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Thread: The Continuing Tales of Gendo JinKan

  1. #151
    Thank you for your story and your teaching. Thank you for introducing Green Onion Roshi.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  2. #152
    Rev. Jenkin, though I am not a priest, I too face level 7 to 9 each day. I depend on the kindness of my dear wife, who Jundo calls my best Zen teacher. I wear Lidocaine patches, 5% on my neck, chest. mid back, and lower back. Were it not for this pain medication, intended for dentists and applied to jell on a fabric which is prescription, I would have no life. Recently I underwent Radiofrequency Ablation on my lower back intended for 9 months then repeated every 9 months, and I take a handful of muscle relaxers which may eventually kill me. Yet, I am 71 years old, and I expect to reach 85 easily and in spite of severe chronic pain ans so long as I am able.
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  3. #153


    stlah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  4. #154
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    Clovis, California U.S.A
    So I have Covid and me chest really hurts and I’m not feeling too grand. I’m going to leave this as a brief update and place holder until me head clears up and I can organize me thoughts and write me regular update. Hopefully later today but maybe later depending on me health. While I’m waiting I will master serene coughing and hacking up stuff.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Laying Down

  5. #155
    Metta, JinKan. I hope you soon fully recover from COVID. Thank you for the update in the meantime.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  6. #156
    I hope it passes soon!

    Gassho, Tokan

    satlah
    平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  7. #157
    We will sit for you today, and you take it slow.

    You place is held.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #158
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    Dec 2020
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    For this delayed update I want to talk about letting go and being a teacher. I briefly want share what popped into me head this last zazenkai. I had a weird feeling of familial embarrassment which is strange feeling for me since both me parents have passed. It popped into me head as music started and Jundo started dancing. For the briefest moment familial embarrassment and this single thought. Oh Christ on a cracker Dads dancing again. Both thought and emotion disappeared as quickly as they appeared but I recognized them and remembered them and thought I would share. For it gave me the briefest pause and a chuckle.

    Since being sick I have had to give up much. Zen luckily is all about letting go of attachments so I had preparation before it happened. Others are not so lucky. We are often told to let go of wants, desires and sometimes even needs. We are also told that some times it is ok to have those wants and desires but how do we as Zen Buddhist choose. As always Shikintaza will give us the answer. I know it sounds almost disingenuous to say sit and you will get the answer but it is the honest truth. The simple act of sitting encompasses all the three fold training. While sitting we encompass all of buddhism. Most of us are sitting in recognition of the four noble truths and the act of sitting encompasses the eightfold path. Sitting in recognition of the four noble truths leads to right view and right intention which then leads to right concentration and mindfulness and so on. The wisdom gained from our practice lets us know wants and desires we should keep and when we should let them go. Hopefully these examples will make this clearer.

    There is a new Legend of Zelda video game out. I have been a fan of the franchise since the original NES version. I really want to play the game but I don’t have the money to afford it and also me switch is broken. I would also like to be better versed and scholarly when it comes to the dharma. I want to have the knowledge to expound on and write treatises on Sutras and the Shobogenzo. Dyslexia and language issues make reading difficult and difficulties creating long term memory make retaining learned information next to impossible. One desire is monetarily out of reach while the other is physically. So I let both desires go. If thoughts about them arise I let them flow through me like fog through a tree. Most of our suffering is caused by not being able to let unattainable desires go. For me letting go of Zelda is easy but letting go of being a scholar and the idea of being a perfect teacher was hard. It took awhile to let go that attachment and to realize truly as Buddhists we must always remember we are not perfect but still strive for perfection while letting go of perfection. For when we finally realize there is nothing perfect we are perfected. So I continue to read even though I retain very little. I study strive and let go. I do this not out of attachment but because that wee bit of information I retain may benefit others. So don’t grasp and cling to desires and wants instead to use the wisdom gained through sitting to accept and let them go.

    Getting reminded I am a teacher. This is a short aside. A day ago I sent Jundo a picture of calligraphy for some scrolls I was going to make for our soon to be Unsui. Just a gift to congratulate them and welcome them to the priesthood. These scrolls were a dragon talisman that is traditionally given to traveling Unsui. Jundo politely asked me not to make the scrolls because the Hobbit movie ruined dragons for him. I am kidding of course. Treeleaf is about Dogens Shikantaza and the more esoteric elements of Soto Zen have been dropped because Jundos teacher Nishijima didn’t put any emphasis in them. It is why we don’t chant any Dharanis. What he also did without saying a word is remind me that I am a teacher and I need to be careful what I do. While meant to be an artful gift there is a chance that it could be perceived as a new treeleaf document or teaching. Just as we are practitioners and as practitioners on this path we are always practicing. I am a teacher and always teaching and must be just as careful about that as I am me practice.

    Gassho,
    Jinkan
    Sat

  9. #159
    Thank you, JinKan. Your posts are full of wisdom. I also have trouble retaining information long term. You are adept at turning any situation into a valuable teaching.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  10. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post

    Getting reminded I am a teacher. This is a short aside. A day ago I sent Jundo a picture of calligraphy for some scrolls I was going to make for our soon to be Unsui. Just a gift to congratulate them and welcome them to the priesthood. These scrolls were a dragon talisman that is traditionally given to traveling Unsui. Jundo politely asked me not to make the scrolls because the Hobbit movie ruined dragons for him. I am kidding of course. Treeleaf is about Dogens Shikantaza and the more esoteric elements of Soto Zen have been dropped because Jundos teacher Nishijima didn’t put any emphasis in them. It is why we don’t chant any Dharanis. What he also did without saying a word is remind me that I am a teacher and I need to be careful what I do. While meant to be an artful gift there is a chance that it could be perceived as a new treeleaf document or teaching. Just as we are practitioners and as practitioners on this path we are always practicing. I am a teacher and always teaching and must be just as careful about that as I am me practice.
    I want to explain that a bit, Jinkan.

