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March 31, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

April 1-2, 2011- Our Monthly 4-hour Zazenkai!

PLEASE NOTE THAT DAYLIGHT SAVINGS HAS BEGUN IN NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE.

THE SUBJECT OF THE LITTLE TALK THIS TIME WILL BE A SONG CALLED "THE FERRYMAN" by Ralph McTell. PLEASE SEE THE LYRICS HERE and HAVE A LISTEN:

LINK: http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=51011#p51011

Dear All,

Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (1/1) (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night 12/31), London midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 5am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at USTREAM:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sit-a-long-with-jundo

But FEAR NOT if not possible for you to join 'live' in your location at those times, as the entire sitting is recorded in 'REAL TIME' and available for full participation 'ON DEMAND' at ANY TIME after that, no different from the 'live' sitting . Just click then on the links below:

THE 'REAL TIME, ANY TIME' recorded version is divided into 3 parts as follows (click on the links) :

00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN 00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN 01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN 01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN 01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN 02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN 02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN 03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN 03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING

Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

Please download and print out the Chant Book (PDF) at the following link:

http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2231

I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES, AND HAVE ROOM FOR BOWING AND KINHIN.

ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.

I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!

Gassho, Jundo

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Zazenkai ·

March 27, 2011 @ 9:24 am

No Place To Run To, Baby …

National-Geographic-Magazine-1896-Tsunami.jpg

... no place to hide! I came back to Tsukuba yesterday to find a town returning to calm, neighbors helping neighbors, and a great spirit of volunteerism and service. People are staying out of the rain, trying to avoid drinking the water, and the ground still shakes now and then ... but, otherwise, pretty ordinary March day.

These are images and newsreports of the 1896! tsunami in Japan which is said to have killed 27,000! people, rivaling the current disaster. 30,000 may have died earlier the same year in a separate tsunami.

09_011.jpg

Nor is that the only such case, with dozens of earthquakes, tsunami, vo past century in Japan ... with hundreds of thousands dead or displaced.

And, in great part, this is also a source of strength in Japanese national character, as people pull together at such times and overcome. Sure, this recent disaster has a couple of twists ... the nuclear things and such ... but countless Japanese folks (and non-Japanese too) are doing so in this case too. Something like how Americans needed the hardship of "crossing the great frontier" to make American Character ... Japanese may thrive from nature's hardship and challenge.

I am sitting in near-normal safety in Tsukuba, while folks are truly suffering 100 miles northeast of here. The highways are filled with relief trucks moving supplies that way, local community groups are pitching in too in my town and 1000 others. I sent Mina and Leon to be with relatives in Osaka, the "safe" part of Japan (although they also have had a killer tsunami or two down there in centuries past), because the radiation levels here in the air, rain and water are not advisable for growing children. For an old guy like me, however, little concern or threat.

The subject of today's sit-a-long ... no where to run to, baby ... no where we need or can run, baby ... just be still, baby, even as we run for the hills!

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Sit-A-Longs ·

March 20, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

Just a begging bowl

Ryokan, the old big useless fool, writer of cheap poetry and wanderer in both worlds, this one and the next, writes:

Violets and dandelions mixed together in my beggar's bowl are offered to all the buddhas Manifest here, there and everywhere

  Broken bowls, begging bowls, that's what we are. Nothing special, nobody special. Takuhatsu is the action of going begging in the streets, floating away in this fleeting world, things given and received, but who gives, who receives? In the light of the sad events of the past few weeks, Let's take a look at this bowl.

gassho Taigu

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Sit-A-Longs ·

March 15, 2011 @ 2:28 am

WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN …

... WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ... TO GOOD PEOPLE. With the death of perhaps tens of thousands here in Japan, the suffering of countless more ... seemingly innocent children and others among the hardest hit ... some perspectives and teachings on why 'bad things happen'. Karma? Nature? Destiny? A Deity's Mysterious Plan? Simple bad luck? In fact, the truth is that none of us in this life ... none of us ... escape this life with our lives. Long or short, we are here for a time, having wondrously been born ... but do not stay here forever. And, while it is shocking and tragic to see so many have their lives and homes lost at once ... the truth is that most human beings will have such times sometime in life ... if not by earthquake(there was quite an aftershock about 4 minutes into today's shake-a-long talk, as you'll share) or nuclear fallout or flood ... then by a doctor's diagnosis, house fire, traffic accident or the like. The Buddha taught that such is the human condition ... times of old age, sickness, loss and death. All worldly things are impermanent ... including you, me and those we love.

Sounds pretty bleak! ........... But, It's Not! (or, better said, "not only" so heartbreaking).

For, no less, the Buddha offered a medicine for human suffering. Together with teachings on suffering and impermanence, he also taught us another way to experience, to see, to merge into, be at peace, one and whole in these things: ... loss yet never loss possible ... birth and death amid the deathless and unborn ... time flowing as the timeless, beyond count of 'long' 'short' 'young' 'old' ... the waters rushing forward while no place to go ... the earth's shaking in stillness ... houses lost while this 'True Home' remains. "Bad" things happen hand-in-hand with a Peace, tasted in Zazen, which swallows whole all small views of "good" and "bad". Although "all things are change", and some changes are hard and ugly ... there is that which dances with all change, and a heart which, when at peace, can fully let it all just be. Flowers are born of seeds, live for a time, then fall. Same for weeds in life, though we may despise them.

