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Thread: EXPRESSING CREATIVITY: your zazen practice space

  1. #1

    EXPRESSING CREATIVITY: your zazen practice space

    An interview with Ven. Tenzin Yignyen (Tibetan Buddhist) by Gail Birnbaum Shambala Publications..

    Why have an altar?
    A proper altar holds images or representations of the Buddha’s enlightened body, speech and mind which serve as reminders of the goal of Buddhist practice—to develop these qualities in oneself so as to be able to fully benefit all sentient beings.


    Hello everyone.

    We all have a special place to sit. And we want it to be a safe and a pleasing sanctuary. Not everyone can have a dedicated room/building for this personal ‘zendo’. But we each have a corner, tiny or spacious for our practice.

    I am most fortunate. I have a nice sized room in my studio that doubles as a zendo and a gallery. I use the gallery to hang my own work to view but also… as a real gallery (called the ACOG- Anne Cooper Occasional Gallery) where we have exhibits 2-3 times a year of work from artists in the community. The exhibits are one evening, called pop-up shows, 2 hours only with refreshments, conversation and lots of celebration of creativity. Fun events. Of course, those are on hold until we have a vaccine. http://annecooperstudio.com/ACOG.html

    But mostly the room serves as a zendo for my morning and afternoon sits.

    Candles, incense, statuary, bells, flowers (I know now that there are remarkable gardens out there to bring into your personal mediation space)? How and where do you carve out your sacred space for sitting? Do you have an altar? What finds its way onto your altar? Any why? Is there an accompanying ritual when you enter the space to help set your mind free to be present for the sit? How do you care for it? Let us know how you realize your special and sacred space.

    And now from Meitou.

    Hello everyone and welcome to the second in our series about expressing creativity. When I first thought about a prompt for this subject, I had it in mind to keep it very simple and ask you to show where you sit, what kind of altar you have ( if any) , how you maintain it. Please feel free to do that. I thought to post some photos of various altars, from various Buddhist traditions, and other religions, ranging from the big elaborate public altars to small simple home spaces, and I will do so in my next post. But as I was researching altars, I came across some items that inspired me to make this into a practical project, for those of you who wish to join in.

    I like making things out of found objects and using material which is readily accessible. Something else that I like is the world of miniatures – one of my big loves as a child was my dolls tea service and my dolls house. So when I found a picture of an altar made out of a shoebox, I was hooked immediately. I was fascinated to find that shoebox altars are a thing, as are altars in tins, and matchbox altars. I'm posting some examples for you to see, and you'll notice that some of the most delightful examples are dedicated to The Day of the Dead, with their bright hot colours and vibrant home made decorations. Some of these are designed to be displayed as they are, some are made to be used when a practitioner is travelling and wants to create a sacred space in a hotel room etc. The thing they all have in common is that they are portable.

    So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to make a portable altar, preferably using accessible household items -no need to go out and buy a fancy shmancy little butsudan if you have a cereal box, or a shoe box or an old tin with a lid etc. You can of course just post a pic of your own altar, but do consider having a play around with making a boxed Buddha – and of course, have fun!



    Gassho
    Anne and Meitou

    we both sat today
    Last edited by Cooperix; 06-19-2020 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
    I will remind everyone, however, that Shikantaza Zazen --is not-- "meditation." We should not call it so.

    Would you mind to change the heading of the thread?

    It is a small matter of a word, but I want folks to be clear on this.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    My Shikantaza space varies. Yesterday for example it was sitting next to our ute on The Game Changer, my wheelie walker in a multi-level car park while my partner shopped. Wherever I am doing Shikantaza at home though, inside or out there's always this tiny Buddha and the heart shaped stone my partner found. This photo is my 'alter' from my most recent stay in hospital.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.

  4. #4
    Very nice Onka, portable altar. I don't think we 'need' any 'thing' to sit, but the touch of the familiar is welcome.

