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Thread: Sewing the Kesa

  1. #1

    Sewing the Kesa

    Sewing the Rakusu during Jukai was both a joyful, and incredibly humbling experience for me. Sewing practice really resonated deeply within me. It has recently come up for me that I would like to sew the Kesa. After chatting with Jundo about it he asked me to also share this as a topic in the forum.

    Who has sewn the Kesa? How did the experience affect your practice? What brought you to decide to sew the Kesa?

    I think it is wonderful we can share our experiences here and I look forward to learning from yours!

    Gassho,

    Junkyo
    SAT

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    I have begun sewing a kesa. I enjoy doing it, watching the cloth come together from yards, to pieces, and then back together. The effect it has on my practice is a reminder of the repetition of life, how tasks go from starting to going to finished over time, just watching the needle and the stitches. It is sometimes annoying and boring, watching my mind wander to other things it might like to be doing, and realizing that it's all kind of the same. Resistance is also a teacher when sewing.

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    Geika, thank you for sharing. Beautiful image of cloth together, cut apart, then put back together again.

    I have not sewn a kesa yet, but Jundo recently gave me permission to start. I'm looking forward to hearing from more sangha members about their experiences as I start in this endeavor.

    Nanrin (Southern Forest)
    St

  4. #4
    Hello,

    imho, like Zazen, Kinhin, Samu, Long-distance-running , Kesa sewing can help, merging the Self with the Now.
    Emptying the mind and merging with the activity.
    After preparation of the sewing material, I pause for a moment and sit some minutes Zazen at my sewing place before starting.
    The impatient meets the patient. The diligent meets the lazy. The calm meets the agitated. The pedant meets the sloppy. The professional meets the bungler. The balanced meets the aggressive.
    All together arguing with the Zen practitioner about the middle way.
    Interesting mirror, this sewing business.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    Last edited by Kotei; 05-26-2019 at 08:01 AM.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  5. #5
    I like the idea of sewing a kesa as I enjoy samu in the garden and long distance running (as Kotei said). I was hoping to start with the next batch of people taking Jukai later in the year but can we start earlier? I have not been blessed with much manual dexterity so may need a head start!

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    I like the idea of sewing a kesa as I enjoy samu in the garden and long distance running (as Kotei said). I was hoping to start with the next batch of people taking Jukai later in the year but can we start earlier? I have not been blessed with much manual dexterity so may need a head start!

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH
    Hi Neil,

    We usually sew the small Rakusu (the abbreviated Kesa worn around the neck) for Jukai. That we usually sew all together at Jukai time. The Kesa sewing folks are sewing a full Kesa. We ask that folks have sewn a Rakusu first.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Neil,

    We usually sew the small Rakusu (the abbreviated Kesa worn around the neck) for Jukai. That we usually sew all together at Jukai time. The Kesa sewing folks are sewing a full Kesa. We ask that folks have sewn a Rakusu first.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Ah, I've confused the Kesa with the Rakusu, apologies!

    Gassho,

    Neil

    STLah

  8. #8
    I had it in my head that sewing the kesa was sewn for ordination, like the rakusu is for jukai. I'd that not the case?

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Hi

    I sew Kesa (Nyoho-e) after sukke tokudo(home leaving)

    I try to share pic after.

    Gassho
    Sat today
    Kakunen

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    I had it in my head that sewing the kesa was sewn for ordination, like the rakusu is for jukai. I'd that not the case?

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    Nope. Lay people can sew and wear kesa too. (That or I've signed up for more than I was expecting ). Several of us who took Jukai earlier are in the process of sewing kesa now. If I remember correctly, lay people wore kesa for zazen back in Dogens day.

    I'm glad for this thread - kesa sewing isn't mentioned very often in other threads.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin

    St

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanrin View Post
    Nope. Lay people can sew and wear kesa too. (That or I've signed up for more than I was expecting ). Several of us who took Jukai earlier are in the process of sewing kesa now. If I remember correctly, lay people wore kesa for zazen back in Dogens day.

