To all nervous sewers

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  • Jinho
    • Jun 2024

    To all nervous sewers

    Hi,

    Many people have posted that they are nervous about sewing. Does anyone have any concerns, other than being worried that it will look terrible?

    thank you for your time,
    rowan
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    #2
    Re: To all nervous sewers

    Hi,

    Let me mention that I hope to have permission in a day or so from Minneapolis Zen Center in the US to use the late Katagiri Roshi's instructions for what is known as a "Nyoho-e" style Rakusu, a bit different from Joan Roshi's described style ...

    Over time, the Kesa has changed, but the original one,
    is known as the Nyoho-e. Nyo means “as it is ness” which
    reveals the truth as it really is. Ho means the law of Dharma,
    and e means robe. As Tomoe Katagiri [Dainin Katagiri Roshi's widow], one of America’s
    important teachers of Kesa writes, “When all three words are
    put together it means that the law or the Buddha’s teaching is
    represented as it really is by means of one’s clothes or robe.”
    The Nyoho-e has been transmitted from Shakyamuni
    Buddha to Bodhidharma to Tendo Nyojo and to Dogen Zenji
    who teaches us that the Kesa is Buddha’s body completely
    alive in and through us. The Kesa itself is the Buddhadharma
    and we become the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind
    of Buddha when we wear the robe. The opportunity for the
    Sangha then to manifest Buddha’s body is extraordinary.
    Buddha gave many teachings regarding the rules of
    Kesa. It is important to consider the material, the color, the
    length and width, the type of construction, and the length
    of time allowed for the sewing. All of this is vital as we are
    manifesting the Buddhadharma. Each day as we wear the
    robe, our practice is to know that “the Kesa is a virtuous
    garden far beyond form and emptiness” and our lives are
    transformed in the qualities of the Buddha and we become
    the Virtuous Pure Precepts. May the hands of each Sangha
    member sew a part of the Kesa

    by Eido Frances Carney of Olympia Zen Center
    The design is rather different from the Rakusu in the Joan Halifax Roshi link I sent earlier, but as our Rev. Taigu writes ...

    Hi Jundo,

    I must say i am very keen on the idea of using the Katagiri instructions for two reasons: they follow exactly the nyoho-e school ( which is the one of Sawaki Kodo [and Nishijima Roshi's Lineage]) and it will be easier for everybody (including me...)...As soon as you get the permission i could send you copies of the pages and if you can scan them, then everybody would be provided with something reliable and clear. Please, can we make it possible?

    Ros is right, by light cotton we mean the kind which is used for shirts. Cotton is the very best option because it is "stable", silk and linen require experienced hands. Colour is essential, please, ask for dark broken colours, black is quite an easy option.

    The nyoho-e traditional rakusu is without a ring for very complicated historical reasons which are...Japanese. These days, a few teachers in the West agree that rings are fine. As a mere student of the kesa, I think the ring is OK. [So, we can have the rings].
    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Alberto
      Member
      • Apr 2008
      • 78

      #3
      Re: To all nervous sewers

      Another big advantage to using the MZMC model: Ms Katagiri, who is the real authority in the matter of sewing (not the Roshi himself) is still around (or was as of 2 years ago, when I used to sit there). So my suggestion would be to not only get permission to use their material, but also to contact Ms Katagiri herself to see if she has any advice for our particular situation.

      Gassho, Alberto

      Comment

      • Dainin
        Member
        • Sep 2007
        • 370

        #4
        Re: To all nervous sewers

        I find this all very interesting. I'm excited.

        Gassho,
        Keith

        Comment

        • chicanobudista
          Member
          • Mar 2008
          • 864

          #5
          Re: To all nervous sewers

          Originally posted by ros
          Many people have posted that they are nervous about sewing. Does anyone have any concerns, other than being worried that it will look terrible?

          Add me to the nervous list. Aside from screwing it up royally, I am nervous that I'll give up and say
          **** it!...I am converting to Judaism!
          :mrgreen:

          But. Really. I am so non-craft oriented that I am afraid I might loose myself following the instructions that I'll just give up on the whole thing. :cry: ops:
          paz,
          Erik


          Flor de Nopal Sangha

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39211

            #6
            Re: To all nervous sewers

            Originally posted by chicanobudista
            **** it!...I am converting to Judaism!
            Do you know about the circumcision that that requires? :shock: Even if you already have one, I think they redo it.

