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Thread: June 26th-27th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - BYOB (Bring Your Own Buddha)

  1. #1

    June 26th-27th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - BYOB (Bring Your Own Buddha)

    ATTENTION: This is a BYOB (Brink Your Own Buddha) Zazenkai, and I ask everyone to place in their sitting room at home today 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.

    (Further explanation below in this thread.)


    Hello All,

    Please 'sit-a-long' with our weekly FRIDAY/SATURDAY 'LIVE FROM TREELEAF' 90 minute ZAZENKAI, netcast from 10am Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 9pm, Los Angeles 6pm (Friday night), London 2am and Paris 3am (early Saturday morning)

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

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST IS HERE:


    FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, THERE lS A LlNK BELOW AT THE BOTTOM OF THlS POST. 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.

    'One Way' folks are also welcome to join the Zoom room, just leaving your camera and microphone turned off:

    00:00 – 00:15 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA in English) and Dedication
    00:15 – 00:45 ZAZEN
    00:45 – 00:55 KINHIN
    00:55 – 01:25 ZAZEN
    01:25 – 01:30 VERSE OF ATONEMENT & FOUR VOWS


    As you can see, our Zazenkai consists of chanting the 'Heart Sutra' in English (the words are at the link below), some full floor prostrations in sets of three (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), followed by our Dedication, Zazen twice for about 30 minutes each, with 10 minutes of Kinhin in between, and we end the sitting with 'The Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'.

    Please join us in the Chanting of the Heart Sutra (although please keep your microphone muted). You can 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, 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!

    So, please join us as soon as you can, and we will keep a Zafu open for you.

    Remember, 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
    - If prompted for a password, use: dogen

    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; 06-27-2020 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Added youtube live video.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    EXPLANATION of our "BRING YOUR OWN BUDDHA" Zazenkai.

    Dear All,

    "Buddha" is a word we use in many meanings, such as the human being who lived in India long ago, but also with the meaning of "All Reality." Not just the man in India, but all events and places, people, things, and spaces are together all. Nothing is left out. This is one message taught by the fellow in India long ago and all the Zen masters since.

    Thus, 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 assumes, of course, that the heart is Wise enough to see it for more than it appears!!

    Usually, on a Buddhist Altar, one sees a beautiful statue of a "Buddha," or of a Bodhisattva such as Manjushri or Kannon, to remind (re-MIND) us of Wisdom and Compassion. But sometimes it is good to see even the ugly or difficult in life with an eye of Wisdom and Compassion which can see through and beyond the ugly or difficult, even at the still heart of the ugly or difficult. An altar, a statue or stick of incense, even an empty space, can be a good reminder that this moment and place is sacred. But sometimes it is good to see even the ugly or difficult in life with an eye of Wisdom and Compassion which can see through and beyond the ugly or difficult, even amid the ugly or difficult. It is all sacred too.

    Thus, a "statue" can be a Buddha or Bodhisattva, or a stone, a flower or an empty space. If the heart is sincere and wise, it could be a coca-cola bottle or a plastic panda, because ... what is not Buddha?? At heart, it is just wood, stone, glass or plastic. However, all natural wood and stones and even ugly manufactured materials are sacred.

    Sometimes I like to put something to shake folks a bit: 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.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-25-2020 at 01:46 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Thanks Jundo. I will be sitting with a sound

    Gassho, Chris satlah

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Thanks Jundo,

    I'm looking forward to it

    Gassho,

    Jonathon SatTodayLAH

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo.
    I'll be there with my bells and chant books ready as well as some Buddha-non-Buddha stuff on the Altar

    Gassho
    Washin
    st-lah
    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'.

  6. #6
    We had an old wooden pig house in the back field, maybe from the 1950s, which collapsed in a typhoon this past year. There have been no pigs there for many decades. I can only guess how many pigs might have been. It looked much like this before it fell ...



    This past week, my family and I cleaned the ruins up so that it would not blow apart more in the next typhoon season. Our Buddha will be part of the old tin roof and some of the broken wooden pieces. Like this ...



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-25-2020 at 06:53 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This past week, my family and I cleaned the ruins up so that it would not blow apart more in the next typhoon season. Our Buddha will be part of the old tin roof and some of the broken wooden pieces. Like this ...
    Beautiful old wood. I'm guessing if it came down in a typhoon there wasn't necessarily much salvageable.