    I'm glad for this thread - kesa sewing isn't mentioned very often in other threads.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin

    St
    Yes, lay folks can sew and wear the kesa. The process is of course, that one has already taken Jukai and sewn the rakusu. Then if one feels the calling to sew the kesa, then one asks permission from their teacher ... in most cases it is always a yes. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAh
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanrin View Post
    (That or I've signed up for more than I was expecting )
    I'm pretty sure an American Therevada-Zen priest by accidental ordination would make heads explode in both Thailand and Japan



    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    I'm pretty sure an American Therevada-Zen priest by accidental ordination would make heads explode in both Thailand and Japan



    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    What a happy morning.

    A few family members and friends have seen my rakusu and understand jukai to be a lay ordination, fortunately nobody's head has exploded yet. If I walked into a temple where nobody knew me wearing a full kesa saying I was accidentally ordained as a priest heads might just pop.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin

    St

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Yes, lay folks can sew and wear the kesa. The process is of course, that one has already taken Jukai and sewn the rakusu. Then if one feels the calling to sew the kesa, then one asks permission from their teacher ... in most cases it is always a yes. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAh
    This seems to be an open secret around here. I think it's good to not advertise too much, but it's also good to let people know they can ask every now and then. I asked because I feel strongly about sewing the robe (especially after sewing a rakusu) and I came across Taigu's old posts when he first introduced kesa sewing to this sangha. I am overjoyed to have the chance to sew.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin
    St

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanrin View Post
    This seems to be an open secret around here. I think it's good to not advertise too much, but it's also good to let people know they can ask every now and then. I asked because I feel strongly about sewing the robe (especially after sewing a rakusu) and I came across Taigu's old posts when he first introduced kesa sewing to this sangha. I am overjoyed to have the chance to sew.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin
    St
    Enjoy the process ... Seeing a kesa has a lot to share. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  16. #16
    Just a clarification ...

    In the Nyoho-e tradition of sewing a full Kesa, which is followed by our Sangha and others corners of the Soto Zen world (typically related to Homeless Kodo Sawaki, Katagiri Roshi, some in the Suzuki Lineage), in Japan and in the West, lay people can sew and wear a Nyoho-e style full Kesa. This is not true throughout all Soto Zen or in many other corners of Buddhism (some places yes and some no). However, Master Dogen wrote in Shobogenzo Kesa-Kudoku ...

    In India and in China, ... even laypeople received and retained the kaṣāya [Kesa]. ... It is an ultimate secret of the Great Vehicle that laypeople, whether human beings or gods, receive and retain the kaṣāya. ... All lay bodhisattvas have received and retained [the kaṣāya]. In China, Emperor Bu of the Liang dynasty and Emperor Yang of the Sui dynasty both received and retained the kaṣāya. Emperors Taisō and Shukusō both wore the kaṣāya, learned in practice from monks, and received and retained the bodhisattva precepts. Other people such as householders and their wives who received the kaṣāya and received the Buddhist precepts are excellent examples in the past and present. Therefore, whether we are emperors or subjects, we should receive and retain the kaṣāya and we should receive the bodhisattva precepts without delay. There can be no greater happiness for a human body.
    So, the Kesa is not a "homeleaving" Ordination as a priest, and is to be worn by lay people.

    Of course, anyone sewing a robe should sometime read the wonderful paper by scholar Diane E. R iggs, "Fukudenkai: Sewing the Buddha’s Robe in Contemporary Japanese Buddhist Practice."
    https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/2849

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Ps - Wiki Roshi (always reliable ) adds this ...


    In the Chinese tradition, both upāsakas and upāsikās [lay men and women who undertake the 5 Precepts] are permitted to wear robes for temple ceremonies and retreats, as well as home practice. Upāsakas and upāsikās wear long sleeved black robes called haiqing (海青), symbolic of their refuge in the Triple Jewel. A brown kasaya called a manyi (缦衣) worn outside the black robes is symbolic of their upholding of the precepts. Unlike monastics, they are not permitted to regularly wear robes outside functions other than temple activities or Buddhist disciplines.
    A scholar's paper confirms this ...