    So, I consider myself an unabashed Buddhist modernist who seeks to retain ancient, traditional Teachings and Practices which have meaning and power, but to leave aside some things which smack more of spiritualism, superstition, hocus-pocus, hidden mysterious forces and the like. My teacher, Nishijima, was pretty much just the same on such things. I do recognize that belief alone has a certain "power," but I feel that sooth-saying, incantation and magical beliefs are something we can do with a bit less of in Buddhism, at least in this Sangha (folks who like those things can find plenty of that in other places.)

    The dragon talisman, a "Ryuten-jiku," is this, a scroll (軸 Jiku) dedicated to the Ryuten (龍天 "Dragon Heavenly (Beings)"), protective deities of Zen temples and monks:

    [E]ach Soto monastery usually had its own local protective spirit. In the Soto school these protective deities are known by the generic term ryuten. Zen monks were expected not only to provide ordinations for ryuten but also to chant scripture for them as well. Significantly, Soto monks did not regard these rituals as supplications of a superior being. Instead, Soto kirikami [traditional explanatory documents] describe the ryuten as being on the same inferior level as ordinary people because they lack the Buddhist precepts necessary for enlightenment. Moreover, in some Soto kirikami the ryuten were described as being abstract symbols, not real beings. For example, a sanwa (i.e., koan) initiation document passed down in the Ryoan line states that ryuten are personifications of the same mind possessed naturally by all men. According to this document, we do not realize that the ryuten exist within each of us because we literally believe that kami protect Buddhism in exchange for having received the precepts. It states, however, that the real ryuten are the original mind realized during Zen meditation. If one realizes that original mind, then one sees that there are no external ryuten. Evil actions, however, will cause the original mind to dissolve away. In other words, it is not the power of the precepts that cause kami to protect Buddhism, but the implementation of the precepts through Zen meditation that protects Buddhism. In this document, precept ordinations for kami, which might seem more like folk religion than Zen practice, are redefined through koan language in order to produce a new interpretation of this practice. In typical Zen fashion, the question of ryuten is turned into a reflection on the depth and purity of one’s own religious practice. -- From 'Soto Zen in Medieval Japan'
    Here is an example:


    So, I asked Jinkan to gift something else as a scroll, not such a protective talisman.

    However, as it says, the real dragon is truly empty. Also, now that I read Jinkan's words, I have come instead to see that this Dragon God Scroll DOES have real power ... the power of Jinkan's friendship and generosity toward those he was making them for. So, Jinkan, on that basis, should you wish to make and gift them after all, I think it lovely to do so ... please, let me drop my objection ...

    ... so long, of course, as we do not think of them as actual "talisman" talismans.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2023 at 02:58 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #161
    Thank you Jinkan. Your words always touch me deeply.

    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 - JAJ

  12. #162
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    I first want to share that I feel like I have let you all down having no new illness or hospitalization. I started licking door knobs coming up on this Friday in hopes of the flesh eating virus or at least thrush. Hopefully it is obvious that I am being facetious and Im am feeling somewhat ok which is doing grand for me.
    I want to expound a little about what I wrote last time in regards to studying. I was asked why do I continue to study if I get next to nothing from it. If I am retaining so little why do add this burden onto me already heavy load. Isn’t it a worthless endeavor if nothing is retained. My reply is that it is difficult and often frustrating but never worthless. It is practice just as sitting and sewing. When we sit we just sit we don’t seek enlightenment, samadhi, or wisdom. When we sew we just sew if a Kesa or Rakusu manifest that is just the same as if they don’t. It is the same for me with reading. I sit with the book struggle with words and read. I don’t hope for retention or even comprehension I just except whatever comes from the practice. That doesn’t mean to say that I am implying apathy and indifference. I read with right mind and concentration not with what might at first seems indifference. It is actually non attachment. So please remember when you use right understanding and right action there is no meaningless or worthless activity.
    I lastly need to talk about gifts and money. I was recently offered money from a person who has really appreciated these small talks. I have never been offered money before and probably never again. That said I still want clarify that I cannot except any gifts monetary or otherwise. If you want to support me donate to Treeleaf and the Monastery of Open Doors but only if you have that desire I am not soliciting. I wrote this because as a teacher I haven’t had to deal with this and thought clarification might be in order. If I was doing takuhatsu I could ethically except a donation since I am not on an alms round I cannot. The Dharma is here free for all and please know you don’t need to pay or support me. I am not trying to solicit funds when I talk about being poor or medical bills. I am trying to point towards practicing through adversity.
    Gassho,
    JinKan
    Sat

