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Thread: March 6th, 2020 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Welcoming Spring and Life

  1. #1

    March 6th, 2020 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Welcoming Spring and Life

    Today's Talk welcomes Spring with passages and poems from Master Dogen's Plum Blossoms (Shobogenzo-Baike-梅華), a message of hope, the earth's wisdom and life's renewal in Springtime that many of us may need to hear in these troubling days ...

    (text below in this thread)


    Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 6pm to 10pm, Los Angeles 3pm to 7pm (Friday night), London 11pm to 3am and Paris midnight to 4am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

    ... and to be visible on the following screen during those times and sit-a-long-able any time thereafter ...

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST IS HERE:

    Video begins about 5 minutes into the Zazenkai.



    Dharma Talk Audio / Podcast Episode:
    LINK TO BE POSTED HERE IN THE COMING DAYS


    FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, A LINK TO JOIN IS POSTED BELOW IN THIS THREAD. JUST CLICK AND JOIN BEFORE START TIME. 'TWO WAY' REQUIRES INDIVIDUALS WITH CAMERAS, BUT ANYONE CAN WATCH LIVE 'ONE WAY' AND SIT-A-LONG VIA THE ABOVE SCREEN. IF JOINING WITH CAMERA, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE IS MUTED:

    The Sitting Schedule is as follows:

    00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA IN JAPANESE / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN
    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN & HOKEY-POKEY

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING



    Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' in Japanese and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

    Please download and print out the Chants we will recite at the following link (PDF):

    Chant Book (PDF)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    Not everyone realizes that they can join in the Chanting of the Heart Sutra, Identity of Relative & Absolute, Metta Verses, Verse of Atonement and Four Vows (although we ask that you keep your microphone down). Please follow along with the Chant Book, and let your voice ring!

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

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


    I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!


    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH

    PS - There is no "wrong" or "right" in Zazen ... yet here is a little explanation of the "right" times to Bow (A Koan) ...


    The other video I mention on Zendo decorum is this one, from our "Always Beginners" video Series:

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (12) - Basic Zendo Decorum At Home
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    HOW TO JOIN THE ZAZENKAI '2-WAY':


    You can join the Zazenkai two-way in the Scheduled Sitting Room using Zoom any one of the following ways:

    - Use this direct link: https://zoom.us/j/4834831244
    - Open Zoom and join with this meeting id: 483 483 1244
    - Go to Treeleaf NOW and select the Scheduled Sitting Room: treeleaf.org/ssr

    Notes:

    - When you first join, you'll need to choose an audio source (usually you can simply select "Join with Computer Audio" on desktop or "Call using Internet Audio" on mobile).

    - You can switch between the "speaker view" (the default view) and "gallery view" (a grid / tic-tac-toe style view):
    -- On desktop, click the "gallery view" / "speaker view" toggle button on the top right
    -- On mobile, swipe right for "gallery views" -- only 4 participants are shown at a time on mobile, so keep swiping right to go through different groups, swipe left to go back to the "gallery view"

    - You can mute, unmute, etc. with the control bar on the bottom of the screen
    -- On desktop, hover the mouse over the window and the control bar should pop up
    -- On mobile, tap the screen and the control bar should pop up
    -- On mobile, so that your own picture does not take up one of the four slots you see, you can tap for the control bar, then tap "... menu" and select "Remove myself from gallery view"

    - If you are on a slow Internet connection and are experiencing drop-outs, try turning off video (you can always turn it on for a bit at the beginning and end to say hi and bow to everyone)
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-27-2020 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Added youtube link.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    To welcome the Spring, we will sit Zazen with Plum Blossoms. It is still a bit cold to sit outside, but their beautiful pinkish buds can be seen all around our neighborhood today. A short ways from Tsukuba, in our provincial capital of Mito (Hi Shoka ), there is an annual Plum Blossom festival ongoing and in full bloom.


    I think that, with all the things in the news, some very scary or disheartening, it is good to recall that the planet and nature are sometimes wiser than we are.

    Shobogenzo Baike
    Plum Blossoms (1243)

    [Nishijima Roshi’s] Note: Baike means plum blossoms. Master Dōgen [and] Master Tendō Nyojō, Master Dōgen’s master, loved plum blossoms and so we can find many poems about plum blossoms in [their] works. Plum blossoms may have been a great pleasure to Buddhist monks living in mountain temples when there were few consolations to relieve the hardship of winter—because plum blossoms bloom at the very beginning of spring, when there are no other flowers, and plum blossoms are both pretty and fragrant.