    CHARLES B. JONES
    Stages in the Religious Life of lay Buddhists in Taiwan

    The robe in question is the ... manyi or the outer monastic robe, although it is not exactly the same as that worn by
    clergy. The monastic version consists of strips sewn together, while the
    lay version is solid. The newly-created Five-Precept Upasakasl-ikas
    will, from this time forward, have the right to wear the manyi during all
    future Dharma-meetings, and will have places between ordinary
    devotees and those who have received the bodhisattva precepts.
    file:///C:/Users/J.Cohen/Documents/delete8867-Article%20Text-8675-1-10-20110301.pdf


    Master Dogen added on style ...

    It has been said that “the kaṣāyas received and retained by laypeople are either called ‘single-stitched' or called ‘secular robes.' That is, they are not sewn with backstitches.” ... Such were the traditions of a master of the past. However, [the tradition] that has now been received one-to-one from the Buddhist patriarchs is that the kaṣāyas transmitted to kings, ministers, householders, and common folk, are all backstitched.
    You may notice too that most Chinese robes use a hook to close like this, different from Soto robes ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 05-30-2019 at 01:59 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanrin View Post
    I think it's good to not advertise too much

    Gassho,

    Nanrin
    St
    Really? Why do you say that Nanrin?

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Really? Why do you say that Nanrin?

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    Meitou,

    I don't think there's a need to advertise it. People who are so inclined will find it soon enough and ask permission, the rest who aren't called won't. An occasional mention is enough for people to become aware of the option. It's not a requirement for people to do after jukai. People generally don't need more to do, but less to do. That's part of the wonder of zazen - there's nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to be. Just sitting quietly is enough. We all are wrapped thus-ness and always sit in the Buddha's robe, regardless of our clothing.

    That said, sewing is marvelous practice and I'd recommend it generally. We here are very fortunate to have the option of sewing kesa. The kasaya is a wonderful teaching. I'm very, very glad to be given the chance to sew and wear it.

    Hopefully I am not totally off here.

    Gassho

    Nanrin

    St

    P.S. Wonderful information Jundo. Interesting that Chinese lay robes don't have the rice paddy design.

  20. #20
    I actually avoided Jukai for a while because I was just sure I wouldn't be able to sew the Rakusu. Not only was I capable, I came to really enjoy it - even though it was difficult for me at times.

    Sewing my Kesa was a fascinating experience for me. The rhythm of the sewing mirrors your breath and I find it very much like sitting, but with a specific object in mind. I also found it mirrors life. Sometimes a straight line is a compromise. Things don't go according to plan so you need to find a new one. Sewing a seam and removing a seam are two sides of the same coin. Both can be centering. You fix what you can, but sometimes little imperfections remind you of the journey. My wife broke her arm as I was just starting and one of my panels sat on the dining room table for a while. The sun bleached it out a bit but that slight color variation reminds me of that experience.

    You come across challenges and you have to find your past them. Sometimes others can show you the way and sometimes you just have to figure them out for yourself.

    Like so many things, once you are done you have a much better idea of how to do it correctly.

    At some point as you are sewing you transition from having a bunch of disparate pieces of cloth to something that is a partial Kesa. It goes from being a bunch of parts to something that is more whole, even if unfinished. Your experience of it changes as it comes together. It didn't happen all at once for me, I just realized one day that my view of my work was different. Out of many single elements one thing is created - even if continues to change and evolve.

    I wonder sometimes if that is sort of what Jundo is doing with Treeleaf. All these disparate parts, these individual strangers, come together - and are eventually part of a greater whole: The Treeleaf Sangha.

    I kind of think of us as Jundo's Kesa.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  21. #21
    Hi Junkyo and all

    Like many, I imagine, the sewing of the rakusu planted a seed. I found the rakusu both challenging and rewarding and it is, you could say, the first object of 'devotion' I have ever created. Some years ago I led a small buddhist group, zen-styled, where the members effectively wanted a 'priest' figure. I live in a pretty remote place where it was hard enough to find other buddhist sympathisers let alone someone who had been ordained. As I was a zendo-less wanderer I thought, 'what the hell' and bought a haqing and a kesa from China. Long story short here - it felt 'cheap' to wear, no discipline or effort had been required to obtain it, just a credit card. Sewing the kesa connects me to treeleaf, and all the way back through our lineage. I sew the kesa because it is not mine to sew.

