February 2-3rd, 2024 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Dedication of Merit

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    February 2-3rd, 2024 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Dedication of Merit


    Today's Talk will reflect on our "Dedication of Merit" ...

    ... which we recite each time, but maybe without looking closely.

    Dear All,

    Please sit our Monthly 4-Hour Treeleaf Zazenkai netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 6pm to 10pm, Los Angeles 3pm to 7pm (Friday night), London 11pm to 3am and Paris midnight to 4am (early Saturday morning)), and also sitable any time thereafter:


    However, "one way" live sitters are encouraged to come into the Zoom sitting, and just leave the camera and microphone turned off: Join live (with or without a camera & microphone) on Zoom at: TREELEAF Now OR at DIRECT ZOOM LINK, password (if needed): dogen

    Dharma Talk Audio / Podcast Episode:
    Today's Talk will reflect on our "Dedication of Merit", which we recite each time, but maybe without looking closely Further reading and discussion for this talk are available on the Treeleaf forum:OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Dedication of Merit»


    The Sitting Schedule is as follows:

    00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA IN JAPANESE / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN
    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN & HOKEY-POKEY RITUAL

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING
    ATTENTION: Everyone, when rising for Kinhin or Ceremonies after Zazen, get up slowly, don't rush, hold something stable, you won't be "late," so TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure you are careful getting up!

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah


    PS - There is no "wrong" or "right" in Zazen ... yet here is a little explanation of the "right" times to Bow (A Koan) ...


    Chant Book is here for those who wish to join in: CHANT BOOK LINK

    The other video I mention on Zendo decorum is this one, from our "Always Beginners" video Series:

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (12) - Basic Zendo Decorum At Home
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    I also recommend a little Talk on why small rituals and procedures are so cherished in the Zendo:

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Small Things in the Zendo

    A little talk about small customs and rituals in the Zendo (such as straightening our slippers, not taking a short cut across the room, keeping our hands a certain way), and why those are elements of practice. It applies mostly when sitting in a formal group, like our weekly Treeleaf Zazenkai, but it is good to incorporate

    Last edited by Bion; 02-09-2024, 01:01 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    #2

    Our Talk today will reflect on the "Ekō" (囘向), or "Dedication of Merit," that accompanies our Heart Sutra recital. We call ours at Treeleaf a "Dedication of our Hopes and Aspirations," and I will explain why. The Soto-shu dictionary defines Ekō this way:

    Sanskrit/Pali = āmanā. To transfer or give away merit (kudoku 功徳), meaning the karmic fruits or beneficial results of one's own good deeds, to another person or being. In Mahayana texts, especially, one finds the idea that a bodhisattva should from the very start dedicate all the merit that results from his/her cultivation of morality, concentration, and wisdom to all living beings. A great many observances in East Asian Buddhism hinge on the ritual production and dedication of merit. Merit is earned or accumulated by chanting sutras and dharanis, mindfully reciting buddha names, circumambulating, making prostrations and offerings to buddhas enshrined on altars, and other good deeds that are either acts of worship of Buddha or acts that spread his teachings. Merit is then spent or given away by formally reciting a verse for the dedication of merit (ekōmon 囘向文) which (1) states how the merit was generated, (2) names the recipient(s) of the merit, and (3) explains the hoped for outcome of the merit transference. In some cases, merit is dedicated to sacred beings such as buddhas and deities as a kind of offering similar to (and usually performed in conjunction with) offerings of food and drink to ancestral spirits. In those cases, the third part of the dedicatory verse is typically a prayer that asks the powerful recipient for some specific benefits in return.
    Our Dedication at Treeleaf entones ...

    DEDICATION (EKO)


    READ BY INO (CHANT LEADER) ONLY:

    Buddha Nature pervades the whole universe, Reality, existing right here now:
    In reciting THE HEART OF THE PERFECTION OF GREAT WISDOM SUTRA
    (and THE IDENTITY OF RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE)
    we dedicate our sincere efforts to:

    • Shakyamuni Buddha Honored One; the Historical Buddha and Teacher,
    and to those ancestral teachers:
    Eihei Dogen Honored One
    Soji Keizan Honored One,
    All successive Honored Ones up until
    Zuigaku Rempo Honored One and
    Gudo Wafu Honored One
    and to all other Honored Ones throughout history, same yet diverse Honored Ones,
    whose names have been forgotten or left unsaid.

    We also dedicate these efforts to the Three Treasures,

    Buddha, Dharma, Sangha,

    To all Awakened Ones and Teachers in all places and times.

    We especially seek tranquility & well being for all creatures now suffering or ill in health.
    May they be serene through all their ills.
    May their lives be at peace and Wisdom pervade the darkness of ignorance.

