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  1. #1

    RECOMMENDED 'At Home' Liturgy

    Hi,

    'Liturgy' means the many acts and rituals by which we manifest (and are manifested by) the beliefs and teachings at the heart of Buddhist Practice. Some we practice as a group together, some at private times (not two, by the way). These various practices can bring the teachings more visibly to life, and our lives into the Teachings. Of course, in our way, Zazen is the centerpiece, and nothing else is really necessary. However, other practices can be truly powerful and resonate in the hearts of many people, bringing much Wisdom and Compassion into our lives.

    What are the some of the practices which we recommend or encourage at home and work ... our practice places in this Sangha in which all of life is the temple?

    ZAZEN

    Of course, seated Zazen is our one and only practice, for by the very nature of Shikantaza ... when sitting Zazen, there is nothing more to do, nothing more that need be done, no addition needed nor anything to take away. Zazen is complete and whole. No other place to be in all the world, no other place we must (or can) run to. Nothing lacks, all is sacred, and Zazen is the One Liturgy. It is vital to be sat by Zazen with such attitude. Thus, Zazen is sat each day as the One and Whole Practice.

    Yet, of course, we do eventually rise up from the Zafu and get on with "the rest of life". Then, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING can be encountered as Sacred, One, Whole ... as 'Zazen' ... from 'changing a baby's diaper' to 'stapling staples' at work to 'pulling weeds' in the garden ... all a SACRED RITUAL when approached as such.

    Thus, I wish to HIGHLY RECOMMEND one of the best little books on the subject of 'liturgy' in our so called 'ordinary' life at home and work ... please read it ...

    Bringing the Sacred to Life: The Daily Practice of Zen Ritual by John Daido Loori Roshi
    http://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Sacre.../dp/1590305337

    ... one of the best 'Zen Books' I have encountered in years, and very unique in its subject matter. Also, another book very very highly recommended for understanding the significance and origins of some of the traditional chants and practices one will encounter around Treeleaf and most other Soto Zen Sangha isShohaku Okumura's "Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts"

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...en-in-the-West

    The sacredness can be brought into everything, even the most ordinary ... even the most ordinary manifests the sacred, is sacred and 'not just ordinary'.

    Here are some other rituals that we practice in this Sangha, and that you can adapt for home. REMEMBER: We encourage folks not to be bound by tradition, or overly caught in the 'right, wrong or traditional' way to do things. Instead, please bring traditions to life in ways which express your own heart. There is no need to follow every practice or any practice (besides Zazen, of course! 8) ), and please develop those which complement your life.

    On the other hand ... neither reject practices merely because, at first glance, they seem too exotic or hard or you do not understand. I ask everyone to look and listen to this 'sit-a-long' on '(UN)TURNING JAPANESE" ...

    So, must we bow, ring bells, chant (in Japanese, no less), wear traditional robes, have Buddha Statues, burn incense? ... All that stuff besides Zazen. Are they necessary to our Practice?

    No, not at all!

    On the other hand ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/w...-japanese.html
    It is also vitally important that, in undertaking any practice or ritual, we "NON-DO" the practice ... meaning that we pursue it diligently and sincerely, yet with "nothing to obtain" ... much as washing the windows carefully to remove the grime, getting the job done, all while dropping all thought of "clean and dirty" and a job to achieve. That is another subject we talk about here often.

    So, what are some other daily rituals and practices which one can NON-DO?

    KINHIN

    This is walking Zazen ... step by step, no place to get to, constantly arriving. It can be practiced any time ... between or after seated Zazen or any place ... in the slow postal line or grocery line. Instructions are in our Guide to Basic Sitting (PDF):

    https://sites.google.com/site/jundot...edirects=0&d=1

    HOME ALTAR

    Although our Buddhist Practice is not limited to any place or time, and includes the noisy and busy places as well as the quiet ... it is good to set aside a small, still, special place where we can enter the mindset of practice. For some, it need not contain more than a Zafu or chair. Others may wish to make a small altar, featuring incense (if not allergic! ... the incense can be 'lit' invisibly, without a match too!), perhaps flowers ... and a statue of a Buddha or Bodhisattva. There is no required pattern in our Sangha.

    Here is a discussion and some simple instructions for making an altar at home.
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post27423

    However, again, one need not be bound by rules. A simple framed picture, even a picture in your wallet which you pull out to look at, can be equal to the greatest Temple. If not a statue, a stone, a flower or simply empty space can suffice. What is more, my personal opinion is that a "Buddha Statue" is both seen and unseen ... and what is NOT a Buddha Statue?

    ATTENDING OUR WEEKLY AND MONTHLY ZAZENKAI

    We have weekly and monthly Zazenkai netcasts, with lots of Zazen, Kinhin, Zazen, Chanting, Bowing, Zazen and ... Zazen ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...ENKAI-NETCASTS

    Although we can all daily sit at home alone (yet still are 'all together') ... and although it may be strange to some to 'sit over the internet' ... I feel it is vitally important that we make the effort to sit together as a group. I wish that EVERYONE WOULD MAKE THE EFFORT TO JOIN IN OUR ZAZENKAI AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE (it is available 'any place any time' ... so time and place are not an excuse!)

    We also have sitting with others at various times in our TreeleafNow Zazen groups. Check the calendar:
    https://www.treeleaf.org/now/#calendar

    CHANTING

    At the Zazenkai, we always recite various traditional Chants ... and any of these can be undertaken at home. The Verse of Atonement and The Four Vows are especially encouraged to chant each day ... perhaps at the end of your day before bed ...

    The Heart Sutra can also be recited any time and place ... perhaps before the home altar or on the Zafu prior to Zazen.

    In reciting, we tend to just merge into the sound ... not giving it a thought. However, it is also good at other times to make study of what the chants MEAN (most of them are statements of Zen Buddhist teachings).