    How is this affecting my practice? I try to sew the panels together like I am sewing the water to the reflection of the moon in it.

    Sat today, gassho, Tokan

  22. #22
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  23. #23
    Sewing the Kesa emphasized my practice in a manner similar to Kinhin, sort of a moving meditation.

    Gassho
    Sat
    Marc Connery
    明岩
    Myo̅ Gan - Bright Cliff

    I put the Monkey in Monkeymind

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Myogan View Post
    Sewing the Kesa emphasized my practice in a manner similar to Kinhin, sort of a moving meditation.

    Gassho
    Sat
    Good to see you, Doc.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Very hard to sew Kesa.

    Add pic.

    Hope to have good practice.

    17155895_655564787969053_5274067397838376081_n.jpg

    Gassho
    Sat today
    Kakunen

  26. #26
    Very hard to sew Kesa.

    Add pic.

    Hope to have good practice.

    17155895_655564787969053_5274067397838376081_n.jpg

    Gassho
    Sat today
    Kakunen

  27. #27
    Thanks for this thread! There was some confusion for me around robes/kesa's/rakusus. This really helps clear things up. It is great o hear all of your stories about how sewing the rakusu helped your practice and what it meant for you. Also, thank you Jundo for providing the information from the Chinese tradition. I continually feel the call to sew the rakusu, and with permission would like to sew one in the fall. I actuall really don't enjoy tasks like that so I think it will be a valuable experience to go through the motions, stitch by stitch, and sit with whatever comes up. Thanks again for all.


    Gassho,


    Brad


    SatToday/LAH

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by BradR89 View Post
    Thanks for this thread! There was some confusion for me around robes/kesa's/rakusus. This really helps clear things up. It is great o hear all of your stories about how sewing the rakusu helped your practice and what it meant for you. Also, thank you Jundo for providing the information from the Chinese tradition. I continually feel the call to sew the rakusu, and with permission would like to sew one in the fall. I actuall really don't enjoy tasks like that so I think it will be a valuable experience to go through the motions, stitch by stitch, and sit with whatever comes up. Thanks again for all.


    Gassho,


    Brad


    SatToday/LAH
    I don't enjoy those tasks either. Personally, I hated every second I spent sewing the rakusu. That's why it was so important and one of the most valuable experiences of my life. One day I'll work up the gumption to have a go at the kesa, but not for a while.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by BradR89 View Post
    I continually feel the call to sew the rakusu, and with permission would like to sew one in the fall.
    Hey Brad,

    You are more then welcome to come sew and take the precepts in the fall, would be good to have you.

    Stay tuned for the announcement in Aug/Sept. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  30. #30
    Really interesting posts...esp regarding rakusu vs kesa. I had wondered about the sewing and usage of the two, if there was a 'substantial' difference (since they are pretty much the same thing) or a customary difference. -I may not be expressing myself artfully, I hope you get my meaning.
    gassho
    sean
    sat.lah

