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 Myozen Delport

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jamesiford

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PostSubject: Myozen Delport   Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

For those who trace their connections
back to the beginnings of the Zen Mission Society and the foundation of Shasta
Abbey I’m pleased as punch to say I’ve been in touch with Myozen Delport, for a
while Miyagawa.

Myozen was one of Kennett Roshi’s first students, studying with her at
Umpukuji. She ordained and was common in those years, not long after received
Dharma transmission on the 14th of July, 1969. She and another ordained
disciple came withher when the roshi came to California.

Following her marriage to Arnold, Myozen and her husband moved to his native
Canada. As was Kennett Roshi’s want, there were various false statements made about
her in the years that followed. Myozen has had a son, now grown, and following
a divorce has remarried.

What did happen is that she connected with an old friend, a Soto priest Kodo
Ito, and re-ordained with him. As Kennett Roshi never registered her
transmission there were no difficulties in her “starting over.” She travels to
Japan regularly. In 2004 Myozen received Dharma
transmission from Ito Roshi, which is registered in Japan.

This relationship continues to this day.


She is doing well.


And I am so glad.


I cannot say how important Myozen was to me at the beginning of my Zen life.
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breljo



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Although at times I feel like an intruder in some of these discussions, especially the ones that revolve around RMJK because I did not know her, but I did think Kozan spoke with insight and generosity of spirit in yesterdays post. All those that come upon this "Quest" are in their way sincere, and what happens along the way seems to be a mixture of conditions, situations, predispositions, confusion and errors that has to be worked out within this human condition, due to causes we may only partially become aware of here and there.. Can't help but quote Rumi one more time, "This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, a momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably, the dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, each has been sent as a guide." Yes and of course, easier said and not so easy to do.
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myozen



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Josh - it has been truly difficult writing these things since it is being shared openly. It was as you say: Kennett Roshi would delight one with her sense of humour and then the next moment display cruelty. It began to occur to me in Japan that she was behaving in such almost rebellious ways since she felt she did not blend/fit in - it is so sad - partly because of her physique and the partly due to language and cultural difficulties. Some time ago when I was reading Thomas Yuho Kirchner's Dialogues in a Dream translation of Muso Soseki, the discussion of Shotai choyo/"long cultivation of the sacred embyo", of which Dogen also wrote in terms of the nurturing of trainees - practice after enlightenment - reminded me of Kennett Roshi. Perhaps she had somehow not received such nurturing and was therefore unable to extend such sustained nurturing to her disciples? This brought something home to me: after an experience in Unpuku-ji (please forgive me for writing about this) which Kennett Roshi confirmed, I was filled with wonder about everything around me and a bit goofy probably (and in most likelihood driving her bananas), feeling like a blank sheet of paper - Kennett Roshi suddenly started treating me in ways that seemed so mean-spirited that I began thinking of leaving her. When I voiced this she said, "it is sometimes necessary to drive the knife into Kannon's heart." At the time this made me wonder about timing and rushing a trainee along.

Kozan and Isan - I am also certain that, as Josh says, Kennett Roshi was sincere in going to Japan, but that things went awry along the way of her quest. That she loved the "patriarchal line" was clearly evident by the shine in her eyes when she spoke of it those early days in Unpuku-ji.

Roots in Soji-ji were of course of prime importance to Kennett Roshi as validation of her credentials. I have not seen her certifications/registrations from/with Soto Headquarters since at the time it had not been an issue. Zen is Eternal Life had its genesis in Soji-ji with Kennett Roshi writing in her capacity as the foreign guest master. Kennett Roshi gave me a typed manuscript titled Zen is Eternal Life published by Soji-ji in 1967, intended for westerners coming to Soji-ji for practice. It was comprised of the material which later became the "Stem of the Lotus" chapters of ZEL. At that point the ceremonial and scriptures were not included and she later worked on these at Unpuku-ji.

Perhaps having seen Suigan Yogo as a "most holy priest" is a clue as to the expectations and concepts she harboured in her early days at Soji-ji. Her words, "Zen masters have clay feet" comes to mind again. Anne, I did not spend too much time with Suigan Yogo. Kennett Roshi called him my "grandfather". I recall walking to his temple, Zuiko-ji, in Seki from Unpuku-ji. I believe Kennett Roshi received the vacant Unpuku-ji due to its proximity to Zuiko-ji. My impression of Suigan Yogo was that he was a patient and kind person who has much experience with new trainees. During that first meeting/interview it felt as if he was assessing me carefully. He did strike me as a person who would not take too much guff (a word I learned from Kennett Roshi). He was very supportive in the background over the years. When I registered my change of masters with Soto Headquarters in 1978 he had affixed his seals to the paperwork as Kennett Roshi's master/dharma family.

At the time I could not fathom why my speaking Japanese would have been a problem. Now in retrospect, after these discussions, perhaps it was "showing her up" - which never was my intention (I am Afrikaans-speaking and Japanese felt as natural as English at the time) - since I was the disciple and new monk?
When she was speaking Japanese to others she would shoot me glances as if to say, "don't you dare say anything!" At the time I usually shrugged it off as one of her quirks.

When I returned to Japan in 1976, it seems that Kennett Roshi was unfortunately not in good standing with Soto Headquarters - I do not know if this was later addressed or not. I believe that her departure for the United States was a statement of her independence, so Soto Headquarters would not have mattered.

Last night as I read Josh's post, I was reminded of a matter which Kennett Roshi later misrepresented somewhat. I thought I would sleep on it and see in the morning if I would post the story or not - I woke up from a dream in which Unpuku-ji had been beautifully renovated and restored. When I told my husband of this dream, he asked what Unpuku-ji's name meant. "Un" is "destiny" and also "to carry". "Puku" (fuku) is "fortune, blessing". Unpuku-ji was too small for Kennett Roshi structurally as well as in its function/scope. What follows is a bit awful, but I have been rethinking its elements in the light of later developments in Shasta Abbey. Please forgive me if it oversteps any perimeters of propriety and sensitivity.

When I first arrived in Japan in 1968 I exchanged visits with the friends I had made through correspondence during my early teens. One of these friends was a kind and sensitive young man who was the son of a Shinto priest. I was so gung-ho involved with Karate practice and studies at the Rinzai monastery that I unfortunately did not notice his feelings. After I told him I had decided to become a monk, I received an early morning call from his sister informing me that he had committed suicide. I rushed to his home town - three hours or so away by train - and was met by his grieving family's graciousness. Although they had lost their son, they were concerned about me telling me not to feel responsible. So much warmth, so much sadness. After I was ordained by Kennett Roshi I told her that I felt I had to train extra hard since someone had ended their life over this. I meant a taking of responsibility for my decision. Kennett Roshi drew the conclusion that I was filled with guilt which I felt I had to expiate, and that he was haunting me (as in being a ghost) since she noticed I burned candles at night in my room. I do not know why I did not tell her that the candles had to do with something else. In the countryside where I grew up in South Africa there was no electricity or running water until I was about 15 years old. I used to read my penfriends' letters by candle or lamp light, and I loved its coziness especially on rainy winter nights. In Unpuku-ji when I would wake up during the night I would light the candle on my altar and do zazen. I loved the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha I had since I had watched the carver complete it over a period of several weeks in Nagoya; it was my first statue as a newly converted Buddhist. In all events, Kennett Roshi put me in "tangaryo" and would solidly whack me several times a day with the kyosaku to provide penance practice. I recall her biting her lip when she saw the blisters on my shoulders - she quickly brought ointment. This sounds terrible now in the telling, but at the time I understood what she was trying to do and I appreciated her attempts while feeling that she had misread the situation.

