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Thread: Familiar yet a stranger

  1. #1

    Familiar yet a stranger

    Hello everyone, I hope you're all doing well.

    Bit of a weird subject here, but it's something really Treeleaf I've been thinking about.. I joined the community about a week or two ago, and every single question I've had about my practice has already been answered multiple times in other threads.. So, I've just been reading those, and it's been fantastic, I'm so grateful for this resource. I'm sitting mostly alone, still, but I've done a zazenkai (alas, not 'live'), and I weirdly find I prefer the YouTube 'sit' with Jundo and Nishijima Roshi to be a more enjoyable timer than my Casio.... So, already, I feel somehow... incredibly connected to this community, I've spent many hours here, yet.. I never really interact with you all.

    I don't really have a question, besides maybe "how annoyed are you when you get the same question for the 1 *MILLIONTH* time" and I ask because, at this stage in my practice, all my questions came before, but if I don't ask them I'm still just passively consuming interactions that came before, vs actually talking to everyone, and I'd love to talk to you..

    Either way, I'm so happy to have access to this, and for you all.

    Gassho.

    Neil

    ./sat+lah :}

  2. #2
    I don't really have a question, besides maybe "how annoyed are you when you get the same question for the 1 *MILLIONTH* time"
    Great to have you here, Neil, and don't be afraid to ask questions. If you ask many questions every day, then Jundo might well suggest that you can let a few of them sit and, like you say, many of the answers are already here. But, in asking a question you are giving the opportunity for others to hear the answer(s) who might be wondering exactly the same thing.


    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.

  3. #3
    Hi Neil,

    Nice to meet ya! This is something that I've got a little experience in, so I'll try and draw from that.

    I first joined Treeleaf in 2015, but after a short period of time I simply practiced with everyone in the background: Sitting one-way with the YouTube zazenkais, browsing the forum but always reading—not posting/replying, and yet, I too maintained that sense of closeness and community—even if not visible to others.

    This lasted up until last year, when Ango came around, and thanks to the gentle nudging and support of our sangha-mates, I started posting, replying, sitting live with everyone, making the tea-houses, etc. I can say that I do wish I had done so much earlier—but—it also worked out just as it should have, I think.

    Which leads me to answering your question: I don't think anyone would be annoyed (I wouldn't), if you asked/posted something that pertains to your practice or zen or life in general. You may be shown links to say, the Beginner talks, but overall, I believe it's good to ask questions if you feel called to. The answers you may find searching may have came from years ago—and those answers and individual's understanding and expression of the same question could be much different today. So it's always worth asking, IMO.

    From the Lankavatara Sutra:

    The Buddha replied, “Excellent, Mahamati. It is excellent that upon considering the true nature of the world and hoping to awaken beings of the past, the present, and the future from mistaken views, you have asked me about this. For a wise man should ask questions, not only for his own benefit but also for the benefit of others.
    So, ask away!

    Sorry for running (very) long,

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH
    広髭 Koushi (Vast Beard)

    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Koushi View Post
    Hi Neil,

    Nice to meet ya! This is something that I've got a little experience in, so I'll try and draw from that.

    I first joined Treeleaf in 2015, but after a short period of time I simply practiced with everyone in the background: Sitting one-way with the YouTube zazenkais, browsing the forum but always reading—not posting/replying, and yet, I too maintained that sense of closeness and community—even if not visible to others.

    This lasted up until last year, when Ango came around, and thanks to the gentle nudging and support of our sangha-mates, I started posting, replying, sitting live with everyone, making the tea-houses, etc. I can say that I do wish I had done so much earlier—but—it also worked out just as it should have, I think.

    Which leads me to answering your question: I don't think anyone would be annoyed (I wouldn't), if you asked/posted something that pertains to your practice or zen or life in general. You may be shown links to say, the Beginner talks, but overall, I believe it's good to ask questions if you feel called to. The answers you may find searching may have came from years ago—and those answers and individual's understanding and expression of the same question could be much different today. So it's always worth asking, IMO.

    From the Lankavatara Sutra:



    So, ask away!

    Sorry for running (very) long,

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH
    Thank you.

    I'll definitely join one of the tea sessions, that's a good start I recon..

    Ahem.. Uhh.. But... Be warned... I'm technically British so I have .... views... on tea. (Gongfu, Multiple Clays/Gaiwans and a certified Pu'erh nutter here, so be warned... )

    Please don't apologise for running long, I'm grateful for the reply.

    -Neil
    ./sat+lah

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by houst0n View Post
    Thank you.

    I'll definitely join one of the tea sessions, that's a good start I recon..

    Ahem.. Uhh.. But... Be warned... I'm technically British so I have .... views... on tea. (Gongfu, Multiple Clays/Gaiwans and a certified Pu'erh nutter here, so be warned... )

    Please don't apologise for running long, I'm grateful for the reply.

