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Thread: My Cancer Ango - 9 - "Angos of Hard Knocks"

  1. #1

    My Cancer Ango - 9 - "Angos of Hard Knocks"

    Hi All,

    The following "Talk from the Hospital Bed" is a little longer, but I think you will find it inspiring, with hope, love, even laugh and smile bringing. A few tears.

    It recounts the stories of some wonderful priests and priest candidates, teachers lay and ordained, good and ethical and dedicated folks, whom I witness being "shut out" because of artificial walls being built by some in the Zen Establishment. We are in an age of building walls, rather than just sitting facing walls.

    There is no reason to exclude this small group of people. There are others I could not cover, but not so many really. They have suffered enough (and learned to transcend such suffering through their Zen Buddhist Practice). They are each and all Bodhisattvas working to help other suffering beings.

    I apologize that I am still a bit winded, so my voice is hard to hear sometimes.



    Gassho, Jundo

    STLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-24-2017 at 09:21 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo, honest and true to the heart. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo, for this talk and for creating such an inclusive community.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH

  5. #5


    Doshin
    st/lah

  6. #6
    Eishuu
    Guest


    Gassho
    Lucy
    ST/LAH

  7. #7
    Thanks for this Jundo, hope you are home with your family soon.
    Sat today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  8. #8


    Gassho,
    Stefan

    SatToday

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo, and much love to you and your family ❤️
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  10. #10
    Hi, A couple of folks wrote to ask why a priest would care to be in any of these organizations anyway. If they are good priests, let them be good priests and not care. As Groucho said, "I wouldn't belong to any club that will accept me as a member."

    This is a tempest in a teapot. The only thing these organizations offer is fellowship. However, they are also moving more and more to serving as "stamp of approval" affixers for public consumption, something like a certifier to the public that the replacement parts for your motor are real and what they claim to be, anyone lacking such certification likely counterfeit, flawed, imitation, buyer beware. Those are the only reasons to give a rat's ass.

    The greatly disabled, elderly, poor, mother of a special needs child etc. should not be denied fellowship, and should not be left with the stigma of somehow being counterfeit, flawed, imitation, buyer beware because the doors were shut to them. It is shameful and totally unneccessary. Truly, the priests themselves have faced worse discrimination and injustice in life every day, but for me it is not that different from the restaurant which slams the door in someone's face because of their Irish name, or the hotel that suddenly runs out of beds for guests with disabilities. Where is the Compassionate Heart of Kannon, the discernment to look past surface appearances, that Zen folks proclaim so often?

    Gassho, J

    STLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-26-2017 at 12:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11


    Gassho,
    Hoyu
    Sat Today
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ... The only thing these organizations offer is fellowship. However, they are also moving more and more to serving as "stamp of approval" affixers for public consumption, something like a certifier to the public that the replacement parts for your motor are real and what they claim to be, anyone lacking such certification likely counterfeit, flawed, imitation, buyer beware. Those are the only reasons to give a rat's ass. ...
    Yes and, while they may or may not someday grow into that authority, they are already widely and wrongly perceived as having some certifying authority, which they certainly do not have. They lack the necessary structure to serve in that capacity, and the potential for harm is very real, in my opinion. Working to open those doors, and require good governance, ethical guidelines, accountability, and transparency, is essential.

    But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Byokan View Post
    Yes and, while they may or may not someday grow into that authority, they are already widely and wrongly perceived as having some certifying authority, which they certainly do not have. They lack the necessary structure to serve in that capacity, and the potential for harm is very real, in my opinion. Working to open those doors, and require good governance, ethical guidelines, accountability, and transparency, is essential.

    But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Hi there,

    I don't know if this is more of an issue in the USA? Zen has such a small foothold in the UK that I'm not sure its relevant here. I was surprised to find there is a Zen community near to us. They do seem quite traditional, with a constitution, board of ethics, etc http://www.turningwheel.org.uk/

    I'm unable to attend this centre because of illness/disability but if I were able I think I'd just go along and see. Though if I'm honest I would feel more secure if I knew the person in charge had had a rigorous training and was certified.

    I'm not saying its impossible - but I feel its possibly harder to access this degree of training through an internet based training. Just now Tree Leaf and its Priest Training programme flies under the flag of an experiment. Maybe in time it will become the norm with our increasingly internet based lives - but I'm not sure we can expect acceptance from quite rigid establishments at the moment.

    If the main issue just now is what constitutes an Ango - I'm not qualified to offer an opinion. I understand what you say Jundo and emotionally I gravitate towards the essence of what you say but I can still see that's its problematic. I'm not sure that we should be trying to squeeze our life experiences into an Ango box - I say this as someone who's had 30 years of constant illness and even written a book that includes how Zen practice has helped me to cope/re-shape my perceptions but I would be reluctant to claim this necessarily constitutes an Ango.

    Unsui, Priest or lay-person - all a human being can do is offer some form of service. Host a sitting group - start a reading/discussion group of Zen texts - partake of tradition and ritual - or create new rituals if the old don't float your boat.