    Here is our Chant Book ...

    Chant Book (PDF)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    Our Priest-In-Training Shingen has recorded a few of these chants to help folks along ...

    The Heart Sutra
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With Bell & Mokugyo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Verse of Atonement
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With bell: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Four Vows
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With bells: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Whole Folder
    Folder Access: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...mM&usp=sharing



    Daido's book, above, suggests some other possible chantings too. There is also the traditional Evening Gatha ... time swiftly passes by ...

    Let me respectfully remind you,
    life and death are of supreme importance.
    Time swiftly passes by,
    and opportunity is lost.
    Let us awaken,
    awaken.
    Take heed,
    do not squander your life.


    Side Note: I love that Gatha ... so long as we each awaken to the fact that there is no "life and death" ... no me or you for the reminding ... even as time passes by, no time either ... and nothing about life that can be squandered, wasted or lost (SO DON'T KILL TIME, AND DON'T WASTE IT! )
    The Verse of the Kesa, of course, is a daily practice for those who have undertaken Jukai and received a Rakusu (Kesa). Do not place one on oneself without reciting! Shingen discusses the whole manner of wearing and treating a Rakusu here ...



    SEWING A RAKUSU (or Full Kesa) as we do for our Jukai preparations as a group, is also a great Liturgy ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ong-%282017%29

    GATHA

    'Gatha' are short, meaningful little recitation which can be recited before (and/or after) many 'ordinary' daily activities to remind us how sacred they are, and how all support our life and practice ... from eating to work to going to the toilet to washing the face ... Here are some and a discussion ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post213658

    Each can be recited out loud or silently within.

    A very special 'Meal Gatha' might be recited by oneself or with one's family (much like 'Saying Grace') .. or during lunch breaks at work, etc (in voice or silently). Here is the one we recite during our annual 'Ango' period, but it is excellent as a daily practice and reminder ...

    (Hands in Gassho) This food comes from the efforts
    of all sentient beings past and present,
    and is medicine for nourishment of our Practice-Life.
    We offer this meal of many virtues and tastes
    to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
    and to all life in every realm of existence.
    May all sentient beings in the universe
    be sufficiently nourished.


    Daido Roshi's lovely book suggested some other Meal Gatha.

    In fact ... one can make their own Gatha for ANYTHING ... which is exactly what Treeleafers have done for fun and personal inspiration ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...hp?6917-Gathas.

    RYAKU FUSATSU

    In many Buddhist traditions there is a monthly practice of Uposatha on days of the full moon to recite and renew the Precepts. In Japanese Zen this tradition takes form as Ryaku Fusatsu. It is a lovely chance to wipe the slate clean, atone and make amends, vow to begin again. We have a group that gathers with the full moon (in various time zones) for this renewal. Details here:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...tment-Ceremony

    BOWING

    Bowing can be a wonderful daily practice of humility and gratitude ... not to a statue or necessarily anyone in particular, but to ALL OF REALITY AND EVERYONE, all supporting our life and practice.

    [url]http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with-jundo-and-taigu/archives/2009/11/retreat-retreat-iv---bowing.htmlhttps://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15820-ATTENTION%21-Our-2017-AT-HOME-2-DAY-ROHATSU-RETREAT-PREPARATORY-LESSONS&p=213659&viewfull=1#post213659

    Some Korean Zen (Son) groups engage in the practice of 108 Full Prostrations Daily (also ... good for those Bodhisattva 6-pack Abs 8) )

    ORYOKI

    A lovely tradition of formal meal ritual ... We also hold an online class and practice group on that from time to time (PM Shugen for details).

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?109-Oryoki-Practice-Circle

    METTA RECITAL

    A daily practice we strongly encourage in this Sangha is the recital of "Metta" ... Loving Kindness expressed to all living beings ... not leaving out even the one we find hard to love ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Metta-PRACTICE

    TONGLEN

    Another lovely practice, originally from the Tibetans, of symbolically taking in the suffering of others, and returning peace, soothing our own heart along the way ...
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...ractice-Circle

    DANA

    Making all our work (in the factory, office, garden, kitchen and nursery) into a daily sacred act ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/w...enerosity.html

    ... as well as work and giving to help others in need ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...ROJECTS-CENTER

    ...is a vital practice in this Sangha, not to be neglected.

    Our requested daily "Lend A Hand" practice is one facet of this too:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...Lend-A-Hand%29

    SAMU

    Of course, all our great and little tasks at home or work can be felt as a "sacred ritual" and practice ... from changing a baby diaper to washing dishes to stapling paper to meetings ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post213657

    A TIME FOR TEXT STUDY

    Our way is said to be 'Beyond Words and Letters" ... but that does not mean that we should not also have time to crack the books!

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-Viewing-Right

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    SO, AM I LEAVING ANYTHING OUT? Probably, but that should keep any Bodhisattva busy for awhile! 8)

    Anyway, WHAT IS -NOT- A SACRED LITURGY!?!

    I would like to close with some very wise words from an old member:

    There may be a saying and I don't know who said this but the candle that burns brightest has the shortest life. What I mean is that how I practice now is to make it part of my daily life... nothing special. If I make it special it's separate from me, and I don't think that's what this is. If I stay consistent and don't overdo it, then I'll maintain my practice. If I push too hard, I'll burn out and this will just be another phase of my life; something I tried.

    But that is not the Way at least from what I've learned. We share in a practice that's come down from generations, and so to honor it I stay consistent.
    Gassho Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-26-2021 at 12:42 AM.

  2. #2
    For wearing the rakusu, do we place it on our heads (hands in gassho), say the verse of the kesa, then unfold it, place it to our lips, then wear it?
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo

    This post was very informative and helped answer many questions I have about Zen Practice

    Gassho,

    C

  4. #4
    Ah! Very nice to have these recommendations all in one place, thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Lisa

  5. #5
    Yes, very nice recommendations Jundo. AND it's time for me to return to my own home liturgy with gifts of Buddhas, and other alter pieces from family members. I will begin practicing more alone from here on. Thank you.