            By the way, as Keith and some folks can tesify, some Zen lineages require a branding with hot incense as part of Jukai.

            In South Korea, the sugae [Jukai] ceremony involves burning the arm with a lit incense stick, leaving marks which serve to remind the practitioner of the Five Precepts he or she has vowed to obey. Korean monks also undergo the ceremony, but with thick, temple incense sticks which leave much larger scars.
            We can incorporate any of the above into our Jukai, if anyone wishes. Of course, given our online format, the circumcision and/or branding portion will have to be self-administered at home. :shock: :shock:

            Gassho, Jundo
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Dainin
              Member
              • Sep 2007
              • 370

              #7
              Re: To all nervous sewers

              Originally posted by Jundo
              By the way, as Keith and some folks can tesify, some Zen lineages require a branding with hot incense as part of Jukai.
              Yes, I still have the scar on my left arm from the Kwan Um folks.

              Originally posted by Jundo
              We can incorporate any of the above into our Jukai, if anyone wishes. Of course, given our online format, the circumcision and/or branding portion will have to be self-administered at home. :shock: :shock:
              Now THAT would be dedication. :shock:

              Gassho,
              Keith

              Comment

              • Al
                Member
                • May 2007
                • 400

                #8
                Re: To all nervous sewers

                So, I'm one of the ones who said over in the other thread that I'm nervous about the sewing. I guess I AM worried it will look like crap, or that I'll miss an important step and one day I'll tug on a loose thread and the entire thing will fly apart into a million rakusu strips in a blazing display of impermanence.

                But seriously, my real issue is that I'm not a very good spacial thinker, so I doubt my own ability to translate printed instructions into a real 3D object. But I'm going to give myself plenty of time to work on it, and I'll watch all the talks, which may give me good examples.
                Gassho _/\_

                brokenpine.tumblr.com

                Comment

                • Jinho

                  #9
                  Re: To all nervous sewers

                  Just so there is no misunderstanding about the "branding" during the Kwan Um precepts ceremony, I have done it, I recall a signal one gives to let the person know when to stop, it is quite quick and not painful (and I have sensitive skin). And I think "branding" is a misnomer since it is not done for the purposes of "tagging" but rather is symbolic of burning away ones past bad "karma". I think that labeling it as "Branding" might be particularly offensive to the Jewish Zen Master who heads the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California.

                  thank you for your time,
                  rowan

                  Originally posted by Keith
                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  By the way, as Keith and some folks can tesify, some Zen lineages require a branding with hot incense as part of Jukai.
                  Yes, I still have the scar on my left arm from the Kwan Um folks.

                  Comment

                  • Shohei
                    Member
                    • Oct 2007
                    • 2854

                    #10
                    Re: To all nervous sewers

                    Originally posted by aebaxter
                    So, I'm one of the ones who said over in the other thread that I'm nervous about the sewing. I guess I AM worried it will look like crap, or that I'll miss an important step and one day I'll tug on a loose thread and the entire thing will fly apart into a million rakusu strips in a blazing display of impermanence.
                    ...
                    ^^ Yeah that! I guess I'm not nervous about sewing, just about the mess of material ill have left over when im done I have sewn my zafu and zabuton they are still together and functioning but they certainly are not "pretty"

                    Gassho
                    Dirk

                    Comment

                    • chicanobudista
                      Member
                      • Mar 2008
                      • 864

                      #11
                      Re: To all nervous sewers

                      Originally posted by Jundo
                      Originally posted by chicanobudista
                      **** it!...I am converting to Judaism!
                      Do you know about the circumcision that that requires? :shock: Even if you already have one, I think they redo it.
                      Really OT.... :mrgreen:

                      Personal history. I looked into it. One of my ex's is Jewish. So. Just to be sure in case we got serious, I studied Judaism 101 (read a lot of books, talk to Jewish friends, etc), visited a synagogue, and even talked to a Rabbi about marriage between interfaith couples. The synagogue that I went to was basically come to conversion classes, come to services for a year, and a symbolic circumcision. But. Life took another road and my skin was spared. :mrgreen:

                      We can incorporate any of the above into our Jukai, if anyone wishes. Of course, given our online format, the circumcision and/or branding portion will have to be self-administered at home. :shock: :shock:
                      :shock:
                      paz,
                      Erik


                      Flor de Nopal Sangha

                      Comment

                      • Charles
                        Member
                        • Feb 2008
                        • 95

                        #12
                        Re: To all nervous sewers

                        Originally posted by Jundo
                        Do you know about the circumcision that that requires? :shock: Even if you already have one, I think they redo it.
                        Well, yes, but it is literally just a symbolic pinprick.

                        --Charles

                        Comment

                        • Charles
                          Member
                          • Feb 2008
                          • 95

                          #13
                          Re: To all nervous sewers

                          Originally posted by ros
                          Many people have posted that they are nervous about sewing. Does anyone have any concerns, other than being worried that it will look terrible?
                          Yeah, I might sew something to my hand...

                          Seriously though, despite my ineptitude, I'm looking forward to learning how to do this. Thank you very much for offering your help with this!

                          --Charles

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39211

                            #14
                            Re: To all nervous sewers

                            Originally posted by ros
                            Just so there is no misunderstanding about the "branding" during the Kwan Um precepts ceremony, I have done it, I recall a signal one gives to let the person know when to stop, it is quite quick and not painful (and I have sensitive skin). And I think "branding" is a misnomer since it is not done for the purposes of "tagging" but rather is symbolic of burning away ones past bad "karma". I think that labeling it as "Branding" might be particularly offensive to the Jewish Zen Master who heads the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California.

                            thank you for your time,
                            rowan

                            Originally posted by Keith
                            Originally posted by Jundo
                            By the way, as Keith and some folks can tesify, some Zen lineages require a branding with hot incense as part of Jukai.
                            Yes, I still have the scar on my left arm from the Kwan Um folks.
                            Hi Ros,

                            As a Jewish Zen Buddhist guy myself, I think the first rule of being a Jewish Zen Buddhist guy is one has to be a bit irreverent toward all things Jewish, Zen or Buddhist. It is one of the secrets to how the Jewish people have survived for 5000 years (2500 years longer than that new kid on the block called "Buddhism"). Sorry if I offended though.

                            Around this Sangha, there is no harm in making light of any Buddhist customs or beliefs, as long as it is done either constructively or in good humor (it becomes clear real fast when lines are overstepped). Heck, you will hear me say from time to time that the Buddha himself was just another "Bozo on the Bus, Like the Rest of Us" who maybe needed to learn to crack a dirty joke now and then.

                            By the way, somebody asked me recently if I still considered myself as practicing the "Jewish" religion. I said that, if there is a Jehovah up above, I am pretty sure She is not displeased with our Practices (the same answer I recently gave to the question of Zen and Christianity). Anyway, I have not been hit by any lightning bolts yet.

                            Oh, and the Second Rule of Treeleaf Zendo ... Don't Talk about Treeleaf Zendo. 8)

                            Gassho and a Tickle, Jundo (frustrated Jewish Stand-up Comedian)

                            PS - These have been around the internet for awhile ... Jewish Zen Koans ... Some need to be said with a vague Eastern European accent and a shrug ...

                            11. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining
                            Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

                            10. If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

                            12. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao does not
                            speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao is not Jewish.


                            14. The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings.
                            Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?


                            15. Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.


                            16. In nature, there is no good or bad, better or worse. The wind may blow or not. The
                            flowering branch grows long or short. Do not judge or prefer. Ask only, "Is it good
                            for the Jews?"


                            18. Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?
                            .
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Jinho

                              #15
                              Re: To all nervous sewers

                              Hi Jundo!,

                              Thanks for your reply. As a jewish girl form a (small-time) theatrical family, I certainly understand about humor . I was just concerned, since most people haven't practiced at a Kwan Um Zen center, that htey might get a very wrong impression. Must get going on that "sewing tips for newbies"......

                              yours,
                              rowan

                              Comment

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