I believe Kennett Roshi loved us as her disciples in her own way. She seems to have been an unhappy person and I have often made prayers for her well-being wherever she may be now. One day when I walked into her room in Shasta Abbey she was sitting on her bed looking forlorn. I kissed her on her head, and she said, "you must learn to share me with everyone." At that moment I realized that there was no longer any clear communication between us: she was so off-mark regarding the gesture. Leaving Shasta Abbey had not been Arnold and my idea - although I had not been paying the fees due to translation work I was doing, after marriage to Arnold she required that he pay for both of us. We went to Vancouver to work and save for the fees but when we were ready to return she first informed us that the Abbey was full and then that married couples were no longer allowed.

For me too this is a matter of understanding these issues in the larger context of everyone else's experiences. I am so grateful to you for letting me share and work through these things.

Hello Breljo - beautifully stated. I agree with you.

Chisan - the transmission documents are so precious. I liked hearing how you keep these books. It is so very moving to think of other monks through the generations copying the same words from their masters' documents. My teacher sent me Yuho Yokoi's Shobogenzo and Eihei Koroku - his son was one of Yuho Yokoi's English students. We are living in town at present due to housing shortage on the reservation, about 45 minutes away and we both miss it. We go there as often as possible and return to town feeling rejuvenated! It is a rather beautiful setting on a channel connected to the Pacific Ocean. Even though there are of course supermarkets in town, having the traditional foods all put up for winter is very comforting and reassuring for everyone. There is one important component missing from the traditional foods now - the oolichan (candle fish) grease/oil which has been a vital trade commodity between all the nations along the coast here. Due to industrial development and pollution resulting in environmental changes along the channel, the oolichan have dwindled to virtually nothing. In spring we used to go to oolichan camp for about 10 days, starting out early in the morning by boat for the 2 hour or so trip. Stories would be told about individual rocks, waterfalls and other landmarks along the way. The production and refinement of the oil itself from the oolichan is quite a process which has been taught from generation to generation. The oil is put in bread, eaten with dried fish, put on potatoes, even in fruit salads made with berries! It would go nicely with the crusty rolls Anne picked up for you ... The people are fighting for the survival of their traditional lifestyles/livelihoods - there is strong opposition to plans for an oil pipeline that would bring huge oil tankers into the channel with the threat of oil spills destroying food resources.

Many bows,
Myozen
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:31 pm

Brigitte please don't feel like an intruder, you aren't. I have always enjoyed your contributions. And of course you and Kozan are right almost certainly JK started out with mainly sincere intentions we all do. That is why 'Zen mind, beginner's mind'. But I'm afraid few of us live up to our intentions, I think it is was Nagarajuna who put it rather poetically as 'Bhoddhisatvas who take the great vow, fishes eggs and mango flowers these three things are common enough but rarely is it that they come to fruit.' I can remember when at the birth of my children like most parents vowing to be the perfect parent, but like most I have not lived up my sincere intent that time either though I still try to be a good parent. The truth is that some of us, myself included, feel that JK did not just fail to live up to her initial sincere intent, few if any of us do that of course, but that she at some point intentionally gave up on it, which is rather different.

I was writing this as Myozen posted and I think she has put even better.
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myozen



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:53 pm

Mark, it is so very good to see you again via your photograph! Recently I went through photographs of Mount Shasta days and had a few chuckles.

Did this post with a bit of trepidation - it is a matter of the very fond memories of Kennett Roshi and of the puzzlements all together. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Now I can prepare dinner!

Warmest regards,
Myozen
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 pm

Nice posts by all.

Myozen the bit about Anne buying rolls for me,is only my silly way of teasing Anne,she lives miles away and has far more interesting things to do than buy me bread rolls.

I love hearing about the Indian way of living

One aspect of what I read here is unexpected wisdom from many people who have suffered from the individual interpretation of zen by others . This wisdom is strong clear and true,and is what I was and am looking for in my zen practice, it is refreshing to see that regardless of anything our spirits have not been broken, This gives me great encouragement in my daily life and path of zazen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:52 am

Thank you Myozen, Thank you Mark for the comments. All of the pain, the confusion, the many experiences that have been spoken of here and are still appearing , will be impossible to trace to their root causes, but should be reflected on carefully and are so valuable because they can help us clarify, if only partially, in many ways what happened with our own.

And on a lighter note, I had a sort of nostalgic moment when I noticed Chisan mentioning the Baked Peas Pudding ???? , which made me think that this being a distictly British dish might have been something I remember "The Two Fat Ladies" dishing up on one of their excursions through the UK many years ago. I wish they would rerun those episodes, there is just nothing like English Cuisine (presented with a distinct flair, of course).
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:23 am

that rules Annes cooking out then
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:48 am

Sorry I can't let this one go

From Myozen.................

Kennett Roshi put me in "tangaryo" and would solidly whack me several times a day with the kyosaku to provide penance practice. I recall her biting her lip when she saw the blisters on my shoulders - she quickly brought ointment. This sounds terrible now in the telling, but at the time I understood what she was trying to do and I appreciated her attempts while feeling that she had misread the situation.


This has troubled me,I am racking my brain to think of something funny to say to break the tension I feel,somehow for once I can't think of anything funny to say
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:46 pm

myozen wrote:
I believe Kennett Roshi loved us as her disciples in her own way. She seems to have been an unhappy person and I have often made prayers for her well-being wherever she may be now. One day when I walked into her room in Shasta Abbey she was sitting on her bed looking forlorn. I kissed her on her head, and she said, "you must learn to share me with everyone." At that moment I realized that there was no longer any clear communication between us: she was so off-mark regarding the gesture.

We went to Vancouver to work and save for the fees but when we were ready to return she first informed us that the Abbey was full and then that married couples were no longer allowed.

For me too this is a matter of understanding these issues in the larger context of everyone else's experiences. I am so grateful to you for letting me share and work through these things.

Myozen, thank you for sharing your very personal memories. I understand how you feel about doing so "out in the open". There have been times when I've wanted to talk about things which didn't feel appropriate to share openly and I've resorted to the forum's private messaging system or used email. Near the bottom of every public post there are three buttons, ie Profile, MP, and Email. Selecting MP enables you to send a private message within the forum. When you receive a private message it is indicated near the top of all forum web pages, a little to the right (I have sent you a message so you can see how this works). The Email option (allowing users to contact via email) is active if the user has enabled it in their profile. If you would like others to be able to contact you via email we can help you enable it (if you did not do so originally).

