Obaku?

Re: Obaku?

Postby rory » Fri May 16, 2014 2:57 am

Hmm, ask Rev. Dodatsu a young Shinshu priest studying at Kyoto what he thinks about Jodo Shinshu followers meditating. It happened it the US due to cultural pressures. Jodo Shu says you may do other practices if it helps you on the way to sole Nenbutus. I've practiced with a Jodo monk and trainee priest, attended a Shinshu temple, had Nichiren senseis and attended a Tendai teaching temple and the sheer wealth of practices of the latter, is very liberating.
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brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 4:45 am

rory wrote:(Jodo Shinshu followers meditating) happened it the US due to cultural pressures.

No, it happened because of Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei.
DharmaNet video of Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei talking about meditation part 1
DharmaNet video of Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei talking about meditation part 2
Tricycle interview with Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei

There's at least one other Shin temple in Japan teaching vipassana.

rory wrote:Hmm, ask Rev. Dodatsu a young Shinshu priest studying at Kyoto what he thinks about Jodo Shinshu followers meditating.

Doesn't really matter though, because the official practices of Jodo Shinshu: "monpo" and "naikan" are both deep introspection techniques.
Not all meditation has to be just focusing on one's breath.
BFF talking about monpo practice
Marysville Buddhist Church talking about Monpo Practice
Tricycle article on Naikan practice

BCA Website wrote:Guided by the teach­ing of Shin­ran Shonin, we shall lis­ten to the com­pas­sion­ate call­ing of Amida Tatha­gata and recite the Nem­butsu. While always reflect­ing on our­selves, amidst our feel­ings of regret and joy, we shall live express­ing our grat­i­tude with­out depend­ing on peti­tionary prayer and superstition.


Introspection and internal observation are the very heart of Vipassana practice.

rory wrote:Jodo Shu says you may do other practices if it helps you on the way to sole Nenbutus.

You kind of missed the context there; they're talking about with Pure Land as the goal.
Other practices are fine if they're not meant to supercede Nembutsu in the context of attaining Pure Land birth.
Honen says as much in a letter of Promise of Amida, (para) "do whatever practices you want after you've established yourself in the nembutsu".
Besides, the Jodo Shu Otsutome has other practices besides Nembutsu and it is the recommended daily service.
It's not like the Otsutome is eventually whittled down to just the Nembutsu.
Jodo Shu Otsutome

rory wrote:... the sheer wealth of practices of the latter, is very liberating.

There's a good reason "Jack of All Trades" (master of none) is a common phrase.
Trying to maintain a multitude of practices doesn't work out well for all people.
Some people like to multi-task, others not so much.
It's not like the idea of single practice doesn't have precedence in Buddhism:
Single practice in ancient commentary on Dhammapada vs 25
That being said, as I've already demonstrated, "single practice" is not quite an accurate description - as there are multiple practices.

EDIT: Cleaned up the mess.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby rory » Fri May 16, 2014 6:58 am

Pork Chop; I don't want to argue with you; what are the various practices have you engaged it then? List them and then I shall list mine. I think that's helpful
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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: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 12:02 pm

rory wrote:Pork Chop; I don't want to argue with you; what are the various practices have you engaged it then? List them and then I shall list mine. I think


Really?
Because any time I talk on this stuff you've always got comments to try to dispute what I say. You've been on an anti-Pure Land agenda for so long you can't let a post go by that doesn't fit the scope of your rhetoric, no matter how well-referenced the post is. I guess I'm being the difficult one because I'm presenting truthful information about the practices of these schools?

Now you want to measure and compare practices?
Ooooh, does the winner of the greatest number of practices get a prize?

Presenting my own practices is invalid, as I started out in Tiantai, so I'll just list the multiple practices of these "single practice" schools in question.
For what it's worth I've already done this twice now.

as I said before:
Pork Chop wrote:So sutra recitation, seated meditation (or "deep listening"), various forms of introspection ("naikan"), precepts, vows, offerings, repentance, merit transference, etc are all part and parcel of those schools. I imagine the situation is similar for the other "single practice" schools as well. I know for a fact that there are Soto Zen people who do, in fact, chant nembutsu and one only need to look at a Soto Zen service book to see that they do a lot more than "just sit".

Jodo Shu Daily Service ....
General outline of Jodo practices
To that first list, you can also add Pratyutpanna (constant walking) Nembutsu (a form of mindfulness), listening to Dharma Talks, visualization meditation (supplementary, but still there if one reads the sutras as one is advised to do), generation of bodhicitta, Genshin's Ojoraisan ceremony, reflection on impermanence, reflection on 4 noble truths, effort towards 8 fold path, studying of commentaries, giving (paramitas), Shakyo (sutra copying), O-Bon or Ullambana to remember those who've gone before...
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Jikan » Fri May 16, 2014 12:24 pm

PorkChop wrote:
rory wrote:... the sheer wealth of practices of the latter, is very liberating.

