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Thread: January 13th-14th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - Naya 納屋 , the Ol' Zendo Barn

  1. #1

    January 13th-14th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - Naya 納屋 , the Ol' Zendo Barn

    reMINDer: Our JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts) CEREMONY is this SUNDAY!

    Dear All,

    Please sit our Treeleaf Zazenkai for 90 minutes with Zazen, Heart Sutra and more:

    10am Japan Saturday morning, NY 8pm, LA 5pm Friday night, London 1am and Paris 2am Saturday morning, or any time thereafter here:

    However, "one way" live sitters are encouraged to come into the Zoom sitting, and just leave the camera and microphone turned off: Join live (with or without a camera & microphone) on Zoom at: TREELEAF Now OR at DIRECT ZOOM LINK, password (if needed): dogen

    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
    01:30 - 01:45(?) Informal Tea Time (All Welcome)

    ATTENTION: Everyone, when rising for Kinhin or Ceremonies after Zazen, get up slowly, don't rush, hold something stable, you won't be "late," so TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure you are careful getting up!

    Gassho, Jundo


    PS - There is no "wrong" or "right" in Zazen ... yet here is a little explanation of the "right" times to Bow (A Koan) ...

    Chant Book is here for those who wish to join in: CHANT BOOK LINK

    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

    I also recommend a little Talk on why small rituals and procedures are so cherished in the Zendo:

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Small Things in the Zendo

  2. #2

    By the way, the interior of our Zendo in Tsukuba is based on Master Dogen's rather simple and rustic Zendo at his first temple, Koshoji, the first Soto Zen sitting hall in Japan ... (this is the movie recreation, but very plain and simple, likely much as Dogen first built) ...

    Our place was made in the Naya by Keshiro Aita, a Japanese carpenter (and dear friend, shown in this photo, who still stops around our house every few weeks to bring my family vegetables from his farm field.)

    The design was done by Mr. Ushioda, an architect who knows something about traditional Japanese buildings, and who is shown in this video together with Mr. Aita, hard at work back in 2009 ... (We did compromise a bit, using nails rather than traditional joinery on the platforms, but it has survived any number of earthquakes, so no complaints. The building itself is constructed in parts without nails, and only fitted wooden joints, like the joined ceiling beams, with walls that are mostly mud and straw stucco strengthened with bamboo meshing. In some places, one can see through gaps in the walls right to outside ... so a bit drafty in winter ... The main support columns are not buried in the ground, but just rest balanced on stones or the cement raised foundation skirt.)

    On the doorway in the above photo, above Mr. Aita, is calligraphy by Nishijima Roshi which says "'Ko no Ha' (木之葉, Treeleaf, with Nishijima Roshi's name and stamps on the left).

    Here is a close-up of our "Beat-Up Buddha" ... a fellow who has seen the hard knocks of life, for sure (almost looks like he has a black eye) ...

    And if you want the full guided deluxe tour of our vast Zendo, then here is one I made a few years ago, a little out of date, as there have been a few additions, such as the calligraphy by Nishijima Roshi which says "the whole world in the 10 directions is one bright pearl," on the left in the below picture, and a little Altar on the right to Soto priests who were my mentors and had a big influence on Treeleaf, Jiho Sargent, Azuma Ikuo and Doshin Cantor Roshis, with a 1000 arm Kannon inside), but basically just the same:

    The building was a "naya / 納屋." You could say "shed" or "barn" or "storehouse." The second kanji 屋 means room or small building. The first Kanji means storage, supply, among other meanings: 納.

    It's purposes were many, including storage of farm tools. But also cultivation of the nae 苗 seedling, sapling, shoot. So, my research disclosed that the name may also derive (in pre-literate times) as "naeya." Or, it could be a dialect pronunciation of "no" (which can mean agriculture if one kanji 農, or the above storage 納), but pronounced in dialect or old pronunciation maybe as "na" instead of "no."

    It was not a "barn" for animals, like cows and horses (there may have been larger ones that were used for that, however). It was the workspace where they would store things (farm implements) and do a lot of farm work like running the hand-turned machine that takes the hulls off the rice, grinding wheat, storing the harvested crops, sorting and packing vegetables, making miso, preparing the seedlings, etc.

    Folks in our neighborhood still use them for such things. Here is a picture of one where they have the rice hulling machine (now powered) on the left, and are drying vegetables hanging from the naya.