The experience you describe of Kennett Roshi completely misunderstanding your gesture resonated for me. For many years at Shasta Abbey I felt she understood me very well in some ways. After I left I wrote her a letter trying to explain why and when I received her reply I realized she really had no clue what I was talking about. I attribute this to obliviousness about her own behavior and her inability or unwillingness to take feedback from her students (or much of anyone). It remains a mystery how we achieved such closeness within meditation and yet remained strangers in other ways.

There has been considerable discussion about JK's decision to no longer allow married couples at the Abbey. I can't give you a link at the moment - perhaps someone else can - but check through the threads.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:40 pm

Josh - I have been thinking further about the matter of Soji-ji's main job of which you wrote - Kennett Roshi called Eihei-ji and Soji-ji "boys' finishing schools." Training temples do prepare young monks for their roles as abbots of parish temples while also (hopefully) cultivating their spiritual practice. The unsui at the Rinzai monastery in Nagoya had been there for several years focused on spiritual practice - they would take turns attending to services required at parishioners' homes. Generally, for young monks destined to inherit their fathers' temples, the "finishing school" scenario is probably quite applicable and the matter of "funeral monks"? With the legal establishment of the parish system by the feudal government, households became connected to their parish temple for successive generations - the parishioners would support the temple and priest and the priest in turn looks after the family's dead/ancestors. Priests are also counselors and the temple a refuge place when disaster strikes. The rapid social changes in Japan are affecting the parish structure of temples of probably most denominations and therefore there are many vacant temples now, as you say. In Japan the Buddhist priest is an intermediary/liaison between the seen and the unseen worlds - at the previously vacant temple, Seiden-ji, which my infant son and I occupied in the late 1970s, I found myself also doing rituals pertaining to local deities, even prayers for rain. In Haino there was a custom that the priests of all three temples (Unpuku-ji, plus the Tendai and Jodo-shin) participated in funerals and memorial services. Kennett Roshi attended the funerals as a co-celebrant, but left all the other memorials, etc. to me: there was little preparation - I had to learn on the go and was helped along by the Tendai and Jodo-shin priests. At one of the first ceremonies I attended which is performed after the 49 days after death had passed, when non-vegetarian food and wine is served, the Tendai priest noticed that I was a bit perturbed about my tiny rice wine cup being refilled all the time (it would have been discourteous to refuse) - he came to my rescue and would down my wine surreptitiously. His face was later beginning to flush from all the wine, and the village headman said, "that is indeed a Zen monk - she shows no effect but the Tendai monk is getting sloshed!" That earned me a sharp elbow in the ribs ... the explanation earned the Tendai priest praise for his compassion and gallantry.

There is a monks'/priests' organization called the "Soto-shu Seinen-kai" (Youth Organization) to which I belonged at the time - this organization arranged sesshins, workshops, etc. for the membership. Three members helped me arrange a series of films at Seiden-ji about practice at a monastery, the Zen arts, etc. Even the very elderly climbed the steep path up to Seiden-ji to attend.

In The Other Side of Zen Duncan Ryuken Williams devotes a chapter to Daiyu-zan Saijo-ji, the "prayer temple" of which Suigan Yogo later became abbot.

Chisan and Breljo - thank you for your responses. As you say, our experiences have taught us that something "intrinsic" sees us through such pain and confusion and therefore it is like finding a jewel in the darkness. Everyone's mutual support is so invaluable as one works to make sense of everything.

My apologies, Chisan, I so enjoyed your exchange with Anne that I butted in - I was thinking in lines of the the crusty rolls meeting the oolichan grease in that parallel universe!

At Unpuku-ji Kennett Roshi had a supply of small booklets that were intended for foreigners attending Soji-ji, again written in her capacity as foreign guest master, and therefore the Soji-ji stamp was in them. One was of the Ketchimyaku and the other of the Kyojukaimon and Explanation of the Ketchimyaku. Mokurai and I received these booklets at the time of our ordination at Unpuku-ji. The continued use of these booklets outside of Soji-ji and Japan perhaps create the impression that ordinations of the recipients of these booklets are being sanctioned by and reported to Soji-ji? However, whether sanctioned by Soji-ji or not, Kennett Roshi ordained us all through the authentic ritual/ceremony which had been handed down through the generations of teachers before us. Whether in English or Japanese, we have all repeated the same vows as our predecessors and with the same sincerity.

Isan - thank you so very much. It would not have been possible to share anything without the support this forum provides. I will check the private message and email functions. I am still typing on the site, very carefully.

Gassho,
Myozen
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:55 pm

Myozen, I find it interesting your view of Zen in Japan,For me there are subtle problems, If the temple has pure practice,it is great for learning pure practice,but so difficult to adapt and continue in a different environment, like normal everyday life, and if the temple is just finishing school or ceremonial, it is difficult to penetrate the pure practice in the first place. what works I suppose is what works.
In life without trappings and any form of religion or spirtuality,how do we practice and live our meditation,is our zazen disipated and lost in the fast lanes of life,Can we only find peace and relevancy in the stillness of a faraway zendo Is our original nature with us in the gutters of modern daily living
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:13 pm

Chisan, I find it so interesting that you had also trained in a Japanese monastic environment. As you say, if it is a pure environment it is so much easier to learn pure practice, but monastic communities consist of individuals with problems like everyone else - I believe the only difference is the awareness of these difficulties and the intent to work at resolving these, ideally together. When I became a monk it was with the intention of remaining in a monastery or temple in Japan my entire life. This was the largest change the issues surrounding Kennett Roshi made to my life. I still miss the focused life of a monastic and have had to learn my own methods of dealing with modern day living - having a firm footing in sustained practice helps one carry the practice into normal everyday life. It is so difficult to express these things in words! Zazen practice accumulates over time and through sustained practice in different life situations, the experience deepens, nourishing our practice further. Anyway, that's how it works for me; it is a bit of everything - fair weather, foul weather, and everything in between! One of the monks of the Rinzai monastery had once said to me, "monks have it easy, it is the lay people who have to work hard at training: that is where the gold is!"

When I had to leave Shasta Abbey and go to Canada to apply for an immigration visa to the United States from there, Kennett Roshi gave me a very good teaching before I left: she said, "remember, the monastery is in your heart." It was a simple statement but it did help me in the early days in Toronto.

Now, after being in isolation for so long, it is helping me and it is wonderful being in contact with you and everyone.

Gassho,
Myozen
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:25 am

These dusty roads lead nowhere, how can I find the Buddha Mind?
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:55 pm

Chisan -

"It is you" came to mind. For some reason I also thought of "Zuigan calling his master" - went to read the case again and found it rather humorous and vigorous.

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:45 am

Yes I read Zuigan again and it reminded me of the god of fire is calling for fire,humorous and vigorous
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:41 am

Myozen as you lived in Nagoya, When you are settled in here I may well tell you..