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    I don't enjoy those tasks either. Personally, I hated every second I spent sewing the rakusu. That's why it was so important and one of the most valuable experiences of my life. One day I'll work up the gumption to have a go at the kesa, but not for a while.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    I can't say I hated it, but I cried a lot! Sewing brought up so much for me - how inept I was made to feel in Domestic Science classes in school, how difficult how I found it to be accurate when cutting and sewing, how hopeless I was at any kind of math and how much I hated it - all that school stuff came right back to haunt me 50 years later. But while sewing I thought about how I'd bought into that narrative over the years, how I'd allowed it to define me when in reality that wasn't my story at all, I could have just put it all down. Sewing the rakusu, facing my fears about my abilities, crying, unpicking, starting again, crying some more, starting again some more, and finding at the end of this painful journey that I had created this beautiful thing, as if I'd stitched an entire history into it - that's my real story.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by sjlabat View Post
    Really interesting posts...esp regarding rakusu vs kesa. I had wondered about the sewing and usage of the two, if there was a 'substantial' difference (since they are pretty much the same thing) or a customary difference. -I may not be expressing myself artfully, I hope you get my meaning.
    gassho
    sean
    sat.lah
    Historians are not sure, but the Rakusu (literally, "Abbreviated" [Kesa]) may have developed simply when monks had tasks whereby it was inconvenient to always be wearing the full Kesa (they are still worn by Japanese monks at such times, which is most of the day, with the full Kesa usually for Ceremonies and more formal times), or perhaps during times or persecution of Buddhism in China when they had to go "undercover" and wore the Rakusu hidden inside their clothes. They are more common in Japan, and a version in Korea (I am not sure if that came from Japanese influence), than other places. Now, the Rakusu is also bestowed on Lay Folks during Jukai, although not universally (in Japan, I have been to Jukai where no Rakusu was bestowed, and others where it was.)

    Japanese temple parishioners, with or without regard to whether they have formally undertaken the Precepts, also often wear an even more abbreviated form called a "Wagesa" (circle Kesa).



    Outside the Zen sects, there are some other variations worn by the Pure Land folks and such ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post223735

    I understand that some Soto groups (like OBC) in the West, and many temples in Japan, bestow a Wagesa for Jukai instead of a Rakusu.

    Ever see anything like any of those in Vietnam, Kyoshin?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-03-2019 at 01:59 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Historians are not sure, but the Rakusu (literally, "Abbreviated" [Kesa]) may have developed simply when monks had tasks whereby it was inconvenient to always be wearing the full Kesa (they are still worn by Japanese monks at such times, which is most of the day, with the full Kesa usually for Ceremonies and more formal times), or perhaps during times or persecution of Buddhism in China when they had to go "undercover" and wore the Rakusu hidden inside their clothes. They are more common in Japan, and a version in Korea (I am not sure if that came from Japanese influence), than other places. Now, the Rakusu is also bestowed on Lay Folks during Jukai, although not universally (in Japan, I have been to Jukai where no Rakusu was bestowed, and others where it was.)

    Japanese temple parishioners, with or without regard to whether they have formally undertaken the Precepts, also often wear an even more abbreviated form called a "Wagesa" (circle Kesa).



    Outside the Zen sects, there are some other variations worn by the Pure Land folks and such ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post223735

    I understand that some Soto groups (like OBC) in the West, and many temples in Japan, bestow a Wagesa for Jukai instead of a Rakusu.

    Ever see anything like any of those in Vietnam, Kyoshin?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    No, I haven't seen anything like that, but I haven't made it to the Thien (Viet Zen) temple yet, which is pretty far. At temples I have been to all the monk wear something like these two styles. Colors vary, but grey and brown seem most common. I've never seen laity wear any special clothing, though prayer bead bracelets and Thai style pendants are popular.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlahvietmonk1.jpg

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Kyoshin; 06-03-2019 at 02:16 AM.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    No, I haven't seen anything like that, but I haven't made it to the Thien (Viet Zen) temple yet, which is pretty far. At temples I have been to all the monk wear something like these two styles. Colors vary, but grey and brown seem most common. I've never seen laity wear any special clothing, though prayer bead bracelets and Thai style pendants are popular.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlahvietmonk1.jpg
    Of course, Vietnamese monks wear full Kesa too on formal times. Most all are Rinzai Lineage, I believe, and have that Chinese style hook ...



    And I even see a few images with something that looks surprisingly like the "Wagesa" ... although the seem to be wearing it together with the full Kesa (a no no in Japan ... belt and suspenders)



    Well, Vietnamese noodles and Chinese noodles and Japanese noodles ... all delicious!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-03-2019 at 04:39 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Of course, Vietnamese monks wear full Kesa too on formal times. Most all are Rinzai Lineage, I believe, and have that Chinese style hook ...