    We have an old map that shows that some Naya has been in that location since at least 150 years ago (probably much much longer), although it has to be rebuilt once in awhile. I think that the current one is maybe 60 years old, so about my age. It is in about the same physical shape as me too, a few scars.

    Here is an example of the mud, straw and bamboo walls I mentioned, much stronger than it looks. The columns rest on stone or concrete edges, not really attached to anything, like here, but it is the way that Japanese buildings have been built, and withstood earthquakes, for more than a thousand years:

    See you all there.

    Gassho, J


    Last edited by Jundo; 01-17-2023 at 12:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the tour.
    I think it is in deed the greatest virtual temple and I will hold the picture of it in my memory when I sit in my corner of our store room.
    If everyone in treeleaf turned up in person at the same time how large would the gathering be?
    Loved the garden too.



  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by michaelw View Post
    Thank you for the tour.
    I think it is in deed the greatest virtual temple and I will hold the picture of it in my memory when I sit in my corner of our store room.
    If everyone in treeleaf turned up in person at the same time how large would the gathering be?
    Loved the garden too.


    Everyone would fit ...

    Thereupon, the venerable Sariputra had this thought: "There is not even a single chair in this house. Where are these disciples and bodhisattvas going to sit?"

    The Licchavi Vimalakirti read the thought of the venerable Sariputra and said, "Reverend Sariputra, did you come here for the sake of the Dharma? Or did you come here for the sake of a chair?"

    Sariputra replied, "I came for the sake of the Dharma, not for the sake of a chair." ...

    At that moment, the Licchavi Vimalakirti, having focused himself in concentration, performed a miraculous feat such that the Lord Tathagata Merupradiparaja, in the universe Merudhvaja, sent to this universe thirty-two hundred thousand thrones. These thrones were so tall, spacious, and beautiful that the bodhisattvas, great disciples, Sakras, Brahmas, Lokapalas, and other gods had never before seen the like. The thrones descended from the sky and came to rest in the house of the Licchavi Vimalakirti. The thirty-two hundred thousand thrones arranged themselves without crowding and the house seemed to enlarge itself accordingly. The great city of Vaisali did not become obscured; neither did the land of Jambudvipa, nor the world of four continents. Everything else appeared just as it was before.

    Then, the Licchavi Vimalakirti said to the young prince Manjusri, "Manjusri, let the bodhisattvas be seated on these thrones, having transformed their bodies to a suitable size!"

    Then, those bodhisattvas who had attained the superknowledges transformed their bodies to a height of forty-two hundred thousand leagues and sat upon the thrones. But the beginner bodhisattvas were not able to transform themselves to sit upon the thrones. ...

    The Licchavi Vimalakirti said to the venerable Sariputra, "Reverend Sariputra, take your seat upon a throne."
    Gassho, J


  5. #5
    Wonderful- thank you! I have always wanted a closer look at the Zendo.
    st lah

  6. #6
    This is Indra's blade of grass.

    that person sat
    Visiting unsui, take w/salt.

  7. #7
    It is a lovely Naya! Those Daiku (carpenters) know what they are doing - expertly made. I always enjoy being there.

  8. #8
    Thank you everyone!
    Kotei sat today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  9. #9
    Thank you everyone!
    Gassho, Kiri
    希 rare
    理 principle

  10. #10
    The Zendo is different than what my minds eye pictured it. Bigger than I thought


  11. #11
    Great to see this tour, thanks for sharing!

    Hopefully I might be able to visit the Zendo in person this year.


    no thing needs to be added

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Daitetsu View Post
    Great to see this tour, thanks for sharing!

    Hopefully I might be able to visit the Zendo in person this year.


    You are always welcome, DT.

    Gassho, J


  13. #13
    Thank you everyone. I sat with you this morning.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  14. #14

    "Seasons pass. Something grows."

    The most powerful four words I've heard in a while.


  15. #15
    It was wonderful to sit with all of you!




  16. #16
    I can't believe I never saw that tour video before! Pretty sweet.

    And a nice sit.



  17. #17
    Thank you, Jundo and everyone, for this Zazenkai.
    We are all seeds being grown in the great barn of the universe.
    Tai Do (Mateus)
    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

  18. #18
    Lovely! Thank you all!

    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.

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