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Thread: Gate of Sweet Nectar

  1. #1

    Gate of Sweet Nectar

    Hi all

    For those who might be interested, here is a series of five podcasts on the Gate of Sweet Nectar liturgy led by Tetsugen Bernie Glassman.

    https://www.upaya.org/2015/10/gate-o...s-all-5-parts/

    This is a version of the chant for those who don't know it: https://soundcloud.com/bernieglassman/sets/liturgy

    In addition to being used as a meal chant, I think Gate of Sweet Nectar could also be used very appropriately in cases of suffering when we want to take on the suffering of others and send joy and peace in return. In this case the meal could be seen as peace or joy. The words sound a lot like Tonglen (taking and sending) practice. Just my thought, anyway.

    I had not heard Bernie teach before and he is a very funny man, as well as greatly insightful. Not sure that the idea of American Jewish guys teaching the dharma will catch on, though


    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.

  2. #2
    Thanks! Will check this out!
    Gassho
    Sierra
    SatToday

  3. #3
    Interesting. Thank you!

    Gassho,
    Hotetsu

    #SatToday

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  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Thank you very much Kokuu. I look forward to listening.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


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    明道 修眼

  5. #5
    The Gate of Sweet Nectar has an interesting history, as a literal feeding of the hungry ghosts in hell.

    A sequence of verses and dharanis used to ritually feed hungry ghosts (segaki 施餓鬼) and unconnected spirits (muenboke 無縁佛). Although this may be considered a Tantric rite that has its roots in the Shingon (C. Zhenyan 眞言) tradition of Tang dynasty China, the text entitled Ambrosia Gate used in Japanese Zen today derives from Tendai (C. Tiantai 天台) ritual manuals that circulated widely in the Buddhist monasteries of Song dynasty China. ... In Indian Buddhism, the dharma was likened to amta because it frees those who imbibe it from suffering in the round of rebirth. In China, hungry ghosts are called "burning mouths" because, it is believed, their bad karma causes whatever food comes their way to burst into flames before they can consume it. The ritual offering of ambrosia douses those flames and enables them to receive the same "offerings of nourishment" (kuyō 供養) - food, drink, and merit - that are given to ancestral spirits who have descendants to care for them.

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/...=ambrosia_gate
    I tend to avoid such ceremonies and beliefs around here as being on the more superstitious and mythological side of Buddhism. In the past, all this was taken very literally and (while it might be so, who knows) I rather tend to back away from a belief in such things.

    On the other hand, some folks in modern Buddhism tend to "psychologize" symbols so as the "hungry ghosts" and such as representing nothing more than our inner hunger and greed, and the hunger and greed in the world. In that sense, there may be some value in the ceremony. Bernie and some other have rephrased the words in translation to give it somewhat a more earthly meaning. However, I feel that when one looks at the ceremony with its shell trumpets, cymbals and the like, it still smacks a bit too much as hocus-pocus, and I back away. (About 22:00 minute mark in the video) ...



    The ceremony is also filled with various Dharani, a kind of Buddhist magical incantation, that I try avoid around here.

    Dharani for the Invitation for the Manifestation of all the
    Gods and Demons

    NOBO BO HO RI GYA RI TA RITA
    TA GYA TA YA

    Dharani of Hell Crushing and Hungry Spirit Throat Opening
    OM BO HO TEI RI GYA TA RITA TA
    GYA TA YA
    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-13-2015 at 02:42 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Thank you for posting that, Jundo. I must admit I really enjoyed it but am not averse to the odd dharani or bit of hocus pocus. Good ritual can be very transformative.

    Bernie mentions in the first talk that Shakyamuni gave the liturgy to Ananda originally after he had a dream that his mother was in a hell realm. Is there a scriptural source for this that you know of? I tried searching the web but came up blank.


    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.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post

    Bernie mentions in the first talk that Shakyamuni gave the liturgy to Ananda originally after he had a dream that his mother was in a hell realm. Is there a scriptural source for this that you know of? I tried searching the web but came up blank.
    Hi Kokuu,

    I believe that it is not Ananda, but another disciple, Maudgalyayana/Mulian ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulian_Rescues_His_Mother

    http://academic.reed.edu/hellscrolls.../A10/A10c.html

    In the Ullambana Sutra (probably composed in China in the 6th century) "Buddha instructs his disciple Maudgalyayana on how to obtain liberation for his mother, who had been reborn into a lower realm, by making food offerings to the sangha on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This practice is the basis of the East Asian Ghost festival, including the Bon Festival, in honor of one's ancestors."

