Tendai recitations

Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Sat May 18, 2013 5:05 pm

Sure. The variables I mentioned above include the number of participants (how long it takes people to process in and out...), the length of the sutra, and so on. Twenty minutes is very bare-bones, very fast-paced, for a solo practitioner.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby coldwater » Tue May 21, 2013 1:21 am

Hi, I apologize for the long post, I don't get internet often enough to contribute in real time…so sorry if it seems like a long winded rant! :D

Tatsuo-
The two services you cited from an Enryakuji may be just the standard 'Enryakuji' form but then each temple outside of that may or may not follow the same schedule and practices. Within in Tendai there is a lot of variation and lineages, as is true of other forms of Buddhism. I don't think anything has been really 'standardized' outside of Japan as it might appear. Even the term 'American Tendai' means a lot more than TBI as there are other Sangha affialiated with Tendai (and work with TBI)- and not just in America. I am hesitant to even use a term like 'American Tendai' as it may perpetuate some sort of sectarian type of idea? Could end up using differences as a measure of value rather than as the expression of dispositions/needs of communities.

I imagine there are probably variations or emphasis on different aspects in each community based on their needs and goals. I appreciate that different folks can specialize and share. If there are 84,000 dharma doors there will be 84,000 communities that support them. From what has been relayed to me each group has it's own personality but everyone is working towards similar goals and is harmonious.

In regards to the more practical approaches the California monastery takes-
All visitors/participants that come to the monastery partake in the servicess listed below if visit stick for more than tea. A strong interest in esoteric or monastic practice is helpful in digesting the experience. If they decide it is not for them then recommendations and referrals are freely made. The goal is engaging in and maintaing various practices while providing space for interested folks to do mountain training.
Outside of the monastery we interact in a more public way and do accommodate for brevity and experience. For example the morning meditation in SF includes the 10 good precepts, Heart Sutra then 10 minutes of group mantra chanting and 20 minutes of silent meditation. Mostly in Japanese. Talks are given both in SF and the surrounding area as an introduction to Buddhism. Hopefully people take that information and then fire up the effort to practice and study more in some manner- either with us or elsewhere.

Regarding the generalization/perceived cultural bias of American (and UK-ers) about the hesitancy with devotional or faith based practices…I think we attract how we present ourselves. If we promotes ourselves as communities that take a scientific/skeptic approach we will naturally draw that sort of participant. Then we need to present that sort of teaching. For example- various flavors of Tibetan Buddhism are all pretty 'woo woo' to outsiders who might have a 'scientific' disposition. But they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves- if we are evaluating their success on numbers of participants/centers.
I understand the 'blindly chanting' thing. Seen and heard that happen as well. I've also seen people without much experience have extremely profound responses to chanting mantra or sutra without knowing the meaning. They intuit the dharma and the chanting is capable of bypassing the superficial chatter of the mind and can lead to some taste of stillness, very healing and very rich. I don't think it is a cultural fact that people generally perceive it as empty ritual if they can't understand it intellectually (or think they have to have a line by line translation and glossary available!).
So from my view I see the approach as not accomodating a non-Buddhist culture but creating and nourishing a religious sub-culture within secular society. We can't duplicate the current Japanese approaches or forms…since we don't have the culture of it. We need to be thoughtful in how we modify this inheritance. If we are authentic in our own practice we will naturally harmonize with those around us and spiritual inclinations will arise in our community.
I also don't believe a rapidly expanding community of practitioners is always a sign of adapting the teachings to a culture. It makes me worried that we might just be adapting the dharma to every changing secular trends and methods? A numbers/growth focus on success gets too close to the realm of Buddhist-industrial-complex for my tastes.


It is really great to be able to pioneer this form of Buddhadharma and bring in the experiences, vision and efforts of people from all over the U.S. (and internationally!). It is also good to be able to work and be in harmony with the Japanese priests/temples whenever possible so that there can be cross-education with them. Though there may be differences in how each temple operates or does services- each has made that choice based on keeping the dharma available and helping their community with practices that lead them to develop deeper wisdom and compassion. Many adaptations, successes, failures and variations of the Tendai teachings outside of Japan will come.

Below is from the Taishu Kaju that has been put in romaji format that is used at the monastery for daily recitation. There is a project on a romaji/hiragana/kanji version that can be used by both Japanese and Enligsh speakers. Combined with meditation and mantra practice each service is from 1.5-2.5 hours. The public service is from 5minutes to a half hour.

Every Morning
Hokke Sembo - Lotus Repentance, Morning Service
Sou Rai Kada
Sou Rai Sanbou
Ku You Mon
Kei Rei Dan
*Rokkon Dan ( 6 sections)
*Shi Ge (4 sections)
Shi Hou Nembutsu
San Rai
Shichi Butsu Tsuu Kai Ge

*on alternate days this is replaced with the verse and prose of the first sphere of physical activity from Chapter 14, "Anraku" of the Lotus Sutra

Evenings, on rotation

1-Reiji Saho - Part 1
Shu Zai Ka Da
San Rai
Shichi Butsu Tsu Kai Ge
Kou Kon Ge
Mu Jo Ge
Roku I
Shi Bu Jo
Kou Nenbutsu
Amida Sutra
Kou Nembutsu
Gassatsu
Eko
Go Bai
San Rai
Shichi Butsu Tsuu Kai Ge