    -Neil
    ./sat+lah
    You will fit right in! A lot of our members have... views... on tea. And Linux. (but we won't go there). Definitely keep an eye on the Treeleaf NOW calendar for those Sundays

    And as far as "running long": https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ences-Practice

    Just a suggestion (not a set in stone hard rule), and as Jundo says in the post:

    - The request is not being made of newcomers, just arrived to Treeleaf Sangha, during the first few months of their being here.
    So that was just me following the suggestion

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH
    広髭 Koushi (Vast Beard)

    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  6. #6
    ..And linux!? Come on, real buddhists use FreeBSD, right? (I'm working devops/cloud stuff)

    I mean, okay, ubuntu for work.. But systemd doesn't belong in my house.. My personal linux boxes run void

    Work is just hosting k8s though (although these days it's all about serverless... so work is errr, fargate and lambda.)..

    :}

    Gassho
    Neil
    ./sat+lah -- Night night.
    Last edited by houst0n; 11-30-2021 at 11:24 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by houst0n View Post
    ..And linux!? Come on, real buddhists use FreeBSD, right? (I'm working devops/cloud stuff)

    I mean, okay, ubuntu for work.. But systemd doesn't belong in my house.. My personal linux boxes run void

    Work is just hosting k8s though (although these days it's all about serverless... so work is errr, fargate and lambda.)..

    :}

    Gassho
    Neil
    ./sat+lah -- Night night.
    Come on, real Buddhists use Haiku!

    https://www.haiku-os.org/

    Sorry, glad you are you are here, ask away. Just don't ask the same question twice.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I

  8. #8
    I was an Atari boy growing up, totally bypassed be.. I guess I missed something

    Really going to bed now!

    Gassho, greetings, take care
    ./sat+lah
    -Neil

  9. #9

    Familiar yet a stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by houst0n View Post
    Thank you.

    I'll definitely join one of the tea sessions, that's a good start I recon..

    Ahem.. Uhh.. But... Be warned... I'm technically British so I have .... views... on tea. (Gongfu, Multiple Clays/Gaiwans and a certified Pu'erh nutter here, so be warned... )

    Please don't apologise for running long, I'm grateful for the reply.

    -Neil
    ./sat+lah
    Sekishi is our official Pu’erh guru here He even knows when it tastes like cave walls

    (Wink wink.. we’re all a lil’ tea nutters )

    sat today lah
    Bion
    美音

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  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    Sekishi is our official Pu’erh guru here He even knows when it tastes like cave walls
    I dunno about “guru”, but I definitely like pu’erh that is ripe and cave-like.

    Welcome Neil!

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sat #lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    sekishi
    石志

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

  11. #11
    I don't really have a question, besides maybe "how annoyed are you when you get the same question for the 1 *MILLIONTH* time" and I ask because, at this stage in my practice, all my questions came before, but if I don't ask them I'm still just passively consuming interactions that came before, vs actually talking to everyone, and I'd love to talk to you..
    It is like offering Gassho bows. I have Gassho'd a million times, and it is always the same ... and yet, each Gassho is totally new, and there is always room for one more. So, please ask so that I may Gassho you.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Hi Neil,

    When I first started here, not long ago, I had a habit of exploring old threads, finding what I felt was amazing, and resurrecting the archives in my excitement. I did this for a long time, but I also learned that Treeleaf is a unique treasure of "everything" -- and *still* ask questions!

    Read, reflect, sit, dig around -- and ask. Treeleaf is unlike any other place, anywhere.

    Welcome.

    Gassho2, meian stlh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 Mei An (Wandering At Rest) | 優婆塞 Ubasoku
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Living and practicing at the pace of chronic illness.

  13. #13
    A tangent, but a testament to the power of Treeleaf archives:

    I started wearing a Mala very early in my practice, mostly as a reminder. When the tassel would tickle my arm I would be reminded of the moment I was in.
    I purchased these on Amazon, and feel a certain displeasure to the mass commercialization associated with that. So I decided to make my own. I chose materials I liked, and then stumbled upon an archived thread asking about why Soto Zen doesn't use mala much, and there was a link Jundo posted filled with information on mala in different sects of buddhism.

    Turns out, in Soto we use a Nenju. It has a slightly different style, including a double tassel and sometimes a metal ring.

    Now I have taken those materials and am making a Nenju. It is funny how happenstance would have me find a six year old thread that has deepened my personal connection to this sect.

    Sorry for running long.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshin View Post
    ... I started wearing a Mala very early in my practice ...
    Turns out, in Soto we use a Nenju. It has a slightly different style, including a double tassel and sometimes a metal ring.
    But a Nenju, as far as I know, IS a mala! The latter is Sanskrit, the former the Japanese word.