    In the UK I think the Mindfullness movement is the closest we'll ever come to Zen. The 'rules' are also excluding. Again - if you can't make it to a retreat and spend so many specified hours then you can't be certified as a trainer. You could say another door closes or you could say it has to be this way to protect the general public.

    This just makes me feel if you're sure you've got something worthwhile to offer - then simply offer it. Don't worry about what to call it, or categorize it. Don't waste time trying to get accepted where you're probably never going to be accepted. Don't wait for somebody else to open a door for you when you're fully able to create your own door and freely walk through it.



    Willow

    ST

  14. #14
    Thank you Jundo, you are an inspiration.
    Hope you are home with your family soon.

    Gassho,
    Jyúkatsu
    sat today
    柔 Jyū flexible
    活 Katsu energetic

  15. #15
    Hello all

    Thank you, Jundo

    Several people on the Soto Zen Facebook group made important points about what might be expected of priests including being able to effectively run a sesshin. I would hope to be able to do that in theory at some point, pending the arrival of the energy to back it up.

    It does promote discussion of what the basic requirements of a priest are and if all those with dharma transmission are expected to fulfill the function of a priest or if some might take on another role. Could Ryokan have run a retreat? I don't know but his ability to write poems and brush calligraphy has left arguably more of a legacy than a couple of sesshins. Not to compare the two but in the west all dharma transmission seems to come with an understanding that one will teach as the head of a centre or monastery and might there be other ways of teaching, including writing, various artistic efforts (for example, if Daizan produced paintings that contained the essence of Zen wouldn't that be a role for a priest?) and other paths in the world?

    This is a centre that is part of the Order for Buddhist Contemplatives which is the only British descended lineage I believe, through Jiyu Kennet. Simon the Professsor has experience sitting with this group who practice an interestingly Christian influenced chanting style.

    In the UK I think the Mindfullness movement is the closest we'll ever come to Zen
    I don't know if I agree with that. Mindfulness lacks the depth and lineage of Zen and also is mostly silent on ethics, compassion and the perfection of wisdom. Dogen Sangha exists in London and there are various seeds of Zen practice which I hope might grow into healthy trees.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    It does promote discussion of what the basic requirements of a priest are and if all those with dharma transmission are expected to fulfill the function of a priest or if some might take on another role. Could Ryokan have run a retreat? I don't know but his ability to write poems and brush calligraphy has left arguably more of a legacy than a couple of sesshins. Not to compare the two but in the west all dharma transmission seems to come with an understanding that one will teach as the head of a centre or monastery and might there be other ways of teaching, including writing, various artistic efforts (for example, if Daizan produced paintings that contained the essence of Zen wouldn't that be a role for a priest?) and other paths in the world?
    The more I read and think about this stuff, it seems to me like we’re trying to cram too much into the “priest” label. Obviously, if you’re going to lead a sesshin, it would be helpful to have attended a sesshin or two. But leading a sesshin is not the only way to teach the Dharma. We need more lay teachers who are fully ordained, with dharma transmission. Dharma transmission needs to be decoupled from monasticism. That way we can open up this tradition to accept new ideas, to help new folks who have been left behind in the past, while still having monks maintaining the traditions we’ve been practicing for 1000 years. Or 2500 years, depending on what you’re counting.

    Let’s let priests handle the churchy stuff, and teachers focus on teaching.

    This seems to be kind of similar to the way Therevadin Buddhism is developing in the West. Most of the American teachers I’m familiar with are not priests or monks, but lay practicitioners who have been empowered to teach. The monks run their temples, the lay folks run their centers, and there seems to be room for everybody.

    , Zenmei (sat)

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Zenmei View Post
    The more I read and think about this stuff, it seems to me like we’re trying to cram too much into the “priest” label. Obviously, if you’re going to lead a sesshin, it would be helpful to have attended a sesshin or two. But leading a sesshin is not the only way to teach the Dharma. We need more lay teachers who are fully ordained, with dharma transmission. Dharma transmission needs to be decoupled from monasticism. That way we can open up this tradition to accept new ideas, to help new folks who have been left behind in the past, while still having monks maintaining the traditions we’ve been practicing for 1000 years. Or 2500 years, depending on what you’re counting.

    Let’s let priests handle the churchy stuff, and teachers focus on teaching.

    This seems to be kind of similar to the way Therevadin Buddhism is developing in the West. Most of the American teachers I’m familiar with are not priests or monks, but lay practicitioners who have been empowered to teach. The monks run their temples, the lay folks run their centers, and there seems to be room for everybody.

    , Zenmei (sat)
    Thank you for that Zenmei. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  18. #18


    Marcus
    SatToday

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post

    Several people on the Soto Zen Facebook group made important points about what might be expected of priests including being able to effectively run a sesshin. I would hope to be able to do that in theory at some point, pending the arrival of the energy to back it up.
    You can be an expert in leading Sesshin in bed for fellow convalescent folks in bed. That can be your thing if your life is so.

    Can the fully ambulatory priests do that as well as you??