    Tai Shi
    sat today/lah
    Gassho
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  6. #6
    How should us offer incense ritualistically? is there a proper manner?

    Why do we dedicate merits?

    Thanks friends,
    _/|\_

    Kyōsei

    強 Kyō
    声 Sei

    Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mpdalles View Post
    How should us offer incense ritualistically? is there a proper manner?

    Why do we dedicate merits?

    Thanks friends,
    Hello Marcos,

    Incense is a way found in many religions to bring the olfactory senses into a sacred mood of heart. Perhaps the smoke rising also reminds us of impermanence, as the flame burns and the whisps rejoin the air.

    If you wish to light incense, I would choose a scent subtle and not too stimulating (a light sandlewood, for example, not many of the rich and flowery scents that one can find these days). Light a candle, Gassho, respectfully and with clear heart (this is vital) lift the incense stick with one hand while holding Gassho with the other, light it in the flame, gently flick to extinguish if needing to extinguish the flame at the tip (or tamp quickly with the thumb and index finger of the other hand ... do not blow like a birthday candle), place upright in the incense bowl filled with sand, Gassho again with both hands.

    Something like below is a lovely incense holder (just make sure it is stable, and the cat will not knock it over, because ... )

    That's all.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-22-2015 at 08:01 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Light a candle, Gassho, respectfully and with clear heart (this is vital)
    Jundo,

    Sorry I forgot to ask it yesterday.

    Why did you say that it is vital to be with a clear heart when we're going to light a candle?

    Sometimes our hearts are not so "clear" (maybe sorrowful, or resentful), in that case should we wait a little before light the candle?

    How is that attitude of "clear heart"?

    Somehow I'm linking this to my Zazen practice, as I have an altar here at home, and everyday I'm gonna sit, I light a candle on the altar, light an incense, recite the "Three Refuges" in Pali, then I sit Zazen. That is to say, I do Zazen illuminating the room only with it's candle's light.
    _/|\_

    Kyōsei

    強 Kyō
    声 Sei

    Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mpdalles View Post
    Jundo,

    Sorry I forgot to ask it yesterday.

    Why did you say that it is vital to be with a clear heart when we're going to light a candle?

    Sometimes our hearts are not so "clear" (maybe sorrowful, or resentful), in that case should we wait a little before light the candle?

    How is that attitude of "clear heart"?

    Somehow I'm linking this to my Zazen practice, as I have an altar here at home, and everyday I'm gonna sit, I light a candle on the altar, light an incense, recite the "Three Refuges" in Pali, then I sit Zazen. That is to say, I do Zazen illuminating the room only with it's candle's light.
    Well, just as with Zazen, one sits as one is. If upset, let the upset be ... if sad, let the sadness be ... if feeling off balance, let the off balance be.

    However, the point of all Practice is to realize the clarity and balance that shines forth when the mind becomes still. Silent Illumination. By all the "letting be", one allows such wild thoughts and emotions to settle down and drift away. One reaches a centered stillness.

    Thus, when lighting incense, sitting Zazen or in any aspect of Zen Practice, one can undertake each with clarity of heart.

    The point of allowing the "sorrowful, resentful" to be (and be let go) is not to keep on with the sorrow and resentment, but to attain the balanced clarity of silent illumination that shines through and clears away the sorrow, resentment etc.

    So, when lighting incense and all the rest, it is best to do so with a clear, balanced, unbound, shining heart.

    Do I explain in a clear way?

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Oh, and your other question ...

    Why do we dedicate merits?
    Traditionally, in Buddhism, it was felt that "merit" arose from good acts (such as making a donation to a Buddhist temple, translating subtitles on a Buddhist talk ) and built up in a great, cosmic "bank account" to make good Karmic effects and help cancel out bad Karma. It is an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism, and some Theravadan traditions, that developed very early (and which some other Buddhist sometimes find hard to grasp). Here is a simple and clear explanation from the Tricycle blog ...

    what you are referring to here is called ‘merit transfer’. The idea is that through your skilful conduct you build up a stock of merit - a kind of spiritual capital that is earning interest in your karmic bank account. According to many Buddhist traditions, this merit may be transferred to others, especially the dead, sick, or spiritually destitute.

    There are specific ceremonies and rituals by means of which merit is transferred. For instance, in Theravada Buddhism, a donor may give food or clothing to the monastic community and then ‘donate’ the merit gained to a departed relative (to help them in the ‘after-life’). As far as I know, there is no need for the other person to agree to receive merit.

    Some Mahayana traditions emphasise merit transfer as a means of overcoming spiritual acquisitiveness and expressing compassionate concern for others. The Bodhisattva, or ideal Buddhist, gives all his or her merit away because they want as many beings as possible to benefit from their spiritual virtue. A form of words that one might use to dedicate merit in this way is: ‘May the merit gained in my acting thus, go to the alleviation of the suffering of all beings.’
    A more scholarly treatment of the subject is here (in Theravada Buddhism):

    http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTE...IL/ew26012.htm

    Personally, I do not have much opinion on the cosmic and Karmic effects of transferring merit, except that I do believe it is fully in keeping with the Bodhisattva vows, and a wonderful attitude, to work for the benefit of others. Generally, I have avoided straight "dedication of merit" language in the "Eko" after our chants ... preferring wording such as "we dedicate or sincere efforts to" or "we dedicate our hopes and aspirations" or "our thoughts and caring". I simply am not much one for the belief that we are setting up a bank account of merit that we can transfer to others to help them in various ways, including a better rebirth.

