No Seniors, No Juniors - Just People of No Rank

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39074

    No Seniors, No Juniors - Just People of No Rank

    Hi Guys,

    Our forum software, for reasons that nobody can remember, was labeling folks as "senior" members after a certain number of posts. We actually have no "junior" or "senior" members here, so Seimyo fixed that for us. Everybody is a "member"

    We still do have the Priests marked such, but please remember that "Priests" here are in no way "senior". They are, if anything, in a role of service, and should be humble in being so. Jukai or Priest Ordination does not place someone above (perhaps a bit below in service to all Sentient Beings). So, I think perhaps all our members are "senior" and priests are "junior." I wrote this to someone else today who asked what it meant to be a Priest ...

    It is primarily a position of service. We are the crew on the ship, the waiters in the Buddha restaurant, the nurses in the hospital. It should be a calling, from a sense of duty.

    In our Lineage, we primarily emphasize an unbroken wholeness between work, family, Zen Practice and priesthood. We are not big on Ceremonies compared to most Lineages. Still, our priests spend several years study the history, traditions, basic (very) ceremony and Teachings of the Soto Zen Way because it is the duty of each generation to pass it on to the next.
    In our Lineage, the hard borders between Priest and Lay, parent and spouse, worker and minister, drop away and we fully actuate each. We just mark the title so people know who is who, who is the honored guest and who is the kitchen staff.

    (We also have the designation "Friend of Treeleaf" for our dear friends over at the Blue Mountain, who are always welcome here. )

    Let us all be senior and junior to each other at once! Students teach teachers as teachers help students. Master Nanquan once said that, were he to meet a child of three years old who could teach him, he would become the child’s pupil, and if he were to meet someone over a hundred years old whom he could teach, then he would teach that person. That's the right attitude! Master Rinzai spoke of the "True Person of No Rank". We are all, always Beginners. A moment of sitting is a moment of Buddha.

    In any event, we still need to be careful and avoid this from Orwell's Animal Farm ...


    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-21-2015, 06:22 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Nameless
    Member
    • Apr 2013
    • 461

    #2
    Very nice. Do appreciate the loose distinctions here. And right right, sometimes compare the Bodhisattva path to shoveling dung haha. A life of service. What else can we do when we feel the dukkha at large?

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

    Comment

    • Jika
      Member
      • Jun 2014
      • 1337

      #3
      Sniff. The answer answered one of my Fugen-priest-interview questions!
      Wikipedia said, a priest was "a mediator between a deity and a layperson". (Eastern religions excluded.)
      So a priest is a busy scholar first, then a good teacher (to answer all my stupid questions), a very good teacher then, and the character of a koan if he's a priest and a member like all.
      Thanks to all hands on board.

      Gassho,
      Danny
      #sattoday
      治 Ji
      花 Ka

      Comment

      • Shokai
        Treeleaf Priest
        • Mar 2009
        • 6391

        #4
        _/\_

        #sattoday
        合掌,生開
        gassho, Shokai

        仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

        "Open to life in a benevolent way"

        https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

        Comment

        • RichardH
          Member
          • Nov 2011
          • 2800

          #5
          Deep bows

          Daizan
          sattoday

          Comment

          • Ishin
            Member
            • Jul 2013
            • 1359

            #6
            All this sitting and I still end up in the wrong position!?

            Senior, Junior, Janitor all alike, but I did just have a thought the other night especially considering some of the recent events on the forum with one member getting in an accident and another bowing out due to personal problems. I wonder if it would not be a bad idea for someone to be retaining some actual contact information for members. It occurred to me that if something happened to me and I was unable to use a computer, no one here would have any clue where I went or that I was in any way in trouble. Even my wife probably wouldn't know how to inform anyone. Wouldn't it be a good idea for us to be able to at least call people or something if they suddenly are gone?

