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 Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni

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Dan74



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PostSubject: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:07 am

Greetings OBC-Connect!

I hope this is in the right place (probably not and I apologize if not).

Could someone tell me about the relationship between these two teachers?

On another forum, a member mentioned that he had learned shikantaza from Myokyo-ni who received inka from Kennett Roshi, who was her mentor.

I had never heard of Myokyo-Ni being anything but a Rinzai teacher. If anyone has any information on this, it would be much appreciated!

_/|\_
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Greetings OBC-Connect!

I hope this is in the right place (probably not and I apologize if not).

Could someone tell me about the relationship between these two teachers?

On another forum, a member mentioned that he had learned shikantaza from Myokyo-ni who received inka from Kennett Roshi, who was her mentor.

I had never heard of Myokyo-Ni being anything but a Rinzai teacher. If anyone has any information on this, it would be much appreciated!

_/|\_

I believe they were peers in the London Buddhist Society so the notion that Myokyo-ni received inka from Kennett Roshi seems incorrect. Perhaps one of the Brits (I'm thinking Mark or Mike) can say more precisely what their relationship was?
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:50 pm

Is Myokyo the Buddhist name of Irmgard Schoegel? I need a western name to give some more info
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:16 pm

Yes Myoko-ni is Irmgard Schloegl's ordination name. She was a contemporary of Jiyu's who considered her a rival. It was certainly true that Irmgard found more favour within the London Buddhist Society (LBS). She was Rinzai, which was more favoured by the LBS, and corresponded with Christmas Humphries through out her stay in Japan. By the time she returned to England she had considerably more training under her belt, 12 years as opposed to Jiyus 7. She had not received inka at that time, but transmission and inka in Rinzai is not given as early as in Soto. Transmission in Soto is needed by every parish priest and so is given comparatively early. She taught in the UK till death in 2007. She was ordained in by Moringa Roshi at Chithurst Forest Monastery at the invitation of the Abbot. Jiyu had originally been ordained by Ven. Seck Kim Seng as Sumitra in the Chinese Chan tradition which made her a full bikshuni. This is technically one step up from the Japanese ordination, both for men and women, I have always thought that it may have led to some of the friction she felt in Japan, she had the full bikhu/bikshuni ordination that had died out in Japan under Tokagowa's (I think).
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:48 pm

Just to clarify Myoko-ni did not receive inka from kennett Roshi,and Kennett Roshi was not her mentor.
Myoko-ni was always very loyal and true to her teacher in Japan, and would only teach to a leval she was allowed to teach at. She would not teach using the koan method until she was given permission to.
She would also stay at Ditoku ji, rather than live there as the temple was for monks .I remember her telling me that when she stayed there, she allowed herself one luxury usually or always a bar of soap.
I actually knew her as Irmgard,and was very fond of her,she was a very straight person,and zazen was always strictly zazen,with no frills whatsoever.her teaching was always from the early ox herding pictures or carvings,concerning the finding the bulls footprints,and the tussle with the bull.The bull she would usually talk with some affection and call it bully.
Indeed Christmas Humphries loaned her his house for group practice,and I believe may have left the house to her in his will.
I talked to Irmgard about Kennett Roshi, and Kennett Roshi's teaching which was quite rich conversation, and even though Irmgard is sadly no longer with us my respect for her is great and the conversations remain private.
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Stu



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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:29 pm

Hi,

Re the ordination issues...

Ordination according to the vinaya declined from the 9th/10th century onwards in Japan, after Saicho (Tendai monk) introduced ordination under the precepts as described in Brahma's Net Sutra (I think this was argued on the basis of being more 'Mahayana' in aspiration; in pragmatic terms it might have been a way of moving ordination practice altogether out of the hands of the older sects/the state). Vinaya ordinations pretty much declined from that point.

Despite this, monastic/clerical celibacy continued, at least on a de jure basis if not always de facto, in terms of conventional practice and sect rules. After the Meiji restoration (1868), even this started to evaporate after the Meiji government withdrew the legal supports/prohibitions which up to that point had supported particular standards of clerical deportment, dress, habits (i.e. celibacy, clerical dress, vegetarianism). The Nikujiki saitai law basically removed any criminal penalty for infringements of sect law, and left the matter entirely up to the sects themselves, for them to police etc. I think, after this, practices which were originally hidden (clerical marriage e.g.) became gradually more open and commonplace, hence the situation we have now in Japan...

That's as I remember it from reading Jaffe's book on 'Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan', and Bodiford et al in 'Going Forth'... :-) Sorry, this has gone off topic somewhat :-p

Cheers,

Stu
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:43 pm

Thanks Stu for filling out and correcting my comments on the ordination issues. My real point was that since as far as I know none of the Zen schools in Japan take the Vinaya at ordination in the strict sense Zen religious are not Buddhist monks (bikhu), which may have caused some resentment with Jiyu's fellow trainees in Sojiji as she presumably had the full Vinaya ordination from Ven. Seck Kim Seng and therefore was a Buddhist nun (Bikshuni) in the strict sense.
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Dan74



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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:47 pm

Thank you very much for the informative replies!

So as I understand it, there is no chance Irmgard Schloegl (Myokyo-ni) would have received inka from Kennett Roshi, since she had not even trained with her?
Besides, inka ceremonies are usually public and publicised.

Is this correct?

Thank you for your time and help!

_/|\_
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:50 pm

It is possible to be given inka without having taken one's full training with the person bestowing inka. But Irmgard did not recieve inka from Jiyu and from my meetings with Irmgard she would never have sought it.
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Dan74



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PostSubject: Re: Jiyu Kennett Roshi and Ven Myokyo-ni   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:05 pm

Thank you very much for answering, Mark. This is very clear.

May you be well!!!

_/|\_
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