Oh, I do not want anyone to mistake my words for a lack compassion toward the countless people still hungry and thirsty, cold and uprooted just miles north of here, in this country that has been so kind to me for half my life. Far from it, and my heart is broken by what is happening here. But we must feel compassion for everyone, all sentient beings everywhere now suffering.

In the story of Kisa Gotami...

When her son died just a few years into his life, Kisa Gotami went mad with grief. A wise person saw her condition and told her to find the Buddha, who had the medicine she needed. Kisa Gotami went to the Buddha, and asked him to give her the medicine that would restore her dead child to life. The Buddha told her to go out and find a mustard seed from a house where nobody had died. Kisa Gotami was heartened, and began her search, going door to door. Everyone was willing to give her a mustard seed, but every household she encountered had seen at least one death. She understood why the Buddha had sent her on this quest. She returned to the Buddha, who confirmed what she had realized: "There is no house where death does not come." (Jesus also offered a parable of the mustard seed: To those who have faith the size of a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible to you).

NONE OF US CAN ESCAPE.

YET, NONE OF US EVER LESS THAN FREE WHEN SEEN WITH A BUDDHA'S EYE. For donations to the children and people of Japan and other places around the world also in need ...

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

http://www.savethechildren.org

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Sit-A-Longs ·

March 14, 2011 @ 4:47 am

Aftershock

There are people without homes, food, loved ones just 100 miles north of here. My son (who is -not- the child in the photo at left) is obviously shaken, tossed around with the other children in his school classroom when the earthquake hit. A seven year old cannot understand. The child in that photo must be so much more confused ... beyond a child's understanding. The aftershocks and "meltdown" talk as we constantly checked for bulletins were beginning to get to our son, so we send him (with my wife) off to relatives on the other side of Tokyo. After a fews days with no water or toilets (they're back now ... luxuries ... ), checking news bulletins for the nuclear reactors (about 110 miles from here) and being woken from sleep by the aftershocks ... I'm TIRED! But I can't help just feel fortunate that my family and I seem so well off, unscratched. Inconvenienced and sleepless at worst, maybe a bit rattled.

Zazen truly has helped to keep all in perspective this week, centered, bringing stability in the sometime chaos ... earth moves, heart still (even if now and then racing when the rafters and electric lines shake back and forth.). One truly can feel terrifying fear AND fully see through the fear AT ONCE! Fear and Peace, AS ONE! Our "a little" broken house can be fixed. Compared to those really without, hungry and sleeping in the cold, missing sons and daughters, wives and husbands swept away ... we're untouched.

Other than "stuff" ... a fallen roof, some cracked wooden beams, smashed furniture, and broken buddha statues (can they be broken?) ... we're okay. After a couple of days without power and water ... I sit here drinking my coffee, typing on the computer, enjoying a hot shower, like any other day. Here, things are getting back to normal. "Stuff" can be fixed. For these other people, some things will be much harder to repair ... their broken hearts and uprooted lives. All we can do is send our empathy and hopes out to those not so lucky.

Oh, and make efforts to lend a hand were needed (there are probably people in your own community who could use your help today... not only in Japan), and don't forget the cash.

A few people have asked me were to send money. As the Japanese are quite well off generally as a country, I would strongly suggest looking at organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children, which help people in like events in countries which are not so well equiped, Haiti and such.

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

http://www.savethechildren.org

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Sit-A-Longs ·

March 6, 2011 @ 2:43 am

SIT-A-LONG with Taigu: Koku 6

At the end of this chapter,Dogen is quite clear, worthy or not worthy is not the point. Koku is for all. This practice is for all. Everybody belongs.

gassho ! Taigu 

Visit the forum for this discussion!

00:0000:00

Filed under Sit-A-Longs ·

March 3, 2011 @ 2:33 am

March 4-5, 2011- OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI!

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME KINHIN TIMES HAVE BEEN LENGTHENED IN COMPASSION FOR NEW SITTERS JOINING US ...

Dear All,

Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI,netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (1/1) (that is New York 6pm to 10pm, Los Angeles 3pm to 7pm (Friday night 12/31), London 11pm to 3am and Paris midnight to 4am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at USTREAM:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sit-a-long-with-jundo

But FEAR NOT if not possible for you to join 'live' in your location at those times, as the entire sitting is recorded in 'REAL TIME' and available for full participation 'ON DEMAND' at ANY TIME after that, no different from the 'live' sitting . Just click then on the links below:

THE 'REAL TIME, ANY TIME' recorded version is divided into 3 parts as follows (click on the blue links) :

00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN 00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN 01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN 01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN ZAZENKAI PART I LINK: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13089563

01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN 02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN 02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN TALK & ZAZEN PART 2 LINK: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13091980

03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN 03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING ZAZENKAI PART 3 LINK: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13094120

 

Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

Please download and print out the Chant Book (PDF) at the following link:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2231

I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES, AND HAVE ROOM FOR BOWING AND KINHIN.

ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.

I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!

Gassho, Jundo

Visit the forum thread here!

00:0000:00

Filed under Zazenkai ·

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