Our New Style Ceremonies/URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS - Replacing "Heart Sutra" Etc

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39075

    Our New Style Ceremonies/URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS - Replacing "Heart Sutra" Etc

    Dear All,

    The new school year starts here in Japan at the start of April, Spring is in the air, and new people will be coming to join our Zen Sittings here in Tsukuba and online. As most of you know, I have spoken of a new direction for Treeleaf beyond the robes and incense and chants in arcane language. In fact, one perennial complaint I receive is about the Heart Sutra and some of the other old chants we struggle with around here in our ceremonies and Zazenkai. It is really a problem.

    Even when in English, folks do not understand ... and even I must honestly confess that I don't really understand what's going on there lots of the time in every single line of the Heart Sutra. I mean, "Bodhi! Svaha!" leaves me sometimes feeling "What the WhaHuh!?", what was that all about? And the so-called "Identity of Relative amd Absolute often leaves me relatively and absolutely in the lurch (Really, "Fire is hot, water is wet?" Never knew that, thanks for the information!) My foot ain't tappin', and that "Fiddler On The Roof" melody is just too Jewish even for this Rabbi!

    So, I would like to propose that we ditch the traditional, and replace the old tired tunes most of the time (heck, all of the time!?) with some pop ditties that carry much the same (more or less) messages. We can drag the old chants out of the closet once a year or so for the holidays or something if some of the old dudes stuck in 'squaresville' (hipster slang) want, then put them back in and get back to some fun.

    I would like your suggestions for songs to replace our tired, worn out chants!

    Instead of the Heart Sutra, how about this for our upcoming Zazenkai this weekend? It will also allow us to honor someone who passed from this world recently who has been a major influence on the Buddhist Practice of so many of us (certainly in my life) ... long time meditator, Mr. Spock ... and it's got the word "Heart" in the title too!

    I mean, which is actually the MORE POSITIVE AND UPLIFTING MESSAGE??? ... This:

    Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/
    or THIS!!:

    Take a good look around
    And if you're feeling down
    Put a little love in your heart
    I hope when you decide
    Kindness will be your guide
    Put a little love in your heart
    I was very tickled to read a recent interview with Paul McCartney in which he said that the idea for the following song really came to him years before when with the Maharishi. I think it is obvious when you really listen to the lyrics that he and Stevie are singing about, well, the Absolute & Relative like the Harmony of a Piano!

    There is good and bad in everyone
    We learn to live, and we learn to give
    Each other what we need to survive together alive

    Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
    Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord [Buddha], why don't we?
    Really, give it a close listen (I have to admit, this idea came to me while feeling the effects of laughing gas for recent dental surgery, but it's true man!) ...

    One more addition to our repertoire that I think will come to be cherished by many folks here is this version of the Rolling Stones classic "Satisfaction" ... but sung by Britney Spears! Why did I pick the Britney Version? First, I was so thrilled to hear about her recent Ordination at San Francisco Zen Center (here is a picture from the Ceremony) ...

    Also, I think that listening to this is the very meaning of "Suffering", Dukkha!! If someone can learn to find inner Peace while listening to this over and over, they can be liberated from any hell!

    Everyone, listen to this 5 times, back to back, and report to us the positive effects (I have yet to make it through once myself):

    I an open to other suggestions to, so post the pop hits you would like to see replace our old tired Sutras. To celebrate this first day of the month, April showers bring may flowers?

    Gassho, Jundo

    Leonard Nimoy, long time Zen Practitioner, on his Seiza Bench
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-01-2015, 05:12 AM.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39075

    Something to clear my ears after Britney ...

    Happy First of April, Everyone!
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-01-2015, 05:21 AM.


    • Kyotai

      Someone at work filled my water bottle with sugar..
      And now this. One of my fav days of the year!

