vows and commitments in Tendai?

vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 10:59 am

I know that Tendai has some esoteric Buddhist practices. Are any empowerments required to practice these? And do Tendai Buddhists have to follow any special vows because of their esoteric practices?
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Seishin » Wed May 01, 2013 11:02 am

You need to be ordained before you can learn mikkyo. I'm not sure if there are any special vows or empowerments as I'm a lay person :tongue:

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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 11:41 am

Seishin wrote:You need to be ordained before you can learn mikkyo. I'm not sure if there are any special vows or empowerments as I'm a lay person :tongue:

Gassho,
Seishin

There's nothing with being a lay person! :D

I just thought that lay Tendai Buddhists practiced a few mikkyo rituals (pujas, chants, etc.) together as a group, but I guess I was wrong.
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Seishin » Wed May 01, 2013 1:26 pm

You can "take part" but you won't be practising mikkyo in the strictest sense. Some teachers might teach you mantras (even mudras) during a retreat however this is very much down to the teachers personal choice.

This is how I've been taught anyways :tongue:

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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Jikan » Wed May 01, 2013 1:42 pm

Seishin wrote:You can "take part" but you won't be practising mikkyo in the strictest sense. Some teachers might teach you mantras (even mudras) during a retreat however this is very much down to the teachers personal choice.


Exactly. For instance, if there is a goma ceremony, the whole temple is involved in one way or another, but the priest is the one actually doing the mikkyo.

Yes, there are abishekas (empowerments) in Tendai, but these are conducted under quite different circumstances than in contemporary Tibetan Buddhism. You don't need abisheka to practice Tendai meaningfully, but you do need some kind of connection to and instruction from a teacher who is competent.

As far as vows and commitments go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva_vow#Zen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmajala ... ahayana%29

Finally, if you would like to get some background in how Tendai works, and to make some contact with Tendai people in Europe, start here:

http://tendai.eu/

notice on the right of the page that you can sign up for an online class for free.
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 1:53 pm

How does one go about getting ordained in the Tendai setting?
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Jikan » Wed May 01, 2013 2:04 pm

Depends.

If you are Japanese, or are very, very capable in Japanese language and culture and have a teacher to sponsor you, then you can apply to train at Mt. Hiei.

If not, then you can ordain at Tendai Buddhist Institute in upstate New York, USA, or at a particular temple in Hawaii (about which I know very little, but jikai here at DharmaWheel has a wealth of valuable insights and experiences). Here is some topical information on training at TBI:

http://dctendai.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-gyo.html

http://www.tendai.org/organizational-questions/


Also to be considered: one can practice in a monastic setting at California Tendai Monastery. More here:

http://www.caltendai.org/BecomingAMonk.html


Related thread, particularly with information on training in Hawaii:

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11113
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Nikolay » Wed May 01, 2013 2:29 pm

Jikan:

In your blog post (written in 2011) you mention that you are going to attend your fourth 10-day training period, yet in the same post you give your title as doshu. Does it mean that one doesn't have to complete all 60 days to be ordained? Sorry if I misunderstood something.

Also, does training include some kind of study in the periods between formal gyo?
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Jikan » Wed May 01, 2013 2:40 pm

Doshu is a provisional ordination in our school. This means I have a limited leadership role, some teaching responsibility, and such. I am basically a temple assistant who has been asked to lead a branch sangha. So that is what I do. As of this writing, I have not completed my training and not yet taken full tokudo (ordination).

The training never really stops. Participants are expected to practice what they learn at the temple as best they can, and indeed are asked to study. The content of that study varies somewhat from student to student.
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Nikolay » Wed May 01, 2013 2:47 pm

Jikan wrote:Doshu is a provisional ordination in our school. This means I have a limited leadership role, some teaching responsibility, and such. I am basically a temple assistant who has been asked to lead a branch sangha. So that is what I do. As of this writing, I have not completed my training and not yet taken full tokudo (ordination).

The training never really stops. Participants are expected to practice what they learn at the temple as best they can, and indeed are asked to study. The content of that study varies somewhat from student to student.

I see. Is full tokudo identical with Soryo rank?

Also, could you tell what kind of materials do participants study in Tendai? Like, key philosophical texts, maybe?
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Jikan » Wed May 01, 2013 2:54 pm

mirage wrote:I see. Is full tokudo identical with Soryo rank?


Да.

Also, could you tell what kind of materials do participants study in Tendai? Like, key philosophical texts, maybe?


I can't speak to what others have been asked to read. I've primarily read histories, sutras, commentaries, and some doctrinal texts such as Swanson's book T'ien-T'ai Philosophy. There have been instances where I have been asked to read less and spend my time on other tasks, such as leading the DC sangha (a task I absolutely, positively did NOT volunteer for).

Again, speaking personally: I got into this only because I wanted to learn and I wanted to practice with earnest people who take practice seriously. All the rest of it followed from there. Some people are motivated differently; there are some who really like being in front of a group of people, who enjoy being "the leader." I am not one of those. Part of my training has been to push me out of my comfort area and, hence, into a leadership role.
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby Nikolay » Wed May 01, 2013 3:06 pm

Jikan wrote:Да.

That gave me a Zen moment :rolling:

To avoid derailing, I replied in another thread.
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Re: vows and commitments in Tendai?

Postby jikai » Wed May 08, 2013 2:14 am

Jikan wrote:Depends.

If you are Japanese, or are very, very capable in Japanese language and culture and have a teacher to sponsor you, then you can apply to train at Mt. Hiei.

If not, then you can ordain at Tendai Buddhist Institute in upstate New York, USA, or at a particular temple in Hawaii (about which I know very little, but jikai here at DharmaWheel has a wealth of valuable insights and experiences). Here is some topical information on training at TBI:

http://dctendai.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-gyo.html

http://www.tendai.org/organizational-questions/


Also to be considered: one can practice in a monastic setting at California Tendai Monastery. More here:

http://www.caltendai.org/BecomingAMonk.html


Related thread, particularly with information on training in Hawaii:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11113


aww thanks Jikan san, :D

Yes that is correct. Training can be undertaken at the Hawaii Betsuin. It is also possible, through the Hawaii Betsuin to train in certain circumstances at various temples in Japan- as a way of meeting the training requirements. But this option takes time to organise, and requires that you meet with the particular abbots and get their permission and so forth.
Here is an article on our website regarding training in Hawaii (forgive the spelling mistakes in it):
http://tendaiaustralia.org.au/Training- ... etsuin.php

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