2-Reiji Saho - Part 2
Sho Ya Ge
Kushou Nem Butsu
Oui Sange
Go Nen Mon (5 sections)
Eko Kada

3-Gongyo Saho, Dai I Shiki
San Rai
San Ge Mon
Hotsu Gan Mon
Kai Kyou Ge
Jin Riki Hon (Power of the Tathagata, Lotus Sutra- verse and prose)
Hannya Shingyo
Shomyou
Hokke Jobutsu Ge
Eko Kada

4-Gongyo Saho, Dai Ni Shiki
San Rai
San Ge Mon
San Ki San Kyou
Kai Kyou Ge
Ji Ga Ge (Eternal Life of the Tathagata, Lotus Sutra, prose)
Juu Nyo Ze (from Hoben Chapter)
En Don Shou
Shari Rai Mon
Hon Gaku Son
Kou Myou Shingon
Zuigu Darani
Kan Gyo Mon
Nembutsu
Eko Mon
Nembutsu
Nem Butsu Ekou Ge

5-Gongyo Saho, Dai San Shiki
San Rai
Nyorai Bai
Age Kan Jou
Kai Kyou Ge
Kannon Gyo - verse and prose
En Mei Jikku Kannon Gyou
Eko

6-Kaji Kito
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby coldwater » Tue May 21, 2013 1:37 am

@Porkchop

I'd be interested in seeing the 'Tian Tai recitations' book. I'd imagine it is quite different than the Japanese because of the difference in time/culture developments...? Is it from an active Tian Tai temple or it is from a certain period?

I visited Master Chi Hoi, the 45th patriarch of Tian Tai residing in San Francisco (he is 87 and doesn't seem to be retiring), and he said there really isn't a 'Tian Tai sect' in China that is taught separately. There is mostly mixing of traditions and teachings. It had a wide influence and Chinese Buddhism didn't develop as strong sectarian tendencies as there are in Japan. The temple he leads in SF is essentially a Pure Land type of temple that serves the immigrant Chinese community. He lectures on Zen, Tian Tai and Pureland and general Buddhist topics. Their recitation book looks generic 'Buddhist temple'. It isn't their own printing ...that has various monthly services to Medicine Buddha, Amitabha, Shakyamuni, the Arhats, 88 Buddhas, a collection of morning mantras etc. Looks like it was printed in the 80s. I believe City of Ten Thousand Buddhas had a similar book about 10 years ago. Older funky typewriter font with Chinese characters, pinyin and a translation.

To relate it to the thread...here is an example of the Tian Tai master in America who has adopted the services to suit the needs of the community he and his nuns serve. Some of his lectures have been translated into English but it seems if you can speak Mandarin you would have a lot of great information available from him as he has appeared very active in lecturing.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby PorkChop » Tue May 21, 2013 4:13 am

coldwater wrote:@Porkchop

I'd be interested in seeing the 'Tian Tai recitations' book. I'd imagine it is quite different than the Japanese because of the difference in time/culture developments...? Is it from an active Tian Tai temple or it is from a certain period?

I visited Master Chi Hoi, the 45th patriarch of Tian Tai residing in San Francisco (he is 87 and doesn't seem to be retiring), and he said there really isn't a 'Tian Tai sect' in China that is taught separately. There is mostly mixing of traditions and teachings. It had a wide influence and Chinese Buddhism didn't develop as strong sectarian tendencies as there are in Japan. The temple he leads in SF is essentially a Pure Land type of temple that serves the immigrant Chinese community. He lectures on Zen, Tian Tai and Pureland and general Buddhist topics. Their recitation book looks generic 'Buddhist temple'. It isn't their own printing ...that has various monthly services to Medicine Buddha, Amitabha, Shakyamuni, the Arhats, 88 Buddhas, a collection of morning mantras etc. Looks like it was printed in the 80s. I believe City of Ten Thousand Buddhas had a similar book about 10 years ago. Older funky typewriter font with Chinese characters, pinyin and a translation.

To relate it to the thread...here is an example of the Tian Tai master in America who has adopted the services to suit the needs of the community he and his nuns serve. Some of his lectures have been translated into English but it seems if you can speak Mandarin you would have a lot of great information available from him as he has appeared very active in lecturing.


Master Chi Hoi's temple sounds almost exactly like the Vietnamese temple I go to - TianTai, Pure Land, and Thien all taught together.
Like Master Chi Hoi, my teacher at the temple is trained in TianTai, one of the nuns there is trained in Thien.
I'll pm you for the other.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Tue May 21, 2013 7:50 am

Thankyou for that fantastic information Coldwater-san :smile:

Gassho,
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby coldwater » Thu May 30, 2013 6:27 pm

Hello! No problem, hope it was useful...I also found these bits that might be relevant to the discussion...

Jimon branch Tendai service- another flavor...

http://jkllr.net/2009/03/13/tendai-buddhist-liturgy/ <-some links to recording and a translation of AM/PM service sections. Elsewhere in this person's blog they post a few Rinzai services which they are very similar to Tendai...

(ahh...just edited this...was a repeat of the Jimon link Seishin posted! sorry...)

also if you have an Android phone you can download a Tendai Heart Sutra App?!?! Apps for everything.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... C_00000189
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Thu May 30, 2013 6:58 pm

I had tried to down load the app before but it said it wasn't available in my country, which was a little strange... :thinking:
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