    Of course, doing something for the benefit of others is a "cosmic effect", even if most ordinary. It is very much in the way I described the far reaching effects of "Metta" (Loving Kindness) on another thread ...

    People often ask me if I believe Metta really works and is helpful, even across great distances. Well, I say this ...

    If one is filled with anger, hate and ill will, it is easy to see how that infects the space, situations and people immediately around us who must deal with us. It can even damage folks and infect relationships with family and friends at great distances, even if we only communicate sometimes. But further, it brings a bit more ugliness and separation into this world in general, and our doing so adds just a touch more bitterness to the society we all share as residents of the world near and far. These days, a fellow who does a violent act or speaks a hurtful word in one city far away can cause ripples of violence and hurt far across the world ... just open the newspaper or internet and you will see countless examples of this spread of the effects of greed, anger and ignorance like great waves circling the world.

    So, just the same when we bring a touch of loving kindness, sympathy, well wishes, peace, charity and the like into this life.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post152923
    One of the little aspects about practice around Treeleaf.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-22-2015 at 08:05 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Thank you, Jundo.

    _/\_
    _/|\_

    Kyōsei

    強 Kyō
    声 Sei

    Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So.

  12. #12
    Thank You Jundo for the teaching and guidance on the Liturgy.
    I will order the book "Living by vow"

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  13. #13
    Thank you very much, Jundo.

    L. _/\_

    st

  14. #14
    Namaste, all

    I am resurrecting another old thread, yes As I am navigating the forums and locating readings, teachings, resources, etc. ...... This thread is phenomenal, so much info in one place - thank you, Jundo

    I just want to add my deepest gratitude to all the hard work and dedication that has gone into this sangha - and continues to. This is such a wonderful community, I love it here. I know I only just started posting and participating (somewhat - I have been reading periodically for months), even though I joined a year ago - life happens, and things come together when the time is right, I believe.

    I will be looking for ways to "give back" and assist the sangha in the future, whenever it is appropriate and when I can be useful in some small way. For now I am exploring the teachings and practices that feel very natural to me, and simple in a profound way. I am learning from all of you, and am so thankful for your generosity, wisdom, and shared experiences.

    There is much I would like to respond to in the forums, so much vast wisdom and experience - but I am beyond words for it at this time. Reflecting on all of it and feeling my mind expand, and my perspective on life changing already, little drops of water in the soil.

    Gassho,
    Kim
    #sattoday

  15. #15
    Thank you for resurrecting this post Kim. Just this week I began reading Daido Loori's "Brining the Sacred to Life" to help me make this practice apart of my daily life rather than solely focusing on the time I am sitting shikantaza.

    And thanks to all those past and present who have gone before and helped to pave this way for myself and others.

    Gassho,

    Josh
    Sat Today

  16. #16
    Jundo,
    Thank you. I have picked up copies of the books you recommended.

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  17. #17

    Dai E Zenji's Vow for Awakening

    I like to use this chant as part of my home liturgy. Here's Some background Sat today
    LAH

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TomSchulte View Post
    I like to use this chant as part of my home liturgy. Here's Some background

    Sat today
    LAH
    It appears to not be working, at least for me.

    Simon


    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for the Sangha.
    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for your Sangha.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Professsor View Post
    It appears to not be working, at least for me.

    Simon


    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for the Sangha.
    Seems to work for me Simon ... try this link: http://www.sanmonjizen.org/pdf%20fil...MarApr2014.pdf

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday/LAH

  20. #20
    Just grabbed Bring the Sacred to Life. I really enjoy Loori's writing style, much recommended.

  21. #21
    Hi All. Shokai has been putting together a wonder series for the 108 Gates of Dharma Illuminations.
    Please refer to the following links for more info:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...view-the-Gates
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ghlight=Shokai

    I’ve been focusing on one a day but to each their own. Besides the great info, at the end of each he also puts in a practical reflection(for lack of a better term) that I have been using as a little daily liturgy. This could be a great addition to the aforementioned practices at the beginning of the thread for any who haven’t already come across Shokai’s blog.

    Gassho,
    Hoyu
    ST
    Last edited by Hoyu; 01-09-2018 at 04:13 AM.
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

  22. #22
    Thank you Jundo.

    I was searching for a verse or a chant that we can recite when a beloved one died (any sentient being).
    As I understand Metta it is more for the ones dealing with the loss and not so much for the one that died.

    So is there a verse or chant that we can use for the deceised? (Like to honour them and help them on their next path?)

    Thank you again.

    Gassho
    Marcus
    SatToday/LAH

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Thank you Jundo.

    I was searching for a verse or a chant that we can recite when a beloved one died (any sentient being).
    As I understand Metta it is more for the ones dealing with the loss and not so much for the one that died.

    So is there a verse or chant that we can use for the deceised? (Like to honour them and help them on their next path?)

    Thank you again.

    Gassho
    Marcus
    SatToday/LAH
    Hi Marcus,

    The Heart Sutra is All Purpose. That is my universal recommendation.

    Another possibility is the Shariraimon, as we recite for our Nehan-e Memorial in February ...

    With/ whole/heart/ed/ gra/ti/tude/ we/ bow/
    to/ the/ re/lics/ still/ pre/sent of/ the/ True/ Bo/dy/[*] of/ the/ Ta/tha/ga/ta/ Sha/kya/mu/ni,/
    who/ is/ ful/ly/ en/dowed/ with/ my/ri/ad/ vir/tues;/
    to/ the/ Dhar/ma/ Bo/dy/ which/ is/ Truth/ it/self;/
    and/ to/ the/ whole/ u/ni/verse/ which/ is/ his/ Stu/pa./
    With/ deep/ res/pect/ we/ ve/ner/ate/ the/ One/
    who /lived/ his/ life/ for/ the/ sake/ of/ all/ be/ings./
    Though/ the/ sus/ten/ance/ of/ Bud/dha,/ the/ Truth/
    en/ters/ us/ and/ we/ en/ter/ Truth./
    Let/ us/ strive/ to/ be/ne/fit/ all/ li/ving/ be/ings,/[*] a/rouse/ the/ thought/ of/ A/wa/ken/ing,/
    cul/ti/vate/ Bod/hi/sat/tva/ Prac/tice,/
    and/ to/ge/ther/ en/ter/ Per/fect/ Peace,/[*] the/ pen/e/tra/tion/ of/ the/ e/qua/li/ty/ of/ all/ things./
    Now/ let/ us/ re/ver/ent/ly/ bow.
    Details here ... It will be the same this year as well ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-Zazenkai-2017

    Gassho, J

    STLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Thank you Jundo.