The perturbing and embarressing story of the traditional old bathhouse of Nagoya
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:11 am

Chisan, so I will be waiting to hear your story ... having mentioned fire and a bath - an unsui told me that one of the pranks often pulled on a newcomer when they learn how to light and keep the fire going under the traditional style bath, is to tell the newcomer to put bamboo in the fire. The unbroken bamboo would explode. So two of us put this to the test, forgetting that the Roshi was in the bath at that time!
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:00 am

It feels like it is our 1 day of summer today,I want to see the sea, I'll write later ....liked the bamboo
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Myozen the bamboo does bring back memories of the bath house.It is a relaxed place, but where everyone goes, Bedowa goes too ,Dogens teachings little rituals, awareness,The Old Man had told me that he could see our attitude and understanding of life through our practice of Bendowa, it would help his teaching.The bath house was not always quiet,sometime chatter and laughter,we washed with plastic bowls and got into the bath clean, to warm up, the heat would permeate our bodies and spirit. We would time it so we just had time to scamper to the zendo still warm, because when it got cold it got cold, the shutters on the zendo were open it was like sitting outside.the only place to be was immersed in zazen.

After a retreat I met a friend of mine, an Eheiji monk in Nagoya. My legs and body ached so he decided to take me to a very well known traditional bath house to relax. The building was very,very old with a huge traditional roof that came up at the ends like a giant birds wings.

We were greeted by the owner of the bathhouse,who welcomed us and explained that he used special secret ingedients in his baths,he gathered these ingredients himself, they were a mixture,of herbs, barks and grasses. I was curious, and of course was made very welcome as I was from a different country, and was also from one of their temples.The Japanese people without exception respected people from temples,as they knew it was a tough life,much to the annoyance of my friends I would usually get slightly more attention as people thought it would be tougher for me, not coming from their country.It was certainly so with my new friends from the bath house, I heard them ask which temple,they expressed their respect and near admiration with facial expressions and gutteral noises, I heard the words warrior nation and strong I kept quiet and my friend had to agree with all the praise

The bath house had a male and female section, the male side was not disimillar to the temple, we washed whilst sitting on little plastic buckets, and when clean went into a sauna, the sauna was unbelievably hot, it was 1 minute maximum, and I found it hard to breath, but by the end of the minute I could breath easily the pores seemed to open.

Outside the sauna was a huge hot bath, space was made for me as the honored guest, and respectful silence started to creep into the atmosphere. We completed our circuit of baths by moving into the next bath, the special one, that was brown like mud and strong smelling, more space was made for me as I quietly sat in the middle, Not only was it hot and aromic but the ingredients seemed to penetrate my skin and body. All of a sudden I started to break out into a sweat, as the huge ammount of firey heat now seemed to be inside my testicles...I was burning. I called out to my new admirers Is this normal, my testicles are on fire. I went from invincible to human in one second as all the men collasped in huge everlasting laughter. There is no Aids in Japan said one guy,Well I did recover and spent the rest of the evening on an equal basis with my new friends.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:37 pm

What a great story, Chisan! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the transformation to camaraderie. The Japanese do seem to think that temple life would be so much harder for us gaijin and we would be the recipients of greater respect than our Japanese peers - I used to feel quite embarrassed! For me it was during some fireworks at a friend's temple when the wooden stool broke under me, leaving me sitting flat on the ground, legs sprawled out.

The only experience I have had with a public bath house in Japan was when I was staying with friends in their temple during winter. The temple was in a bit of disrepair at the time so everyone would go to the community bath house. It was tremendous fun observing how we each walked back to the temple each in our individual cloud of steam. (The temple has been renovated since ...)

We had a rather short spell of real summer and now it feels like autumn, with the Canada geese gathering for their migration.

Gassho,

Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:08 pm

The Canadian geese gathering Myozen....... When I met a very close friend of mine I asked him where he was from, he said 'just up the road' anyway a few days later I was quite surprised because he found where I lived and came to see me, he apologised and said he was a South American Indian, and that is where he was from.

Weather permitting I would like to tell you another story of when my friend Bill Picard met some South American Indians and became their honored guest 70 years ago. That will be tomorrow if it rains.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:45 pm

Bill told me this story Myozen in 1970,during Kennett Roshi's sesshin at Tatharta Centre Gloucestershire, I believe you were running a retreat in Berkley

During the retreat, Bill experienced satori which certainly knocked me off my feet, he spoke freely about the vast oneness that was experienced,and he tried to explain his experience to us all and this story was one story that he told us, I remember him sitting down and talking,here is what he said:

'I had been living in South America for large parts of my young life, I enjoyed being in a lot of the more remote areas,one day I was driving across country in a land rover, and saw a young man at the side of the road, he waved me down, and wanted a lift. I could make out his language and sort of knew the direction he wanted to go in. The young man seemed agitated, and worried, I felt he was in danger and that someone was after him,he seemed relieved when I told him I would take him all the way to his home.
The journey was arduous,over rough terrain, but eventually we made it to an Indian village, made up of Indian tents. Everybody gathered round, and the whole village was pleased to see my passenger safe and back home. I was introduced and asked to stay as they were very grateful for the help I had given to the young Indian, I was given some food and a tent to stay in.
Later that night I was invited into the tent of chief of the tribe, inside the tent was the young man I had helped,the chief,a shaman,and an Indian with a drum. the Shaman prepared what I believed to be peyote,and filled a pipe with it. As the pipe was lit the drummer started his monotonous rhythm on the drum,the shaman inhaled a deep breath and passed the pipe to the chief, the pipe was passed round eventually to me,I felt I was being honored for helping the young man. The drum played without a pause,soon the effect of the peyote took hold,and I felt that the sound and vibration of the drum, became part of my consciousness,each beat of the drum seemed to vibrate my being. I became the drum beat,and seemed to fill the entire space of the tent,the drum was constant and soon my consciousness was the entire village. Drum beat and mind became one and my consciousness expanded and filled the whole universe'

I remember Michael Taylor thumping my arm at that point and saying cosmic consciousness. Michael is still a good friend of mine, a lay brother with a Christian contemplative order, and has read and offered to edit the book Bill insisted I write about his life. Michael is a rare person himself,he swapped a life of luxury in a very expensive part of London, to living in a racially mixed area and working for vagrant people,in the early 70s he moved to the Isle of Skye where he still lives today.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:08 pm

Another wonderful story, Chisan.

May I hear more about your book about your friend Bill? You have wonderful memories of him.

The mention of Berkeley brought back some memories. At the time it was quite a learning curve becoming accustomed to North America - my Dharma brothers were excellent at clueing me in!