There's a good reason "Jack of All Trades" (master of none) is a common phrase.
Trying to maintain a multitude of practices doesn't work out well for all people.
Some people like to multi-task, others not so much.
It's not like the idea of single practice doesn't have precedence in Buddhism:
Single practice in ancient commentary on Dhammapada vs 25
That being said, as I've already demonstrated, "single practice" is not quite an accurate description - as there are multiple practices.



Fair enough if true, but if you take a look at how it works for Tendai practitioners (which is what rory was referring to in the quoted piece above), you'll find that early on trainees are introduced to a multiplicity of practices, and once they know enough to perform their roles in the temple, they tend to specialize for lack of a better word. There are no jacks-of-all. Instead, you'll find elderly masters of doctrine who may not have performed a goma since they finished their shido kegyo in their youth. Or kaihogyo masters. My own teacher's practice is largely oriented around seated meditation. Others concentrate on nembutsu practice. The analogy is a bit like the navy: sure, all sailors are trained to fight fires and man the deck if necessary, and everyone knows something about the mission, and all these roles are available in the navy--in reality, you don't have people cooking in the galley in firefighting gear. Make sense?

I don't think the jack-of-all, master-of-none criticism is a fair one in this instance. It doesn't correspond to the lives of practitioners.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Jikan » Fri May 16, 2014 12:26 pm

I should add that I found Baroni's biography of Tetsugen Doko inspiring in a number of respects. It also gives some insight into the historical role of the Surangama Sutra in Japan. Recommended.

http://www.sunypress.edu/p-4342-iron-eyes.aspx
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Rokushu » Fri May 16, 2014 12:47 pm

Jikan, thanks for the great links. PorkChop, do you mean Rory is "anti-Pure Land" because he isn't "Nembutsu only to the exclusion to all others", personally I don't believe in one exclusive practice, sometimes I chant Namo Adida Phat (my nearest neighbor, Vietnam, chants Nembutsu this way), then I do sitting meditation(Thien, VN word for Chan or Zen), other mantras and chants, I combine, mix and match, why do people object to this?
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Jikan » Fri May 16, 2014 1:04 pm

Rokushu wrote:Jikan, thanks for the great links. PorkChop, do you mean Rory is "anti-Pure Land" because he isn't "Nembutsu only to the exclusion to all others", personally I don't believe in one exclusive practice, sometimes I chant Namo Adida Phat (my nearest neighbor, Vietnam, chants Nembutsu this way), then I do sitting meditation(Thien, VN word for Chan or Zen), other mantras and chants, I combine, mix and match, why do people object to this?


I don't object to it. The best Dharma practice is the Dharma practice you are able to do. Does that make sense?

Usually, everyone does a little bit of something every day. That's good. To me, the practice that you do all the time is the most important one. I think the Lotus Sutra gives a helpful instruction in this in Chapter 20. You can read it here in English:

http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lo ... a_B20.html
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 1:15 pm

Jikan wrote:I don't think the jack-of-all, master-of-none criticism is a fair one in this instance. It doesn't correspond to the lives of practitioners.


I didn't mean it as a criticism of Tendai as a whole. As you pointed out and as I pointed out earlier with Tiantai, there's specialization. Just because one consciously chooses a more limited range of practices doesn't mean one should be criticized for it either - because in practice, that's how it works in the more comprehensive schools. The point of that statement was to show that some folks realize they can handle a wide range of practices pretty quickly.



PS- that should've been "Shan-Tao's OjoRaisan ceremony in my previous post, not Genshin's. Was trying to get ready for work while prepping that post.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Jikan » Fri May 16, 2014 1:18 pm

PorkChop wrote:
Jikan wrote:I don't think the jack-of-all, master-of-none criticism is a fair one in this instance. It doesn't correspond to the lives of practitioners.


I didn't mean it as a criticism of Tendai as a whole. As you pointed out and as I pointed out earlier with Tiantai, there's specialization. Just because one consciously chooses a more limited range of practices doesn't mean one should be criticized for it either - because in practice, that's how it works in the more comprehensive schools. The point of that statement was to show that some folks realize they can handle a wide range of practices pretty quickly.



PS- that should've been "Shan-Tao's OjoRaisan ceremony in my previous post, not Genshin's. Was trying to get ready for work while prepping that post.


Oh, I'm sorry--I misunderstood the context. And thanks for the clarification.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Rokushu wrote:PorkChop, do you mean Rory is "anti-Pure Land" because he isn't "Nembutsu only to the exclusion to all others", personally I don't believe in one exclusive practice, sometimes I chant Namo Adida Phat (my nearest neighbor, Vietnam, chants Nembutsu this way), then I do sitting meditation(Thien, VN word for Chan or Zen), other mantras and chants, I combine, mix and match, why do people object to this?


No, Rory's anti-Pure Land because any time she's on a thread where Pure Land's involved, she's got something critical to say, especially in response to anyone who posts in response to her accusations.

I have no problem if you want to do a wide range of practices. I'm not criticising it, especially if that's what you feel drawn to. Maybe my post came off that way, but it wasn't my intention. My intention was to point out that not everyone feels comfortable with a wide range of practices and will feel more comfortable doing a smaller selection (my other thesis being that "single" is not quite an adequate term). I don't know why people object to this idea of specializing.