    Marcus
    SatToday/LAH

  25. #25
    Hi all,

    I now have my personal Rakusu that I honour and that I am grateful for. Thank you Jundo, thank you all.

    Q: When do we use/put on the Rakusu? Allways when meditating? Only at Zazenkai and ceremony? Any time?
    I know it represents the Buddha's robe, so probably there are guidelines concerning the use.

    Thank you in advance for any help here.

    Gassho
    Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH

  26. #26

    Recommended 'at home' liturgy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryudo View Post
    Hi all,

    I now have my personal Rakusu that I honour and that I am grateful for. Thank you Jundo, thank you all.

    Q: When do we use/put on the Rakusu? Allways when meditating? Only at Zazenkai and ceremony? Any time?
    I know it represents the Buddha's robe, so probably there are guidelines concerning the use.

    Thank you in advance for any help here.

    Gassho
    Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH
    The only real guideline I’ve heard is don’t wear it into the bathroom. And don’t put it directly on the floor. It’s the Buddha’s teachings, so treat it with respect, but it’s not so precious that you can never touch it. It’s better to wear it and care for it and let it be a part of your life. It’s closer to a work uniform than it is to fancy ceremonial robes.

    I usually wear mine for my daily sit, or if I’m sewing. It tends to get in the way if you’re cleaning or doing other work around the house. I don’t wear it out because I think it would come across as showing off or trying to look special. If I had a Soto sitting group, I would wear it there, though.

    , Zenmei (sat)
    Last edited by Zenmei; 01-27-2018 at 12:39 PM.

  27. #27
    Thank you Zenmei,
    your answer sounds sensible. It is somewhat as I thought.
    I will wear it for my daily Zazen and at ceremonies.

    Have a great weekend.

    Gassho
    Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH

  28. #28
    Hi Folks,

    Following Jukai I have been trying to formalize my daily sitting a bit. I put together the following for myself and would be interested in any feedback. My room is set up so that my alter is right next to my Zabuton. There are a couple of things that are a bit different than treeleaf. When I first started I learned to bow three times before sitting - so I still do that. Treeleaf just does two.

    I tried to write up the Rakusu procedure as shown by Shingin in the video linked below. I used the Treeleaf chant book for the chants. Also at the very end are some links of Shingen doing the chants - I use those as a reference.

    I have seen to slight variants on the Robe verse. Some times the last line is
    Vowing to save all sentient beings
    sometimes
    Vowing to free all sentient beings

    So I included them both.

    I tried to create something that wasn't too long and included the Heart Sutra.

    Once a week I also do Metta.

    Anyway, let me know if something looks wrong or misplaced or needs to be added.

    Once I get some feedback, I'll write this up as Word file and PDF if people are interested.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

    ------------


    Stand in Shashu outside the of the doorway

    Step in with left foot, at left side of doorway

    Gassho at the doorway toward the Buddha in their room

    Walk in Shashu to Alter/Zafu (clockwise – following contour of room)

    Arrange cushion

    Bow three times
    • Towards Alter - Buddha (turn clockwise)
    • Towards Room – Sangha (turn clockwise)
    • Towards Zafu – Dharma Sit Facing Alter

    Put on Rakusu
    • Remove Rakusu from its envelope
    • Touch Rakusu to forehead, then place on head

    Recite Robe Verse (Takkesage)
    English (3x)
    • Robe of Liberation boundless
    • Field beyond both form and formless
    • Wearing the Tathagatas Teachings
    • Vowing to (free) save all sentient beings
    Or Japanese (3x)
    • Dai sai geda puku
    • Muso fukuden e
    • Hi bu nyorai kyo
    • Kodo sho shu jo

    Rakusu (con’t)
    • Bow forward, take Rakusu touch forehead three times
    • Unfold,
    • Touch Maneki to lips
    • Touch Maneki to forehead three times
    • Put on Rakusu

    Reference:

    Light Incense

    Ring Bell three times

    Recite Heart Sutra (English)


    A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,
    In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/ ◎
    Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /ለve /con/di/tions/,
    And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;
    Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.
    Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;
    Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.
    Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
    Not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.
    No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;
    No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;
    No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;
    No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
    No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
    No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
    No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;
    No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.
    No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ ◎
    With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –
    No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.
    Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.
    All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/
    Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ ◎
    And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.
    There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/
    Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,
    the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/
    by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.
    This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.
    There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.
    Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/: ◎

    (1x)
    Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
    Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
    Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
    Bodhi! Svaha (So-wah-kah)! ◎ (Awakening, Rejoice)

    3 prostrations

    Turn to sit facing wall

    Zazen


    Recite: Verse of Atonement:
    • All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,
    • On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,
    • Born of my body, mouth and mind,
    • Now I atone for them all

    Recite: Four Vows (to be recited 3x, vibrant on the second, soft on the third time):
    • To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless
    • To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible
    • To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless
    • To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

    Remove Rakusu
    • Touch Rakusu/Maneki to forehead three times
    • Touch once to lips
    • Fold
    • Place in Envelope

    Stand up

    Bow three times
    • Towards Alter - Buddha
    • Towards Room - Sangha
    • Towards Zafu - Dharma

    Walk out of room, in Shashu, walking clockwise

    Gassho at doorway

    Step out of room with left foot, standing to the left of the doorway

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    ---------

    Our Priest-In-Training Shingen has recorded a few of these chants to help folks along ...