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:22 pm

Yes I do have good memories of Bill, Myozen. I suppose the theme that runs through all the memories is the help that was always available and freely given. I met Bill when I was 20 and within a few years of that time I was running a zen centre in London. Bill gave me great advice. His advice was usually pointing out the constant practice of sitting without self will but still sitting with brightness and energy,the strange dicotomy of training and enlightenment,lightnesss and dark,form and emptyness,direction and yet no where to go.He basically helped me see what I was doing,and how alot of it would not help my meditation. meditation is very subtle it can turn into an egotistical charade with the blink of an eye.
When Bill was dieing he asked me to write a sort of biography of him from a meditation viewpoint. He was asked to write it himself but he never did.My strong memories of Bill are personal human ones,In the last part of his life he had had strokes and was on his way out ,but he always seemed to know when I was about to visit,and he was always pleased to see me, as simple as that it is a nice memory
The book is written but it is not quite right so I will rewrite when I have digested it,I am including an equal section about Ikko Roshi,Two very similar and very different people,both very artistic,Ikko Roshi a very formal Zen monk, and Bill could not stand religious form but still was a devout Buddhist. A lot of water has passed by,we have all learnt alot about religious life and lived our own lives,and quite rightly entered the argument of truth and illusion
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:06 pm

Do you find it quite startling Myozen to see after all these years, that what was the Zen Mission Society,then the Reformed Soto Zen Sect, then OBC has developed over 40 years.

I read that there were 24 people at Shasta which is not really a growing community,this forum has allowed or given the opportunity for many people to tell their story in relation to leaving Shasta. This opportunity has seen a lot of criticism which I would never have believed in 1970.

I wonder if it all would have been more relaxed if married priests had been allowed to stay, would the teaching have been more relevant,would it have helped people in their own relationships,do celibate people only process the Buddha Nature,What about gay relationships in a priesthood, Eko may have been a far more relaxed and tolerant person if he were allowed to marry, may be he was fighting a natural desire to form relationships and reproduce. My memory of George and Joanne is that they had a lot to offer other people.

Normal daily life, including being close to people is where we live full on may be this is where the teaching can be realized,practiced and passed on.


Wouldn't it have been great if we had lead the way in relevant practice and enlightenment.


What do you think Myozen?
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:10 am

Sometimes we are blessed with friendships such you enjoyed with your friend Bill, Chisan. I hope your book comes together according to your wish (seigan). I read your post regarding your experience with Ikko Roshi at Zuio-ji - so remarkable. I will be re-reading it. In the mid-1990s I spent some time in Ehime-ken in Saijo and Iyomishima - I enjoyed all the Kobo Daishi lore of the area. Your story of Ikko Roshi reminded me of the Roshi of the Rinzai monastery in Nagoya - he left a lasting influence on my life, which sustained me during the period after the separation with Shasta Abbey. He passed away in 2004 after being a monk for 86 years.

Three years ago I lost a dear friend, my dharma brother Hodo. We met here in Terrace at the time the Daiko-ji zazenkai was co-arranging the visit of a Tibetan lama in 1993. He started coming for Japanese lessons and expressed the wish to become a monk. We worked through the "monks' handbook" together in preparation. The process was suspended when I went to South Africa to be with my terminally ill mother. When I returned to Terrace 5 years later we continued where we left off and my teacher came for a visit, on which occasion he ordained him and gave him the name Hodo. He had studied hard and was elated by his ordination - however, he passed away shortly afterwards due to heart disease. My husband and I had been seeing him daily, helping him with various errands, etc. He was a social worker, a very kind person who cared about everyone.

The changes that took place at Shasta Abbey were rather startling when I learned of these matters through this forum, and I have been re-reading the journals I kept while with Kennett Roshi in Unpuku-ji in Japan in light of the stories told on the forum. This forum is such a tremendous and help and support. There are various developments which seem to have had their seeds in Japan.

The person to whom I was married at Shasta Abbey, Arnold, and I went to Canada to work and save money for the required fees at Shasta Abbey; however, when we were ready to return to the abbey, we were informed that married couples were no longer allowed. This resulted in our move to Japan to practice there - Arnold went to a monastery for training, while I became the caretaker and resident monk of the rural parish temple together with our infant son. Our little family grew apart - both of us eventually remarried and started new lives. Sometimes I have wondered how things would have evolved if we had been allowed to return to Shasta Abbey. I had also wondered what had become of the other couples we knew, warm and kind people.

Shasta Abbey was perhaps in a way an "experiment" (?) - a new development in Japanese Zen lineage monastic life. (I have not read all the background on the forum yet). Although ordained Buddhist practitioners in Japan are allowed to marry since the Meiji Era, during their period of monastic training they are celibate. My feeling is that the arrangement at Shasta Abbey could have worked with the combination of celibate and married practitioners and a new precedent may have resulted. There are practitioners who prefer celibacy, while others feel their practice enhanced by family life. Having practiced as both celibate and married to a practitioner and to a partner who is not Buddhist, as well as a period as a single parent in a temple, I have found that practice prevails; it only changes focus in some aspects according to/in response to the relationships. I believe practice is in our relationships, whatever form our relationships to others take. Chisan, I agree that this is where the teaching can be realized, practiced and passed on, as you say. Then practice is "relevant".

We have been harvesting peas and beans from our small backyard garden. Tomorrow morning early my husband is off to set the net again, so more food processing days ahead.

Best regards.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:51 am

Thank you for your interesting and beautiful reply Myozen.

I liked hearing about your teacher who had been a monk for 86 years. It makes me feel very humble when so many times I have said that zen is this or zen is that. One inch of Buddha ,Beginners mind allows pride and even Buddhist concepts to fall away,and lets life be experienced free from some limitation of our own self.

I feel it is the same with the fast growth of zen centres,What is the plan? What is the aim? To grow Buddhism? To spread the dharma? To become important? To have a big following? To prove oneself? ... married single.... senior junior... enlightened deluded . I find it hard to believe that a severence package of 90,000$ has been agreed for Eido Roshi,I wonder what he has actualy taught anyone. All the money in the world will not build a bypass around actual pratice,teachers that abuse their students in any way will never teach true Zen.

The practice of shikantaza can't even be practiced and one can never know how to do it.

It must have been very sad for you when your friend Hodo died,I am sure you helped him alot.

An old monk for 86 years surely have nothing to prove.

Autumn closing in, What fish is your husband catching?
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:03 am

After 86 years

The miso soup's

Still hot
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:41 am

Delighted by your poem, Chisan!

It has been an intense week - we were processing food, and then learned of an aged relative's passing away yesterday. Today we were helping a friend with her harvesting, and received the news that her husband passed away in hospital. This was all such a reminder of mujo - in the midst of our preparations for winter, others have passed on to their next stage. It somehow reminded me of how graves were situated right among the rice fields in the village in Japan - it seemed such an "organic/natural wholeness".

During these past days I often thought of your poem and smiled. May I pass it on to my friend who is now the abbot of the monastery and the old Roshi's successor? It is humbling to consider that this Roshi was ordained at 10 years of age and remained in practice till the age of 96. Thought much about your comments relating to developments with rapid growth of Zen centres - and the sometimes sudden changes implemented. Where there is a long established tradition/culture developed over centuries perhaps there are peer checks in place which perhaps make abuse and misrepresentation a little more difficult? It is a cause for concern when too much innovation - and financial resources - replaces solid training and experience.