    Bows
    Anne

    ~st~

  5. #5
    Just a few of the hundreds of examples of every type of altar that can be found on the internet. For those of you interested in making a portable shrine, just google shoebox/matchbox/ altoid tin shrines - there are so many amazing little works of art. At the other end of the scale it's interesting to compare these home made shrines with the hugely elaborate temple shrines, but also some of the shrines in Asian homes.

    Shoebox shrines
    shoebox.jpg

    Ann Riley altar.jpg

    day of the dead 1.jpg

    Tin box shrines

    tin box altar zen.jpg

    altoid tin shrine.jpg

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

  6. #6
    And some more...

    Matchbox shrines

    matchbox shrines.jpg

    firestarter shrine.jpg

    our lady of guadalupe.jpg

    Various Portable shrines

    portable shrine 2.jpg

    firestarter buddha.jpg

    Meitou
    sattodah lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  7. #7
    And a few more...


    Beautiful, modern, simple

    ATTACH=CONFIG]6543[/ATTACH]

    small simple.jpg

    Home and Temple

    large home altar.jpg

    large ornate.jpg

    There are so many different styles and sizes, such a vast variety of materials used, way too many to post here, so please do have a look on the internet for inspiration. There have also been threads here about Treeleafers home spaces, do feel free to post your own.
    Of course there are many people who don't have any kind of altar, and people who find them off putting because they are redolent of theistic religion etc. So just a reminder that this project is about opening up to our creative imagination, and should be liberating, enjoyable and light hearted. Have fun.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  8. #8
    Meitou,
    I love these! And I am working on putting together a tiny altar. I too enjoy miniature, so I have lots of Zuni pueblo animal fetishes, tiny baskets, pots etc.
    Will post as soon as I get something together.

    bows
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  9. #9
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Massachusetts, United States
    What and inspiring thread. Thank you Meitou.

    I've always found that having a dedicated space helps add a touch of formality/structure to my practice, but I don't go overboard with it.

    I have carved out a small corner of a finished basement space for Zazen practice, and I'm putting a few finishing touches on it over the next few days. I'll post a pic as soon as it's "done".

    On a related note, I would like to share a photo of the sign my son made for me. As my sitting space is right next to the stairs, it's less disruptive if folks don't come downstairs while I'm sitting. Therefore, I hang this sign on the doorknob at the top of the stairs to remind my family that Zazen is "happening".



    I love his play on words.

    Additionally, I love the idea of a portable shrine/altar. Thanks for the inspiring examples. I'm working on one now as well. Pics to come!

    Gassho,

    Rob
    SatToday


    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Cool sign there Rob.
    One of my friends has a coffee cup that says ZEN AS F***. I'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the blanks lol.
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.

  11. #11
    CD4FE538-E9EA-4DF4-B143-C6913F5EB33C.jpeg

    The story that I heard goes that Buddha was born outside, became enlightened outside and died outside. That resonates well with whomI think I am. I often sit here with the sounds of insects and birds and the feel of wind. It seems right for me.

    Doshin
    St

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    CD4FE538-E9EA-4DF4-B143-C6913F5EB33C.jpeg

    The story that I heard goes that Buddha was born outside, became enlightened outside and died outside. That resonates well with whomI think I am. I often sit here with the sounds of insects and birds and the feel of wind. It seems right for me.

    Doshin
    St
    Yes! Same here. I spend as much time as I can outside. It used to be down by the dam at the back of the property where we live but now I'm currently less mobile it's under bamboo looking over native grasses and weeds we let grow to seed.
    Gassho Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.

  13. #13
    Hi,

    I would like to invite everyone to join in our special BYOB (Bring Your Own Buddha) Zazenkai this week, in which I ask everyone to place in their sitting room at home something ... an image or thing that is ugly to the eye, harsh and human-made, something most mundane and ordinary like a rusty tin can ... even an image which is harsh, violent, scary and painful in this world or in your personal life making it hard to see "Buddha" in all the pain.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-Own-Buddha%29

    I explain more about it here:

    ... I sometimes try to remind folks that ... because everything and all spaces, full or empty, beautiful or where the beauty is not so apparent to the human eye, are special and sacred spaces ... are "Buddha," thus a "Buddha Statue" or Altar can be about anything.