    When we were building our house it was interesting to see how "upside down" the economics of wood was. Having trees from the property milled for use in the house really did not save much (any?) money. Sourcing "reclaimed lumber" was always more expensive than using new.

    Anyhow, deep bows to the Buddha face behind all dharmas.

    Gassho,
    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.

  8. #8
    I'll be there live.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  9. #9
    I have the opportunity to join live again, looking forward to it. Friday evenings I cannot sit in the same space as my altar where I normally sit, but I will be sure to have an unconventional Buddha on my altar and with me for the Zazenkai.

    Gassho

    Ryan
    Sat Today

  10. #10
    I am joining live with Mr. Burns and Grandpa Simpson.

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

  11. #11


    Thank you

    Doshin
    St

  12. #12
    Nice sitting with you all today.

    Gassho

    Nanrin

    Sat today

  13. #13
    Thank you, Jundo, Washin, Sekishi, and everyone. It is lovely to practice together. Have a great weekend!

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

  14. #14
    Thank you Jundo, Washin and everyone for sharing now and through the week.

    My BYOB is the traffic noise I struggle with at times. It's a work in progress, but the light is starting to shine through. Deep bows Jundo for your teachings.

    Gassho to all, Chris satlah

  15. #15
    Well, Youtube removed us for the third week in a row as a "flagged" video. We will get our backup copy posted soon, but I wonder what is happening. Hmmm. I am watching the words I use during the Talk to avoid triggering the AI. ON EXAMINATION, ONLY THE CLOSING BELLS OF SECOND ZAZEN, AND CLOSING CHANTS, ARE REMOVED. I GUESS THAT IT WAS AN OFFENSIVE BELL!

    Hmmm.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    Hi Treeleaf Sangha,

    As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe which content we allow – and don’t allow – on YouTube. Your video June 26th-27th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - BYOB (Bring Your Own Buddha) was flagged to us for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines and we’ve removed it from YouTube.

    We know that this might be disappointing, but it's important to us that YouTube is a safe place for all. If content breaks our rules, we remove it. If you think we've made a mistake, you can appeal and we'll take another look. Keep reading for more details.
    UPDATE: REPLACING VIDEO WITH BACK-UP RECORDING NOW.
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-27-2020 at 03:47 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Thank you Jundo, Washin, Sekishi, and everyone for tonight's Zazenkai.

    Just for the record, while I don't have any cats at the moment, I do love cats. Growing up, I had no less than two at a time, but my oldest son is allergic, so we have had to go feline-free for many years now. We do have an indoor rabbit though. Do bunnies count?

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ON EXAMINATION, ONLY THE CLOSING BELLS OF SECOND ZAZEN, AND CLOSING CHANTS, ARE REMOVED. I GUESS THAT IT WAS AN OFFENSIVE BELL!
    For science, we should have the Ino ring the bell to start Zazen and see if it gets through. Maybe that beautiful old bell at Treeleaf is too close to something used in a commercial recording...

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sat #riinnng
    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.

  18. #18
    Paula Arai has a wonderful article somewhere about her discovery, while living in a monastery with Zen nuns, that cleaning rags are the Buddha. _()_

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

  19. #19
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Just finished this Zazenkai. Kinhin was walking with The Game Changer up and down our 150m driveway. My BYOB is the native grass and native weeds in this picture. They have survived the neighbour's attempts at slashing and poisoning after I had a conversation with him recently. He doesn't see the value things other than in economic or production terms. The grasses and weeds are Buddha despite being seen as having no value to humans. They do provide habitat for innumerable native species though.
    Gassho Onka
    st

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    No Gods No Masters
    "In whatever condition I find myself, I simply live my own life, a life connected with all the things in the universe." - Shohaku Okumura

  20. #20
    Thank you everyone. I sat with you this morning.

    Thank you for the teaching Jundo.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  21. #21
    Member RobD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    The grasses and weeds are Buddha despite being seen as having no value to humans.
    Onka,

    Keep up the good fight! Save the weeds!

    I've long fought with people that spray all kinds of chemicals in their yards to kill weeds, etc. I've always argued that weeds are no different from other plants, but for some reason people have made a collective decision to demonize certain varieties with the term "weed" because they don't attribute any value to them. Dandelions are considered weeds by most people around here, yet I find them beautiful. And the wild rabbits in our yard feast on them all spring. What's not to love?

