it is important. Ango we go......

    Gassho

    Randy

  23. #23
    Thank you all for your practice. I was only able to participate for about 20 minutes. The restaurant I was in was closing. Thank you Jundo for the suggestion of sitting in noisy areas from time to time. It was good practice. I will sit the rest after I return from my short retreat in the mountains.

    A good Ango to all,
    Brooks sat today.
    "The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one has achieved nothing." - Nagarjuna

  24. #24
    Thank you and happy Ango to all of the Sangha!

    Gassho,
    Sergey

    #just sat

  25. #25
    Wonderful to sit with everyone!

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday

  26. #26
    Thanks to all.

    Wrote an Ango cheer-leading song -

    Ango! Ango! That's our plan!
    If we can't do it . . .
    That's our plan!


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

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Thanks to all.

    Wrote an Ango cheer-leading song -

    Ango! Ango! That's our plan!
    If we can't do it . . .
    That's our plan!


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today


    Gassho,
    Brooks sat today.
    "The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one has achieved nothing." - Nagarjuna

  28. #28
    Thanks to all

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  29. #29

    September 4th-5th, 2015 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! ANGO SEASON BEGINS!

    Thank you for our Zendo!

    I promise at our Ango .I will try to analyze my system of brain like our style.And sew Rakusu and sit everyday.

    And keep on removing weeds and stones.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-05-2015 at 02:41 PM.

  30. #30


    JUNDO COMMENT: Mt Tsukuba, as seen from near here

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-05-2015 at 03:45 PM.

  31. #31
    Happy Ango!
    Thank you all very much.

    Gassho,
    Ralf sat this today.

    ( it was raining the past 12 hours, like a tropical (but cold) rain and still does so. Weather seems to know about Ango :-)

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  32. #32
    Thank you for this sitting,
    A good ango to all
    gassho
    Gishu George
    Gi Shu -George

  33. #33
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Thanks to all.

    Wrote an Ango cheer-leading song -

    Ango! Ango! That's our plan!
    If we can't do it . . .
    That's our plan!


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    Do you have pom-poms and a cheerleading dance to go with that?

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  34. #34
    Happy Ango Everyone!

    Thank you to all for your practice.

    Gassho,
    Jason

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    Do you have pom-poms and a cheerleading dance to go with that?
    Naturally -





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

  36. #36
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Thankyou Jundo, thankyou everyone for your shared practice.

    I think I get it, practice must be serious, except when its not-so-much.

    Gassho
    Geoff
    SatToday, and was with you all in every ango moment, because what's a few thousand miles between friends?
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  37. #37
    Myosha,

    awesome, beautiful, thank you for the link!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  38. #38
    Thank you so much. A good Ango to all.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today

  39. #39
    Ha! Barcarolle and Butterflies, it doesn't get better than that! Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Sierra
    Thinking about searching the milkweed for Monarch caterpillars now

  40. #40
    What a great kickoff to Ango.
    Thank you all for the lovely Zazenkai.

    In humble Gassho,
    Ken
    JustSatThisToday
    The strength and beneficence of the soft and yielding.
    Water achieves clarity through stillness.

  41. #41
    Thank you all very much!
    Happy to Ango with you

    Jundo, the Shobogenzo link did not work for me.
    If you would like to change it, I think it is now here (Ango-chapter, or paper page 85).
    But, who knows where it will dwell next Ango... All links are impermanent.

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  42. #42
    Many thanks to Jundo and all the gang who got this wonderful Zazenkia going. First time I've ever sat so long but went like a breeze.
    I postponed the start of my Ango for a day- I had a humdinginger of a cold for these past few days, all snot and sniffles - but feel like a new man today.
    Thanks to all for your warmth, generosity and kindness.

    Deep bows,

    Martyn

    Sattoday

  43. #43
    Gassho to all
    Heisoku
    Sat today
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  44. #44
    Thank you everyone. Happy ango!

    Gassho,

    Simon

    Sat today

  45. #45
    Member Roland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium
    So great that the four hours of zazenkai were recorded, it will enable me to participate displaced in time and space: next weekend I'll try my very first four hours of zazenkai.

    Gassho,

    Roland
    #SatToday

  46. #46
    Wonderful talk Jundo and wonderful to sit with everyone. Even if it was a different time. Or was it. .
    Gasho,
    Steve
    Sat Today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  47. #47
    Nindo
    Guest
    Suteki!

    And yes, if Dogen had had bold face, italics and underlining, the Shobogenzo would be even more jazzy

    A good ango to all.
    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

  48. #48
    Sat half of this today and will finish tomorrow. Good to have something to look forward to!

    Lovely words about the sangha, Sekishi.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  49. #49
    As usual I was late to the party, but as it seems I showed up right on time. Thank you all for sitting and lets go Ango!

    Gassho
    James
    SatToday (just now in fact)

  50. #50
    Very nice, thank you!
    "Give me an A!"

    SatToday with you
    -r

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