    ... That is why I have sometimes replaced the "Buddha Statue" on our Altar in Tsukuba with a coke bottle, flower, empty space or a bag of dirty diapers. I sometimes put difficult peoples' pictures or "ugly" objects to remind folks to see beyond surface opinions and our personal preferences. After 911, I put up images of Osama Bin Laden and George Bush, side by side, on the Altar. That was harder for people to see at the time, but I asked people to see beyond the divided surface appearances of violence and war that such images represent in human terms.

    All contain, below the surface, beautiful, sacred, manifestations of Buddha when the heart is open, and one can find "Buddha" beyond the ugliness, the greed, anger, violence, war, jealousy, discrimination among peoples and divided thinking.

    So, please "Bring Your Own Buddha" today ... something that does not look like a Buddha, and which you would not usually consider a "Buddha," and perhaps even something ugly or an image of someone hard to see either in this world or in your own life. We will offer our Bows and a recitation of the Heart Sutra's reminders of Emptiness, peace and healing, beyond appearances and form.
    For Buddhist folks, the Beautiful sometimes looks beautiful but, alas, sometimes anything but beautiful.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLentAHand
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-25-2020 at 03:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Altar at the hut:

    DSCN3184.jpg

    It goes through a lot of changes.

    Altar at the hut/shop/garden shed that is at Daughter's house:

    1-IMG_0907.jpg

    This is on the wall out of the way of swinging timbers, rakes and such. The three dollar thrift-shop Kannon was missing a few fingers, and so is appointed cautionary shop steward; however it is still true that "all over the body is hands and eyes." _()_

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

  15. #15
    Member RobD's Avatar
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    Massachusetts, United States
    Lovely altars Shonin! And I like how you mention that the one in your hut is always changing. Such is life, right?

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    In addition to outside I have a more “standard” zen place. This is where I sit with you on Zoom. My printer shares the space because my computer is next to the altar. The Green Tara represents restoration/Mother Earth to me. The tea cup with the Heart Sutra is a reminder of Treeleaf and my time with Jundo and Jishin and the comb is for trying to look my best before the Zoom camera goes live

    I am working on ideas to comply with Jundo’s request above to add to the altar.

    63C3AED8-F5BA-46D2-99DE-116985CE1D31.jpeg]

    Doshin
    St
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Hello all!

    I love this prompt and this is my newly made portable 'altar in a box'!

    Altar in a box 1
    Altar in a box 2

    This is my sitting room shrine: https://postimg.cc/gxfnw5Bc

    And my bedroom shrine: https://postimg.cc/sB715ctY


    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.

  18. #18
    altar.jpg

    This is a tiny altar in my bathroom.
    (Maybe that combines Jundo's 'ugly'...?)
    The tiny (2") bowls are Acoma Pueblo pots. The Acoma believe themselves the descendants of the Mimbres, who disappeared from southwestern NM many centuries ago. They are known for their amazingly beautiful pottery and design work. The Acoma replicate many of the Mimbres designs. As shown in these sweet little bowls.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    altar.jpg

    This is a tiny altar in my bathroom.
    (Maybe that combines Jundo's 'ugly'...?)
    I told folks, at the end of our Zazenkai this week where my "Buddha" was a piece of rusty tin roof from our collapsed pig house ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post264587

    ... that they do not need to keep the "ugly" on the Altar all the time. They can keep beautiful and peaceful things because an Altar is to serve as a reminder (re-MIND-er) of the beauty, peace and goodness which is the Buddhist ideal. That is why we usually put a peaceful statue, flowers and sweet smelling incense, not a plastic ketchup bottle, broken glass and gasoline.

    However ...