      Gassho, Kyotai
      Sat today


      • Josan
        • Aug 2013
        • 137

        arrgghhh!!!! I fell for it (not the ordination of Britney though) Thanks Kyotai, otherwise I would have spent the rest of the day contemplating these very radical changes
        If you miss the moment, you miss your life - John Daido Loori


        • Byokan
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Apr 2014
          • 4269

          Hi All,

          I am 100% for these changes, I think it’s time to mix it up a little.

          I think we can replace this:
          No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;
          No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;
          No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

          With this ode to non-attachment and lovingkindness, which could have been written by Shitou in his grass hut:

          If I could make a wish
          I think I'd pass
          Can't think of anything I need
          No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound
          Nothing to eat, no books to read
          Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
          And to love you:

          Graham Nash played an important role in the early history of the Hollies, but after his departure in December 1968, the group achieved some of its greatest s...

          And why have this:
          Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

          When you can actually have Nirvana! Get rid of that depressing Verse of Atonement and replace it with All Apologies:

          Find my nest of salt
          Everything is my fault
          I'll take all the blame
          Aqua seafoam shame
          ...All in all is all we are

          REMASTERED IN HD!Official Music Video for All Apologies (MTV Unplugged) performed by Nirvana. Taken from the 25th Anniversary Editions of Nirvana – MTV Unplu...

          Ok Jundo, you had me going, right up to Britney's ordination!

          sat today
          展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
          Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.


          • Jika
            • Jun 2014
            • 1337

            I was honestly contemplating that some months ago I indeed thought a zazenkai to look and sound very foolish, and now abandoning the heart sutra and sandokan are ripping my heart!
            Thank you for the teaching.
            Proven a fool

            What about "Love is in the Air"?

            Last edited by Jika; 04-01-2015, 12:46 PM.
            治 Ji
            花 Ka


            • Jinyo
              • Jan 2012
              • 1957

              Ha ! Ha! - this made me laugh - completely fooled 'till I got to Britney

              Having said that I think some contemporary versions would be great ( I liked the one Will made a while back) - mix the old and the new - nice way to go.



              sat today


              • Tb
                • Jan 2008
                • 3186


                Happy 1st everyone.

                Here's my favourite youtubemusicclipofalltimes:
                Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.

                Thank you for your practice.

                Life is our temple and its all good practice
                Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/


                • Koshin
                  • Feb 2012
                  • 938

                  Oops Jundo, you did it again and I fell for it again :P

                  Thank you

                  Thank you for your practice


                  • Myosha
                    • Mar 2013
                    • 2974


                    Thank you for the lesson.

                    BTW for the entrepreneurs: still have franchise availability for Dogens' Donuts!
                    (Motto - " lf you're non-attached to emptiness, get 'attached' to Dogens' Donuts!" They're incomprehensible good/not good.)

                    Always right next door to "Enlightenment Hut". (Now with 24-hour drive-thru.)^^

                    Myosha sat today
                    Last edited by Myosha; 04-01-2015, 12:10 PM.
                    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"


                    • Entai
                      • Jan 2013
                      • 451

                      I fell for it until the Brittney part! Well played.

                      Gassho, Entai

                      泰 Entai (Bill)
                      "this is not a dress rehearsal"


                      • KellyRok
                        • Jul 2008
                        • 1374

                        Wait...that was a joke? I thought maybe we could chant the hokey pokey, "you put your whole-self in, you take your non-self out..."

                        Love it Jundo, and you had me for a little while!



                        • Troy
                          • Sep 2013
                          • 1318

                          Our New Style Ceremonies/URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS - Replacing "Heart Su...

                          Uggghhhh! JUNDO!!! Lol

                          ..sat2day• (I will sit a little later)


                          • Mp

                            LOL ... Happy April 1st ... oh our Jundo, he is such a prankster!




                            • lorax
                              • Jun 2008
                              • 381

                              He did it again! After almost seven years hanging around Jundo, he gets me every year! Must be trying to read the Forum before my first cup of coffee. I was thinking, well I remember when the Catholic Church abandoned the Latin Mass and it survived, guess Treeleaf will. What a way to start this beautiful spring morning.

                              SAT TODAY