  13. #163
    I taught for money and that was a long time ago, had got me was computerization of the whole business, and that I felt the emphasis moved away from the actual act of composing an essay as for of beauty and that when I taught Rhetoric students paid attention to writers, and they came into universities to get an education. Now books are burned in Texas my beloved Walt Whitman from whom I learned the body electric, and when lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed And That young man coming of age, but for me it was younger, I couldn't stand it. It's not poetry its portrait of a young man and, and the doubleness wherever the child they could destroy good coming of age books I loved, and when I discovered Tolstoy and Anna Karina, that was it Christian Socialism but I went on, I didn't stop there, I wanted to be a writer, so first I brushed up my knowledge of James Tate and Naruda, then came Solzinestian or did it take place in 1917. He predicted the prisons of the US and this being the country I came to Treeleaf begging to get ready for death and at first, right from the first I wanted to go to Japan and be with the place where Nuclear War had been actually, been wagged, and of course then they discovered fire bombing was just as horrible, and then, my own daughter had stood at ground zero and wept, and I wept for her because I read close to Snowy Mountains in the east that had escaped these atrocities only because Dogen had been hiding in the first place, like me at age 71 WHEN I CAN DO NO GOOD, but I just keep writing and hope for a miracle at Ukraine, where fighting may go on and these mad men have missals parked at the boarder's. I sit for peace as often as I can what good does it do to watch the clock and once we went over the 30 minutes because I felt deep in my bones, I was doing some good. Finally I am ready for death, because they decided I don't have schizophrenia but just bipolar, and I believe then wrong because I am atypical, and now they say I'm normal and praying and sitting for Peace and there is the Middle East where the Saudis have struck a deal that freedom may come crashing down I Am Malala will be a fortress and I sit for women because they may be burdened first, then men, then children. Please God, please our Buddha make a difference, my own daughter studies Peace in Japan and slowly literature in Twitter is being destroyed under the guise of room for their passwords, and storage, good bye moon, my daughter's favorite, and now she sees dad making his stand zazen every day and sometimes two or three times a day. Will it make a difference in my atypical normal behavior at least, I weep for my friends at Treeleaf see me as normal and my therapist also says I am normal, but then there is that last diagnosis bipolar what...JinKan studies peace every day, please friend can we get well together, or are we pushed to the brink, we can make a difference your getting well is a stand for peace...
    Gasho
    Sat/lah
    Tai Shi
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  14. #164
    I'm glad you are feeling somewhat better, JinKan. Thank you for your teachings on letting go of expectations and that your teachings are freely given.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  15. #165
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    I’m going to talk about failing and failures in regards to zazen practice. I use the word failing a lot and I used to say that I was often failing. I choose to use failing because failed has an air of finality. You can change your failings but once you have failed that’s it. So what is the great advice to give when a person feels that they are failing or feeling they have failed in zazen.
    Sit! Just sit. Sit whether you feel you have failed or you have great insights. If I just tell you that you haven’t failed and that there is no good or bad zazen. That may just seem a platitude offered in comfort. You need to sit failure until it is let go. Accepting it as the impermanent ephemeral thoughts and feelings it is. There is only one way to fail at zazen and that is to stop sitting. Sitting is just sitting. It isn’t a medicine for suffering. It isn’t something you fail or succeed at. Not good nor bad. Those moments when you truly perceive sitting as just sitting free of any distinction you have touched the truth of practice. On butt or back you cross the finish line of the goalless goal. The race may seem to end and then all of a sudden start anew. In those moments of truly sitting in hi-shiryo there is no race no goal. No attaining and no enlightenment. You will suddenly experience what all those words some of which you may have been attached to were pointing too.
    So again I say Sit. Sit with illness and fears of death. Sit with the idea zazen is a waste of time. Sit with frustration, elation and pain.
    Sit with faith knowing you are doing all that need be done. Sit with knowing you are living and truly embodying life. Sit without grasping. Sit until you are just sitting. Then your mind will be like a mirror just reflecting. The mirror doesn’t choose what it reflects and doesn’t hold on to images. It’s just reflects.
    Sit! Sit until you are just sitting.

    Here is a brief story of letting go of being a picky eater in the temple. I have always been told I’m a picky eater. The problem is I have a lot of allergies and I also have a very visceral reaction to foods I don’t like in the form of vomiting. So when I did some training in a Rinzai temple I hit a road block. I was told I had to eat whatever was put in front of me. For me this was a very hard practice. I have an aversion to vinegary foods such as pickles and I have always hated cabbage. In general I outside of ramen I dislike Japanese food in general. Sacrilege I know but it’s the truth. At 6’1” I dropped to 125 pounds from 180. Which is a little less than what chemo Covid and a heart surgery have done. At me beefiest before chemo I was 265 and now I’m 205. That massive weight loss in Japan was in the course of a few months while the other has been years. So I was constantly forcing me self to eat foods I knew I would throw up or getting jaundice because me G6PD was reacting to all the soy. After the third epipen I went to the monk in charge and told him that me body is a better teacher than him. He needed to drop his attachment to forcing me to eat foods that were making me sick. You are going to kill me listening to me body will allow me to keep practicing. The abbot was told of our interaction and pulled me aside. I thought I was about to get chewed out for talking back to a senior student. Which would have been especially embarrassing here because I would have gotten it through a translator. The Roshi hit me on the back and said I was waiting for you to speak up. He poked me in the chest with his fan and said listen to your body sometimes it is the best teacher. His words spoke the truth I learned through practice.
    Gassho
    JinKan

  16. #166
    Thank you, JinKan.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  17. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post
    Iím going to talk about failing and failures in regards to zazen practice. I use the word failing a lot and I used to say that I was often failing. I choose to use failing because failed has an air of finality. You can change your failings but once you have failed thatís it. So what is the great advice to give when a person feels that they are failing or feeling they have failed in zazen.
    Sit! Just sit. Sit whether you feel you have failed or you have great insights. If I just tell you that you havenít failed and that there is no good or bad zazen. That may just seem a platitude offered in comfort. You need to sit failure until it is let go. Accepting it as the impermanent ephemeral thoughts and feelings it is. There is only one way to fail at zazen and that is to stop sitting. Sitting is just sitting. It isnít a medicine for suffering. It isnít something you fail or succeed at. Not good nor bad. Those moments when you truly perceive sitting as just sitting free of any distinction you have touched the truth of practice. On butt or back you cross the finish line of the goalless goal. The race may seem to end and then all of a sudden start anew. In those moments of truly sitting in hi-shiryo there is no race no goal. No attaining and no enlightenment. You will suddenly experience what all those words some of which you may have been attached to were pointing too.
    So again I say Sit. Sit with illness and fears of death. Sit with the idea zazen is a waste of time. Sit with frustration, elation and pain.
    Sit with faith knowing you are doing all that need be done. Sit with knowing you are living and truly embodying life. Sit without grasping. Sit until you are just sitting. Then your mind will be like a mirror just reflecting. The mirror doesnít choose what it reflects and doesnít hold on to images. Itís just reflects.
    Sit! Sit until you are just sitting.

    Here is a brief story of letting go of being a picky eater in the temple. I have always been told Iím a picky eater. The problem is I have a lot of allergies and I also have a very visceral reaction to foods I donít like in the form of vomiting. So when I did some training in a Rinzai temple I hit a road block. I was told I had to eat whatever was put in front of me. For me this was a very hard practice. I have an aversion to vinegary foods such as pickles and I have always hated cabbage. In general I outside of ramen I dislike Japanese food in general. Sacrilege I know but itís the truth. At 6í1Ē I dropped to 125 pounds from 180. Which is a little less than what chemo Covid and a heart surgery have done. At me beefiest before chemo I was 265 and now Iím 205. That massive weight loss in Japan was in the course of a few months while the other has been years. So I was constantly forcing me self to eat foods I knew I would throw up or getting jaundice because me G6PD was reacting to all the soy. After the third epipen I went to the monk in charge and told him that me body is a better teacher than him. He needed to drop his attachment to forcing me to eat foods that were making me sick. You are going to kill me listening to me body will allow me to keep practicing. The abbot was told of our interaction and pulled me aside. I thought I was about to get chewed out for talking back to a senior student. Which would have been especially embarrassing here because I would have gotten it through a translator. The Roshi hit me on the back and said I was waiting for you to speak up. He poked me in the chest with his fan and said listen to your body sometimes it is the best teacher. His words spoke the truth I learned through practice.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Lovely and wise words! Thank you!

