About our Treeleaf Chants ...

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39237

    About our Treeleaf Chants ...

    Dear All,

    Our Sangha tends to be quite simple and minimalist on ritual and ceremony, compared to many Buddhist communities, and even many other Zen Sangha. This was Nishijima Roshi's way, inspired by his first teacher, 'Homeless' Kodo Sawaki, for both of whom the core ritual and doing remains Zazen, Zazen and Zazen.

    Even so, there are times to chant this or that, and meaning embodied in some words we intone which echo from our hearts. So, we chant some great Teachings and other vows and reminders, widely cherished in the Buddhist or Soto Zen Buddhist world. These include, for example, the Heart Sutra (Hannya Shingyo), studied and chanted by Mahayana Buddhists from Tibet to Taiwan, Korea to Kyoto, a fathomless Teaching on the Wholeness of Emptiness, as is the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute' (Sandokai), heard in Zen temples for over 1200 years. We recite the 'Four Bodhisattva Vows' as our commitment to keep on walking this endless path, nonetheless fulfilled in each present step, and the 'Verse of Atonement,' our reflection and renewal for our too human times of falling down.

    In the accompany threads (LINK), I will gather a little information collected over the years about these various texts and Chantings, including a little about their history, some trivia, and the reasons for some of the particular wordings and translations heard in our Sangha. Most of our Chants are in English, based on Japanese interpretations of Chinese, which sometimes (not always) came from Sanskrit or other Indian or Silk Road languages before that. There is no one, single way to express a Buddhist translation into English, in the same way that a translation of an ancient Chinese poem into English can come with a variety of word choices by varied translators, each unique and each accurate in its own way of conveying the meaning and feeling behind it. In other words, there is no one "right" translation, but many good translations which carry well the wisdom of the original.

    If you would like to dive even deeper into the background, history and word meaning of many of the Chants valued in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition, I strongly recommend to you Okumura Roshi's book, Living by Vow, which is a rich and readable source of information:


    I also mention our Treeleaf 'Recommended At Home Liturgy,' for those folks who would like to incorporate some additional small practices into their daily life, not forgetting ever Zazen, Zazen and Zazen of course!


    Gassho, Jundo

    sattodaylah

    sorry for running long
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-02-2022, 10:18 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Meian
    Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1722

    #2
    Thank you, Jundo - I am very much looking forward to this!

    [emoji120][emoji120][emoji120]
    stlh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    My life is my temple and my practice.

    Comment

    • Nengei
      Member
      • Dec 2016
      • 1697

      #3
      This will be a wonderful resource for our traditions, history, and future.
      Gassho,
      Nengei
      遜道念芸 Sondō Nengei (he/him)

      Please excuse any indication that I am trying to teach anything. I am a priest in training and have no qualifications or credentials to teach Zen practice or the Dharma.

      Comment

      • Tokan
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Oct 2016
        • 1230

        #4
        Yes, thank you Jundo

        This will be important reflection and learning for me. Using the intellect to go beyond the intellect.

        Gassho, Tokan (satlah)
        平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
        I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

        Comment

        • Bion
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Aug 2020
          • 3725

          #5
          Thank you so much Jundo! The amount of work you do to put all of these things together for us to study and understand, is just incredible. I don’t know how you do it, or if your day somehow magically has more hours, but what an example you give!!

          [emoji1374] Sat Today
          "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

          Comment

          • Tai Do
            Member
            • Jan 2019
            • 1357

            #6
            Thank you, Jundo. I'm looking forward to it. A new great resource in this wonderful Sangha.
            Gassho,
            Mateus
            Sat
            怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
            (also known as Mateus )

            禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

            Comment

            • Chikyou
              Member
              • May 2022
              • 568

              #7
              Thank you Jundo! You have great timing, I was just mulling over a question about chanting this morning. The question is this: is there a recommended way/cadence to the Metta verses? I chant the Verse of Atonement and Four Vows and then the Metta verses are just normal speaking and it seems wrong to me.

              Sorry to run long

              Gassho,
              SatLah
              Kelly
              Chikyō 知鏡
              (KellyLM)

              Comment

              • Bion
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Aug 2020
                • 3725

                #8
                About our Treeleaf Chants ...