    But we Zen folks still don't use either very much. Here is one of those old posts about that ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post239026

    But that does not mean at all that you cannot make and wear one, so keep going!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But a Nenju, as far as I know, IS a mala! The latter is Sanskrit, the former the Japanese word.

    But we Zen folks still don't use either very much. Here is one of those old posts about that ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post239026

    But that does not mean at all that you cannot make and wear one, so keep going!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Yes they are the same. Different, yet familiar.

    Funny enough, this is the thread I found I'm pretty sure! It sent me down quite a rabbit hole.

    I will share photos of my nenju when it is completed.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

  16. #16
    I'm more of a Sheng fan than Shu, can't get over that fishy taste..

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshin View Post
    ... I started wearing a Mala very early in my practice ...
    Turns out, in Soto we use a Nenju. It has a slightly different style, including a double tassel and sometimes a metal ring.
    By coincidence, Shinshin, I just sent this nice article on Soto style Nenju to somebody interested. You will need to run a translation on it (I use chrome and google), but it is readable. Again, the purpose in Soto practice is most typically for lay people to finger at funerals.

    https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/nenjy...ishiki/soutou/

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    By coincidence, Shinshin, I just sent this nice article on Soto style Nenju to somebody interested. You will need to run a translation on it (I use chrome and google), but it is readable. Again, the purpose in Soto practice is most typically for lay people to finger at funerals.

    https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/nenjy...ishiki/soutou/

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    This was a very interesting read, thank you Jundo.

    It does raise a question I have, but there may not be an answer or it may be unimportant. I read elsewhere that Soto sect Nenju use a double tassel, but this website specifically has the women's Nenju with a double tassel and the men's with a single. Would you happen to know which is traditional?

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshin View Post
    This was a very interesting read, thank you Jundo.

    It does raise a question I have, but there may not be an answer or it may be unimportant. I read elsewhere that Soto sect Nenju use a double tassel, but this website specifically has the women's Nenju with a double tassel and the men's with a single. Would you happen to know which is traditional?

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat
    That company is very reputable, so I would go with their opinion.

    However, looking at some other reputable sites and Soto-shu nenju specifically for men, I see a variety of tassels.

    https://www.juzuya.jp/syuuha_m_zen.php

    Here is an official Soto-shu website, and they show a variety of styles ...

    https://www-soto--kinki-net.translat..._x_tr_hl=en-US


    Sorry, I am not a nenju expert and don't particularly encourage (or discourage) the practice of wearing them.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    That company is very reputable, so I would go with their opinion.

    However, looking at some other reputable sites and Soto-shu nenju specifically for men, I see a variety of tassels.

    https://www.juzuya.jp/syuuha_m_zen.php

    Here is an official Soto-shu website, and they show a variety of styles ...

    https://www-soto--kinki-net.translat..._x_tr_hl=en-US


    Sorry, I am not a nenju expert and don't particularly encourage (or discourage) the practice of wearing them.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Thank you for your help.

    I think the variety seems to imply that it doesn't particularly matter. A Nenju is still a Nenju, the importance is the gesture of respect we offer with our practice.

    Your support here is encouragement enough.

    I am sorry to have taken over your thread, Neil.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

  21. #21
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    That company is very reputable, so I would go with their opinion.

    However, looking at some other reputable sites and Soto-shu nenju specifically for men, I see a variety of tassels.

    https://www.juzuya.jp/syuuha_m_zen.php

    Here is an official Soto-shu website, and they show a variety of styles ...

    https://www-soto--kinki-net.translat..._x_tr_hl=en-US


    Sorry, I am not a nenju expert and don't particularly encourage (or discourage) the practice of wearing them.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    Some of these look lovely and seem affordable but are apparently shipped only to Japan. Do you know of sellers that will ship to the US?


    Sat today in the FSR.
    --
    Hōkan = 法閑 = Dharma Serenity
    To be entirely clear, I am not a hōkan = 幇間 = taikomochi = geisha, but I do wonder if my preceptor was having a bit of fun with me...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Hōkan View Post
    Some of these look lovely and seem affordable but are apparently shipped only to Japan. Do you know of sellers that will ship to the US?


    Sat today in the FSR.
    Sorry, I do not.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    The monastery store from Zen Mountain Monastery has a good selection. Several for $20 or less. FYI.

    Gassho,

    Greg
    ST

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
    The monastery store from Zen Mountain Monastery has a good selection. Several for $20 or less. FYI.

    Gassho,

    Greg
    ST

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    They may not be "Soto-shu" style, which is what Shinshin and some others are focused on.

    Gassho, J

    STlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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