    Sat Today
    Bion
    -------------------------
    When you put Buddhaís activity into practice, only then are you a buddha. When you act like a fool, then youíre a fool.

  18. #168
    Thank You, Jinkan.

    Gassho Myosho

    Sat

  19. #169
    JinKan, nothing I ever went to begins to compare. Remember your words are your words--no one can copy, ever come close to your truth; tell us a measure of truth far beyond. I only hope to understand your agony.
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Taishi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 05-26-2023 at 02:35 PM. Reason: truth
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  20. #170
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    Clovis, California U.S.A
    So I struggled with what to talk about this week. I started up chemotherapy and was able to take comfort in me skill at throwing up but I had no great insights from the porcelain throne. As me head hovered over it expelling things I hadn’t even realized I had eaten. I briefly worried about being late in this update and missing out on our monthly precepts renewal ceremony. I let those worries go as soon as they arose because I accepted that the state me health was in wasn’t conducive to writing or participating in a ceremony. Never once did I think of this week’s practice in a negative way because I long ago realized (though sometimes I forget) there is no good or bad practice. I was in the heart our practice excepting it for what it is. Sitting or in many cases hovering over a toilet bowl. As I was sitting or hoverings I was just sitting for sittings sake. Most of our sittings is biennial and often boring interspersed with twinges of pain. Truly accepting that is the heart of our practice and also a great revelation born from practice. So when I say I didn’t have a great revelation and still practiced through vomiting and pain that is actually the greatest revelation I can share with you. This weeks update is I still practiced through chemotherapy and pain.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat

  21. #171
    Thank you for your practice, JinKan. Your post is a reminder that practice isn't an escape. I hope you feel better, though.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  22. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post
    So I struggled with what to talk about this week. I started up chemotherapy and was able to take comfort in me skill at throwing up but I had no great insights from the porcelain throne. As me head hovered over it expelling things I hadnít even realized I had eaten. I briefly worried about being late in this update and missing out on our monthly precepts renewal ceremony. I let those worries go as soon as they arose because I accepted that the state me health was in wasnít conducive to writing or participating in a ceremony. Never once did I think of this weekís practice in a negative way because I long ago realized (though sometimes I forget) there is no good or bad practice. I was in the heart our practice excepting it for what it is. Sitting or in many cases hovering over a toilet bowl. As I was sitting or hoverings I was just sitting for sittings sake. Most of our sittings is biennial and often boring interspersed with twinges of pain. Truly accepting that is the heart of our practice and also a great revelation born from practice. So when I say I didnít have a great revelation and still practiced through vomiting and pain that is actually the greatest revelation I can share with you. This weeks update is I still practiced through chemotherapy and pain.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat
    Well, you were very much present in my thoughts at our Full Moon Precept Ceremony.
    Always grateful for you and your words

    Sat
    Bion
    -------------------------
    When you put Buddhaís activity into practice, only then are you a buddha. When you act like a fool, then youíre a fool.

  23. #173
    I think you were fully present at the Full Moon Ceremony, as your "full moon" hovered over the sacred water altar.

    I think that your Precepts have been well renewed, no fears.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #174
    Jinkan,

    I donít comment often in most of the forum areas but I do read your posts. They are a teaching I value. Thank you.

    Doshin
    St

  25. #175
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
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    Many of you have probably heard the saying, the cloths make the man. Today I am going to talk about robes and being visible as a priest its upsides and the potential downsides. Before I start this is not me making a case for or against robes. These just are me own personal experiences with them and opinions about them. If you have any questions about them as Unsui soon to be Unsui or laity please look to Jundo.

    Here at Treeleaf priest are expected to own a set of monastic robes and know how to don them properly. For those who have excepted precepts you are invited to sew and wear a rakusu and Kesa if you so chose but you are not required to wear lay robes or samue. Nishijama often said he felt like he was wearing a Chinese costume from some ancient dynasty. He taught many of his western students to create their own forms of liturgy and practice. Jundo often wears shorts in the zendo instead of full regalia and Nishijima would often don the Kesa over business attire or a samue. So then if we can take or leave these ancient Chinese trappings why do we still wear them? Is there a point to wearing robes with sleeves that have enough fabric in them to drown a child.

    There are many reasons why we should still wear the robe. I wear a traditional Buddhist outfit daily. I have been wearing samue since before me ordination. After ordination I added the rakusu to it or sometimes robes. I am visibly recognizable as a Buddhist priest wherever I go.

    I’m going to back track a little. In me youth I was a Capuchin Franciscan it was drilled into me that as a Friar I had to always wear the habit (monastic robe). The Catholic Church after Vatican 2 found significant drops in vocations in those communities that dropped the habit and traditional modes of worship. So it has been me karma to have these ideas drilled into me head in regards to the wearing of robes and they influenced me at first. It was Jundo teaching by example that guided me to how I adapted wearing me priestly robes.

    Jundo gave me great examples in wearing full traditional robes for solemn ceremonies like ordinations and Jukai while doing Zazenkai in shorts and a Rakusu. He showed me that form (wearing or not wearing robes) can be a way to express what words fail express. In wearing robes during solemn ceremonies he not only shows solemnity for the occasion but also is wearing the practice and tradition. In wearing shorts he is showing we don’t need to be attached to forms. You can practice Shikantaza and have reverence for tradition while not dying of heat stroke under heavy robes. Using this guidance I no longer felt the need wear the robes like I did as a Franciscan. I may pretty much wear Buddhist attire all the time but I am no longer compelled to wear it constantly. Instead through Jundo and Nishijimas teachings I know it does not matter what I wear because what I wear doesn’t define me as a priest it is me practice that does the defining. Me practice makes visibly recognizable as a Buddhist priest wherever I go.