My husband and his brother have still been catching halibut, but the sockeye salmon run seems to be over now. The coho salmon, pink salmon, and steelhead salmon-trout are now coming through. They usually also bring in crab, releasing the small ones accompanied by some food for when they return to the ocean bottom, as my husband says, "so they can have a party!" All these salmon are half-smoked, smoked, dried, canned, and frozen. On Tuesday we spent 12 hours at the annual science and reading camp of the nearest reservation's learning centre, canning salmon for them for the year - we had three pressure canners going at the same time. Exhausting, but a congenial joint effort. At the learning centre the students study their language and cultural traditions in an effort at reviving these.

Early every morning there is a raven cawing in the tree outside this window - an autumn sound.

Best regards,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:40 am

Very sorry to hear of your friends death Myozen, I am sure you are comforting his wife.

Saying goodbye to loved ones is always sad. A 19 year old local lad got out of his car last night and was hit by another car,he died ,and has left all his mates very sad and struggling to find some sort of meaning to their young lives. This is an area where everyone is brought up to stick together, and in one way it is very beautiful to find these young people who of course I know, show their natural respect and tenderness.Please feel free to pass my poem on,I hope it is read with the respect that it was written with.

Your winter preparations seem well under way. How big is the reservation? It is so good to hear that you want a traditional life, and not an expected one. Does everyone work together and share their catches? or are they prepared for each family on an individual basis. Please tell me more.

In the midst of all of our daily lives the gentle Buddhas teaching is found

The autumn leaves of mujo
Show us All
Original Nature
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:22 pm

Myozen you said:
Quote :
Where there is a long established tradition/culture developed over centuries perhaps there are peer checks in place which perhaps make abuse and misrepresentation a little more difficult?
This is true, but unfortunately not always, or even most often the case. There are always those who will pervert tradition to their own ends, using it as an authority to allow them to do as they please. And there are also many who mistake the habits of the past as the pure way. All practice is clothed in the customs and practices of its own time and place. It is not that living in the past is in itself bad but surely we need to learn and take on new ways too. After all I don't suppose they had canning machines way back then! To live in harmony with the true nature of the world must be good but in the end it must be the same mustn't it whether the world is the clamour of Wall Street or the tranquility of the monastery, and both have their seductions away from the true path.

I'm sorry to hear about your losses but may the fish run for your family and the winter be be not too harsh.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:21 am

Thank you, Chisan.

It is so sad when young life is lost. You mention that you live in an area where everyone is brought up to stick together, and this is how things are still on the reservation where my husband grew up. Even though the young people spend time on facebook, etc. when there is a bereavement or emergency, everyone is there helping and supporting. This is one aspect of reservation community life that is so exceptional.

It is customary for families to do their own fishing, etc. but in the case of the oolichans, the custom used to be that the persons with the first canoe load of oolichans for the season would send word ahead and community members would go to the bay with buckets for their share of the first harvest. In the process of making the oolichan oil/grease more than one family would set up their camp together for the production. When we were living on the reservation we used to take halibut and salmon to the elders who do not have someone to fish for them. Now that we are living in Terrace we do the same thing with for extended family and friends living here. That is how my husband was taught when he was growing up.

My husband is a member of the Haisla Nation and the reservation's name is Kitamaat Village, on the Douglas Channel. When I moved to the reserve with my husband I noticed that there are many funerary customs and beliefs that remind me of Buddhist traditions. There is the custom of burning food, clothing, and other items for the deceased after the funeral. There is also evidence that prior to Christian missionary activity there was a belief in rebirth.

The Haisla clans are the Eagle, Beaver, Blackfish, and the Raven sub-clan. One year after death there is a settlement feast sponsored by the person who receives the deceased's "Indian" name. Accounts within the community are settled and gifts are given by the family/clan to all the guests. The person who receives the name also has to provide the tombstone on this occasion. This giving of gifts in memory of the deceased is similar to the Buddhist funerary custom in Japan.

The Haisla Nation website is haisla.ca with some photographs, history and so on. There is a National Film Board documentary about the return of a Haisla totem pole from Sweden which can be viewed on line at nfb.ca/film/totem_the_return_of_the_gpsgolox_pole. There is further background to the pole on nanakila.org.

The reservation near Terrace where we are involved with the learning centre is that of the Kitsumkalum Nation. There is detailed background and history of the community at kitsumalum.bc.ca. Another area reservation where there are relatives near Terrace is that of the Kitselas Nation. There is a slide show of last year's totem pole raising on their website kitselas.com. There are some beautiful petroglyphs in Kitselas Canyon. My husband also helps relatives who are Kitselas Nation members with their fishing, which in this case means the net is cast off the rocks into the Skeena River.

The Buddha's gentle teachings are ever present if we are open-hearted, showing us the true nature of everything, as you say. Even though practice was strict in the Rinzai monastery there was all this kindness, warmth, camaraderie expressing this compassion. In the beginning I was a bit leery of the monk with the kyosaku/keisaku, though! Later during the first summer sesshin I noticed him waving mosquitoes away from us as he would walk by with the kyosaku, so I felt that he must be gentle-hearted. He is now the abbot and he will take much pleasure in your poem in respect of his teacher, Chisan.

Gassho,
Myozen.




Hello, Mark,
I am still getting used to communicating on this forum.
I agree that even in cultures with such long Buddhist tradition there are many problems and situations where power/authority is abused. My feeling is just that there is still a bit of a "frontier" aspect here, in that sincere seekers are taken in by persons who attempt to teach without a strong basis and who "make it up as they go along." This is a bit like what happened at Shasta Abbey, I believe? New ways and innovation are part of healthy growth and part of development in tune with the times - it is only when it is a substitute for substance that it could be problematical.

As you say, wherever we are - in our case urban environment or the reservation - there are distractions and seductions and often it is hard to distinguish. The two of us are living in overlapping cultures - while I have adapted to Haisla culture, my husband has adapted to the dominant culture and to Buddhist culture. It is perhaps a matter of focus?

Thank goodness for the pressure canners! All the fish used to be smoked and dried, but now everyone has a freezer and canners are used, although my husband's mother still uses the older method of boiling the jars. Both my husband and I grew up with no electricity, no running water, with all meals being prepared on a wood stove, and it is still the same when one goes to the seasonal camps for the traditional foods. The temple I lived in with my infacnt son in Japan also had wood for cooking and heating the bath and was complete with an outside/outdoors toilet. Some of my friends at the time had toilets in their temples that resemble the cockpit of an aeroplane!

Thank you, Mark. It is almost time already to settle in for several months of snow.

Please keep well. Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:13 am

Ah Wall Street

Ponzi jumps in

The smell of money
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:59 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Ah Wall Street

Ponzi jumps in

The smell of money

Ha!

Chisan!!

You have out-done yourself here!!!

("Ponzi jumps in".... If anyone doesn't get the reference, please ask!)
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:13 am

Myozen, your account is deeply touching in so many ways. Thank you.

There is (of course) the yet deeper and still largely unaddressed issue of domination, oppression, exploitation, and genocide--perpetrated against native people by European colonizers in the Western Hemisphere--and against everyone, by many other cultures, worldwide.