                Originally posted by KellyLM
                Thank you Jundo! You have great timing, I was just mulling over a question about chanting this morning. The question is this: is there a recommended way/cadence to the Metta verses? I chant the Verse of Atonement and Four Vows and then the Metta verses are just normal speaking and it seems wrong to me.

                Sorry to run long

                Gassho,
                SatLah
                Kelly
                Hi Kelly, you can have a listen at how we recite the Metta verses during our Monthly Zazenkai:



                If the video does not start at the right spot, please use the time stamps in the description to jump straight to Metta, at 3:37:21


                [emoji1374] Sat Today
                Last edited by Bion; 08-31-2022, 02:08 PM.
                "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39237

                  #9
                  Originally posted by KellyLM
                  Thank you Jundo! You have great timing, I was just mulling over a question about chanting this morning. The question is this: is there a recommended way/cadence to the Metta verses? I chant the Verse of Atonement and Four Vows and then the Metta verses are just normal speaking and it seems wrong to me.

                  Sorry to run long

                  Gassho,
                  SatLah
                  Kelly
                  Hi Kelly,

                  I just recite them, visualizing, as we do each month during our monthly Zazenkai. The most important point is not the speed, but that one visualizes and feels the hope sincerely. It is not so much a "chant," as words of sincere hope for the well-being of others. So, the feeling and sincerity is more vital than the pace.

                  Gassho, Jundo

                  stlah
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Tomás ESP
                    Member
                    • Aug 2020
                    • 575

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Bion
                    Thank you so much Jundo! The amount of work you do to put all of these things together for us to study and understand, is just incredible. I don’t know how you do it, or if your day somehow magically has more hours, but what an example you give!!

                    [emoji1374] Sat Today
                    Well said. Thank you Jundo

                    Gassho, Tomás
                    Sat&LaH

                    Comment

                    • aprapti
                      Member
                      • Jun 2017
                      • 889

                      #11



                      aprapti

                      sat

                      hobo kore dojo / 歩歩是道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice

                      Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

                      Comment

                      • Chikyou
                        Member
                        • May 2022
                        • 568

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jundo
                        Hi Kelly,

                        I just recite them, visualizing, as we do each month during our monthly Zazenkai. The most important point is not the speed, but that one visualizes and feels the hope sincerely. It is not so much a "chant," as words of sincere hope for the well-being of others. So, the feeling and sincerity is more vital than the pace.

                        Gassho, Jundo

                        stlah

                        Thanks! I did sit that Zazenkai with the recording and have been trying to visualize more since then. I think this practice is starting to "open up" for me as when I said Metta for myself this morning (I always include myself along with many others) I felt a sincere desire for my own happiness - which for a host of reasons is a bit foreign (but very welcome!) to me.

                        Gassho,
                        SatLah
                        Kelly
                        Chikyō 知鏡
                        (KellyLM)

                        Comment

                        • Onki
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Dec 2020
                          • 670

                          #13
                          Thank you Jundo!
                          I just received Living By Vow for my birthday and it is a beautiful book. Very well written and easy to understand.

                          Gassho,

                          Finn

                          Sat today
                          “Let me respectfully remind you
                          Life and death are of supreme importance.
                          Time swiftly passes by
                          And opportunity ist lost.
                          Each of us should strive to awaken.
                          Awaken, take heed,
                          Do not squander your life.​“ - Life and Death and The Great Matter

                          Comment

                          • Byokan
                            Treeleaf Unsui
                            • Apr 2014
                            • 4280

                            #14
                            Thank you Jundo!

                            Gassho
                            Byōkan
                            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.

                            Comment

                            • Byokan
                              Treeleaf Unsui
                              • Apr 2014
                              • 4280

                              #15
                              Originally posted by KellyLM
                              Thanks! I did sit that Zazenkai with the recording and have been trying to visualize more since then. I think this practice is starting to "open up" for me as when I said Metta for myself this morning (I always include myself along with many others) I felt a sincere desire for my own happiness - which for a host of reasons is a bit foreign (but very welcome!) to me.

                              Gassho,
                              SatLah
                              Kelly
                              And reading this made me happy. Thank you Kelly!

                              Gassho
                              Byōkan
                              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.

                              Comment

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