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Thread: Dogen Zenji's Birthday

  1. #1
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    Crooked House by Wonderland Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN, USA

    Dogen Zenji's Birthday

    To honor the anniversary of Dogen Zenji's birth, I spent extra time today sitting in joyful ease.
    Nothing to do.
    No people to see.
    No place to go.
    --
    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...

  2. #2
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  3. #3
    Oh, I forgot to get him a present again!

    Actually, you are a little early, and you may have blown the big surprise party that we were planning for him!

    The Founder’s Birthday (Koso gotan-e) January 26th
    January 26th is the birthday of Dogen (the Founder of Soto Zen).

    Dogen was born in Kyoto on January 2nd (January 26th in the solar calendar). On January 26th, two ceremonies are held in celebration of his birth, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. In the morning ceremony, a scroll with a painting of Dogen is hung in the Lecture Hall (Hatto). A pail is placed in front of the painting containing holy hot water in which such incense as aloes, sandal wood have been boiled. In the afternoon is the ceremony of appreciation (Ho-on Koshiki). Special shomyo Buddhist music is chanted as an expression of gratitude.
    One might say that every day, every moment, is the "Founder's Birthday," which is the birthday of all things too ... but we will do a little something at our next Zazenkai to note the fact (although no pails or shomyo music).

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-20-2022 at 12:56 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Ah, I notice that Wikipedia has it wrong (they say 1/19) ... or, at least, not the "official" Soto-shu date (1/26) ...

    Well, nobody really knows I think.

    Show me Dogen's True Birth Certificate! (A Koan)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    Crooked House by Wonderland Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN, USA
    As well (at least according to Wikipedia) today is the birthday of my first teacher Katagiri Roshi.

    Sat
    --
    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...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hōkan View Post
    As well (at least according to Wikipedia) today is the birthday of my first teacher Katagiri Roshi.

    Sat
    Oh, let us dedicate all our sitting and practice today to the great Dainin Katagiri Roshi!


    A rare video of Katagiri Roshi ...


    Nine Bows, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-20-2022 at 02:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    My first birth certificate from The Privince Of Quebec was sourced from a 2x4 file card which my father wrote, signed and submitted to City hall a week after I was born, claiming that mother had given birth to me on such and such date and time and location, our address at the time. When I went to renew my Pass Port in the early nineties preparing to go to Japan I was advised that my Birsth Certificate had expired. Its expiration was apparently due to the fact that the inumerable number of institutions that claimed to be valid sources in the province had made it easy for terrorists to obtain official papers. So, where can we go to find Dogen's Birth Certificate when I don't even know if I can trust my Father to report my birth . I could actually be older than Betty White and not know it. There are days when I wonder.

    gassho, Shokai
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  8. #8
    Happy birthday to Dainin Katagiri Roshi then!

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat

  9. #9
    The memories are shadows of what I have experienced, they are not the experiences.
    The experiences have gone, but the memories remain. - 安知 Anchi


    STLah

  10. #10
    A fellow on Facebook pointed out an article by Dr. Bodiford which half solves the mystery of the date, except there is still no connection to January 19th!! (only the 26th)

    [Remembering Dogen: Eiheiji and Dogen Hagiography
    by William M Bodiford
    The Journal of Japanese Studies 32.1 (2006) pp1-21]:
    --------
    After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the new regime's anti-Buddhist policies severely reduced the nationwide population of ordained monks and nuns, Eiheiji enlisted Dōgen's memory to cement closer ties with lay people. On the tenth day of the fifth month of 1899, a year corresponding to the seven hundredth celebration of Dōgen's birth, Eiheiji organized its first lay ordination ceremony specifically tied to Dōgen's birth rather than his death. Lay men and women were invited to spend seven days at Eiheiji to observe ceremonies, listen to Buddhist sermons, and to receive ordination with the Sōtō lineage's special version of the bodhisattva precepts. This event, officially called "Ordinations to Repay Kindness" (hōon jukai e), proved so successful that the following year (1900) it was made an annual event at Eiheiji. The date of the ceremony, however, had to be changed. May 10 was inconvenient for the monks at Eiheiji because it came too close to the start of the summer training period (ango, which begins on May 15) and it was impractical for lay people, most of whom were farmers, because it conflicted with the spring planting. In 1899, therefore, the ceremony was advanced one month to April 28. Finally, in 1900 Sōtō leaders officially designated January 26 as Dōgen's birthday and ordered all Sōtō temples in Japan to celebrate it. Of course no one knows the actual day of Dōgen's birth. The Teiho Kenzeiki (Annotated Keizei's chronicle), an extremely influential biography of Dōgen edited and annotated by Menzan Zuihō (1683–1769), gives the date of Dōgen's birth as the second day of the first moon of 1200. None of the earlier manuscript versions of this text, however, provides any evidence from which Menzan might have derived this date."

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/...ing_Dogen.html
    The fellow also pointed out the the Encyclopedia Britannica online has the "19th" as the date, but perhaps they just got that from Wiki!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    My new theory on where this "January 19th" date came from: Some busy editor at Wiki quickly misread this sentence ... notice the "19" in "1900" ...

    Finally, in 1900 Sōtō leaders officially designated January 26 as Dōgen's birthday

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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