    ... they should keep in their hearts always and recall from today's lesson that Buddha is all things, even if buried in ugliness and hard to see. There is beauty shining through the rusty tin can at the side of the road, but let us clean it up. There is Buddha Nature even within the person who acts with greed, anger, violence and jealousy ... but it is not manifest until we stop acting so. A shining precious jewel still shines and is precious even when buried in the mud, yet let us constantly polish away the mud as best we can.

    So, no need to keep the ugly things on the Altar if you don't wish, but don't expect a Buddha's Beauty to always look beautiful to the human eye.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Another inspiring thread!

    Thanks,

    Jinyo

  21. #21
    I love the idea of matchbox shrines!

    Gassho

    Nanrin

    Sat today
    南 - Southern
    林 - Forest

  22. #22
    Hello everyone,

    beautiful large and small altars!

    Thinking about what items in the back of the drawers could be assembled to a matchbox altar,
    I thought about this 'Buddha' metal ring, I found decades ago in the sand, at the baltic sea,
    a 'Buddha Nut' (don't know, why it is called so),
    a small Lotus seed is from last years flowers of a plant, I am growing in a wooden bucket.
    I stitched a few flowers on a piece of old fabric.



    20200710_143242.jpg

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

  23. #23
    That's awesome Kotei
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.

  24. #24
    Thank you all for your contributions so far. Believe it or not I'm struggling to find matchboxes!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  25. #25
    Here is a little altar box I made years before it even occurred to me to practice shikantaza. Interesting how, when one looks back, one finds signs we could have read had we only been perceptive enough.

    Gassho,
    Hensho

    Sat

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    Hensho 編 礁 Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Kate View Post
    Here is a little altar box I made years before it even occurred to me to practice shikantaza. Interesting how, when one looks back, one finds signs we could have read had we only been perceptive enough.

    Gassho,
    Hensho

    Sat

    Sent from my LM-Q710.FGN using Tapatalk
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.

  27. #27
    I love that, Kotei!


    Also this one Hensho!


    Do we need to send you some matchboxes, Meitou?


    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.

  28. #28
    All nice

    Doshin
    St

  29. #29
    FB_IMG_1594563971073.jpg

    This is portable only in the sense that I can move the small table from room to room. Traditional elements with the whimsical addition of the cat.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Juki; 07-12-2020 at 02:47 PM.
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  30. #30
    Wow, some wonderful, intimate, expressive and touching 'altars' for us to enjoy. Kotei, I love your miniature altar and the use of plant material, but of course you would use your garden! And Hensho, Unfortunately I can't make out what is in the box, but the box looks to be quite unique and interesting. I agree with you, everything in my life led me to this moment even if at the time I had no idea where I was going...
    Juki, beautiful and I do love the whimsy of the cat. That Buddha is splendid. Looks inlaid. lovely. I have a Zuni carved fetish bear on my altar. I have a strong bear phobia and I hope his presence helps me be in awe rather than fear.
    bear.jpg

    Thanks everyone for posting.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  31. #31
    Again, so many lovely expressions of what an altar can be. What I particularly love here is the sheer variety - and how so much of us personally is expressed in the outward form of a shrine, something univeral yet deeply personal.
    Thank you everyone
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  32. #32

    EXPRESSING CREATIVITY: your zazen practice space


    Almost all gifts including table all except photos and add cylinder with Heart Sutra which came later. Now I have larger darker statue of Buddha.
    Tai Shi
    Gassho/ sat


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 08-03-2020 at 09:28 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

  33. #33
    I have two altars. The first is lively and faces the front door, as is the typical custom here in Vietnam. It includes Shakyamuni; Phuc, Loc, and Tho (aka Fuku Roku and Ju in Japanese); Ganesh; and a little fella from Japan whose name I cannot for the life of me remember. The one in my Zen space is simpler; just a Dogen book with my lineage sheet marking my place, an incense burner, and my handwritten version of the 3 pure and 10 fundamental precepts.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    SatlahIMG_20200804_163812788.jpgIMG_20200804_164057868.jpg

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    ... It includes Shakyamuni; Phuc, Loc, and Tho (aka Fuku Roku and Ju in Japanese); Ganesh; and a little fella from Japan whose name I cannot for the life of me remember. The one in my Zen space is simpler; just a Dogen book with my lineage sheet marking my place, an incense burner, and my handwritten version of the 3 pure and 10 fundamental precepts.
    Oh, you will have to explain a bit. First, I don't spot any "little fella from Japan," so not sure who that is. Second, I had to research "Phuc, Loc and Tho" and had to translate this from a Vietnamese page ...