    And I even see a few images with something that looks surprisingly like the "Wagesa" ... although the seem to be wearing it together with the full Kesa (a no no in Japan ... belt and suspenders)



    Well, Vietnamese noodles and Chinese noodles and Japanese noodles ... all delicious!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I haven't personally seen any monks wearing the full kesa, but I know it happens for formal occasions. In fact you don't see monks often here at all, unlike Thailand or Cambodia where they're everywhere. I've seen a few monks at temples, but oddly enough, I see them most frequently at the airport.
    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    How did I miss this thread with such beautiful photos and the precious history? I cherish this, all the cultures of Buddhism. Thank you for sharing these stories, the customs and traditions. It gives me a very warm, peaceful, comforting feeling inside.

    I had started measuring and cutting a few pieces here and there, practicing for the rakusu. I had practised the stitches before, but never got farther (fear). I now realize it is similar to what Meitou described. Home Ec and similar attempts were the same for me, and how my fingers, etc are not so nimble as 40 years ago. So I thought, I'll just try practicing, a little at a time, and I'll see that it's not so bad. Then when it's time, I'll be less afraid of it.

    Now I understand the kesa is after the rakusu. Do I dare to dream that much? One dragon at a time, I think.

    Grateful for this thread.

    Gassho
    Kim
    St lh



    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  37. #37
    I have deep regret and even embarrassment at having received my Rakusu as a gift of the (someone sewed it for me) The Sangha (tears of gratitude). My left hand is somewhat mangled because of a self-inflicted fishing accident. My wife sewed my beautiful black covering and gray brocade interior Rakusu cover out of scraps in her sewing kit, and this according to requirements. She took the pattern right out of the Sangha, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, what's that we say? I feel sometimes at a loss, but someday maybe someone will show me a way to sew a Rakusu for someone. I look at bought Kasa and I know it wouldn't be the same if I bought one, but monks look wonderful in their colors. Beside, on July 22nd I will have something that, perhaps, no one in our Sangha has; a 32-year AA medallion for 32 years continuous freedom from alcohol and street drugs. All that this means is that I've done what my step-mom, Marilyn, or my mother, Dorothy, did naturally in their lives. One day at a time, sometime one moment at a time. These women knew God, a God of their own understanding.

    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 06-03-2019 at 11:46 PM.
    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

  38. #38
    For those really into cultural comparisons ...

    A Theravadan monk (from Laos actually ... I've been there!) demonstrates how to place on their robes. (Actually, I am not sure about the fact that he puts one corner in his mouth at one point Also, what about those rules about speaking to girls? ) ... Boy, we Soto folks seem to have it relatively easy! ...



    And a Chinese priest ... This is almost the same as our way but, this time, because of the hook, the Soto folks have more tying steps ... This is the Chinese lay robe, by the way ...



    And a fellow whom I believe to be a True Pure Land (Jodo Shin-shu) priest putting on their 5-Panel Kesa



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-04-2019 at 02:00 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    I don't enjoy those tasks either. Personally, I hated every second I spent sewing the rakusu. That's why it was so important and one of the most valuable experiences of my life. One day I'll work up the gumption to have a go at the kesa, but not for a while.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    Hi Kyoshin,

    Thank you very kindly for sharing your experience. I can imagine myself feeling the same and learning to accept and sit with the experience every stitch. I hope you undertake the full kesa sewing one day too. It sounds like a very valuable experience.

    Warm wishes

    Gassho,

    Brad

    SatLah

  40. #40
    Hey Shingen,

    Thank you very much for the invitation. I feel I am ready for the journey and Tree Leaf feels, absolutely, like the right place for me! I will have a chance to sit with you on Friday so I will see you then!

    Gassho,
    Brad

    Sat/Lah

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by BradR89 View Post
    Hey Shingen,

    Thank you very much for the invitation. I feel I am ready for the journey and Tree Leaf feels, absolutely, like the right place for me! I will have a chance to sit with you on Friday so I will see you then!

