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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:24 pm 
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That is my understanding as well Astus.

What also has not been mentioned is the fact that most temples are inherited by sons (usually not daughters but sometimes). Whilst in some cases that may work out, I can see how most cases that would be a bad thing. Especially if the sons resent their family "profession".

Gassho,
Seishin.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Seishin wrote:
That is my understanding as well Astus.

What also has not been mentioned is the fact that most temples are inherited by sons (usually not daughters but sometimes). Whilst in some cases that may work out, I can see how most cases that would be a bad thing. Especially if the sons resent their family "profession".

Gassho,
Seishin.


Hi,

At it's finest, it has also brought the priesthood out to deal with life, family, kids, real peoples' concerns. Some Buddhists may need to isolate themselves in a forest, cave or mountain monastery far removed ... others can practice out in the world.

Personally, I come from a long line of Jewish priests and rabbis, handed down father to son. Never hurt that tradition, and kept it relevant and close to peoples' real lives. Sure, not every son wanted to take over from the father ... but how many also grew into that role with maturity? There is a time for practice in a cave or grass hut or monastery staring at one's navel ... but when that is done, one can practice as a Bodhisattva in the child's sickroom or nursery, the household kitchen, in the offices and factories, in buses and cars, in the cancer ward and hospice, in this world and in all others.

Gassho, Jundo


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:53 pm 
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I think (and it's just my opinion) that in this modern society we should be free to choose what lifestyle or profession we lead. However, like Huseng said, there is a lot of social pressure in Japan. Speaking to Japanese friends, if you go against your parents wishes you could be completely rejected by your family (as has happened to one friend). Of course, some parts of Japan are more liberal than others so I guess it depends on where you live and your family unit. The same can also be said for the state of Japanese Buddhism. I'm willing to bet that in many big cities Buddhism is a relic where as in others it's still very productive.

Of course lets not forget that the institution of Buddhism is falling apart in other parts of the world. But for some reason the state of Japanese Buddhism is a hot topic on DharmaWheel. :shrug:

Gassho,
Seishin.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:13 pm 
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I'm trying to be polite by calling you Mr Cohen, Mr Cohen. I don't know what the proper mode of address for someone who is ordained in the Treeleaf tradition, on an internet forum. I offer my apologies for having abraded you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Please note: do not post about making reports in threads. All reports are dealt with in due course.

Post removed.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
I'm trying to be polite by calling you Mr Cohen, Mr Cohen. I don't know what the proper mode of address for someone who is ordained in the Treeleaf tradition, on an internet forum. I offer my apologies for having abraded you.


I am sorry, but are you expressing some kind of bigotry? Something about our tradition or lineage? You truly do not know how to address Japanese lineage clergy from your own practice group (in the Tendai tradition according to what your write)? I would expect just a little more sensitivity from a moderator here. Probably Rev. or the like would be the usual.

I really don't care what the heck you call me, but I don't care for religious prejudice and slights.

Friends or strangers can call me Jundo or anything they want ... but bigots should call me Rev.

Gassho, Jundo


Last edited by jundo cohen on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:08 pm 
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I've never seen him complain about being called "Venerable." Apparently some parts of tradition are backwards or old-fashion, and other parts are really really good. :tongue:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:16 pm 
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:offtopic:

This really isn't making Japanese Buddhism look any better.

:focus:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Well we make only remarks about Japanese Buddhism... what about ELSEWHERE?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:22 pm 
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That was the point I made a few posts back (see above).

Gassho,
Seishin.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:22 pm 
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jundo cohen wrote:

You may forget that, no matter the government's policies and intentions, these matters were actively debated by Buddhist intellectuals for a century or more and, ultimately, the Buddhist clergy "voted" on these policies ... not only within the administrative bodies of the various sects, but in their actual lifestyle choices to be married. Nobody that I am aware of was "forced" to marry, and it was all ultimately a matter of personal right and choice. With regard to Kuruma Takudo, for example ...

Gassho, Jundo


Well as the answer to the Japanese government policy, the heads of Eiheiji and Sojiji in the 70ties of the XIX century strongly opposed any kind of marriage and proclaimed the bill against it. However the will of the gov. was that Buddhist priests would be like Shinto priests, married and with families. Kuruma Roshi was very special case... by the way I know very well Kuruma family and his successors. So what he did was invention of Buddhist marriage ceremony for priests including Bodhisattva oath etc. One can agree with him or not. But many priests also stayed not married and opposed it, since as they claimed,it disturbs a monk practice and is useless. I am not part of any of this discussion, just write what had happened. of course different justifications in different schools appeared in the course of time. But even recently the problem of marriage is picked up. There was a book published in 90ties (XX C.), by soto headquarters about it. Unfortunately i cannot find the book and give you the title, but if I find I will write it. There are new discussions over the subject. Of course I don't think that it may change anything in the current situation. But probably changes in Japanese Buddhism generally will be deeper since Japanese society changed, and is changing a lot. And very fast. Maybe there will be some good opportunities, but maybe not. I cannot say.

For me the problem of married priests is irrelevant. Chinese monks are sarcastic about Japanese monks, but that is also irrelevant.