    The Heart Sutra
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...1hhZVhkMkpiTGs
    With Bell & Mokugyo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...ndOekYtUUV1aFE

    The Verse of Atonement
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...UowMVB5R1g2LUk
    With bell: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...1lWUmVZb2U1dFk

    The Four Vows
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...mhQMXlKSUJwVkk
    With bells: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...GRCUUEwUUUtWE0

    The Whole Folder
    Folder Access: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...mM?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Mp; 01-28-2018 at 10:24 PM.
    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.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Hi Shinshi,

    Unfortunately acces to this folder is denied..

    Thank you for your kind efforts.

    Gassho, Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryudo View Post
    Hi Shinshi,

    Unfortunately acces to this folder is denied..

    Thank you for your kind efforts.

    Gassho, Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH
    Hey Ryudo,

    I changed the links, so you should have access, can you try again please. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH

  31. #31
    Hi Shinshi,

    It seems lovely and respectful of Traditions, and also (most importantly) seems to resonate in your heart as the way of Shinshiji (Shinshi Temple). Lovely.

    I am sure that you are also adding the procedures for the straightening the Zafu with three fingers, Gassho, turn clockwise and Gassho, yes?

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    Also, saving is rescuing is freeing. You can just pick one word that resonates with you, and use that, rather than two words.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-29-2018 at 04:55 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Shinshi,

    It seems lovely and respectful of Traditions, and also (most importantly) seems to resonate in your heart as the way of Shinshiji (Shinshi Temple). Lovely.

    I am sure that you are also adding the procedures for the straightening the Zafu with three fingers, Gassho, turn clockwise and Gassho, yes?

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    Also, saving is rescuing is freeing. You can just pick one word that resonates with you, and use that, rather than two words.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Hi Jundo,

    Thank you very much for the feedback. Yes, it does resonate for me very much.

    I actually included the link - I probably should have made that clearer. It is right at the bottom of the description, just before the links to Shingen's chants.

    I have been using save - but I wanted to have both available in case someone else had a different choice.

    Thanks again for the feedback. And for the reference to the temple, I'll have to learn more about it.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-29-2018 at 04:55 AM.
    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.

  33. #33
    Thank you Shingen,

    Chanting loud and clear now

    Gassho, Ryudo
    SatToday/LAH

  34. #34
    Hi Folks,

    Here is the corrected version. Just makes the link for Jundo's instructions easier to find. Again, the one thing I do different than Treeleaf is the three bows at the Zafu. Just do two if you want to be more Treeleaf consistent. This is what I am currently using. Mostly I do the whole process but some days I'll just sit if I am pressed for time.

    Home Service

    Stand in Shashu outside the of the doorway
    Step in with left foot, at left side of doorway
    Gassho at the doorway toward the Buddha in their room
    Walk in Shashu to Alter/Zafu (clockwise – following contour of room)
    Arrange cushion
    Bow three times (if doing two bows: bow to the Zafu, then bow to the Room)
    • Towards Alter - Buddha (turn clockwise)
    • Towards Room – Sangha (turn clockwise)
    • Towards Zafu – Dharma Sit Facing Alter
    Put on Rakusu
    • Remove Rakusu from its envelope
    • Touch Rakusu to forehead, then place on head
    Recite Robe Verse (Takkesage)
    English (3x)
    • Robe of Liberation boundless
    • Field beyond both form and formless
    • Wearing the Tathagatas Teachings
    • Vowing to (free) save all sentient beings
    Or Japanese (3x)
    • Dai sai geda puku
    • Muso fukuden e
    • Hi bu nyorai kyo
    • Kodo sho shu jo
    Rakusu (con’t)
    • Bow forward, take Rakusu touch forehead three times
    • Unfold,
    • Touch Maneki to lips
    • Touch Maneki to forehead three times
    • Put on Rakusu

    Light Incense
    Ring Bell three times

    Recite Heart Sutra (English)
    INO: The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra ◎
    A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,
    In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/ ◎
    Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /ለve /con/di/tions/,
    And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;
    Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.
    Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;
    Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.
    Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
    Not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.
    No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;
    No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;
    No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;
    No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
    No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
    No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
    No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;
    No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.
    No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ ◎
    With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –
    No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.
    Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.
    All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/
    Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ ◎
    And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.
    There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/
    Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,
    the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/
    by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.
    This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.
    There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.
    Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/: ◎

    (1x)
    Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
    Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
    Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
    Bodhi! Svaha (So-wah-kah)! ◎ (Awakening, Rejoice)

    3 prostrations
    3 Bells
    Turn to sit facing wall

    Zazen

    Recite: Verse of Atonement:
    • All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,
    • On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,
    • Born of my body, mouth and mind,
    • Now I atone for them all

    Recite: Four Vows (to be recited 3x, vibrant on the second, soft on the third time):
    • To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless
    • To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible
    • To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless
    • To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

    Remove Rakusu
    • Touch Rakusu/Maneki to forehead three times
    • Touch once to lips
    • Fold
    • Place in Envelope

    Stand up

    Bow three times
    • Towards Alter - Buddha
    • Towards Room - Sangha
    • Towards Zafu - Dharma

    Walk out of room, in Shashu, walking clockwise
    Gassho at doorway
    Step out of room with left foot, standing to the left of the doorway


    Video Resources:

    Shingen on putting on the Rakusu:

    Instructions from Jundo explaining how to enter sacred space, set up and fluff Zafu etc.
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    Shingen’s recordings of a few of these chants to help folks along ...

