Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Person A Seeks Jukai for Long Walks on the Beach.

Person A is thinking of Jukai.

Person A went tried to chat with Teacher X. Teacher X is kinda well known. Doing Jukai with Teacher X feels a bit like a nice feather in the cap. Unfortunately Teacher X is not that into Jukai. It's something that can be done if Person A really wants it. Just let him know. We can read through the cheat-sheet together while we do it.

Person A sends a message to Teacher Y. 'What do you think about Jukai,' he asks. Teacher Y has a bit more to say. It's not a magic key, but it does have some meaning. Particualry, it gives a link to the sangha and a focus to practice. It's a nice thing. But of course, Person A can practice zazen as much as he wants without Jukai.

Person A wonders...
  • A new name,
  • A cool robe,
  • A ceremony/rite of passage
  • From a famous teacher?
  • From a kind teacher?
  • From a local teacher?
  • Who's my sangha?
  • Can there be an e-sangha?
  • Why not just sit?
  • Why attach to jukai?
  • Why not commit to sitting by doing jukai?
  • Am I just playing at Buddhism or am I a Buddhist?
What can you tell Person A about Jukai? Is it worth doing? Do you have instructions for a rakusu?

Person A


Jordan said...

There are some great Rakusu sewing instructions in the Treeleaf Community Forum under "Jukai"

justzazen said...

Seems to me that you are already doing the most important thing - just sitting. My opinion, for whatever it's worth (nothing) is that it's something to do when you are ready to practice regularly with a community. I haven't undergone/done jukai but seem drawn to it (clinging!) for some of the same reasons you mention - I think it would be cool to have a new (Japanese/Chinese sounding)name that could be written in kanji. Look inside (you know, the same old story) and you'll find the answer as to where and when and who with and if you should do jukai.

Lauren said...

Thanks Jordan for the pointer to instructions. No other pointers?

Justzazen - Thanks for voicing your opinion. It certainly has worth to me...I mean I was trolling for opinions, after all. Yeah, I think that's where I am, just watching all this stuff come up around Jukai. I guess somehow it will resolve itself into an answer.


Jordan said...

Sorry I did not offer more Lauren, I think a lot of that stuff you just have to work out for yourself.

But since you seemed to ask, and I love to talk about myself…, I will give my thoughts on your list.

A new name
You may get a messed up Dharma name… Mine if Fuken.

A cool robe,

The Rakusu is not exactly cool. Mine is sewn kind of crookedly. Perhaps as I am crooked?

A ceremony/rite of passage

I am not so big on ceremony, I think this has a lot to do with the individual.

From a famous teacher?

I am leery of famous teachers.

From a kind teacher?
I think if someone is teaching Buddhism, they are likely to be kind, even if it is hard to recognize.

From a local teacher?
A local teacher would be preferable to me. But I still hold people up to idealistic standards, or at least the same standards I hold myself to, which is still “Wrong conceit.”

Who's my sangha?

I find my Sangha everywhere.

Can there be an e-sangha?
There seem to be E-Sanghas popping up everywhere. Although the Treeleaf community I think does very well with this.

Why not just sit?

I sat without the precepts and I sit with the precepts. Keep in mind though that I am a bit of a zealot so I take my sitting pretty seriously and MAKE time to do it, I understand others may not be able to do what I do.

Why attach to jukai?
The idea of being attached to Jukai is just as bad as my idea of having aversion to Jukai. I eventually just came to accept it.

Why not commit to sitting by doing jukai?
I came to think of Jukai as a kind of formality and a public declaration of commitment to practice and all that it entails.

Am I just playing at Buddhism or am I a Buddhist?
You really have got to answer that last question for yourself.

Hope that is helpful,

Lauren said...

Jordan, Thanks so much for the additional thoughts. It is very helpful for me to read the perspectives of people I know a bit and respect (a bit ;-) ), or perhaps just helpful because they are spontaneously offered in the moment.