    --------

    My late master Tendō [Nyojō] preaches to the assembly:

    Jagged and gnarled is the old plum tree;
    Suddenly it flowers—one flower, two flowers, three, four, five flowers—countless flowers.
    Not proud of its purity. not proud of its fragrance.
    They spread out to create the look of spring and to fan the grass and trees.
    Balding the heads of patch-robed monks.
    Instantly changing are the raging wind and the hard rain,
    Falling snow, all over the earth.
    The old plum tree is boundless.
    The freezing cold rubs the nostrils, and they sting.


    “The old plum tree” that has been revealed now is boundless; it suddenly flowers, and naturally bears fruit. Sometimes it makes the spring, and sometimes it makes the winter. Sometimes it makes a raging wind, and sometimes it makes a hard rain. … When the old plum tree suddenly flowers, “The opening of flowers is the occurrence of the world.” … The time of this one flower is able to include three flowers, four flowers, and five flowers; it includes hundreds of flowers, thousands of flowers, myriads of flowers, and koṭis of flowers; and it includes countless flowers. …



    My late master [] preaches to the assembly:

    It is the time when Gautama got rid of the Eye,
    In the snow, a single twig of plum blossoms
    Now every place has become a thorn [of hard circumstances]
    Yet [ I ] laugh at the swirling of the spring wind.


    How often does it recur in everyday life that, while looking at the right Dharma-eye treasury of our Buddha Tathāgata, we pass over the winking of an eye and do not break into a smile?
    … [We realize] that plum blossoms in the snow are the very eye of the Tathāgata. Picking up this [realization], we make it into the eye on the forehead, and we make it into the eyeballs in the eyes. … Just this is the eye of “In the heavens above and under the heavens I alone am the Honored One.”… Because the whole universe is a scene of flowers, the whole universe is plum blossoms. And because the whole universe is plum blossoms, the whole universe is Gautama’s Eye. … The state in which the realization of now is like this, is described as realizing “thorns.”



    My late master Tendō [] says:

    If even a single word accords [between the Buddha’s state and your state],
    The ten thousand ages do not move [endless time stands still].
    Willow eyes are popping out on new twigs.
    Plum blossoms are filling up old branches.


    That is to say, a hundred major kalpas of pursuing the Way are—from beginning to end—“a single word according with [the Buddha’s state].” And the effort in Practice of one instant of thought is—both before and after—“the ten thousand ages not moving.”



    My late master [] says:

    The original face is without life and death.
    Spring is in the plum blossoms, and has entered a painting.

    In picturing spring we should not picture willows, apricot trees, peach trees, and plum trees; we should just picture spring.To picture willows, apricot trees, peach trees, and plum trees is to picture willows, apricot trees, peach trees, and plum trees; it is never to have pictured spring.



    It is patently clear. Stop searching back and forth for something behind the semblance of the plum blossom. In the becoming of rain and the becoming of clouds the past-and present is naturally there. The past-and-present being empty, what end-point could there be?
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-06-2020 at 02:02 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Thank you, will sit with you all and the recording.

    I was just reading about Master Rempo Niwa Zenji.
    Plum blossoms seems the theme of our predecessor's pen names.
    老梅 Rōbai (“the old plum tree”), 梅庵 Baian (“the plum tree hermitage”), 雪梅 Setsubai (“Snow Plum”).
    His book was called "The Plum Flower Opens – My Life Until Now 梅華開-わが半生"
    and he even passed away in the Abbot's Residence, called 'The Plum Viewing Pavillion' at Tokei-in Temple.
    More plum in our lineage?
    The dharma grandfather of Niwa Zenji, Bukkan Myokoku, planted more than six hundred plum trees in the fields near Tokei-in Temple.

    The first plum blossoms open in my garden, too. Indeed, beautiful and a overly sweet and pleasing scent.
    When there is enough sun, the first bees risk a short flight to the plums and early cherries.
    The cycle starts anew.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo.

    I'll be there live

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo.

    I'll be there live

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Thank you Jundo.

    I'll be there live

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH

    Thank you Jundo.

    I'll be there live

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Thanks to both of you, Kyonin Twins!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    I will be joining upon my return from camping. See you all next week.

    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.

  8. #8
    With you sit-a-long/netcast...middle way = happy family

    Gassho
    Sat notlahyet!

