Tendai recitations

Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Tatsuo » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:13 am

Ahh right! Sorry. :anjali:
Well I understand, that students want to know what they are reciting. I my former Zen group we had the translations of the texts available, but we didn't bother with studying (the texts we were reciting or other texts). So most people did not understand the texts - at least I didn't and I'm almost sure, I wasn't the only one. Though I wouldn't say that the recitation of random words is comparable to reciting Buddhist texts one does not fully understand.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:26 pm

I'm sorry if my previous comment was a bit curt, Tatsuo. I didn't mean it to be, but rereading it, it seems unnecessarily so.

For your own practice: if you want to recite the Lotus Sutra, recite it often and with full conviction! It's a powerful document.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby jikai » Thu May 17, 2012 8:53 am

@ Tatsuo,

I just wanted to note that although I agree with both Jikan and Seishin in the sense that most Westerners find the Heart Sutra more accessable, not all Western Tendai Sangha have responded in the same way. I am a student of Ara Ryokan sensei of Hawaii (I live in Australia along with another student/priest). Our services are either straight out of the Taishu Kaju (Tendai Priest Okyobon) or abridged versions. In other words in Hawaii and in Australia, we always use the Lotus sutra as the central sutra within gongyo during the morning and the Amida Kyo being the central eveing gongyo sutra. Therefore if we recite the Heart Sutra it is always as an addition to a chapter of the Lotus sutra. As I mentioned I agree with both Jikan and Seishin in that the Heart Sutra rings is more easily identifiable as Buddhist to most westerners but Ara sensei, Eikan sensei and Ryodo sensei (the teachers at the Hawaii Betsuin) have always steered on the side of caution when it comes to these sorts of things. I have to say I don't necessarily disagree with them. The difference between our recitation of the Lotus sutra and that done in Japan lies in the pre-exegesis usually given to lay memebrs regarding the Lotus Sutra. It does mean that our Sangha's tend to grow less quickly than perhaps the New York Betsuin has...this is still something that needs to be developed a little more. Again though,with respect, I must admit, I find it hard to imagine services at the New York Betsuin i.e a Tendai service without the Lotus Sutra in one form or another. In this vein I'd like to ask Jikan or Seishin what usually happens when Japanese Monks are in attendance? have they ever commented? found it unusual? do you usually follow the Taishu Kaju when they are around? Do Priests trained at the Tendai Betsuin use the Taishu Kaju? If not are they familar with it or do your own service books reflect it perhaps?

I look forward to hearing from you all :)
Gassho
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Thu May 17, 2012 10:44 am

Hi Jikai, wonderful to hear from you.

Sadly, we have not had an official visit from Mt Hiei. I don't really know the reason for this. We are an official sangha in that we are registered on Mt Hiei (I think we are a branch temple of Ichishima Sensei's temple), however we are a tiny sangha and our temple is a converted attic in our teachers small terraced house. Also no-one in our sangha is in a position to ordain, so the future of our sangha could be in jeopardy (our teacher is very elderly). Of course we'd like to carry on as a lay sangha until someone is in a position to ordain (likely to be at the Betsuin in America) however I think we'd lose our position as an official sangha if we are a lay sangha (but I'm not sure). All of this makes it highly unlikely that we will have an official visit. We are also limited to numbers due to our small space and really don't have the funds for anything larger.

I was speaking with my Sensei last night about the Mt Hiei liturgy and he does the official liturgy morning and evening as part of his daily practice, including the Hokke-kyo. He'd like to add this to our daily practice however he feels that study of the Lotus Sutra is paramount before chanting takes place, however, not everyone can make it every week, and he wants everyone to be involved, so going through the sutra has now stopped. I personally don't agree with this, but it's not my place to question him.

Whilst on retreat a while back I received a copy of their liturgy which includes all chapters of the Lotus sutra for chanting, including others that I hadn't heard of before. We didn't chant all of them, of course, but we did chant chapter 25.

Things in the UK will undoubtedly change. Myself and a couple of our members would like to ordain however now isn't the right time. We have all agreed though, no matter what happens, we will endeavour to keep the sangha going even after our teachers departure.

Gassho,
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Thu May 17, 2012 1:47 pm

jikai wrote: we always use the Lotus sutra as the central sutra within gongyo during the morning and the Amida Kyo being the central eveing gongyo sutra.