What matters after all for me is the quality of teaching, quality of experience and realization. If it does not work then nothing really works. Regardless of celibacy, non-celibacy etc. But I understand, that originally monks were not married. Nowhere. Now there are married priests/monks in some traditionally Buddhist countries, like Japan, Mongolia, Korea, and even in continental China. It may accord with Buddha prophecy about married monks in the latter age of dharma.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:26 pm 
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I have problems to send post, and when I did finally it is with wrong title like VEGETARIANISM IN ZEN AND CHAN.... I have no idea what happened :(


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:37 pm 
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It looks like two topics have been merged together so some posts have the subject as "The Healthy State of Buddhism, In Japan and Elsewere" and some posts have the subject as "Vegetarianism in Zen, Chan etc" so if you quote a post your post will have have the same subject as the post you are quoting, if that makes sense.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Japanese Buddhist "clergy" might well be good practitioners even married, but should then not be called bhiksus (or any translation thereof) since they don't follow the vinaya. The Sanskrit term guru or Tibetan lama should IMO be far more appropriate than "priest" in a Buddhist context -- one can be a married guru but not a married monk, which is a contradiction in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise, which has monasticism.

I think the discussion about Buddhism in Japan in the past is a bit irrelevant, what is more important is the state of Buddhadharma in Japan currently and its prospects for long-term survival.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:05 pm 
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My apology to you before was in earnest, Ven. Jundo Cohen. Again, I would like to emphasize that I mean no disrespect to you nor to the lineage you represent.

just Jikan

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
My apology to you before was in earnest, Ven. Jundo Cohen. Again, I would like to emphasize that I mean no disrespect to you nor to the lineage you represent.

just Jikan


Thank you, and sorry for the misunderstanding. Rev. is fine, by the way.

Gassho, Jundo


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Sherlock wrote:
Japanese Buddhist "clergy" might well be good practitioners even married, but should then not be called bhiksus (or any translation thereof) since they don't follow the vinaya. The Sanskrit term guru or Tibetan lama should IMO be far more appropriate than "priest" in a Buddhist context -- one can be a married guru but not a married monk, which is a contradiction in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise, which has monasticism.

I think the discussion about Buddhism in Japan in the past is a bit irrelevant, what is more important is the state of Buddhadharma in Japan currently and its prospects for long-term survival.


Personally, I believe that we follow the Vinaya. Whether the Vinaya follows us is a different question. So, I make no distinction in name or status between Bhiksu, Bhikkuni or Japanese Lineage Clergy with wife and child ... and believe that we all stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters, not ahead or behind, above or below.

Whether others feel the same is their own business.

Gassho, Jundo


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Matylda"What matters after all for me is the quality of teaching, quality of experience and realization. If it does not work then nothing really works. Regardless of celibacy, non-celibacy etc..[/quote]

[quote="Sherlock wrote:
what is more important is the state of Buddhadharma in Japan currently and its prospects for long-term survival.


And I can only agree with both of you. Many great masters in Japan taught lay people with the intention to enlighten them to the Dharma and liberate them all. Since I'm sure that people benefited greatly from Buddhism regardless of their ordination and social status, what we should be concerned about is our own wisdom and the happiness of everyone. It is easy to find bad things anywhere in the world, including monasteries. But if our mind is occupied by only this negative attitude it's hard to see the goodness and beauty. And even if we encounter something awful, the best thing to do is to understand it and learn how to avoid it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Sherlock wrote:
Japanese Buddhist "clergy" might well be good practitioners even married, but should then not be called bhiksus (or any translation thereof) since they don't follow the vinaya. The Sanskrit term guru or Tibetan lama should IMO be far more appropriate than "priest" in a Buddhist context -- one can be a married guru but not a married monk, which is a contradiction in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise, which has monasticism.

I think the discussion about Buddhism in Japan in the past is a bit irrelevant, what is more important is the state of Buddhadharma in Japan currently and its prospects for long-term survival.


Bhikshu originally means realized person regardless of vinaya... at least according to mahayana teaching. Of course in the context of following vinaya it has different popular meaning. Lama is guru, so anybody who becomes a realized teacher could be guru, lay person as well. In Japanese it is HONSHI.

I think that you are right that most important is Buddhadharma and its long term prospect.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:50 pm 
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jundo cohen wrote:

Personally, I believe that we follow the Vinaya. Whether the Vinaya follows us is a different question. So, I make no distinction in name or status between Bhiksu, Bhikkuni or Japanese Lineage Clergy with wife and child ... and believe that we all stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters, not ahead or behind, above or below.

Whether others feel the same is their own business.

Gassho, Jundo


In Japanese buddhism the bodhisattva vinaya is most crucial, and one follows it if one develops genuine bodhicitta. Vinaya of bodhisattvaas is totally different in this respect then vinaya of shravakas. So one has to make certain what do we mean by saying vinaya. In the shravaka sense Japanese priest may or may not follow vinaya. In mahayana sense they could follow. But there is no excuse either, since bodhicitta is very difficult to attain. But the ideal is clear.


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