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday


    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  22. #22
    Thank you Jundo, Washin, Sekishi and everyone. As always, wonderful to get to sit with you all!

    I still have my empty cat food tin on my altar in place of the usual Buddha statue Will replace it in time, but wanted to think on the talk a little longer.

    Gassho

    Ryan S
    Sat Today

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan-S View Post

    I still have my empty cat food tin on my altar in place of the usual Buddha statue Will replace it in time, but wanted to think on the talk a little longer.
    Feed it to the cat. Cat is Buddha too.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Feed it to the cat. Cat is Buddha too.

    Gassho, J
    They got a special treat with that in mind. We just gave them wet food, which is very much a once-in-a-while thing for them (they are super spoiled, we just have a tubby fella we need to look after).

    Altar is also back to normal

    Gassho,

    Ryan S
    Sat Today
    Last edited by Ryan-S; 06-28-2020 at 07:10 PM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan-S View Post
    Altar is also back to normal ��
    Altar is always in a state beyond normal or not normal, like all the world. That is why it is called an "Altared State."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-27-2020 at 10:45 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Sekishi, I think we should really try the first bell experiment!

    But my husband is convinced we have a troll.

    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.

  27. #27
    Jundo,
    I used a Godzilla plush toy as my BYOB for this session.
    It may seem whimsical to some. But it has meaning in our family.

    I may leave it there for a while to reflect on this lesson a little more. I feel there's more there than I understand.
    I'm pretty sure my wife thinks I've joined a Godzilla cult.

    Gassho,
    steve

  28. #28
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Thank you Jundo, thank you Washin, thank you everyone.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  29. #29
    Thank you Jundo, Sekishi and all for another wonderful Zazenkai.
    Regret I couldn't take part in an afterparty Tea time for I was in a hurry
    to a tree watering event scheduled for an early morning time here.

    Gassho
    Washin
    st-lah
    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'.

  30. #30
    Thank you everyone for all your hard work! I sat with a muddy hammer for my BYOB. It's really great to see it among my altar as such a great reminder that all things (and non-things) are Buddha.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    A fun story to share. My BYOB was an aluminum can to represent litter. As do many, I pick up litter at campsites and along the roads. Well I placed it on my altar the day before our Zazenkai. You may have noticed that I jumped up at the beginning of our Zazenkai and disappeared for a minute. Well my wife saw the litter on my altar and recycled it (she was not aware of the BYOB) so I had to go look for that can!

    My only surprise is that my wife assumed I had littered my altar and needed to clean up after me

    Doshin
    St

  32. #32
    A fun story to share. My BYOB was an aluminum can to represent litter. As do many, I pick up litter at campsites and along the roads. Well I placed it on my altar the day before our Zazenkai. You may have noticed that I jumped up at the beginning of our Zazenkai and disappeared for a minute. Well my wife saw the litter on my altar and recycled it (she was not aware of the BYOB) so I had to go look for that can!
    That is really funny, Doshin!


    Thank you all for sitting with me.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    My only surprise is that my wife assumed I had littered my altar and needed to clean up after me

    Doshin
    St
    Buddha recycling Buddha. The law of Karma and Rebirth is kind of a great "recycling," is it not?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #34
    Going to sit this one now. Gassho, Matt

  35. #35
    I started this zazenkai this morning. As it, I believe, Treeleaf tradition, my Buddha was a used diaper (not intentional but hey!) and I was joined by my windy mini-bodhisattva.

    Gassho.

    Heiso

    StLah

  36. #36
    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 ...

    ... 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

  37. #37
    Thank you for sitting this Zazenkai together.
    My Buddha was a died plant.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  38. #38
    Member Koki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Parma Ohio (just outside Cleveland)
    Gassho... just catching up this week. Thank you Jundo for your teaching on BYOB.
    I placed my dog (Bear) ashes on the altar. She was a good girl who now waits for me after 17 years together. Death is looked at by many as sad, emotional.
    I was with Bear when she died. Even in her death she was peaceful, and teaching me to let go of worldly things. She brought peace to my life, and now shows me peace in her transition.
    Unconditional love always.

    Gassho
    Koki
    Satoday

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