            Gassho
            Ishin

            Sat Today
            Grateful for your practice

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Thank you Jundo. =)

              Gassho
              Shingen

              SatToday

              Comment

              • Meredith
                Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 86

                #8
                Many thanks to all on this "ship" :-)

                Gassho,
                Meredith

                SatToday

                Comment

                • Dosho
                  Member
                  • Jun 2008
                  • 5784

                  #9
                  Ishin,

                  We do have such a system, but it only works if people do it:

                  These words posted by Jinho ... ... and her being away for several weeks due to losing her computer, brought up something I have thought about for awhile. From time to time, one of us may be in hospital, have a personal emergency (or move on from this life). The rest of us would have little way to know. So, please


                  Gassho,
                  Dosho

                  Sat today

                  Originally posted by Ishin
                  All this sitting and I still end up in the wrong position!?

                  Senior, Junior, Janitor all alike, but I did just have a thought the other night especially considering some of the recent events on the forum with one member getting in an accident and another bowing out due to personal problems. I wonder if it would not be a bad idea for someone to be retaining some actual contact information for members. It occurred to me that if something happened to me and I was unable to use a computer, no one here would have any clue where I went or that I was in any way in trouble. Even my wife probably wouldn't know how to inform anyone. Wouldn't it be a good idea for us to be able to at least call people or something if they suddenly are gone?

                  Gassho
                  Ishin

                  Sat Today

                  Comment

                  • Myosha
                    Member
                    • Mar 2013
                    • 2974

                    #10
                    Hello,

                    Melted.

                    Thank you.


                    Gassho,
                    Myosha sat today
                    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                    Comment

                    • Jiken
                      Member
                      • Jan 2011
                      • 753

                      #11
                      Funny how just a word (senior or junior) can provoke a thought in one's head to give importance to status making senior better than junior. I remember when I first saw this I wondered how many posts will it take to increase one's status lol. A good lesson for me. A good lesson to always be a beginner

                      Gassho,

                      Jiken

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39074

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Danny B
                        Sniff. The answer answered one of my Fugen-priest-interview questions!
                        Wikipedia said, a priest was "a mediator between a deity and a layperson". (Eastern religions excluded.)
                        So a priest is a busy scholar first, then a good teacher (to answer all my stupid questions), a very good teacher then, and the character of a koan if he's a priest and a member like all.
                        Thanks to all hands on board.

                        Gassho,
                        Danny
                        #sattoday
                        Actually, "priest" and "monk" are Christian terms that do not always fit, and were stuck on when Westerners came to Asia in the 19th century. The term I very much care for regarding Zen clergy might be closer to "Sangha Friend".

                        Below is my usual comment about all these names (plus others like Roshi and such) ...

                        Gassho, J

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

                        ------------------------------------

                        What is the meaning of Master, Reverend, Osho, Roshi (and "Sensei" too)?

                        In Japanese Soto, "Roshi" just means literally an "Old Teacher" and does not imply any particular rank or attainment beyond being a fully ordained priest who one wants to refer to with some respect due to age or the like (the Rinzai folks use the term in a much more specific way ... see this Wiki for more details).



                        Soko Morinaga, a well respected Japanese Soto Zen teacher, once famously said, "A roshi is anyone who calls himself a roshi and can get other people to do the same."

                        The Sensei/Roshi ranking found in some Western Sangha is largely an American invention. A "Sensei" in Japan is a general title that can be applied to anyone from a school teacher, to a lawyer or doctor, to a politician. It is NOT a common title in the Zen world in Japan to denote some particular rank or attainment, and its use in the West for Zen teachers is pretty much a complete Western invention. There is no sense in Japan or China that "Sensei" is a lower rank, or less attained than a "Roshi". [ONE WOULD NEVER CALL THEMSELF "ROSHI" AS SOME TEACHERS DO, and to do so is even considered to be in poor taste ... rather like "His Honor" the judge calling himself "My Honor".] From a Japanese language/cultural point of view, it is rather amusing that in the West teachers are making artificial ranks based on those terms, or calling themself by such title.