EDIT:
Just to clarify where I'm coming from: I started at the Tiantai temple at the same time I started online courses through the FPMT (Tibetan Buddhism - Gelug school), at the same time I started a Lam Rim study group (also Tibetan Buddhism - Gelug school), and was even delving into Theravada with my Laotian muay thai coach. In fact, I probably would've gone with the Gelug school, but the sheer number of sadhanas, daily practices, mantras, and observance days was overwhelming. I couldn't maintain it. Even with TianTai, the uposatha days with the bi-monthly repentance ceremonies, the bodhisattva observance days, the service projects, and the wide range of practices - could also be a little overwhelming (especially for a father of 2 with a house to maintain and a job that requires a lot of "homework"). We did a bit of sitting with the Tibetan Gelug groups - but it was usually for short duration. The Tiantai services always had about 20 min of sitting and the Theravadans were telling me an hour every morning and evening. Pretty soon I was sitting a lot. The only changes I noticed were mostly negative ones - a level of mental fatigue & grumpiness that I really couldn't afford with my job and family. For me a simple routine works out better. Haven't given up sitting completely (still sit occasionally with a Zen group on Thursdays), but I find much more benefit from other activities.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 1:24 pm

Jikan wrote:
PorkChop wrote:
Jikan wrote:I don't think the jack-of-all, master-of-none criticism is a fair one in this instance. It doesn't correspond to the lives of practitioners.


I didn't mean it as a criticism of Tendai as a whole. As you pointed out and as I pointed out earlier with Tiantai, there's specialization. Just because one consciously chooses a more limited range of practices doesn't mean one should be criticized for it either - because in practice, that's how it works in the more comprehensive schools. The point of that statement was to show that some folks realize they can handle a wide range of practices pretty quickly.



PS- that should've been "Shan-Tao's OjoRaisan ceremony in my previous post, not Genshin's. Was trying to get ready for work while prepping that post.


Oh, I'm sorry--I misunderstood the context. And thanks for the clarification.


No worries, I'm still trying to figure out how to communicate effectively on these boards and get my point across. Not quite there yet.

pps- that should be "realize they can not handle a wide range of practices pretty quickly".
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Re: Obaku?

Postby Dodatsu » Fri May 16, 2014 1:39 pm

Most if not all Shin Buddhists in Japan don't practice meditation, period. It would be fair to say most laypeople even in the Zen sects don't practice meditation on a regular basis either. Since this thread is to discuss on Obaku i will refrain from commenting further.
Contemplating the power of Tathagata's Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
- Shinran Shonin
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 3:28 pm

Dodatsu wrote:Most if not all Shin Buddhists in Japan don't practice meditation, period. It would be fair to say most laypeople even in the Zen sects don't practice meditation on a regular basis either. Since this thread is to discuss on Obaku i will refrain from commenting further.


Then I'll retract my statement about seated meditation.
I still maintain that there is a certain amount of mindfulness and introspection as part of the Shin buddhist path.

===============================================================================================================================================

Getting back to OP, found another link:

Not sure how reliable this site is

An Obaku poem:
Obaku: The only difference is.. wrote:It is a fact that there is nothing to be attained.

If you become enlightened in an instant,
or as a result of long practicing the Ten Stages,
the resulting enlightenment is the same.

One is not shallow, nor the other deep.

The only difference is
that the latter simply involves ages of pain and labour.

-Obaku school/sect of Zen


Sample of Obaku founder Yinyuan Longqi's calligraphy:
Image

Some more biographical info on Yinyuan Longqi

Hope that makes up for the thread hijack.
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Re: Obaku?

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 16, 2014 4:35 pm

Dug up some videos on Obaku Zen:

A couple minutes of chanting (says it's in sanskrit):


Outdoor sutra chanting & ceremony:


Video on etiquette for entering an Obaku temple (such as for a funeral service) and making incense offering:


More sutra chanting & what sounds like Nianfo/Nembutsu chanting in Chinese (in which case, might be easier to just stick with Chinese Buddhism):


Chinese O-Bon ceremony with some footage from around the outside of the temple (beware, stuffed chicken kind of graphic):


Chinese O-Bon afternoon ceremony:


Chinese O-Bon evening ceremony:


Various scenes in and around Manpuku Ji temple:


Short clip of recitation of MahaPrajnaParamita in 600 fascicles (1):


Short clip of recitation of MahaPrajnaParamita in 600 fascicles (2) - kind of reminds me of Tendai:


Manpuku Ji Art festival:


Tour of Manpuku temple (this time with narration in Japanese):


Manpuku Ji's official youtube channel - 2 vids
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Re: Obaku?

Postby rory » Fri May 16, 2014 9:06 pm

We can continue the discussion in the Mahayana forum or General forum of East Asian if those wish it and Rev. Dodatsu and Ven. Indrajala can comment without hijacking the thread.
with gassho
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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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