    The Heart Sutra
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With Bell & Mokugyo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Verse of Atonement
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With bell: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Four Vows
    Voice only: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing
    With bells: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7J...ew?usp=sharing

    The Whole Folder
    Folder Access: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...mM&usp=sharing
    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.

  35. #35
    Hi Shinshi,

    You are more organized than me about daily sitting! I am rather casual when on my own. Each person must find their own style. When on my own, I am more a Rakusu on (with Verse), fluff the Cushion, Bow-turn-Bow, and Sit kinda fella. Other folks like to maintain the formality of sitting in a Zendo during Zazenkai, which is good too.

    We are about to cut a film on procedures for the Zendo during a formal Zazenkai. This will be helpful if I forget something.

    Thank you, lovely.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Shinshi,

    You are more organized than me about daily sitting! I am rather casual when on my own. Each person must find their own style. When on my own, I am more a Rakusu on (with Verse), fluff the Cushion, Bow-turn-Bow, and Sit kinda fella. Other folks like to maintain the formality of sitting in a Zendo during Zazenkai, which is good too.

    We are about to cut a film on procedures for the Zendo during a formal Zazenkai. This will be helpful if I forget something.

    Thank you, lovely.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Well, I avoided it for so long I am kind of making up for lost time. I really resisted the whole ritual aspect for a long time - but right now I feel it connects me to the lineage. There is a kind of beauty in it that I didn't see before. Like I said in my post, sometimes I just don't have time. But I like to do the whole thing when I can.

    Can't wait to see the video.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

    Like
    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.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Chishou View Post
    Shane,

    Just chant from the heart and it will come with practice. I am learning the Japanese Heart Sutra, I use the chant book and listen to a recording by Zen River Temple in the Netherlands.

    Just do, chant badly, but chant from the heart. Feel every word as you say it, the sounds coming out of your are just noise, the heart is what counts.

    Bows,
    Chishou
    座りました

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Hey Chishou, would it be possible to post a link here to the River Temple chant? I'm trying to learn the Japanese too because I like the rhythm of it, being able to listen to a clear recording would be really helpful. I do love the Kissaquo version but tend to get carried away by the emotion instead of paying attention to the words
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Hey Chishou, would it be possible to post a link here to the River Temple chant? I'm trying to learn the Japanese too because I like the rhythm of it, being able to listen to a clear recording would be really helpful. I do love the Kissaquo version but tend to get carried away by the emotion instead of paying attention to the words
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    Hello Meitou,

    Here is a lovely and very easy to follow along version of the Heart Sutra in Japanese. =)



    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    Shinshi I am curious as to your reasons for resisting the ritualistic aspects. I am in a similar place and yet open minded for sure!

    Shane

    Sattoday
    Well, it is kind of a long answer but here goes.

    You have to know two things about me. One I din't come to Zen through religion or belief - I came to Zen through Martial Arts - which led me to Kung Fu - which led me to the Shaolin Temple - which led me to Bodhidharma - which led me to Zen. The other thing is that I was a punk at that same time (well I still am <g>), played punk music, very straight edge - so I was very anti a lot of stuff.

    The Zen I found on my path I liked. The whole "If you meet the Buddha on the road kill him" - Zen masters as tricksters, and non-linear thinkers, as rule breakers - really appealed to me. But the more I learned the more I realized that there were all the rituals in Zen that seemed very stylized and pointless to me. In fact I wandered away from Zen to a more Vipassana - Mindfulness version of Buddhism.

    Probably the best example of my change of view wasn't in Zen so much as the ceremony of marriage. I told my girlfriend at the time that I was never going to get married. Because if you loved someone and wanted to be them you would just be with them. What did a piece of paper have to do with anything. But over time my view started to change.

    I came to see marriage in a different light. I came to believe that marriage wasn't so much about the couple. Marriage was a ritual that served an important purpose.

    First marriage integrates the couple into the the group that had gone before. It connects them to the experience that they share with their parents, and friends, and culture. It bonds them to a greater whole. Even more marriage allows friends and families to reconnect. And in reconnects them to something sacred, reminding them as to what is important in life. It reconnects them to the values and beliefs that they share in common with their cohort. It is a process that re-bonds people and reminds them who they are and where they come from. It is a great bringing together of old friends and new. It strengthens old bonds and forges new ones. It has an important place in community.

    We move from the mundane and reconnect to the sacredness of life.

    And that is how I have come to see the Zen rituals as well. It brings us all back together - to a common place. It reconnects us to those the have come before and and integrates us into the flow that is our shared existence. When we do a ritual we never do it alone - even if we are alone - because when go through the ritual we do it with everyone has have ever done it in the past, and everyone who will do it in the future.

    And when we engage in ritual it helps to diminish just a bit our strong sense of self, and strengthens our sense of oneness. We are one as we behave as one. And we can move on from there to follow our path, but we start from a place of groundedness and community.

    That is how I have come to see it.

    Now of course, people can get narrow minded and absorbed in the ritual - and loose that connection to something greater than themselves. Ritual can be trap that becomes all about the ritual and nothing more.

    Roshi eddiebear talked about this in his talk last Sunday. My take away was that talked about how Vispassina does away with the ritual but tells you exactly how to evaluate your thoughts when you meditate. Zen has a bunch of ritual but in Zen your mind is free to be. Or something to that effect.

    His talk s is well worth a listen:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ajara-Tenzo%29


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 05-10-2018 at 12:20 AM.
    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.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Roshi eddiebear talked about this in his talk last Sunday. My take away was that talked about how Vispassina does away with the ritual but tells you exactly how to evaluate your thoughts when you meditate. Zen has a bunch of ritual but in Zen your mind is free to be. Or something to that effect.
    Well, in Zazen, we let thoughts go and let them be without grabbing on, but we also avoid to wallow in excess desires, anger and divisive thinking on or off the cushion. So, not quite complete laissez-faire.