    Phuc Loc Tho or Phuoc Loc Tho ( Simplified : 福禄寿; Traditional : 福祿壽; pinyin : Fú Lu Shòu ) is a term commonly used in Chinese culture and its influences. , to talk about the three basic things of a good life: good things (Blessed), prosperity (Loc), and longevity (Longevity). Each symbolizes a god, these three are collectively referred to as Mr. Phuc-Loc-Tho


    The Kanji 福禄寿 (luck, prosperity and long life) are often seen, but those three usually appear here in Japan, as far as I know, as one combined figure who is part of the Seven New Year immortals often seen here at that time of year. I don't recall seeing them on their own like that.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukuro...%20one%20deity.

    How did the Indian Elephant headed Ganesha come to your Altar? He actually appears in Japanese Buddhism sometimes in Esoteric Buddhism, known as Kangiten.

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

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLaj
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-04-2020 at 06:53 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Oh, you will have to explain a bit. First, I don't spot any "little fella from Japan," so not sure who that is. Second, I had to research "Phuc, Loc and Tho" and had to translate this from a Vietnamese page ...





    The Kanji 福禄寿 (luck, prosperity and long life) are often seen, but those three usually appear here, as far as I know, as one combined figure who is part of the Seven New Year immortals often seen here at that time of year. I don't recall seeing them on their own like that.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukuro...%20one%20deity.

    How did the Indian Elephant headed Ganesha come to your Altar? He actually appears in Japanese Buddhism sometimes in Esoteric Buddhism, known as Kangiten.

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

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLaj
    The three guys Phuc Loc Tho are extremely popular in Vietnam, and we're described to be as "happy, healthy, and lucky." I see them on more home/business altars here than anybody else. Though they're never that prominent in temples here, they're often the star of the show on altars in individual homes and businesses. Number 2 figure you see on altars in Vietnam is probably Hotei the laughing Buddha. Quan Am, aka Kannon, is very popular on altars as well, as are a number of other local and Chinese figures. Shakyamuni is actually not very popular for home altars in my experience, and when he's there, he's often not front and center, so mine is a bit unusual in that way. But in Vietnam I myself (a semi-pudgy white American guy) am pretty unusual, so it fits I think. The three guys I got from a local artist here in Vietnam, and the Buddha is mass-produced plastic from a little shop near my apartment.

    Ganesh is there because I've always liked him, and while Vietnam is very Chinese-influenced, the rest of southeast Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc) is very Indian/Hindu influenced. You'll often see depictions of the Buddha hanging out with Hindu deities, and indeed, "Buddhist" temples are occasionally repuposed Hindu temples that some monk plunked a Buddha statue down and said "it's Buddhist now." Plus in the Pali canons Buddha often talks in Hindu terms, so Ganesh is my little nod to that. The statue itself came from Bali, which is still predominantly Hindu, and was a gift from my dad.

    The little guy from Japan is hard to see, but he's sitting in Buddha's hands. He's a keychain souvenir I got from a temple in Kyoto a couple of years ago. I've added a close-up photo. You'll have to tell me about him Jundo, because I've forgotten both his name and which temple or shrine he came from.

    As a whole that altar is my way of bowing to the way Buddhism expresses itself in the local culture of each place I've been lucky enough to visit. I like how that altar, out in the world is kind of wild and jumbled but still has the Buddha in the center, as opposed to extreme simplicity of the space where I do my zazen. I hope that answers your questions; it was considerably more than 3 sentences.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    SatlahIMG_20200804_210017322.jpg

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-04-2020 at 06:53 PM.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyoshin View Post
    Ah, that is "Daikoku."