  9. #9
    I’m going to have to sit this one later. Enjoy everyone!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH right now


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    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
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    I see no link this morning???
    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Sorry everyone, the computer in my practice space will NOT run Zoom today. So I am streaming it from my work computer.

    Thank you Kyonin for jumping in as Ino. I'm going to see if I can get the issue fixed during the first sitting. Hopefully I'll see you all soon.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    sekishi
    石志

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

  12. #12
    Very happy to join Zazenkai today one-way.

    Gassho,
    Mui
    Sat/LAH
    無依 Mui
    "Relies on Nothing"

  13. #13
    I guess no link today . I tried looking for some time.

    I am listening one way.

    Gassho,

    Ippo

    Sitting Now

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Ippo View Post
    I guess no link today . I tried looking for some time.

    I am listening one way.
    Apologies. The link is the same as previous weeks. If you still want to join Ippo, just go to last week, or use Treeleaf NOW and go to "Scheduled meeting room".

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sitting
    sekishi
    石志

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

  15. #15
    2F87E09B-0DE3-495B-A576-1CF67E46D729.jpeg

    Unable to crack the puzzle to Zoom Two Way. Nothing worked tonight, including link at calendar. But I could not get in last night either Sekishi. However I was there one way for awhile. Since I was not in a Zoom box I thought I would share a photo of Spring here an hour before Zazenkai began.

    Doshin
    St

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you all for coming together to sit. Apologies for my part in the technical snafus getting us started today.

    Smiling to bloom the flowers,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

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

  17. #17
    Thank you for another Zazenkai; always plum blossoms here.

    Gassho,
    Mui
    Sat/LAH
    無依 Mui
    "Relies on Nothing"

  18. #18
    Thank you, Jundo, Kyonin, Sekishi, and everyone. The talk addressed what is happening with me now. Have a great weekend!

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)

  19. #19
    Thank you, Jundo, Kyonin, Sekishi, Doyu, Onkai, Shokai and everyone else for today's Zazenkai.
    This was the first time I manage to sit with you all two ways.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  20. #20


    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    自己を忘れ、他人のために生きる

  21. #21
    Thank you Jundo, Kyonin and all, If spring is here where should lall this snow be. Have an awesome week.

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

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Thank you, will sit with you all and the recording.

    I was just reading about Master Rempo Niwa Zenji.
    Plum blossoms seems the theme of our predecessor's pen names.
    老梅 Rōbai (“the old plum tree”), 梅庵 Baian (“the plum tree hermitage”), 雪梅 Setsubai (“Snow Plum”).
    His book was called "The Plum Flower Opens – My Life Until Now 梅華開-わが半生"
    and he even passed away in the Abbot's Residence, called 'The Plum Viewing Pavillion' at Tokei-in Temple.
    More plum in our lineage?
    The dharma grandfather of Niwa Zenji, Bukkan Myokoku, planted more than six hundred plum trees in the fields near Tokei-in Temple.

    The first plum blossoms open in my garden, too. Indeed, beautiful and a overly sweet and pleasing scent.
    When there is enough sun, the first bees risk a short flight to the plums and early cherries.
    The cycle starts anew.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    Thank you, Kotei. This is him, in front of a plum tree I think ...



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    This week, and from now on, even if I can't do everything, or be everything, I vow to try to view each Zazenkai, and when I feel up to it, practice one way. When I was a boy, we had prune plumb trees, one or two, can't remember, and in the summer my dad would make prunes from the plumbs, and now my wife buys a different kind of plumb, maybe several kinds similar. She loves the sweet, sour taste, black or purple outside, orange, yellow, red inside. Is this at the end of summer. She buys me nectarines for me, and the ones I like are freestone so I can down half a fruit with one bite. It's very early here to be thinking of plumb blossoms, or any kind of fruit. Snow remains in small piles either side of our drive, but temperature here today was above 41 F. Probably well below freezing tonight. I sat for 15 minutes, and then for about 7 min, and with these old bones, I miss a lot, but will always try to sit Shikantaza. Zazenkai remains an excellent experience, so when I can, I intend to sit with the shorter version, 3 hours, and this after my next change of arthritis med. Jundo is right about those of us growing older each day. The bones are like an old car, but the body keeps me getting from place to place. I have made a new friend in my 12th step program and he drives which I do not. He picks me up for meetings, and we go out for lunch in the afternoon. On Tuesday matinee day, we drive into town and see a great film. Last week we saw Call of the Wild, based on a book I read as a boy about a magnificent dog who in the end heads back to the wild. I highly recommend the book by Jack London, himself an old prospector in California. My life is good, better than a 68 year old guy lets on.
    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    "As the Buddha designed it, the Sangha's responsibility is to keep their vows, learn and practice the Dharma, and teach and guide the lay people. The lay people in turn, provide the requisites for life..." So are not the lay people the Sangha? Thubten Chodron.