    South East Asian Buddhism, which is the actual source of Vipassana, is actually very heavy in ritual, ceremony and many other traditional practices and beliefs, as is much of Asian Buddhism. The step away from Ceremony is pretty much a modernist and Westernizing phenomenon.

    Here, at Treeleaf, I take the middle way: We are minimalists on Ceremony, but the one's we do I hope mean something. Blowing out birthday candles, a wedding, a funeral, are all ceremonies which mean something to the heart too.

    Sean, this Path is for a lifetime, so don't be in a hurry to stuff many things into the head right away. Better to read a Chant and recite it from all one's heart than to worry too much about memorizing it. Even the most experienced monks use a Chant Book sometimes.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    When on my own, I am more a Rakusu on (with Verse), fluff the Cushion, Bow-turn-Bow, and Sit kinda fella.
    Yuppers, diddo here ... simple and sweet. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH

  42. #42
    Thanks for writing this down, Shinshi. I did something similar when I started to attend the meetings of our local sitting group, so it seems that we share the same preference of being structured/organized It also seems to me that this is one of the possible ways to engage in rituals if you are not the type of person to jump right in. Thoroughly going through them in your mind is the first step to become acquainted with them. (Of course, the next step is to fully engage in them and act them out or otherwise it would be a pure intellectual contact.)

    I also enjoy it if I have the time to completely realize the ritual at home, but usually stick to "just sitting" in the way that Jundo mentioned. I guess that is fine as long as you don't rush through things and unmindfully push your stuff around. (Although it can be a nice teaching if everybody does everything in a very formal way and then your teacher suddenly rushes in with a lot of noise, literally throws his Zafu in the corner, and finally comments on the completely confused crowd with a typical zennish quote ).

    Gassho,
    Stefan/Souchi

    SatToday

  43. #43
    Okay, here’s my 2 pence.

    Do hip stretches.
    Bow before altar.
    Sit in seiza.
    Light candle.
    Light insense, hold to forehead say “homage to buddha/dharma/sangha”.
    Bow-turn-bow.
    Sit.
    Bow at end bells.
    In gassho, Four vows and verse of atonement
    Stand, fluff cushion.
    Bow-turn-bow.
    3 prostrations.
    Extinguish candle.
    Hobble away with dead leg.

    Chishou.
    Sat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for your Sangha.

  44. #44
    Hi,
    I refer to this thread regularly.
    Thank you for all the valuable information.

    Please note that the link to Kinhin info in the initial post is not working.

    Thank you again.
    Gassho
    Ryudo
    SatToday

  45. #45


    Know that frogs also know the Heart Sutra.

    Meitou, I had to buy the Zen River chants from their website. It is 11€ via paypal. They are a little quiet, but good for mini-ceremonies at home.

    With a bow,
    Chishou
    Sat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for your Sangha.

  46. #46
    Shingen and Chishou, deep bows of gratitude to you both for the links and info.

    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Shingen and Chishou, deep bows of gratitude to you both for the links and info.

    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    Your welcome ... if you or anyone is interested in listening, I did do up some audio files of the chants we do in English, both with and without instruments. You are free to use them as you wish. =)

    Audio Chant Files: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...C1fRXR5bHRKSmM

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH

  48. #48
    Does anyone have some simple start points on English chants I can start on?

    I am an avid user of the insight Timer, but when it comes to the chanting ones some of the sounds are too harsh for me to focus on. I saying this please understand I do like the peaceful guitar sounds some nature and even some of the more Indian/Asian acoustics as well.

    Am I making sense here?

    Sattoday

    Shane

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    Does anyone have some simple start points on English chants I can start on?

    I am an avid user of the insight Timer, but when it comes to the chanting ones some of the sounds are too harsh for me to focus on. I saying this please understand I do like the peaceful guitar sounds some nature and even some of the more Indian/Asian acoustics as well.

    Am I making sense here?

    Sattoday

    Shane
    Shane,

    Just focus on getting a regular sitting practice. Start small and on getting your posture comfortable, then gently extend. I started about 2 years ago doing 5 mins, then increased by 5 mines until I do 35mins twice a day.

    Only after taking the precepts in January did I get a small altar and start chanting the atonement and 4 vows because it felt natural to do so. 5 months on I’ve added the Japanese robe verse and heart sutra to my morning sit. Again, because the timing felt right.

    When I started here at TL, I wanted to bow before I could sit (as apposed to run before walk). I felt a calling to ordain an an priest, but I was still too immature in my practice. Since then, my feelings towards ordination have grown, but I understand it will come with time, patience and practice.

    Have you watched Jundo’s series on Buddha Basics? Might be a good place to start.

    Chishou,
    No sit, just woken up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for your Sangha.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    Does anyone have some simple start points on English chants I can start on?

    I am an avid user of the insight Timer, but when it comes to the chanting ones some of the sounds are too harsh for me to focus on. I saying this please understand I do like the peaceful guitar sounds some nature and even some of the more Indian/Asian acoustics as well.

    Am I making sense here?

    Sattoday

    Shane
    Shane, Chishou has given you some great advice. I'd just add that if you go back a few posts, Shingen has posted a link to some chants in English. We also have a Treeleaf liturgy book which you can download and print/transfer to Kindle etc. You may find, as I did, that a particular chant really touches you, and you could start with that.
    You mention Insight Timer, so I take it you are in the Treeleaf group. Another thing you might like, which doesn't often get a mention here is the Treeleaf app which you can find in the Google store - it's really great, gives you a moment's pause whenever you need it. I use it every day. Sorry not to post links, I'm using my phone which is a lot smarter than me.
    Edit:Shane the link to the chant book and much more info is in the very first post by Jundo that heads this thread.

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    Last edited by Meitou; 05-10-2018 at 07:26 AM.
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

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