    So if as a priest you decide to wear the robes outside here are some of the things that will happen to you. You will be asked a lot of questions. If you are wearing a samue and rakusu. You may be asked if you do martial arts or why are you wearing a bib. Through these questions you may be able to open dialogue and share the Dharma or be ridiculed, mocked or proselytized too. You may be offered gifts or have a beer can chucked at your head. You can be overwhelmed with kindness and get swollen ego from undeserved accolades. You can also have doors open up for you. For me it allows people to identify me as clergy at the Doctors and serve through pastoral care but if you are not prepared for that it can be a shocker. To shorten this considerably. If form doesn’t matter why then do I wear robes. I wear the because I am often not sharing the Dharma with the enlightened and practitioners but with non Buddhist for whom form still holds sway. A nurse will be more willing to allow me to hug a patient and chat with them if I look a priest than if I wear a hideous Hawaiian shirt (Bernie Glassman is the exception to this). So follow Jundo and follow life’s dictates. Wear them as needed and equally let them go.

    All in all remember like Shikantaza robes are just robes neither good nor bad. The Kesa that wraps a practitioners heart is just as good as the one that wraps the body.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat

  26. #176
    Thank you Jinkan

    stlah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  27. #177
    Many thanks, JinKan.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  28. #178


    Gassho, Tokan

    satlah
    平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  29. #179

  30. #180
    Thank you, Jinkan

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

  31. #181
    Only a Lay member, I have another duty to help with poetry by encouragement, my writing, occasionally ask Jundo's to post something longer than 3 lines. I wear a black robe, in reality a gift from my daughter--student, translator and teacher of Japanese, formal visitor to Japan many times, man's Japanese housecoat, looks like a robe, I feel comfortable wearing this at Lay member occasions.
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  32. #182
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Clovis, California U.S.A
    A few days ago I had to go to the pain clinic to get a refill of me pain medication. I’m back on two different chemotherapies and need it to be somewhat functional. In me experiences the pain clinic is a completely different beast than going to other doctors. I’m forced to go here because me oncologist works out of a clinic that has their own pharmacy and requires him to send prescriptions to their pharmacy. I am his patient through an experimental treatment study and cCare Cancer Center will not take me insurance. So I get an extra doctors appointment every month with nurse practitioners who are not used to treating cancer patients. The nurse’s often ignore the oncologist’s notes and frequently under prescribe medications because they fear losing their license if they prescribe the right dosage so I am trapped in a situation that could be frustrating, anxiety inducing and anger inducing. If I let it. If I cling to certain thoughts for example,I really hate this system. If I cling to that I can miss out can on so much. Focusing on anxieties and anger I could miss out on another’s pain and maybe the chance to serve. I could miss out on the chance to put the Bodhisattva vows to use and maybe even help someone see the Buddha nature.

    So I left for the pain clinic letting go trepidation and anxiety and went to a doctors office where you encounter pain in its myriad forms. I entered a waiting room with a very palpable sense of urgency and unease. There was a lady in a corner without a mask on coughing away and getting up every 30 seconds to tell the lady at the front desk that she was really ill and needed to be seen right away. I heard a man in the back yelling and a nurse yelling back that they would call the police if he didn’t calm down. I saw a man through the window run up to the office door and as soon as he got to the door put on a knee brace and affected an exaggerated limp as he entered the office. I saw pain and I only was able to see it because I let go of anger and anxiety.

    If I had clung to anger and anxiety I would have stayed angry at the lady without a mask coughing up a storm and putting me immune compromised self at risk (found out later she had Covid). Letting go of those feelings I was able to truly see her pain. I was able to see she was flush and probably running a bad fever so she probably wasn’t thinking straight. I was able see her badly bowed and malformed legs and the pain each step cost her. If I hadn’t let go anger I would have stayed angry at the man who was faking his injuries to get medication. Instead of seeing his pale complexion and cold sweats. I wouldn’t have seen his dry heaving or his nervous twitching leg. I would have missed out on seeing the pain of withdrawal in this man and even deeper the pain of addiction.

    You might ask isn’t anger in these situations justified. What some would call righteous. I would say that it is justified and expected but there is no need to cling to it. The woman without a mask coughing made me angry because she was putting me self and others at risk. I let that go and offered her the extra mask I keep in me bag. The man who was faking his injuries to get medication. I could have got angry at the fact that he may be taking medication that pharmacies are having trouble filling because of a medication shortage from me. A person who needs that medication. I let that anger go and thought of ways I might help him. I also let the nurse know what I saw and it turns out they already knew he was an addict.

    That is taking what is learned through Shikantaza taking it off the mat and putting that knowledge into practice. Through Shikantaza we let go of thoughts and emotions and arrive at seeing truth between the falling and rising of them. Through Shikantaza we are tasting of the cup of the infinite that can be found in the present. In that emptiness that the manifest arises from we are shown truth. For me in that waiting room I saw the truth and that truth contained pain. So take your practice into the world and let go of thoughts and emotions just as you do on the mat. Let go of anger, joy, fears and anxiety knowing they are drifting clouds in the vast expanse of your mind. Let go so you may experience the truth of the present and in that truth you….
    Well you will see what the patriarchs saw.

    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat
    I apologize if this isn’t fully coherent. Chemotherapy is kicking me butt and me medication was out of stock again so I have to deal with quite a bit of pain for the next couple of days.
    Last edited by Jinkan; 06-16-2023 at 12:41 AM.

