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Thread: New Year's Greetings from Treeleaf, Japan 2020

  1. #1

    New Year's Greetings from Treeleaf, Japan 2020

    The year has passed here in Tsukuba! A New Year's tradition at Buddhist temples across Japan is the ringing of the Joya-no-kane (除夜の鐘) ...


    ... the temple bell near midnight. The bell is typically rung 108 times (sometimes by the temple priests, sometimes by parishioners, and really nobody keeps count) to cleanse the listener of the 108 mortal afflictions (bonno ... anger, greed, ignorance, envy, hatred, arrogance and the rest) that, in traditional Buddhist thinking, are the causes of suffering. By ringing out the old year and ringing in the new, each earthly desire will be taken away and therefore we can start the New Year with a pure mind.

    Past moments ... the up and downs, happiness and sadness ... are now gone, and a new beginning rings out ... ever new and renewing.

    Master Dogen wrote, "Zazen ... is like the hammer striking emptiness, the bell's melodious sound continues to resonate as it echoes, endlessly before and after. It is not limited to this moment."

    HAPPY NEW EVERY-MOMENT, EVERY-ONE!


    Joya-no-kane atmosphere at a neighborhood Soto Zen temple ...


    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday

    MAY YOU HAVE A NICE YEAR OF THE MICE!

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Actually, this year, we were invited to a local Shingon Buddhist temple, were an esoteric Goma fire ritual was performed much like this, but just at midnight ...


    Very powerful, a ritual filled with mystical Dharani chants and mysterious Mudra hand gestures, pungent leaves, spices and wood pieces being burned. It is not commonly found at Zen temples, and is performed mostly within this sect of Buddhism which came to Japan many centuries before Zen. The ritual derives from the influence of Indian Hinduism on Buddhism, and very similar ceremonies are still found in India to this day.
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-31-2019 at 05:27 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Wow! He is very graceful with his stick tossing! Each one lands perfectly on the fire.

    Happy New Year everybody!

    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.

  4. #4
    Will try that next time I go camping

    That was a big fire for indoors.

    They were sweating

    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  5. #5
    Happy New Year

    Doshin
    St

  6. #6
    Thank you Jundo Roshi.
    A Happy New Year to everybody!
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  7. #7
    Happy new year.

    Gassho

    Hobun

    STLAH

    Sent from my SM-T387AA using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    That's one big fire!! I attended a fire festival in Fuji Yoshida and my geta (Wooden Shoes) were charred and still smoking by the time we got home.

    Happy New Year 2020 everyone

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

  9. #9
    Happy new year from Eday, Orkney in Scotland
    Gassho
    🙏🙏🙏
    Sat/Lah

  10. #10
    Happy new year guys!

    Gassho
    Anant
    SaT

  11. #11
    Thank you for sharing those traditions—far more interesting than the American tradition of...getting drunk on NYE. Wishing all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st

  12. #12
    Happy New Year & New Decade, everyone!

    I spent some time celebrating with good friends yesterday evening; it was nice to see them all again.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  13. #13
    Happy New Year everyone!
    Hope you had a good start.

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  14. #14
    This put our fire pit to shame! They were much warmer than we were. Beautiful ceremony! Lovely way to bring in a new year.

    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

  15. #15
    Happy New year! I wish you all the best for the next decade contentedness, luck, health and/or the ability to accept and master any condition that will come.

    I'm looking forward to another new year with you, my Dharma family. You are awesome!

    Gassho and deep bows,

    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Some wonky folks asked for the significance of the Shingon Fire Ritual (also common in Japanese Tendai Buddhism, by the way, but not found in Zen Buddhism to my knowledge). The best English description in English that I can find is in this book [pdf]. For those who want to know the meaning of every gesture, it is a detailed study ... but also skimming some of the photos and short descriptions is wonderful ...

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d56...147b4cb7ee.pdf

    Here is a summary of the meaning of the ritual so you can have a taste ...

    HOMA (Goma, jap)
    Homa is the “Fire” ritual meditation. Originating in ancient India, it was later appropriated to Buddhist use. Homa means the burning of darkness and the term gives the image of an upsurging flame. By this ritual, we may burn up those Karmic defilements, which still remain within us. It is the “fire of the Wisdom of the Buddha” which destroys all worldly passions. There is the “Outer” Homa, which is the actual fire kindled in the ritual, and the “Inner” Homa, that is the fire of the Wisdom of the Buddha which we have kindled within our minds. There are five different stages in the ritual differing according to the particular Deities involved. It is written in the Yoga ritual book about the Inner Fire as follows: “When the hand creates the Buddha's Mudra, it increases the power of sacred prayer flags and banners. It subdues the anger of Deity Vajrapani, who then will accept our invitation. One should have respect and love for the Lotus Scripture.