    Mahamaudgalyayana had just obtained the six penetrations and wished to cross over his father and mother to repay their kindness for raising him. Thus, using his Way Eye, he regarded the world and saw that his deceased mother had been born among the hungry ghosts. Having neither food nor drink, she was but skin and bones.

    Mahamaudgalyayana felt deep pity and sadness, filled a bowl with food, and went to provid for his mother. She got the bowl, screened it with her left hand, and with her right hand made a fist of food.

    http://www.cttbusa.org/ullambana/ullambana.asp
    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Thank you, Jundo. I figured it must be from a Mahayana sutra but had not heard of the Ullambana before or the associated festival.

    It seems like Bon is still quite a big deal in Japan.

    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.

  9. #9
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    It might be worth adding that at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, where the Gate is practiced every Sunday morning, an important part of the ritual involves participants donating food to a local food bank. That food is on the alter along with all of the spirits and ancestors. It's a lovely ceremony and I never experienced it as hocus pocus or overly psychological (I have felt that when chanting chapter 25 of the lotus sutra but I love it just the same).

    Faith-Moon
    sat today

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaithMoon View Post
    It might be worth adding that at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, where the Gate is practiced every Sunday morning, an important part of the ritual involves participants donating food to a local food bank. That food is on the alter along with all of the spirits and ancestors. It's a lovely ceremony and I never experienced it as hocus pocus or overly psychological (I have felt that when chanting chapter 25 of the lotus sutra but I love it just the same).

    Faith-Moon
    sat today
    That does sound lovely.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


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    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  11. #11
    I might note where I come from on these things ...

    I am actually about to appear on a podcast interview in a couple of weeks (yes, finally) with Ted Meissner of the secular Buddhist and Mindfulness podcasts (http://secularbuddhism.org/category/podcasts/). The theme was "Secular-Religious Buddhism - The Best of All Worlds". More on that another time. However here is a taste, my description ...)

    There is not one “right” view of Buddhism suitable for all practitioners, and I will never claim my way as best for all. Different suffering beings may require medicines in varied mix and dosage ... However, I wish to offer a new flavor of Buddhism which avoids both (1) what may be baseless myth, unfounded superstition, primitive magic and historical ignorance among traditional Buddhist practices, and (2) the opposite extreme extreme of stripped down teachings and practices reduced to such a degree that the “baby Buddha” is thrown out with the bath water, whereby many worthwhile and challenging teachings and rituals are lost due to being wrongly limited or labeled as myth and magic. ... "Religio-Secular Buddhism” means forms of practice that maintain the option of and place for certain seemingly "religious" elements of Buddhist Practice ... for example, the possibility of statues, robes, incense ... but only to the extent that each speaks to and has meaning for the practitioner, is seen to have value as a symbol or poetic expression of some greater truths, and serves as a reminder or focus encompassing teachings, thus embodying a pragmatic purpose to facilitate and enhance Buddhist Practice. ... We don't insist that others abandon their beliefs in things we reject, and we remain open minded even if skeptical and agnostic or (based on present evidence) unbelieving. However, for our own practice, we reject certain aspects of traditional Buddhism … and all other religions and philosophies … if not meeting the above tests of substantiation and relevance.
    Elements of a ceremony like this cross the line for me personally, but I do not speak for all Practitioners. One person's hocus-pocus is another person's power.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    I really like the idea of ZCLA donating food along with the Gate of Sweet Nectar. That ritual isn't my cup of tea, but the food donation is a nice way of bringing it back to helping all sentient beings, including the hungry just down the street!

    I'm looking forward to your podcast interview Jundo. Before I came here I looked heavily at the SBA for a Sangha to call home, but it was missing some of what I think you'll be describing in the podcast, which speaks to me at the level I need in my practice currently.