  33. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post
    A few days ago I had to go to the pain clinic to get a refill of me pain medication. Iím back on two different chemotherapies and need it to be somewhat functional. In me experiences the pain clinic is a completely different beast than going to other doctors. Iím forced to go here because me oncologist works out of a clinic that has their own pharmacy and requires him to send prescriptions to their pharmacy. I am his patient through an experimental treatment study and cCare Cancer Center will not take me insurance. So I get an extra doctors appointment every month with nurse practitioners who are not used to treating cancer patients. The nurseís often ignore the oncologistís notes and frequently under prescribe medications because they fear losing their license if they prescribe the right dosage so I am trapped in a situation that could be frustrating, anxiety inducing and anger inducing. If I let it. If I cling to certain thoughts for example,I really hate this system. If I cling to that I can miss out can on so much. Focusing on anxieties and anger I could miss out on anotherís pain and maybe the chance to serve. I could miss out on the chance to put the Bodhisattva vows to use and maybe even help someone see the Buddha nature.

    So I left for the pain clinic letting go trepidation and anxiety and went to a doctors office where you encounter pain in its myriad forms. I entered a waiting room with a very palpable sense of urgency and unease. There was a lady in a corner without a mask on coughing away and getting up every 30 seconds to tell the lady at the front desk that she was really ill and needed to be seen right away. I heard a man in the back yelling and a nurse yelling back that they would call the police if he didnít calm down. I saw a man through the window run up to the office door and as soon as he got to the door put on a knee brace and affected an exaggerated limp as he entered the office. I saw pain and I only was able to see it because I let go of anger and anxiety.

    If I had clung to anger and anxiety I would have stayed angry at the lady without a mask coughing up a storm and putting me immune compromised self at risk (found out later she had Covid). Letting go of those feelings I was able to truly see her pain. I was able to see she was flush and probably running a bad fever so she probably wasnít thinking straight. I was able see her badly bowed and malformed legs and the pain each step cost her. If I hadnít let go anger I would have stayed angry at the man who was faking his injuries to get medication. Instead of seeing his pale complexion and cold sweats. I wouldnít have seen his dry heaving or his nervous twitching leg. I would have missed out on seeing the pain of withdrawal in this man and even deeper the pain of addiction.

    You might ask isnít anger in these situations justified. What some would call righteous. I would say that it is justified and expected but there is no need to cling to it. The woman without a mask coughing made me angry because she was putting me self and others at risk. I let that go and offered her the extra mask I keep in me bag. The man who was faking his injuries to get medication. I could have got angry at the fact that he may be taking medication that pharmacies are having trouble filling because of a medication shortage from me. A person who needs that medication. I let that anger go and thought of ways I might help him. I also let the nurse know what I saw and it turns out they already knew he was an addict.

    That is taking what is learned through Shikantaza taking it off the mat and putting that knowledge into practice. Through Shikantaza we let go of thoughts and emotions and arrive at seeing truth between the falling and rising of them. Through Shikantaza we are tasting of the cup of the infinite that can be found in the present. In that emptiness that the manifest arises from we are shown truth. For me in that waiting room I saw the truth and that truth contained pain. So take your practice into the world and let go of thoughts and emotions just as you do on the mat. Let go of anger, joy, fears and anxiety knowing they are drifting clouds in the vast expanse of your mind. Let go so you may experience the truth of the present and in that truth youÖ.
    Well you will see what the patriarchs saw.

    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat
    I apologize if this isnít fully coherent. Chemotherapy is kicking me butt and me medication was out of stock again so I have to deal with quite a bit of pain for the next couple of days.
    My arthritis is so bad sometimes my pain ma paralyzed and I canít move or think about anything but my Wife applies Lidocaine patches to my chest lower back upper back and my neck. Sometimes my pain is so bad I canít walk or bend and I have minimal mobility in pain but able to move. My therapist helps me with pain tolerance but my pain level is about 7 and I have difficulty breathing and thinking about it all day long so Iím medicated with Lidocaine and Fentanyl patch with a low dose pain patch. I also take two oral non narcotic high strength prescription medications and a high strength muscle relaxer. There is nothing that can be done to prevent this pain. My vertebrae are fused essentially in neck, chest and lower vertebrae. I exercise to maintain range of movement but my movement is not great! I usually have to turn my whole body around when I want to turn my head around. I always lean 10 degrees to the left and the left side has collapsed causes me to always lean towards the left. My head rests on the spine which is called bamboo spine because all my discs are gone and ridges have formed in each back vertebrae. I receive Radio Frequency Ablation to help with the pain. This is shooting microwaves into the facets of each joint and essentially nullifying the nerves for 6 to 11 months. I have four doctors involved with my pain care. My Rheumatologist assured me that I am on the strongest biological medication which I take every 25 days injections to my stomach. In addition every organ in my body has been effected by Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have lived a long time with pain. The pain became nearly impossible when I was 40. The early medication damaged my kidneys and I have stage four kidney failure. I have lived longer than normal for my entire body conditions an side effects from my medication. I am 71 and I can expect to live longer though I had a brain tumor removed 18 months ago. I am alive and I can walk and move my hands because of joint replacement surgery and medication. My muscles do the job of many bones and joints. I have had physical therapy and occupational therapy for years and with walking and exercise, I can do much more than expected. My emotional health has been effected by pain and discomfort that I feel 24/7. I have a pacemaker and I have difficulty seeing because of my arthritis or Ankylosing Spondylitis. The auto immune disease has nearly eliminated my ability to see. I have a condition called Macular Pucker and Iritis. My feet are disfigured and I wear orthopedic inserts. Now that I am 71 almost 72, I feel Arthritis in my feet and hands. There is to be said. Old age has been hard for me to find useful.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  34. #184
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post
    A few days ago I had to go to the pain clinic to get a refill of me pain medication. I’m back on two different chemotherapies and need it to be somewhat functional. In me experiences the pain clinic is a completely different beast than going to other doctors. I’m forced to go here because me oncologist works out of a clinic that has their own pharmacy and requires him to send prescriptions to their pharmacy. I am his patient through an experimental treatment study and cCare Cancer Center will not take me insurance. So I get an extra doctors appointment every month with nurse practitioners who are not used to treating cancer patients. The nurse’s often ignore the oncologist’s notes and frequently under prescribe medications because they fear losing their license if they prescribe the right dosage so I am trapped in a situation that could be frustrating, anxiety inducing and anger inducing. If I let it. If I cling to certain thoughts for example,I really hate this system. If I cling to that I can miss out can on so much. Focusing on anxieties and anger I could miss out on another’s pain and maybe the chance to serve. I could miss out on the chance to put the Bodhisattva vows to use and maybe even help someone see the Buddha nature.