    Daikokuten 大黒天 or Daikoku 大黒 is widely known in Japan as the happy-looking god of wealth, farmers, food, and good fortune, although in earlier centuries he was considered a fierce warrior deity ... reminding us of his Hindu origin as a war god ... However, since the early 14th century, Japanese artwork of this deity starts showing him as a cheerful and pudgy deity wearing a peasant’s hat (called Daikoku-zukin 大黒頭巾) and standing on bales of rice (tawara 俵), carrying a large sack of treasure slung over his shoulder and holding a small magic mallet. ... Images, paintings, and other artwork of Daikokuten can be found everywhere in modern Japan, showing him alone ... or grouped with the Seven Lucky Gods. He appears on posters, key chains, mobile-phone accessories, toys for children, and many other commercial goods.
    https://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/daikoku.shtml


    He is so popular because so many people in Japan, yesterday and today, are merchants or in agriculture. In fact, he is very common in Zen temples, including this Daikoku at Sojiji Soto Head Temple:

    https://sojiji.jp/english/zenen/syobutu/index.html

    It is surely so common in Buddhist temples because so many of the donors and parishioners have been merchants and farmers.

    And ... he is often grouped with the Seven Immortals including "Phuc Loc Tho/ Mr. Fukuro" so you have him in the right company!

    Here is a little more information on the Chinese origins of "Phuc Loc Tho" that I found in Wiki ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanxing_(deities)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #37

    EXPRESSING CREATIVITY: your zazen practice space

    There is a very loving and caring poem on my Facebook page under my picture of one rose from our backyard. Please take a look? Charles Taylor, Tai Shi MFA creative writing Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Thank you. Master of Fine Arts earned with 3.9 GPA, almost with destination; however, I took my comprehensive more than once.
    Tai Shi
    sat/ lah
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    ... Master of Fine Arts earned with 3.9 GPA, almost with destination; however, I took my comprehensive more than once.
    We would like you even if your GPA were only a 3.5

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Ah, that is "Daikoku."





    He is so popular because so many people in Japan, yesterday and today, are merchants or in agriculture. In fact, he is very common in Zen temples, including this Daikoku at Sojiji Soto Head Temple:

    https://sojiji.jp/english/zenen/syobutu/index.html

    It is surely so common in Buddhist temples because so many of the donors and parishioners have been merchants and farmers.

    And ... he is often grouped with the Seven Immortals including "Phuc Loc Tho/ Mr. Fukuro" so you have him in the right company!

    Here is a little more information on the Chinese origins of "Phuc Loc Tho" that I found in Wiki ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanxing_(deities)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    THANK YOU! I couldn't remember Daikoku's name and it was driving me crazy

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

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  40. #40
    Inspired by these neat "shrines", I just built some little moveable butsudan out of a peppermint drops tin. Very practical for traveling, I think.

    On the left Manjushri bodhisattva on the blue lion, with Kodo Sawaki as an important and inspiring figure in Soto zen and Gudo Wafu Nishijima as Jundos Dharma father, on the right Shakyamuni with small "cardboard stand-ups" of Bodhidharma, as a central ancestor who brought the Dharma from India to China, and of course Dogen Zenji.

    Below a little storage, where I store a little, folded piece of paper with the heart sutra. I still struggle not to read it



    Gassho

    Horin

    StlahIMG_20200812_185353.jpg

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    Last edited by Horin; 08-12-2020 at 09:13 PM.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Horin View Post

    That is lovely. Actually, the Samurai and others used to make portable Buddhist shrines very much like that, some very elaborate and beautifully carved, some simpler or more rustic ...



    So did the Chinese (one finds a lot of inexpensive copies of these in Chinatowns ...) ...



    ... and Tibetans had theirs too ...



    Buddha in a Box, all ready to travel!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-12-2020 at 10:39 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    That is lovely. Actually, the Samurai and others used to make portable Buddhist shrines very much like that, some very elaborate and beautifully carved, some simpler or more rustic ...