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

  13. #13
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    I get it. There are plenty of things in Buddhism that I steer away from. Ceremonies and rituals, I'm fine with, but you really have to be in the room and throw yourself into it. May the mind-flower bloom in eternal spring, and may we realize the Buddha way together.

    Faith-Moon
    sat today

  14. #14
    Jundo, I am very grateful for your teaching style! Though I can see how some people appreciate ceremonies such as this.

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

  15. #15
    Thanks for the link Kokuu and the video Jundo.

    I wasn't expecting to enjoy the ceremony (not too keen on shell trumpets, cymbals, etc) but I found it quite compelling.
    There is a lot of teaching in the words and I can see how meaningful it would be to be involved in the ceremony on a regular basis.

    I also enjoyed hearing a female voice lead the chanting - very clear and beautiful.

    Loved the joyful jumping about near the end

    Just one query - what is it that individuals place on their foreheads when they approach the alter ?

    Gassho

    Willow

    sat today

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post

    Just one query - what is it that individuals place on their foreheads when they approach the alter ?

    Gassho

    Willow

    sat today
    Hi Willow,

    Do you mean, for example, at the 8:15 mark? He is simply raising the powdered incense up before sprinkling it on the burner (a coal which would be burning atop the sandy part below). Some folks touch the forehead, others do not. It is usually explained as simply a gesture of respect and reverence in the offering (we also raise Sutra books to eye level before opening and after closing), but there are always some esoteric interpretations that somebody, sometime, will add to such rituals.

    Gassho, J

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Yes - thank you Jundo, I couldn't quite see behind the candle what they were touching.

    Gassho

    Willow

    sat today

  18. #18
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    Thanks Kokuu for initiating this conversation. The celebration of feeding the hungry ghosts has ancient roots. In this time and place, Bernie and the Zen Peacemakers have been thinking deeply on questions like: When the hungry ghost appears, what do you feed it? It's an ongoing investigation!

    Faith-Moon
    sat today

  19. #19
    Maybe we can update this ceremony somehow? Let it be more clearly focused front and center on the hungry mouths in this earthly world, and the "hungry ghosts" in each of us, and less on hocus-pocus and hidden hell realms and "OM BO HO TEI RI GYA TA RI TA TA"? I don't care to fight human beings allowing poverty and deprivation in the world by invoking mysterious energies and spirits.

    Actually, that is something that I have tried to do with many of the ceremonies we have adopted and conducted here at Treeleaf, from Jukai to our upcoming "Hossenshiki Dharma Combat Ceremony" ... honoring traditional elements, stripping away much abracadabra and superstition, keeping the rituals as vital and relevant. I do know the power and community/awareness building role of some ceremony and ritual.

    Shall we build some kind of ceremony based on this Gate for greed, poverty and hunger? It could become a cornerstone for our Engaged and Charitable Projects program.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-16-2015 at 06:14 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Shall we build some kind of ceremony based on this Gate for greed, poverty and hunger? It could become a cornerstone for our Engaged and Charitable Projects program.
    I would certainly really like that, Jundo. Maybe it could be done at the beginning of each two week period of global action.

    Personally I find that rituals like this inspire me into action just as the metta verses may well not do anything physical to change suffering but have a noticeable impact on my state of mind.

    Faith, I remember in my Tibetan days we used to take out offerings for hungry ghosts as part of the meal and think this is also the same with Oryoki practice. I really appreciate Bernie's deep thinking on this too.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    Last edited by Kokuu; 10-16-2015 at 04:43 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    I would like that also Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday


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    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  22. #22
    Hi All.

    This ceremony, as far as I can tell, seems to have originally been about about calling forth, communicating with, and pacifying spirits of dead people who do not rest in peace. I see no need to adapt it to a literal re-interpretation about hungry living people. If we want to help the hungry we can just do that, can't we, and make a new ritual that pleases us if we wish. I see no need to try to twist and manipulate a clearly religious ritual concerned with the afterlife into something completely different. I would leave this ritual for those who wish to appease hungry ghosts. It is a beautiful ritual as it is. If we are doing something else, we can make a new ritual for what we are doing.

    It seems that Roshi Bernie and Roshi Joan have re-styled this ritual to make it about inclusion: “This chant calls out to all those who are lost and left behind, those who hunger and thirst, including those parts of ourselves that we think of as insufficient and lacking.” "May we always have the courage to bear witness; To see ourself as Other and Other as ourself."