    So I left for the pain clinic letting go trepidation and anxiety and went to a doctors office where you encounter pain in its myriad forms. I entered a waiting room with a very palpable sense of urgency and unease. There was a lady in a corner without a mask on coughing away and getting up every 30 seconds to tell the lady at the front desk that she was really ill and needed to be seen right away. I heard a man in the back yelling and a nurse yelling back that they would call the police if he didn’t calm down. I saw a man through the window run up to the office door and as soon as he got to the door put on a knee brace and affected an exaggerated limp as he entered the office. I saw pain and I only was able to see it because I let go of anger and anxiety.

    If I had clung to anger and anxiety I would have stayed angry at the lady without a mask coughing up a storm and putting me immune compromised self at risk (found out later she had Covid). Letting go of those feelings I was able to truly see her pain. I was able to see she was flush and probably running a bad fever so she probably wasn’t thinking straight. I was able see her badly bowed and malformed legs and the pain each step cost her. If I hadn’t let go anger I would have stayed angry at the man who was faking his injuries to get medication. Instead of seeing his pale complexion and cold sweats. I wouldn’t have seen his dry heaving or his nervous twitching leg. I would have missed out on seeing the pain of withdrawal in this man and even deeper the pain of addiction.

    You might ask isn’t anger in these situations justified. What some would call righteous. I would say that it is justified and expected but there is no need to cling to it. The woman without a mask coughing made me angry because she was putting me self and others at risk. I let that go and offered her the extra mask I keep in me bag. The man who was faking his injuries to get medication. I could have got angry at the fact that he may be taking medication that pharmacies are having trouble filling because of a medication shortage from me. A person who needs that medication. I let that anger go and thought of ways I might help him. I also let the nurse know what I saw and it turns out they already knew he was an addict.

    That is taking what is learned through Shikantaza taking it off the mat and putting that knowledge into practice. Through Shikantaza we let go of thoughts and emotions and arrive at seeing truth between the falling and rising of them. Through Shikantaza we are tasting of the cup of the infinite that can be found in the present. In that emptiness that the manifest arises from we are shown truth. For me in that waiting room I saw the truth and that truth contained pain. So take your practice into the world and let go of thoughts and emotions just as you do on the mat. Let go of anger, joy, fears and anxiety knowing they are drifting clouds in the vast expanse of your mind. Let go so you may experience the truth of the present and in that truth you….
    Well you will see what the patriarchs saw.

    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat
    I apologize if this isn’t fully coherent. Chemotherapy is kicking me butt and me medication was out of stock again so I have to deal with quite a bit of pain for the next couple of days.
    Thank you, JinKan. Your practice is beautiful, but I hope you find relief for your pain. Thank you for your dharma missives.

    Gassho, Onkai
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  35. #185
    I have learned to be more careful and alert because of Shikantaza. Since coming to Treeleaf my attitude has changed and usually I am not so negative as I was 7 years ago though I am still not positive all the time and I must sit 30 minutes to an hour for emotional support and I believe Shikantaza has allowed me to change my mind about pain.
    Gassho
    sat/lah



    Yes you are teaching me humility and your humanity is neatly displayed in depth realization and awareness of your true self has woven into our zendo everlasting and profound journey of self improvement in kindness and compassion in empathy and compassion for human suffering selflessly and with love regardless of your permanent disability and disability remains central in connection with our spiritual journey to nothingness being in Nothingness you teach me to love and know kindness as I remember the long lines to be discovered at public service when I was twenty five and tried to teach myself how I could be my own journey to childish poverty in my very aware that you struggle in meaningful ways to raise spoon of love to lips of joy and intimacy with intimacy and inspiration in suffering your heart teachings have been so maculate gracious in prophetic ways to linger in your mind for all Buddhas thank me for your service to me I will always remember your words in my prayers and meditation in morning when I sit in your presence and contemplate your love for all your human beings in your presence as I pray for you in my metta. Grateful is too much easy love from my heart and joy and my children of loving kindness you will always be remembered for your divine mercy and dignity. Thank you
    Gassho
    sat/ lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  36. #186
    Hey thank ya that you are right thank you for your reply and sending me love thank you over and over again and over thank you for your kind employees for ultimate equity!
    Gasp bless your soul my dear friend in your kindness and humility always makes me feel so special and loved by your people in this life and magical reality thank you over and over again and thank you for suffering for all of us that needed you in our hearts say tears of reality!
    Gassho is too easy
    Gating gratuitous for our inadequacy and we bow deeply
    sat is never enough
    Lend a hand
    Gassho
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  37. #187
    Thank you, JinKan, for this so important teaching.

    Gassho
    ZenKen sattoday
    Prioritising great gratitude.

    ZenKen (Anna)
    禅犬

  38. #188
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Clovis, California U.S.A
    So I am writing this at 2am on me birthday because I’m in a ton of pain and can’t sleep. I had someone tell me one time was all I need to do was just meditate I don’t need medication. Meditation is the cure for pain and the rest of life’s ills. This thinking is wrong on many levels and is antithetical to Shikantaza. Pain is just pain and a part of life. There is no cure for pain just alleviation sometimes and pain is really not something we get attached to unless you are a masocist. It the things around pain that cause attachment. The desire to not be in pain or the fears you will never be free of pain. As I sat in the dark with jaw clenched and muscles spasming from the shooting pain in me abdomen,chest and back it wasn’t pain that me mind attached to. Pain was experienced and let go easily as it receded. The thoughts that me mind tried to cling to like they were looped tracks were, why do I have to be in pain like this on me birthday, I’m so tired of hurting will this ever end and why can’t I be healthy. With years of practice I still had pain and I was still bombarded with these thoughts.

    So why then sit. Isn’t the whole purpose of Buddhist meditation to alleviate and eventually eliminate suffering. Isn’t pain suffering and if it isn’t stopping pain then how can it claim to end suffering.