I think that the consequence is a still unacknowledged existential crisis that pervades Native Nations--and the rest of us on our planet--to this day.

It seems to me that the root of this existential crisis stretches back some 6,000 to 10,000 years, to the advent of empire, and its dynamic of conquest, war, exploitation, and enslavement. I suspect that this constitutes part of the "missing Sutra" that Stan and David have been discussing on another thread (the full discussion of which requires another extensive comment!).

I think that we have a unique opportunity--and an ever increasing urgency-- to recognize the causal dynamics that appear to have baffeled Buddhist teachers, and our ancestors alike, for some 6,000 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:34 pm

Myozen, I looked up the Haisla totem pole story, and quite a story it is, I can just imagine there will be quite a celebration when that makes it back home.

Kozan, I would appreciate more commentary on the missing Sutra discussion. Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:13 pm

Chisan, Ka--tsu! Your poem left me speechless and delighted. Having said that ...

Have been thinking further about our conversation. There are so many affinities with Buddhist principles such as taking from nature only as much as is needed; not wasting; re-using things (since commodities were also not readily available). Before the aluminium smelter Alcan and the pulp/paper plant/mill were established across the channel from Kitamaat Village, the Haisla traveled to their destinations by boat. There was no road such there is now to the company town Kitimat which developed along with the smelter and plant, so my husband commuted to school by boat. Seafood and game was plentiful then, he says. All this has now changed but the "learned" values which ensured survival are still intact in his worldview/lifestyle and spirituality. The belief was there that if animals and plants were not treated with respect, lack of food would result. Keen observation of, and harmony with, the environment enabled the prediction of certain events which would otherwise endanger food, shelter, survival. This is changing as the younger folks would now rather drive to the big box store in Terrace for everything, to the detriment of their health and lifestyle. The incidence of diabetes is rather high in Native/aboriginal populations here and it is often stressed what a healthy diet the traditional foods represent, with all the activity that the gathering and preserving entails.

I hope you found the websites interesting?



Kozan,
Thank you for your moving comments - your post stimulated quite a conversation this morning with my husband. I was also intrigued by your reference to the discussion of the "missing sutra". Where does one find the thread on the forum?

The contact with European culture and the sweeping, rapid changes that ensued have often been devastating for the Canadian Native people as well. The deep existential crisis you mention can be keenly felt in individual lives/families. At a local, basic level losing traditional territory/land also meant losing a social structure, traditional trade, and access to food sources. There are presently treaty negotiations, and settlement/compensation negotiations for survivors of the Indian Residential Schools (which were run by the church and government) in process. My husband went to Indian Day School where his language and culture was suppressed, affecting issues of identity.

A couple of years ago I was given an eye-opening book, Makuk, a "new history of aboriginal-settler interactions in Canada" by John Sutton Lutz, published by the University of British Columbia Press. It examines and records the legislated dissolution of rituals such as the potlatch which was central to the social cohesion of communities/clan structure.

When I was growing up in South Africa (then a colony) a constant companion was the San ("Bushman") woman whose family had been connected to ours for several generations. She told me San stories and when I was sick she made medicines for me. When she died she left me her string of "magic" beans which she said was her only valuable possession. Her people have also experienced forced displacement.

This is why we enjoy being involved at the learning centre where attempts are being made to revitalize the language and culture, the dignity and spirit. (It is also great fun!).

As you say, Kozan, we do now have the opportunity to address these urgent issues for the sake of our collective survival. My husband told this story about one of the Haisla elders. During a particularly long and harsh winter when the people were experiencing food shortages, this elder came across a flock of ducks which had their legs trapped in the ice while sleeping. He only took enough for a communal meal and then proceeded to chip the others out of the ice so that they could fly away. I feel this worldview of mutual interdependence/interconnectedness resonates with Buddhist principles.



Brigitte,
I am so happy you enjoyed the story of the G'psgolox pole! The pole made it back to Kitamaat Village but two attempts so far to return it to its original site at Kitlope have been thwarted by sudden weather conditions resulting on one occasion in technical difficulties with the helicopter which was to lift the pole from the boat to the shore - giving rise to all kinds of speculation! The tradition is that when a pole topples it is left to rot where it lies so it returns to the earth, completing its cycle. This particular pole's story took an unusual turn and there are many beliefs surrounding it now. The whole community will be relieved and will celebrate when it reaches its resting place!

Warmest regards, gassho
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:11 pm

Kozan,

Just thinking further regarding your post - I am not eloquent in writing about these issues and my experience and view here is limited to a local scope. Your post is very thought provoking and will probably lead to more discussion with my husband regarding his views and experiences! He has seen a considerable change in his community in just his lifetime - I cannot imagine how it must be for the more elder members.

Thank you again.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:13 am

Myozen I read up on the websites and found them very interesring and intriging. My mother was from BC she was born in White Rock, and lived right by a reservation and went to school with some of the kids I am not sure what nation they were . I think if your life/livehood is based outside one becomes more in tune with the outside elements ,and treats the environment in a different way, although it always seems to me that indiginous people are far more in tune with their surroundings. Again my view that in progressive materialistic societies there is a tendandacy to loose sight and respect of our environment. Having said that, people today do want to be more in touch with something deeper.
I found that zen in Japan aspired to have respect for all things,but then isn't that the core of zazen/ Buddhism.Already our society has changed zen into being a means of aquiring. I want a kensho, I want realization,i have experienced a kensho, I have experienced a bigger kensho. and even what we talk alot of here people not only wanting authoritive power, but also wanting to abuse it
To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to be free from attachment to the body and mind of one's self and of others.
Very old writing, yet still we practice great self discipline and are proud of our understanding.

i was hoping to put a photo here of a Cornish Totem Pole that a friend of mine carved.He is a well regarded sculptor,with pieces in galleries, outside theatres, the last olympic arens,Royal residences and my garden.I can not put it on here so I have asked Lise to do it for me.Hopefully Thanks Lise






This self analysis and discipline is
such a drag
for the likes of you and me
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:03 pm

hi Michael - my work computer isn't cooperating with the upload but I can do it from home today. The Cornish Totem Pole is beautiful, oh my (sorry, everybody, to make you wait to see it)
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:03 pm

Thanks Lise,I am really pleased you like the Totem Pole, I hope Myozen and her husband and friends like it. If possible could you put it in the gap above the poem

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:40 pm

Michael's photo is now posted.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:17 pm

many thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:41 pm

Chisan, thank you for your post - a delightful reprieve from the heavy conversation my husband Perry and I have been engaged in!

The Cornish Totem Pole is so graceful and enigmatic. Perry was also very taken with it and said to please tell your friend he wishes him much luck and success with his talented hands. Could you please tell us more about it? Thank you so much for showing it to us.

Your BC connection is a nice surprise - is there any chance of a visit sometime?

It is raining hard after several very hot and dry days - the gardens are probably singing.

Gassho,
Myozen


Hi Kozan and Lise.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:04 pm

Nice bird in that picture. What kind is it? A booby?

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:29 pm

Glorfindel, it must be past your bedtime - do you want us to tell your mum you're still on the computer?