    This is beautiful and admirable but pretty far from the original I think. Scraps of the original remain in addressing “countless spiritual beings,” “those in the lower realms of existence,” and “the harmful spirits who hinder the way.” The invitation for the Manifestation of All the Gods and Demons remains, as does the Dharani of Hell Crushing and Hungry Spirit Throat Opening.

    I guess what I’m saying is why struggle to adapt all that when we can just make a much simpler movement to build a new ceremony that reflects this Sangha and Jundo’s teachings? Why change hungry ghosts into hungry living people, demons into psychological archetypes? It’s like fake food. I don’t like fake food. Instead of eating soy-based-extruded-triticale-plant-fiber-amino-enriched-fake-hamburger-product, why not eat a plate of delicious sauteed veggies instead? Substitutions rarely satisfy. Simple and straightforward appeals to me.

    In the style we always use, we could offer incense, have a few bells, recite some words that have meaning for us. I know many of us were touched deeply when we encountered the Gate Of Sweet Nectar song/chant that was sung at the Washington retreat last year:

    Calling out to Hungry Hearts,
    Everywhere through endless time,
    You who wander, you who thirst,
    I offer you this Bodhi Mind.

    Calling out to hungry spirits,
    Everywhere through endless time,
    Calling out to hungry hearts,
    All the lost and left behind.

    Gather round and share this meal.
    Your joy and sorrow
    I make them mine.

    People need and desire ritual to mark the importance of things, to highlight a feeling of reverence, to inspire, motivate, and strengthen community, etc. We can build our own ceremonies without the need to adapt things in a convoluted way. I think we should!

    Gassho
    raindrop
    sat today

    p.s. By the way, I don’t believe in ghosts, hells, or demons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve met many who say they have first-hand experience of these things, and I can’t discount that. Energies may seem mysterious only because we don’t understand them yet. I think calling these things “ignorant,” even in quotation marks, or superstitious or irrelevant, is unnecessary. No need to discount the beliefs of others, just focus on what you do believe and build from there. The idea that taking the parts we agree with and leaving the parts we don’t is an “upgrade,” seems a little self-congratulatory to me, a bit of setting oneself higher. We don’t always need to tear down the old to build the new. I’d be sad if someone who is diligently practicing The Way might feel ignorant or sidelined because they honestly feel that their dead grampa spoke to them in a moment of need, or that they perceive unseen energy flowing, or some similar experience.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    p.s. By the way, I don’t believe in ghosts, hells, or demons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve met many who say they have first-hand experience of these things, and I can’t discount that. Energies may seem mysterious only because we don’t understand them yet. I think calling these things “ignorant,” even in quotation marks, or superstitious or irrelevant, is unnecessary. No need to discount the beliefs of others, just focus on what you do believe and build from there. The idea that taking the parts we agree with and leaving the parts we don’t is an “upgrade,” seems a little self-congratulatory to me, a bit of setting oneself higher. We don’t always need to tear down the old to build the new. I’d be sad if someone who is diligently practicing The Way might feel ignorant or sidelined because they honestly feel that their dead grampa spoke to them in a moment of need, or that they perceive unseen energy flowing, or some similar experience.
    Yes, maybe my way of putting that part was too harsh. I will tone it down somewhat. Thank you, Lisa.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, maybe my way of putting that part was too harsh. I will tone it down somewhat. Thank you, Lisa.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    Jundo,

    I beg your pardon, Teacher, I am only pointing to the language. I know there is no harsh intent behind those words.

    deep bows,
    Lisa
    sat today

  25. #25
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    Fascinating what this brings up for us. I'm all for creating rituals. The process of doing so can only clarify our intentions. What I get from the peacemaker ceremony is that nothing is excluded. Faith_Moon



    Also see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernie..._b_644860.html
    Last edited by FaithMoon; 10-16-2015 at 11:38 PM.