    We dedicate our hopes and aspirations:
    To all victims of war and violence and natural events
    To the injured and to all families touched by these tragedies
    To the healing of hatred in all countries and among all peoples
    To the wisdom and compassion of our world leaders
    To the peace of the world and harmony of all beings.

    Thus, let the harmful effects of words, thoughts and actions be dispelled
    and Compassion bloom in perpetual spring.
    May we all realize and live the Enlightened Way together:

    EVERYONE CHANTS TOGETHER:

    • All Buddhas throughout space and time
    • All Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas
    • Maha • Prajna • Paramita •••••••

    (followed by 3x BOWS by EVERYONE)
    For comparison, the Soto-shu English chant book suggests this:

    Having chanted the Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra, we reverently offer the merit generated thereby to our Great Benefactor and Founder of the Doctrine, the Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha [or whatever other figure is currently enshrined as the main object of veneration in the practice place], to the Eminent Ancestor Dogen, to the Great Ancestor Keizan, to the successive generations of buddhas and ancestors who transmitted the flame, to the founding abbot of the monastery, Great Teacher (name), and to the eternal three treasures in the ten directions, that we may repay their compassionate blessings. We further offer it to [all the dharma- protecting devas; to the dharma-protecting saints; to the earth spirit of this place and to the monastery-protecting spirits. What we pray for is peace in the land, harmony among nations, prosperity and longevity for donors throughout the ten directions, tranquility within the monastery, and ample sustenance for the community; may all sentient beings throughout the dharma realm equally perfect omniscience.]

    ... May this merit extend universally to all, so that we together with all beings realize the buddha way.
    You can hear a little of the lovely Eko recital style in Japanese here, from the 3:46 mark following the Heart Sutra/Hannya Shingyo:

    Last edited by Jundo; 02-02-2024, 05:39 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39211

      #3
      Of course, we will dance the ECHO DANCE ...

      But WARNING: We are not responsible for injuries due to trying these moves literally!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQtfYME9Gk
      Last edited by Jundo; 02-02-2024, 06:17 AM.
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Kiri
        Member
        • Apr 2019
        • 347

        #4
        Thank you everyone!
        Gassho, Kiri
        Sat/Lah
        希 rare
        理 principle
        (Nikolas)

        Comment

        • Shade
          Member
          • Aug 2020
          • 159

          #5
          Many thanks to everyone who made this Zazenkai possible!

          Gassho,

          Chukyo

          ST/LAH

          Comment

          • Ramine
            Member
            • Jul 2023
            • 79

            #6

            Thank you. And thank you for making Treeleaf Zendo a welcoming and safe space for LGBTQ+ folk!

            Ramine

            Sat and lah

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39211

              #7
              For folks who joined our monthly Zazenkai, there was some question as to why the Soto-shu "Eko" contains the words ...

              We humbly pray that ... sentient beings throughout the triple world equally perfect omniscience.

              It seems like a strange notion, "omniscience." However, this turns out not to be really "omniscience," but a pretty poor translation of 種知, which is more like "comprehensive knowledge and understanding," perhaps "the wisdom that understands all phenomena."

              So, it is being "tuned in," knowing and wise ... more than "omniscient."

              Gassho, J

              stlah
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Bion
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Aug 2020
                • 3716

                #8
                Originally posted by Jundo
                For folks who joined our monthly Zazenkai, there was some question as to why the Soto-shu "Eko" contains the words ...

                We humbly pray that ... sentient beings throughout the triple world equally perfect omniscience.

                It seems like a strange notion, "omniscience." However, this turns out not to be really "omniscience," but a pretty poor translation of 種知, which is more like "comprehensive knowledge and understanding," perhaps "the wisdom that understands all phenomena."

                So, it is being "tuned in," knowing and wise ... more than "omniscient."

                Gassho, J

                stlah
                Ah!!! Nice explanation! Thanks

                gassho
                sat and lah
                "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                Comment

                • Shade
                  Member
                  • Aug 2020
                  • 159

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  For folks who joined our monthly Zazenkai, there was some question as to why the Soto-shu "Eko" contains the words ...

                  We humbly pray that ... sentient beings throughout the triple world equally perfect omniscience.

                  It seems like a strange notion, "omniscience." However, this turns out not to be really "omniscience," but a pretty poor translation of 種知, which is more like "comprehensive knowledge and understanding," perhaps "the wisdom that understands all phenomena."

                  So, it is being "tuned in," knowing and wise ... more than "omniscient."

                  Gassho, J

                  stlah
                  Thanks for looking into this! I was curious about this term as well.

                  Gassho,

                  Chukyo

                  ST/LAH

                  Comment

                  • Hōzan
                    Member
                    • Dec 2022
                    • 411

                    #10
                    Sat this one with you all.
                    Thank you Jundo for the talk.

                    Gassho, Hōzan
                    Satlah

                    Comment

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