    So did the Chinese (one finds a lot of inexpensive copies of these in Chinatowns ...) ...



    ... and Tibetans had theirs too ...



    Buddha in a Box, all ready to travel!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Wow, interesting, nice shrines. Thanks for that background informations!

    Gassho

    Horin

    Stlah

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  43. #43
    I can see myself reflected in this reply of yours. I catch myself many times pointing at that pretty HUGE difference between zazen and meditation that many seem to either ignore or not know about. It´s not a commentary I make to point out anyone´s errors, but rather to avoid future misunderstandings regarding shikantaza. ☺️

    SatToday

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I will remind everyone, however, that Shikantaza Zazen --is not-- "meditation." We should not call it so.

    Would you mind to change the heading of the thread?

    It is a small matter of a word, but I want folks to be clear on this.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by jakeb; 08-13-2020 at 11:11 AM.
    Jake

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  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Horin View Post
    Inspired by these neat "shrines", I just built some little moveable butsudan out of a peppermint drops tin. Very practical for traveling, I think.

    On the left Manjushri bodhisattva on the blue lion, with Kodo Sawaki as an important and inspiring figure in Soto zen and Gudo Wafu Nishijima as Jundos Dharma father, on the right Shakyamuni with small "cardboard stand-ups" of Bodhidharma, as a central ancestor who brought the Dharma from India to China, and of course Dogen Zenji.

    Below a little storage, where I store a little, folded piece of paper with the heart sutra. I still struggle not to read it



    Gassho

    Horin

    StlahIMG_20200812_185353.jpg

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk
    Horin these are exquisite, thank you for sharing them. I've just found a tiny tin also used for peppermint and will try to do something with it.
    Thanks also Jundo for those images, all lovely examples.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  45. #45
    Thank you :-)
    Let us know when you have done something nice with it

    Gassho

    Horin

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by RobD View Post
    What and inspiring thread. Thank you Meitou.

    I've always found that having a dedicated space helps add a touch of formality/structure to my practice, but I don't go overboard with it.

    I have carved out a small corner of a finished basement space for Zazen practice, and I'm putting a few finishing touches on it over the next few days. I'll post a pic as soon as it's "done".

    On a related note, I would like to share a photo of the sign my son made for me. As my sitting space is right next to the stairs, it's less disruptive if folks don't come downstairs while I'm sitting. Therefore, I hang this sign on the doorknob at the top of the stairs to remind my family that Zazen is "happening".



    I love his play on words.

    Additionally, I love the idea of a portable shrine/altar. Thanks for the inspiring examples. I'm working on one now as well. Pics to come!

    Gassho,

    Rob
    SatToday


    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    Love the sign and had to share a shirt I like to wear once in awhile.

    S/T

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    Matt
    st

  47. #47
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg View Post
    Love the sign and had to share a shirt I like to wear once in awhile.

    S/T

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    Matt,

    Love the shirt! That's fantastic!



    Gassho,
    Rob

    -st-


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  48. #48
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Below are two photos—one is my home altar and the other is a simple pocket-sized shrine/altar that I finally completed after finding the perfect stone at the ocean this past weekend.

    That is the Heart Sutra behind the statue (in both pics, actually!), and I added a mirror to the inside of the lid to remind me of the mirror-mind of Zen (it also gives Buddha something to look at when the lid is closed).

    As others have done above, I really like the idea of incorporating photos of one's teachers/influences as well, so I may re-work things a bit.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    -stlah-


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  49. #49
    Wow, nice Rob, I like that.

    And I see, some wish has been become true, daruma has its two eyes


    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

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  50. #50
    Oh Rob, both are so beautiful. The pocket shrine is exquisite, and I particularly love the framed Heart Sutra above your home shrine. I'm inspired now to do some housekeeping.
    Lovely people, these threads are never closed, continue to contribute as you're inspired to,whenever you wish.
    With gratitude
    Big Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

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