    In executing this ritual, all five Yoga meditation methods should be used”. The Outer Homa is offered to Buddha and Bodhisattva to enhance the power of the Dharani and to bring about faster results. One must have a heart of perfection as the basic motivating force. The book of rituals on Homa said: “Focus and meditate on the word “A”, imagine yourself being surrounded by fire, which is burning off all the bad karmas, and see the woods – your ignorance - being burned off leaving nothing behind. The clear holy water will flow and refresh all ten directions of the world, and it will help grow the seeds of wisdom, and the 'seedsyllable' will be born. This is the Body of Law, the secret of internal ritual of Homa. “

    In fact, the Outer Homa ritual only has the effect of eliminating sins and producing blessings in this samsara (world of life and death) while the Inner Homa has the effect of eliminating worries that cause rebirth. If the Shingon practitioner does not understand this concept and only practices the Outer Homa, he will just be a common fire worshipper. In summary, Secret Buddhism worships The Body of Law above all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The organization of the Secret school has different levels and different names. However, the secret magic arts are always kept behind doors, hidden to the general public.

    It is the secret rules transmitted verbally from the master to his disciple. It is the tradition to keep the sacred laws secret. In the past, when a master wanted to pass on the secret doctrine, he must observe among his disciples to choose the one best qualified, one who has more virtue than karma, one who has totally devoted to achieving liberation and detachment from the world. The master would then hand down the precious teaching to help that person achieve his goal.
    http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.../Homa_(ritual)
    But of course, as with Zazen and many aspects of Buddhism and all of life, the reality cannot be described in words or photos or by a "user's manual" ... and it is the actual dance of body and mind which must be realized. So, descriptions only get one so far and the doing is what is vital. Many say that Shikantaza also has this aspect of being an "esoteric" ritual where the pouring of oneself (one self) into the action of doing is key, thus Zazen is the true heart of the Goma or any ritual flowing.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-02-2020 at 03:29 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Jundo, you must have heard the gears spinning in my mind again

    Thank you for not yanking me back with a cane :clapping:

    Love the books and resources, Zen or otherwise :morehappy:

    gassho
    kim
    st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  18. #18
    'The great temple bell rings
    one hundred eight times -
    May there be peace!'
    Mitsu Suzuki
    A White Tea Bowl.
    Happy New /Old beginnings everyone.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  19. #19
    Happy new year everyone. Looking forward to another year of learning and practice.

    'The great temple bell rings
    one hundred eight times -
    May there be peace!'
    Mitsu Suzuki 'The great temple bell rings
    one hundred eight times -
    May there be peace!'
    Mitsu Suzuki
    Meitou - I've been reading this book over the holiday period, it's wonderful!

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    Happy new year everyone. Looking forward to another year of learning and practice.



    Meitou - I've been reading this book over the holiday period, it's wonderful!

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah
    I love it, I'm looking at it every day.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  21. #21
    This is rather amazing (speaking as a supporter of online Buddhist training) ... Social Distancing Dharani ...

    Not Zen, but a Japanese esoteric Shingon Buddhist priest who is learning their Goma "Fire Ritual" with bottles and stuff from the kitchen while at home! The Goma ceremony is the same one I posted in the video above.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Actually, this year, we were invited to a local Shingon Buddhist temple, were an esoteric Goma fire ritual was performed much like this, but just at midnight ...


    Very powerful, a ritual filled with mystical Dharani chants and mysterious Mudra hand gestures, pungent leaves, spices and wood pieces being burned. It is not commonly found at Zen temples, and is performed mostly within this sect of Buddhism which came to Japan many centuries before Zen. The ritual derives from the influence of Indian Hinduism on Buddhism, and very similar ceremonies are still found in India to this day.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-30-2020 at 02:16 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This is rather amazing (speaking as a supporter of online Buddhist training) ... Social Distancing Dharani ...

    Not Zen, but a Japanese esoteric Shingon Buddhist priest who is learning their Goma "Fire Ritual" with bottles and stuff from the kitchen while at home! The Goma ceremony is the same one I posted in the video above.






    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    This is inspiring. In my area we'd call this "ghetto-style" (found materials, use what works) and it flows together well.

    I am a bit envious of the books, histories, and training area he put together, really lovely.

    It's informative and helpful. I've added it to my resources.

    Thank you, Jundo. One of my favorite topics.

    Gassho2
    Meian
    St lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U 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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