    Gassho,
    Brad

    Sat/Lah
    Hey Brad,

    Look forward to sewing and practicing with you ... if you have any questions, please feel free in contacting me anytime. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  42. #42
    Jundo, thank you for the videos, history, traditions, and cultural comparisons. I am always interested in these things and often research it on my own, just because.

    Gassho
    Kim
    St lh

    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  43. #43
    Guys, I know itīs little bit of topic, but do anyone of you know how is called the kind of hat/cap (?) Sodo Yokoyama and Kodo Sawaki wore? https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/yokoyama.html
    https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Yokoyama5.jpg
    https://antaiji.org/archives/image/kike/sawakikind.jpg
    ?

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by jirkasirkabublinka View Post
    Guys, I know itīs little bit of topic, but do anyone of you know how is called the kind of hat/cap (?) Sodo Yokoyama and Kodo Sawaki wore? https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/yokoyama.html
    https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Yokoyama5.jpg
    https://antaiji.org/archives/image/kike/sawakikind.jpg
    ?
    Hello,

    Would you mind introducing yourself here, JP?

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...lks-%28June%29

    Thank you.

    I am also curious as to why you are interested in the hat?

    That type of hat is rather out of style with priests these days, so not seen very much. Sometimes they cover the heads of statues of Jizo.



    It is called a 不老帽, which I believe is pronounced "furoubo," and means "perennial youth hat." Why? I do not know. Perhaps because the nice sun flap keeps the skin young??

    It is closely related to very old style hats from samurai times, as seen in this picture.



    A similar hat is worn by the God of Wealth, Daikoku, whose statue is often found in Zen temples (don't ask why, probably the ancient merchant connection), and he wears a hat that is similar. So, that is called a Daikoku zukin (Daikoku head cover 大黒頭巾)

    http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/daikoku.shtml

    On their 60th birthday here, to mark their return to "second youth", men get dressed up in big red ones and look silly (I guess I can look forward to this next year!?) Maybe that is where the "perennial youth" is connected??




    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-21-2019 at 05:54 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    As to headgear, I am curious about the sode-zukin as worn by the wonderful actress playing Taira no Tokiko in the NHK series Yoshitsune, along with other nuns around that time as pictured both contemporaneously and in current media. Is this a thing at all? I didn't see it worn by any Zen nuns, for example in Paula Arai's study Women Living Zen.

    29409370190_831ecf42c0_o.jpg

    gassho
    doyu sat tday and lent a hand
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    As to headgear, I am curious about the sode-zukin as worn by the wonderful actress playing Taira no Tokiko in the NHK series Yoshitsune, along with other nuns around that time as pictured both contemporaneously and in current media. Is this a thing at all? I didn't see it worn by any Zen nuns, for example in Paula Arai's study Women Living Zen.

    29409370190_831ecf42c0_o.jpg

    gassho
    doyu sat tday and lent a hand
    I would say that it is ancient, and long out of fashion for nuns. Also, I have the impression that it was more for the older Nara and Kyoto sects (those that came to Japan before the 13th century). I may be wrong, and know very little.

    A quick search found someone who was interested in the topic for "cosplay," but seems rather serious on the topic ...

    Long hair was so important to the sense of Japanese female beauty that the only time a woman would cut it is to while taking religious vows or as a dire punishment. Buddhist nuns shave their heads (as do monks), but there were instances where a woman could cut her hair short in a partial tonsure. This could be as an act of piety, or because she could not leave her home to go to a convent as yet, or as the first step in becoming a "real" nun. For further discussion of female religious tonsure in Japan, please see “Tonsure Forms for Nuns: Classification of Nuns according to Hairstyle” by Katsuura Noriko in Engendering Faith: Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan, Barbara Ruch, editor. (Ann Arbor; Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2002) ISBN 1-929280-15-7.

    Buddhist nuns, like Catholic nuns, wear head coverings. In English, we use the term wimple. In Japanese, they are called zukin. They somewhat resemble each other, but there are some structural differences.
    http://www.wodefordhall.com/zukin.htm
    I also discovered an article about a temple of Shingon (Esoteric) Buddhism where one can be a "nun for a day" ...