  26. #26
    Hi Lisa,


    I really like and respect your thoughts on developing a new ritual rather than co-opting an old one. It makes sense and it fits in with Jundo's aspiration to strip out much of the 'abracadabra' surrounding some old rituals.
    While I wouldn't want to belittle anyone for holding supernatural beliefs, I really appreciate Jundo's forthright style on this matter. (Jundo has a forthright style on many matters, which, the more I hang out here, the more I appreciate and admire). It is his commitment to reworking many of the traditions and teachings to make them appropriate for a modern, Western context that make his teachings relevant and precious and was one of the main the reasons I was attracted to this Sangha. Moreover, I would say that this aspiration is one of the most important challenges in modern Buddhism if it is to become a vital force for change rather than descending into a cult.
    I'm sure, in a hundred years time Buddhism, if it survives in the West, will have a set of rituals and teachings far removed from those practised now and much of its Asian residue unrecognisable – for good or ill.
    The ceremony left me bit cold, however I was watching it on 'YouTube'. It's definitely a kind of' you had to be there' event. Although I've got an old English, lefty aversion to any thing that smacks of 'Church'. However, I have no end of respect for Bernie Glassman and his work with the homeless. I believe this commitment to social engagement and re-working the teachings is the cutting edge of current Buddhist thinking, and I think this Sangha is right there in the forefront of that movement. So, I feel very privileged – in a humble, Buddhist sense, of course!



    Wishing you all well.


    Martyn


    Sat today.

  27. #27
    Did Buddha do any rituals? What is the difference between a ceremony and a ritual?

    I'm a little skeptical about this because rituals dominated primitive religions.

    What about adding some music?

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Jundo,

    I beg your pardon, Teacher, I am only pointing to the language. I know there is no harsh intent behind those words.

    deep bows,
    Lisa
    sat today
    Oh no, you were right. No pardon to beg. I do get on my soap box when it comes to this issue of (what may be) superstition and soothsaying in Buddhism. I probably will be heard to do so from time to time.

    Kind of an old tradition in the Buddhist world, but one person's superstition is another person's sacred rite.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday



    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Shall we build some kind of ceremony based on this Gate for greed, poverty and hunger? It could become a cornerstone for our Engaged and Charitable Projects program.
    Please count me in for this.

    I also think we should maintain the woowoo factor to a personal level, but official Treeleaf ceremonies are a good way to unite the sangha and to keep tradition going. And of course there's the psychological effect. Ceremonies makes us aware of our practice and service.

    So, I say AYE!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  30. #30
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    I don’t want to be in the position of defending certain types of chanting or ceremony. I am simply a long time practitioner who has no problem with ceremonies, and I participate in them with an open heart/mind. I’m also not a Bernie defender, but I have over the years grown to appreciate the Zen Peacemaker’s approach to adapting old forms to reflect their mission. An extraordinary level of service and contemplation over many years is behind what you see on the YouTube video.


    I’ve scratched my head as to why it might be necessary to repeatedly call out dhirani (sp?), spells, etc. as…what? Harmful? I just can’t imagine anyone in this sangha needing to be steered away from that. Has this seriously been an issue for any of your students, Jundo?


    To consider:
    When your child is sick or in danger and there is nothing else you can do, do you pray; recite a favorite chant? What’s that about? Is it harmful?

    Faith-Moon
    sat today

  31. #31
    Hi Faith Moon,

    I actually consider such beliefs harmful, at least looking historically at centuries of Buddhism and other religions. At best, they are placebos to give people hope (and, yes, even placebos have been shown to have true medical worth. I recognize the value of placebos, and as a former hospice volunteer I learned that, if a dying man wants a rabbits foot ... well, I give him a rabbits foot without debate. If somebody wants to pray to a volcano or a spirit, and it brings them some comfort, more power to them and I hope it brings them some peace) ...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582662/

    But there are big and little superstitious beliefs that people cling to to explain how the world works, and sometimes are willing to fight about. At the minimum, I ask myself why I would invoke magic that seems to have no validation for its actual existence based upon how we have come to understand this universe, to request the help of spirits and energies which probably do not exist outside our dreams? (I am open minded on such things existing, just skeptical to the point of disbelief. I believe that there is "more in heaven and earth than dreamt in our philosophy", but that does not mean the Bermuda Triangle or Loch Ness monster is real). In fact, I see the true wonder in understanding how the world actually seems to work (that changes in climate are being caused by industrialization and global warming, not our failure to properly sacrifice a sheep to the rain gods. Likewise, dealing with hunger and poverty is not really helped by banging a drum and shouting NOBO BO HO RI GYA RI TA RITA, and it may even distract folks from going out and actively dealing with these issues).