  24. #24
    Deepest bows to all for today's Zazenkai, including Master Dōgen and Master Tendō Nyojō. May this profound and beautiful message blossom in our lives.

    Gassho, Chris
    satlah

  25. #25
    Here is a surprising fact that l mention during today's talk ...

    Ancient Viruses Are Buried in Your DNA

    ur DNA contains roughly 100,000 pieces of viral DNA. Altogether, they make up about 8 percent of the human genome. And scientists are only starting to figure out what this viral DNA is doing to us.

    Aris Katzourakis, a virologist at the University of Oxford, and his colleagues recently published a commentary in the journal Trends in Microbiology in which they explored the possibility that viral genes that produce proteins like Hemo are affecting our health in a variety of unexpected ways.
    Some of our ancient viruses may be protecting us from disease; others may be raising our risks for cancer, among other conditions. “It’s not an either-or — are these things good or bad? It’s a lot more complicated than that,” Dr. Katzourakis said in an interview. “We’re barely at the beginning of this research.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/s...na-genome.html
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Thank you Jundo for the plum tree writings. The plum tree in front of my house was severely damaged by a storm two years ago. It had to be drastically pruned. It survived but is not so well shaped. During this winter I have gone out with a pole saw a few times and tried to shape it to make it look like something nice. It's not so pretty anymore and I've considered cutting it down but decided to try to keep her going. No blossoms yet but the little purple buds are starting.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Here is a surprising fact that l mention during today's talk ...



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    And that is why scientists will never run out of questions because it is what it is...marvelously complex.

    Doshin
    St

    PS Jundo you keep up more with biology current research than I do and I used to be one. Appreciate that

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoki View Post
    Thank you Jundo for the plum tree writings. The plum tree in front of my house was severely damaged by a storm two years ago. It had to be drastically pruned. It survived but is not so well shaped. During this winter I have gone out with a pole saw a few times and tried to shape it to make it look like something nice. It's not so pretty anymore and I've considered cutting it down but decided to try to keep her going. No blossoms yet but the little purple buds are starting.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James
    The gnarled and storm scarred tree is what it is, beautiful in its way. Like many of us.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Hey all

    Sorry missed this one live - the kids needed out of the house so that is where my 'attention' went on Saturday. I will sit this during the week, always with you.

    Gassho, Tokan

    Satlah

  30. #30
    Beautiful sit.
    Beautiful plum blossoms.

    Thank you.

    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.

  31. #31
    Lovely sit. Thank you all

    Gassho
    Washin
    sattoday
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  32. #32
    I don't know if this is is the place to post this. It seems that lately we all have been living the ancient Chinese blessing which is also a curse. "May you live in interesting times." I am not the best poet in the world as I am not an maybe the best or worst member of Treeleaf Sangha. I can be a good poet when I am moved as I am this morning. I don't know who the woman was in our zazen, and I wore my rakusu, and rang the bell, which is my second best bell, a Tibetan bell, with less sound than the beautiful Japanese bell my daughter gave me some years ago when I joined Treeleaf. Ah, it was a Christmas Present 2014, my first two months behind me, a part of my third and I was Elgwyn for that is my middle name. Today I celebrate family, and it seems appropriate since we are at the center of Covid 19, and there are all kinds of families. I love my families. Of course I have a real family and they are not always so proud of me. I had one 12 step meeting, and three Treeleaf Zendo Shikantaza, and I felt a part of something bigger than me. and This morning is 3/21/2020. I can wear my rakusu for someone else and ring the bell for someone else, and feel deep inside True Gratitude for her, for our 10 a.m. sit. Deep Bows
    Tai Shi
    sat/ lah
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 03-21-2020 at 03:57 PM. Reason: spelling
    "As the Buddha designed it, the Sangha's responsibility is to keep their vows, learn and practice the Dharma, and teach and guide the lay people. The lay people in turn, provide the requisites for life..." So are not the lay people the Sangha? Thubten Chodron.

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