This is how it's done at the NY Betsuin as well. The morning service is a Lotus Sutra service; the evening service is a Pure Land service; the daily service is the Heart Sutra.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby rory » Mon May 28, 2012 10:56 pm

Interesting discussion;
one of the problems is that Westerners & Western Buddhism reifiy Western Enlightenment monotheistic prejudices without examining them. What is 'Buddhism without Beliefs' but a belief in non-belief. The Buddha was famously agnostic about gods & I think people need a trip back to the Dhammapada, because saying gods are 'superstitious' is a projection that monotheism is 'natural' and superior. Why? Ask people to justify there unconscious prejudices, it's very helpful. Look at karma. here is a fascinating article in the Wall St Journal on why people lie: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 97320.html So teaching people the concept of karma keeps them ethical. Now wasn't this a value before 'science' corroborated it?

Now as for meditation, neuroscience validates that it produces changes in the brain, so people want that; what about chanting? Aren't we changing our brains by doing that, and does it attain more 'value' if experiments show that? Our thoughts can literally change our brains, Buddhism maintained that everything is Mind a long time ago before experimental science. So I think this is a good time to point out that Buddhist 'faith' is faith that the practices will work. It's a nice form of pragmatism.

Finally as to the Lotus Sutra, it's very deep, deep enough for Zhiyi to write an entire treatise on the title "Myo Ho Renge Kyo" alone. One of my favourite practices in Tendai was meditating on a passage of the Lotus Sutra. It requires a lot from the person. I think instead of feeding people what they expect, they need to be challenged by the Dharma.
with gassho
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Tue May 29, 2012 2:44 pm

rory wrote: I think instead of feeding people what they expect, they need to be challenged by the Dharma.


I agree completely (and thank you for bringing some life to what has been a constipated and neurotic discussion). This is why I think rory is pointing to something important:

One of the reasons I find Tendai-shu so appealing: the systematic diversity of practices available. At the most basic, you have three services (the Lotus service, the Amida service, the Heart Sutra service); you have a multiplicity of approaches available beyond this, including esoteric practice and intensive silent meditation. This is not eclecticism, however. Tendai-shu is a Lotus Sutra school. Practically, this means that all these practices are oriented around a single pedagogy, if you will. The point is to present an appropriate gate through which this or that person can pass. Pass into what? The single vehicle.

I don't think this is spoon-feeding. All aspects of the Dharma are challenging because they require people to face the aspects of themselves they would rather not address, and to throw a familiar set of pleasures (samsaric habit) under the train for the sake of a bigger project. This is something that, in my opinion, the Batchelor-style Buddhism that rory is correct to put under critique cannot demand of someone.

The problem rory raises is reducible to upaya, in my opinion. History has vetted certain methods for bringing people into practice. They have proven to work over time. How can we deploy these now to serve the ultimate and provisional needs of contemporary people? That, to me, is the fundamental question, rather than anxiety over who is reciting which piece of scripture at what time in which temple (tut! tut!).
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Tue May 29, 2012 5:55 pm

Jikan wrote: History has vetted certain methods for bringing people into practice. They have proven to work over time. How can we deploy these now to serve the ultimate and provisional needs of contemporary people? That, to me, is the fundamental question, rather than anxiety over who is reciting which piece of scripture at what time in which temple (tut! tut!).


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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby rory » Thu May 31, 2012 7:21 am

Well, thanks for the kind words Jikan;
personally I think people need a thorough grounding in the Lotus Sutra and Madhyamika philosophy before they can understand the Heart Sutra, as I'd bet 9 out of 10 equate emptiness with nihlism & it just reifies their unconscious assumptions. Madhaymika is about this world too and that should be also addressed; there are very powerful ideas in the Sutra, people need to really think & meditate on them.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby jikai » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:01 am

Jikan wrote:That, to me, is the fundamental question, rather than anxiety over who is reciting which piece of scripture at what time in which temple (tut! tut!).


Hi Jikan, I agree completely. I hope my message didn't seem to be offensive in anyway :) I guess its just interesting to me in that Ara sensei has always been particularly traditional so I have very little experience with presenting Tendai in a more palatable way for a Western audience. I am genuinely interested in the more mundane changes that have been made at the new york betsuin in that when I complete Gyoin (heres hoping), I am expected to try to open an official betsuin here in Sydney. Perhaps you might be able to send me a private message regarding some of these things? :)
hope all is well! :)
gassho
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:18 pm

Don't worry, Jikai, I didn't take offense. I just saw the discussion going around in circles.

I see two ways in which the service at the NY Betsuin differs from what you may find in a typical Japanese temple of the same size:

*We do it in English instead of Japanese.
*We put more space between the rows of tatami in order to accommodate taller and, um, wider bodies.