    Shikantaza is just Shikantaza and pain is just pain. It the distinctions we make in regards to them that lead to suffering. So when we sit we try to free ourselves of distinctions and criterion. We accept all thoughts not fighting them or pushing them aside but letting them go. Like white paint blended into a white canvas. The paint is there but there is nothing for eyes to cling to. No form no shape and no distinction so you see the whole. So when I have these thoughts, why do I have to be in pain like this on me birthday, I’m so tired of hurting will this ever end and why can’t I be healthy. When I cling to them pain is bad, pain is negative and pain is something to run away from(distinctions and suffering). When I let them go and see the whole pain is just pain and suffering is slowly abated. So sit Shikantaza whole heartedly without distinction. Sit with faith knowing that sitting is all that need be done and your sitting is perfect. Sit so that the paint becomes indistinguishable from the canvas.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat

  39. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinkan View Post
    So I am writing this at 2am on me birthday because Iím in a ton of pain and canít sleep. I had someone tell me one time was all I need to do was just meditate I donít need medication. Meditation is the cure for pain and the rest of lifeís ills. This thinking is wrong on many levels and is antithetical to Shikantaza. Pain is just pain and a part of life. There is no cure for pain just alleviation sometimes and pain is really not something we get attached to unless you are a masocist. It the things around pain that cause attachment. The desire to not be in pain or the fears you will never be free of pain. As I sat in the dark with jaw clenched and muscles spasming from the shooting pain in me abdomen,chest and back it wasnít pain that me mind attached to. Pain was experienced and let go easily as it receded. The thoughts that me mind tried to cling to like they were looped tracks were, why do I have to be in pain like this on me birthday, Iím so tired of hurting will this ever end and why canít I be healthy. With years of practice I still had pain and I was still bombarded with these thoughts.

    So why then sit. Isnít the whole purpose of Buddhist meditation to alleviate and eventually eliminate suffering. Isnít pain suffering and if it isnít stopping pain then how can it claim to end suffering.

    Shikantaza is just Shikantaza and pain is just pain. It the distinctions we make in regards to them that lead to suffering. So when we sit we try to free ourselves of distinctions and criterion. We accept all thoughts not fighting them or pushing them aside but letting them go. Like white paint blended into a white canvas. The paint is there but there is nothing for eyes to cling to. No form no shape and no distinction so you see the whole. So when I have these thoughts, why do I have to be in pain like this on me birthday, Iím so tired of hurting will this ever end and why canít I be healthy. When I cling to them pain is bad, pain is negative and pain is something to run away from(distinctions and suffering). When I let them go and see the whole pain is just pain and suffering is slowly abated. So sit Shikantaza whole heartedly without distinction. Sit with faith knowing that sitting is all that need be done and your sitting is perfect. Sit so that the paint becomes indistinguishable from the canvas.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat
    A pain-free birthday to you, brother! I hope it subsides!!

    Sat Today
    Bion
    -------------------------
    When you put Buddhaís activity into practice, only then are you a buddha. When you act like a fool, then youíre a fool.

  40. #190
    Every moment is your birthday, and you are as old as the universe too, Jin.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  41. #191
    I am so sorry you are in so much pain. The situation is not bleak. If you are 55 or before, you may have stamina for so much pain. My aim began at age 60. With exercise and meditations of various types, I began to feel better. I have successfully used body scan to help, although simple breath counting can be helpful, learning to use the breath counting can begin to help with lessening nervous response by changing one's own attitude about the pain by the use of "just being," or Shikantaza. In this, I wish you all the best.
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 06-23-2023 at 03:14 PM. Reason: word order, spelling
    Peaceful Poetry, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, always supportive, 台 婆 smiling and free.

  42. #192
    Thank you for your practice and for sharing, JinKan. May you be free of suffering. May your pain subside as well.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  43. #193


    Gassho, Tokan

    satlah
    平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  44. #194

  45. #195
    Treeleaf Priest Jinkan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Clovis, California U.S.A
    Last week I had heart attack number 6. I went in to the hospital and was held the day and night for observation. I have since had all sorts of doctors appointments and tests but I want to share what happened that day. As I sat in a back observation room having blood drawn getting an Iv and praying that what felt like an elephant stepping on me chest would let up. While trying to keep me calm on a sea of mixed emotions I noticed an older lady in a wheelchair being wheeled next to me. She was pale and seemed to be struggling with breathing and there was a fear in her eyes that broke me heart. I heard her words repeating like a mantra. I don’t want to go yet. Compassion welled up in me and I wanted to say something, anything to comfort her but me words failed me. I was a blank with only frustration at me lack of verboseness seeming to flicker in the back of me head. I suddenly realized that like many concepts in Buddhism what I was trying to convey to her, even if I had the words. Those words would still fail the totality of what was trying to be shared. So I offered her me hand without saying a word. In that awkward and clammy embrace I was able to share more with this stranger than hundreds of words. I held her hand until she was taken away to another room. I smiled and Gassho and saw some of the fear had left her eyes. So whilst words may fail a strong practice won’t for it is not only conveyed with words but actions.
    Gassho
    JinKan
    Sat

  46. #196
    I suddenly realized that like many concepts in Buddhism what I was trying to convey to her, even if I had the words. Those words would still fail the totality of what was trying to be shared. So I offered her me hand without saying a word.
    Oh, that's good. Yes, words cannot transmit what we want at times. Your gesture was perfect.

    Gassho,

    Koriki (Mark)
    s@

  47. #197
    Thank you, JinKan, for continuing your bodhisattva deeds and expressions, in your surroundings and here, in Treeleaf. I hope you are feeling well now.

    Gassho, Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  48. #198
    Thank you for this wonderful reminder to be here now, and for your sharing the Dharma.

    Gassho,
    Joshua

    Sat this morning

  49. #199
    Hey Jinkan

    A wonderful story. In my many years of nursing, I tell you, this is sometimes the most important action you can perform.

    Gassho, Tokan

    satlah
    平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  50. #200
    Warm hand to warm hand ...

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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