    The real "miracle" and "wonder" of this life is most ordinary, right before our eyes. No need for shiny "Wizard of Oz" like smoke and mirrors to make it more so. (Dogen, like a lot of old Zen masters, was once asked if he could levitate and all the rest. He responded that the real "miraculous powers" of a Zen fellow is to drink tea, scratch one's nose, chop wood and fetch water).

    At worst and most extreme, such superstitious beliefs in religion have been reasons over the last few thousand years for us to blow each other up (though people have done so in the name of other "secular religions" we call nationalism, communism and such ... ) or do things like this to themselves ...

    Kentucky Snake Handler Bit During Church Service Refuses Medical Treatment and Dies
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/ke...Z6DyiKsKXaz.99

    In Child Deaths, a Test for Christian Science
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/06/us...pagewanted=all

    When my own child has been sick, I have prayed, danced around a fire, thrown salt for purification of evil spirits, called on Buddha and Jesus and Thor ... but mostly prayed to the doctors. I would have grabbed any rope in a crisis but, after the clouds had past, I realized that my motivations were most likely the desperation of the moment.

    I also am a big BIG fan of Bernie Glassman and his work, including the Peacemakers. I am thoroughly a supporter of engaged Buddhism and social action in general. I am just focusing on the worth of having "abracadabra" in our ceremonies.

    I do, however, see the value of having community rituals and ceremonies, even if much of the (seeming) fantasy and snake oil is removed. I was reading recently that even some atheist groups are finding the value of certain ceremony and ritual ...

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...tuals-atheists

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday

    PS - I do not mean to imply that one need over-rely on "science" either. An old thread from this forum ...

    Let me mention too that a faith in science to excess, whereby "only" science has the answers and all of life ... love, poetry, beauty ... can be reduced to a test tube or an equation ... can also be dangerous, also a kind of ignorance by "scientism". DNA and Darwin, protons and quarks, carbon and oxygen ... while amazing and wondrous, each holding the building blocks of reality ... can also miss the "Big Picture" if we focus too much on those alone. Furthermore, I believe that many of our most accepted beliefs today will someday be chuckled at by people of the future, much as we now chuckle at the beliefs of people of the 17th century (22nd Century husband talking to wife: "Martha, can you believe that those naive people 100 years ago still believed in gravity?" )
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-17-2015 at 06:53 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Hello,

    Distinctions . . . what a concept!

    Letting ritual remove ego,

    Putting the "fun" back in 'funereal': *thumbs up*


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    Last edited by Myosha; 10-17-2015 at 06:41 PM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  33. #33
    Member FaithMoon's Avatar
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    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southern California
    desperation of the moment
    I think this is the hungry ghost. As I understand the Gate, the chants invite the desperation of the moment into the room. "Just chanting" is another miraculous power of the zen fellow.

    Faith-Moon
    sat today

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by FaithMoon View Post
    I think this is the hungry ghost. As I understand the Gate, the chants invite the desperation of the moment into the room. "Just chanting" is another miraculous power of the zen fellow.

    Faith-Moon
    sat today
    Well, I will pray to Thor and knock on wood that it is so. When sacrificing a goat to the volcano, just sacrifice a goat to the volcano.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Faith Moon,

    The real "miracle" and "wonder" of this life is most ordinary, right before our eyes. No need for shiny "Wizard of Oz" like smoke and mirrors to make it more so. (Dogen, like a lot of old Zen masters, was once asked if he could levitate and all the rest. He responded that the real "miraculous powers" of a Zen fellow is to drink tea, scratch one's nose, chop wood and fetch water).

    ...

    Thanks for making that clear.

    Haven't done much lately but I enjoy chanting. Would like to see more of the dancing and jumping for joy that I. Glimpsed in the video. liked the drums and would add some brass and strings. also liked the way some of their chanting was more like singing.

    I'm not opposed to reverence and seriousness but expressing joy is important.

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

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