                        In the rules of the Soto-shu in Japan, an "Osho" is anyone who has received Dharma Transmission (plus has done all the proper paperwork, ceremonies, and paid the needed fees to Soto-shu). Again, the Rinzai folks define the term a little differently. The term "Osho" comes from the Indian "acharya", which is a guide or instructor in religious matters.

                        In my view, "master" is someone with some "mastery" in an art or tradition to pass on and pass down ... from carpentry to medicine to martial arts to Zen Buddhary. It need not mean the "master" is perfect (one can be a "master carpenter", yet not every corner will always be smooth; a "master surgeon" cannot cure every patient, and even the most gifted may sometimes make a bad cut). However, one should be pretty darn skilled.

                        "Reverend" is a nice general western term to refer to clergy or a minister.

                        By the way, "monk" and "priest" are both very imperfect names. The words "monk" and "priest" do not really work as good translations of the Japanese terms, and were picked, obviously, from the Judeo-Christian vocabulary of Western missionaries in the 19th century. "Priest" carries the feeling of working some power to intervene with God/the Spirits, and most Zen "monks" in Japan now only reside in monasteries maintaining celibacy for short periods as part of their training ... so both words are not good fits (except when the person is actually residing in a monastery and might be described then as a "monk". Of course, many "Zen priests" in Japan and China do reside in temples in which they are largely concerned with performing funeral and other ceremonies for parishioners to appease the spirits, bring good fortune or the like. In such case, "priest" is not inaccurate to describe such folks.)

                        In my view, the best translations might be "Companion" "Guide" "Teacher" or even "Rabbi (my favorite, which also means "Teacher")".

                        A very nice old term for a Buddhist teacher used in China is "shanzhishi" = a "good wise friend" (善知識, Sanskrit kalyanamitra.)

                        I often use "Zen clergy" or "teacher" or "minister". One of the many Japanese terms usually (and awkwardly) translated as "monk/priest" in English is actually closer to "Sangha companion" , which I care for very much ... 僧侶 ("Soryo", the first kanji derives from the "san" of Sanskrit sangha = community, and the second means companion)

                        So "Buddhist companion" or "Sangha Friend and Companion" may be the most accurate.

                        BOTTOM LINE: In my case, just call me Jundo or or Rev. Jundo (or Rabbi) or "Hey You" or 'Teach or Cap'n Jundo. Maybe, in a few years, you can start calling me Admiral Jundo. Call me Roshi or Sensei or "Whatsya-say?". I like "Dharma Friend". My father from the Bronx used to say, "Call me whatever, just don't call me late for dinner"

                        A rose by any other name is still a rose. A lemon by another name is still a lemon.


                        Gassho, Jundo
                        Last edited by Jundo; 01-21-2015, 05:07 PM.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Mp

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Daido
                          Funny how just a word (senior or junior) can provoke a thought in one's head to give importance to status making senior better than junior. I remember when I first saw this I wondered how many posts will it take to increase one's status lol. A good lesson for me. A good lesson to always be a beginner

                          Gassho,

                          Jiken
                          Oh so true Jiken. Always a good lesson. =)

                          Gassho
                          Shingen

                          SatToday

                          Comment

                          • Sekishi
                            Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                            • Apr 2013
                            • 5666

                            #14
                            Thank you for this clarification. You are a good wise friend Cap'n Jundo.

                            Gassho,
                            Sekishi
                            #sattoday
                            Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

                            Comment

                            • Jika
                              Member
                              • Jun 2014
                              • 1337

                              #15
                              Thank you for the explanation, Rebbe Jim!
                              I think "Dharma Friend" is very moving, it can be so much.
                              And still, also a rose that cannot be put into a vase

                              Gassho,
                              Danny
                              #sattoday
                              治 Ji
                              花 Ka

                              Comment

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