Does no one supervise you.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:30 pm

Don't tell!!


BTW guys I hope you don't mind that I've eavesdropped on the thread. Best thread on obcc in my opinion. Every time myozen or chisanmichaelhughes appears I know there is going to be a fabulous tale. Michael your poems are excellent and myozen I've loved hearing about your semi-fisher-gatherer-hunter lifestyle. I've studied the mesolithic period of NW Europe and various aspects of the life you have described are very reminiscent of things I've studied. I'd love to live my life actually inside a poem in the way you do!
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:08 pm

Thank you Lise and Kozan for your, I assume, joint effort in loading the photo, It would not load for me or at least my young friend trying to load it for me.

I am pleased you liked the Totem Pole. What can I say about it, I asked my friend Reese to sculp it for me using a Canadian Redwood tree trunk.the original idea was I suppose to do somehing that reflected where we are , the sea, our myths, and our Cornish Celtic roots. I told Reese exactly what I wanted in great detail, and he did something completly different! which actually delighted me.

Reese is a successful sculptor, in the sense he is always working on commissions,he is influenced alot by South American native carvings, and combines them with Celtic images.He has a strange personality that does not feel complete unless he is using his hands and natural gift of perspective. My only concern for him is he keeps sculpting sheep,I am not sure if this is due to the fact that he is Welsh. They are huge sheep and very heavy, I have had to load them onto lorries for him using a fork lift truck as they are so heavy, During quieter moments I question him sometimes about the quantity of sheep produced and he assures me they are all commissions , and made for the upper echelons of our society. 6 went up to London for the Olympics, they went to the horse jumping section where they were offical fence dressings.

Personally the nice thing about this Totem Pole is it fits in to where I live, everybody feels it is normal to see it, they apreciate it, do not make any fuss about it, no one asks me about it, it is part of where we live together, for me it is one way of showing respect and solidarity for native people around the world, who have had their lives and souls tampered with for something we call progress.

I am pleased you Myozen and Perry liked the Totem Pole I am sure you were both surprised. I may well come to BC next year to pay repect to where my Mum was born and it would be great to meet you, we clearly have a shared experience.

I think everyone will have been very pleased that you have written on the forum,you have written very carefully and with great respect for people that have helped you on your path.

I was going to end with a poem for Myozen I am sure you won't mind Myozen I will dedicate it to my friend Glorfindel

Still dark
Candle flickers
Always dawn arrives
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm honoured.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:17 am

Chisan, when I told Perry of the possibility of a visit he broke into a big smile and said, "I'll take him fishing!" - then he can tell you the story of how he took a porcupine to see a totem pole in Kitamaat Village ... We are both are so charmed by the Cornish Totem Pole - what a lovely story!

We have just returned from another harvesting and preserving bee with a friend - the wind has suddenly turned cold. We have started clearing our garden as well.

Perry's aunt passed away on Friday, and the various ceremonies are beginning tomorrow. When she was going to school she had to go as far as Rivers Inlet, a central BC coast fjord - many of the Wuikinux people of Rivers Inlet are related to the Haisla. That is where Perry's father's family used to go for their food fishing in those days.

Thank you for your encouraging words. The warm welcome I received to this forum is now helping me on the path - there were unresolved issues relating to my experiences with Kennett Roshi which I had previously been unaware of, so sharing stories about these have certainly helped to examine and work through these issues.

Glorfindel, thank you. It is so delightful being able to communicate like this. Your mention of the mesolithic period of NW Europe reminded me of discussions also about some similarities to the Jomon period of Japan? On the way to Japan from South Africa in 1968 I spent a few days in Europe - just Geneva, Koln, Brussels and then to London via the Zeebrugge-Dover ferry. The crossing was quite rough but I enjoyed each moment of it and since then I have had some kind of attraction to the North Sea. Have not made it back again, though.

Tonight we will be picking beans and pulling carrots in our sleep!

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:45 am

:-) Like Glorfindel and Chisan, I've been enjoying your 'tales' too, Myozen! There may be many appreciative lurkers under the leaves like me, even if all seems quiet !ssshh -- so please do feel free to go on, whatever the subject! (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 am

one tiny point. There was some discussion about a photo of Kennett with Kim Seng in Malaysia where Kennett was wearing her Japanese robes. My guess is that during Kennet's time in Japan, she took a break / vacation to visit Kim Seng in Malaysia - at least once. In which case, she would have been there in full Japanese outfit.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:31 pm

Thank you for your comments, Anne! I always enjoy your humour so much. And here comes that puzzling photograph again...


Josh, the possibility that Kennett Roshi visited Malaysia during her stay at Soji-ji is an interesting angle - I had not thought of this scenario. That would explain why she is seated in front of the altar of Cheng Hoon Teng complete with hossu in her hand. Since the hossu would represent authority as a recognized Zen teacher, the other matter that then follows is that perhaps such recognition as full-fledged Zen abbot/teacher would have come after kenpodo/shinzan, her appointment as abbot of Unpuku-ji? Kennett Roshi has told me that she stopped in Malaysia and was ordained there (becoming Seck Kim Seng's disciple) on her way to Japan to become Koho Zenji's disciple. This reminds me of the official story that Kennett Roshi had stopped by in San Francisco on her way to England to establish a temple or Zen centre in London with Soto Headquarters blessing, but decided to remain in San Francisco. After Kennett Roshi received the invitation/suggestion to move to San Francisco from Claude Dalenberg while we were in Unpuku-ji, she immediately started planning for the move - visas, arrangements for transportation of possessions to San Francisco. She commented, "I have packed everything except the kitchen sink!" Kennett Roshi only went to England after she had set up the Zen centre in San Francisco. Prior to this, the establishment of a temple or Zen centre in London had not been mentioned or discussed in Unpuku-ji, as far as I can recall. I have often wondered why she had not set out for England, returning home, to begin with if she had received the mandate from Koho Zenji/Soto Headquarters? Although Unpuku-ji was a charming little temple and the village environment very scenic and peaceful, she did not like being there perhaps due to what she perceived of as cultural confines or limitations. Perhaps she also had larger hopes and dreams which could not be realized there. It is quite remarkable when one thinks of the subsequent scope of her creativity at Shasta Abbey.

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:00 pm

I have often wondered what became of the young woman who was the chief junior at the time of Kennett Roshi's installation as abbot of Unpuku-ji. I believe her name was Alex or Myoko (I hope she does not mind this enquiry). I do not know where she was from. Kennett Roshi told me she left without completing her transmission, during the process of copying the documents/silks. Kennett Roshi always seemed sad and wistful when she spoke of her. It must have been a traumatic experience for both of them.

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:00 pm

Oh yes, I think Alex reappeared and visited Shasta at some point. Didn't she live in Arkansas in a town with the name of Hot Springs or some version of that? I really forget the whole story, but at the time, she struck me as definitely an independent character, a bit maybe zany or fun-loving, definitely not very monk-like.

Maybe other people also remember her showing up at Shasta at one point?
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