I think there's a difference between trying to make the teaching "palatable" and trying to meet people's immediate needs. The former is Mary Poppins, the latter is upaya. I don't see much sugarcoating going on at TBI.

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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Thu May 16, 2013 9:28 am

Sorry to bump this thread, but does anyone know the reason for these two different daily services in Tendai Shu in Japan?

天台宗日常勤行式 and 天台宗檀信徒勤行?

Image

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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Fri May 17, 2013 1:35 pm

Hi Seishin,

Do you happen to have a PDF or an image of the 天台宗日常勤行式 service for comparative purposes? thanks
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Tatsuo » Fri May 17, 2013 5:44 pm

I have one, if you are interested, can send it to you via email. Here it's list of contents:
天台宗日常勤行式

朝のおつとめ
1. 三禮
2. 懺悔文
3. 三歸三竟
4. 開經偈
5. 十如是
6. 妙法蓮華經觀世音菩薩普門品偈
7. 延命十句觀音經
8. 般若心經
9. 宗祖大師寶號
10. 法華成佛偈

夕方のおつとめ
1. 三禮          
2. 懺悔文          
3. 三歸三竟      
4. 開經偈         
5. 妙法蓮華經如来壽量品偈
6. 圓頓章
7. 舎利禮文
8. 本覺讃
9. 觀經文
10. 念佛
11. 念佛回向偈
12. 回向文
13. 念佛
14. 法華成佛偈
Last edited by Tatsuo on Fri May 17, 2013 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Fri May 17, 2013 5:53 pm

That would be great. JikanAnderson@gmail.com thank you
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Seishin » Fri May 17, 2013 6:06 pm

Our scanner's not working :(

Here is a list of contents

天台宗檀信徒勤行

1. 帰依三禮□懺悔文
2. 開経偈
3. 妙法蓮華経観世音菩薩普門品第二十五
4. 普門品偈
5. 摩訶般若波羅密多心経
6. 山家学生式
7. 傳教大師和讃
8. 傳教大師御寶號
9. 回向文―ばんのおつとめ禮

1. 帰依三禮□懺悔文
2. 開経偈
3. 妙法蓮華経如来壽量品第十六偈
4. 圓頓章
5. 願文
6. 念佛和讃
7. 念佛法語
8. 三句念佛
9. 念佛開闢偈□念佛□回向文□念佛□回向文

The Three Fold Refuges start with "Mizukara Hotoke ni kie shi tatematsuru, ware-ra moro bito koto goto ku..." instead of the usual "Ishin cho rai...". I've been told that we chant a shorter version of the former in our group but I was wondering whether the was a reason for the differences; eg are they for lay groups rather than monastic groups, or for home life rather than temple life, or is it simply older and therefore not in use any more?...

There are other differences as well but I can't illustrate those at this time.

Many thanks,
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Sorry if this seems unrelated, but how long do those ceremonies usually take?
Are they usually practiced at home, before a Butsudan (for example) or strictly temple practices?
Jikan, I've got a T'ienT'ai chanting book pdf in English if you'd be interested...
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Tatsuo » Fri May 17, 2013 6:17 pm

Seishin wrote:The Three Fold Refuges start with "Mizukara Hotoke ni kie shi tatematsuru, ware-ra moro bito koto goto ku..." instead of the usual "Ishin cho rai..."

The first is Japanese and whereas "isshin chōrai" is the Japanese pronunciation of ancient Chinese. Maybe the second one is older?
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby Jikan » Fri May 17, 2013 6:53 pm

PorkChop wrote:Sorry if this seems unrelated, but how long do those ceremonies usually take?
Are they usually practiced at home, before a Butsudan (for example) or strictly temple practices?
Jikan, I've got a T'ienT'ai chanting book pdf in English if you'd be interested...


There are many variables. At a minimum, budget twenty minutes to perform a complete service.
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Re: Tendai recitations

Postby PorkChop » Fri May 17, 2013 7:53 pm

Jikan wrote:
PorkChop wrote:Sorry if this seems unrelated, but how long do those ceremonies usually take?
Are they usually practiced at home, before a Butsudan (for example) or strictly temple practices?
Jikan, I've got a T'ienT'ai chanting book pdf in English if you'd be interested...


There are many variables. At a minimum, budget twenty minutes to perform a complete service.


That doesn't sound so bad actually.
I want to say our's takes at least an hour, maybe longer - but it's usually a service conducted at the temple.
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