    Come and have the rare experience of training as a nun. From mediation to sutras train like a buddhist monk、partake in prayer、enjoy our reputable vegetarian lunch. In the end you will get a buddhist training certificate. This one of those rare experience you should try!
    http://gokan.ne.jp/spot/detail.html?lang=en&id=67

    ...

    Ushered into a small room with tatami straw mat flooring, I pay about $65 for the six-hour course, write a prayer in Chinese characters on a wooden stick, and don a light-weight white kimono and tabi socks split at the toes to ease wearing sandals.

    Joined by six other women in a larger hall adorned with an altar to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, we get a crash course in how to fold our hands in prayer and read a sutra, then line up to walk to the main temple, a priest leading the way. ...

    But the peace is disturbed by a sense that we are playing a bizarre form of dress-up.

    For some of the women, that is precisely the point.

    "I came for the 'cos-play' experience," says Kumie Nishimura, 28, referring to the popular hobby of dressing up, often as characters from manga comics, anime movies and video games.

    "We've already tried ninja, maiko (novice geisha) and samurai," says Nishimura as she chats with two friends and checks her pink cell phone for messages.

    Koyo Watanabe, the slightly pudgy priest who mentors us for the course, has few illusions about participants' motives.

    "Many Japanese don't think deeply about religion," he says, noting the eclecticism that allows many to combine Christian weddings -- though few are Christians -- Buddhist funerals, and periodic visits to indigenous Shinto shrines.

    "Some women come to wear the clothes. Others have some worry, about work or an illness," he says as we sip green tea.

    NOT ALL FRIVOLOUS

    No one in our group is contemplating taking the veil. It was once a common path for girls seeking higher education or for those whose families had too many mouths to feed, but is now an unattractive option for most modern Japanese women.

    The Soto-shu sect of Buddhism, said to have the most nuns, once had thousands but now has only about 400, most elderly.
    https://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index...0#.XQwRiOgzaUk
    I don't believe that number is correct. In Japan,I do not have time right now to check the exact number now (doctors appt.) but here is an interesting article on the struggles of nuns in Soto-shu for equal rights ...

    http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/2268

    And this very good article says 1000 Soto nuns in 1990

    http://www.dl.ndl.go.jp/view/downloa...eNo=&__lang=ja

    Also a book version of the above ...

    http://the-eye.eu/public/Books/Buddh...%281999%29.pdf



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-20-2019 at 11:35 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  47. #47
    PS - Let me just add an obvious fact ... For the bald headed, travelling outside can be perilous, so these hats simply have the practical function of preventing sunburn!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  48. #48
    Thank you Jundo. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat today and lent a hand
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I would say that it is ancient, and long out of fashion for nuns. Also, I have the impression that it was more for the older Nara and Kyoto sects (those that came to Japan before the 13th century). I may be wrong, and know very little.

    A quick search found someone who was interested in the topic for "cosplay," but seems rather serious on the topic ...



    I also discovered an article about a temple of Shingon (Esoteric) Buddhism where one can be a "nun for a day" ...



    I don't believe that number is correct. In Japan,I do not have time right now to check the exact number now (doctors appt.) but here is an interesting article on the struggles of nuns in Soto-shu for equal rights ...

    http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/2268

    And this very good article says 1000 Soto nuns in 1990

    http://www.dl.ndl.go.jp/view/downloa...eNo=&__lang=ja

    Also a book version of the above ...

    http://the-eye.eu/public/Books/Buddh...%281999%29.pdf



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Both the thread (on the kesa) and the information on Japanese Buddhist nuns -- more fascinating information for me. Love the links and photos.

    I'm a bit saddened and surprised about the struggle for equal rights for Japanese Buddhist nuns. I will follow the links to learn more. Was not surprised to see shintoism's strong influence continued.

    I don't have access to the information right now, but I think there are a few traditions with temporary vows, including Tibetan. Like one-day, three-day, etc.

    Gassho
    Kim
    St lh

    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

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