Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:43 am

In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:38 pm

I stayed there twice.

Back breaking labor in the rice paddy.
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby plwk » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:20 pm

I am always curious about the floor cloth mopping... is it an instituted past legacy or that they can't afford a modern mop?
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:28 pm

In most Japanese temples it is done like this... it requires a special technique otherwise you suddenly halt and/or trip over your hands.
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:58 pm

Sounds a bit intense for my taste. But hey, I am glad others are strong enough to tough it out!
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby rory » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:09 am

we did the floor thing cleaning the temple at the Tendai Betsuin; if you're small and supple it's good fun; if not you can sprain your back. Eating food uber quietly and everything on your plate, really freaked me out, it wasn't mindful at all for me... Though some people during gyo became fixated on food...I wouldn't be able to take the lack of variety; zazen morning noon and night at Antaiji. After experiencing single practice schools such as Soto, Pure Land, Nichiren and then muli-practice, the latter is far wiser....
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Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:38 am

For those naturally inclined to focused samadhi practice it could work. But with a chaotic mind like mine the multi-pronged approach of Tibetan Buddhism is more appropriate.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:36 pm

I personally don't think discipline remedies a chaotic mind. It just tames the outward expression of it.

Meditative bliss placates the mind, not folding bedsheets in the proper way or sweeping the floor.
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby rory » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:43 pm

I think spending a set time in intense practice does lead to meditative bliss, as I never had so many experiences until Tendai gyo, even cleaning a porch or doing prostrations led to it. But at the same time the obsessive regimentation and the overdoing things which led to knee and back injuries, and in my case vomiting and fainting is counter-productive and just plain sadistic. Various people also have different issues, so the one size fits all of training is not helpful. I know priests who told me they thought of food, morning, noon and night, you can look 'perfect' on the outside but your mind is doing a whole other something else. My way of dealing with the pressure was to make jokes and smoke an illicit cigarette behind the chicken coop. But I miss going to a temple and devoting myself to the dharma: lectures, chanting, mikkyo, various meditation techniques - now that the time I spent totally devoted to attaining liberation was amazing.
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Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby Luke » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:29 pm

Wow! That German roshi seems like a very special human being. He seems very kind and wise.

Thanks for posting the video, Ven. Khedrup. :namaste:
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:36 pm

His book about Zen is a very good read, don't know if it's available in English, though.

http://www.amazon.de/Zazen-oder-Weg-zum-Gl%C3%BCck/dp/3499622033/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384612117&sr=8-1&keywords=muho

It's mostly autobiographic about the training he received. He also suffered lots of physical abuse in the monasteries, including Antaiji. One day e.g. when he had a stomach issue and couldn't help but throw up his food, the older monks forced him to lick up his vomit from the floor.

If today the life at Antaiji is "only" back breaking work and strict discipline, this is a huge progress, cause it actually means Muho put an end to the abuse.
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
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Re: Documentary on Zen monastery in Japan with German abbot

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:48 pm

Indrajala wrote:I personally don't think discipline remedies a chaotic mind. It just tames the outward expression of it.

Meditative bliss placates the mind, not folding bedsheets in the proper way or sweeping the floor.


Is the purpose of the strict discipline to placate the mind? Or to challenge a mind that is placated? For example, if your mind is still and you introduce a hurricane into the room, can it stay still? It's very easy to keep a still mind when there is nothing there to challenge it's stillness. But when you throw it into a hurricane, now you have a challenge! Seems that way to me anyway. :smile:
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