    Gassho, J

    STLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Hi,

    One seed is planted, one seed grows into a tree and maybe next cycle there will be more or maybe not. The tree may not survive. Plant many seeds and they multiply into many more. Quickly. Exponentially. At some point the seeds of the seeds and beyond can not be ignored.

    Nurturing seeds. Nurture the seeds of this practice in this format. Give the seeds of this lineage basic training and hope for a little luck regarding not training anyone with poor ethics but we all have a slip now and then. We are human.

    The great Korean Seungsahn was beloved by his students. Lots of transmissions occurred. 100 plus zen centers teaching his style? Not sure how many.

    We just need to mass produce priests here so that we enter main stream. Period. The more the merrier.

    My 2 cents

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  21. #21
    There are some great ideas here!

    Hi Kokuu - I don't disagree with your thoughts on Mindfullness - but what I meant to suggest is that it has a much stronger presence and even though - as you say - it doesn't fully equate with Zen - I think a lot of practitioners feel that it comes close or is at least related in some way. It's worth looking at how it has become widely accepted and what lessons we might take from that. Relatively speaking - we're kind of purists here in certain ways, but I'm sure we'd like the benefits of this practice -in its totality - to reach as many people as possible.

    Zenmei - I really like what you wrote.

    Gassho

    Willow

    ST

  22. #22
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    All said above, thank you.

    STMIZ


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart



    Sat Today / lah

  23. #23

    My Cancer Ango - 9 - "Angos of Hard Knocks"

    Hi,

    Radiologists read film from anywhere in the world and a report is sent back to the ordering physician at the other end of the world. Local physicians consult specialist from very far away daily. All the time. Life and death situations. Psychologists and psychiatrists work remotely just as well as in person. There is such a shortage of psychiatrists in the USA that a lot of people would die without telepsychiatry. People can get bachelors, masters and even PhD degrees with little brick and mortar attendance. All via internet. All from accredited institutions. Law students and medical students can do a significant portion of their educational online. All from accredited institutions.

    The crux of the problem is that there are no accreditation bodies regarding our modality of training. There is not going to be an accreditation body nor will we be incorporated into an accreditation body until the way we do business garners more attention. We need more students and we need more priests. The more the merrier. We specially need priests to grow what we do here.

    But then again, who needs accreditation? Do we need it? Who needs it? We all can and we all do teach. You can not teach and you can not not learn. There is even some patriarch that could not even read. The accreditation thing is just to have more credibility. More credibility equals greater opportunity to spread the word.

    The people I hang out with could care less about pedigree. They just care about vibes. If the vibes are good then we hang. If they are bad then no hanging out. I hang out with some very interesting people. A good pedigree in my circles is actually a hindrance in some cases. Won’t explain why.

    I think we get good vibes here. I would not be here or be part of any other group that did not allow me freedom of expression. I am still here after 5 years and I think this is a good sign.

    Anyway, just saw the new stars wars movie. Mtfbwu.

    Happy holidays.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 12-28-2017 at 03:49 AM.

  24. #24
    Hello,

    Perhaps, we also need to continue to grow positive relations with the greater community. Outward criticisms aside (all organizations can improve in areas, us too) to ensure our priests are more likely met positively in the wider zen community.

    After cultivating relations and working towards convincing others our little sangha is a wonderful and legitimate place to practice.., that is where we can influence positive change. In the mean time, we lead by example and welcome "the greatly disabled, elderly, poor, mother of a special needs child.." and anyone else with open arms.

    I don't think we should discard accreditation or approval outright, despite reasons listed above. I think we should work towards accreditation, while at the same time..doing our thing like we do it, regardless of outcome.

    Thats how I see it.

    Gassho Kyotai
    ST

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Kyotai; 12-28-2017 at 03:53 AM.
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyotai View Post
    Hello,

    Perhaps, we also need to continue to grow positive relations with the greater community. Outward criticisms aside (all organizations can improve in areas, us too) to ensure our priests are more likely met positively in the wider zen community.

    After cultivating relations and working towards convincing others our little sangha is a wonderful and legitimate place to practice.., that is where we can influence positive change. In the mean time, we lead by example and welcome "the greatly disabled, elderly, poor, mother of a special needs child.." and anyone else with open arms.

    I don't think we should discard accreditation or approval outright, despite reasons listed above. I think we should work towards accreditation, while at the same time..doing our thing like we do it, regardless of outcome.

    Thats how I see it.

    Gassho Kyotai
    ST

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I will run a campaign on your behalf. Kyotai for priest! The voice of reason!



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  26. #26
    IMG_0171.JPG

    gassho, Shokai

    stlah Mybwtf
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    IMG_0171.JPG

    gassho, Shokai

    stlah Mybwtf
    This is why I love my dog .... such a great teacher. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  28. #28
    IMG_0137.JPG

    Here is my dog watching Netflix’s on an iPad.



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  29. #29


    Washin
    sat today

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    IMG_0137.JPG

    Here is my dog watching Netflix’s on an iPad.



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    That look indicates it is a commercial. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

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