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 Leaving Your Robes Behind.....

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H Enida



Posts : 117
Join date : 2013-11-11

PostSubject: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Thu May 08, 2014 12:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

            Something I found irrational when I was a monk in the Order was the fact that, if you decided to leave you could not take your robes with you.  You were ordained and you trained with a teacher through transmission and were then somewhat autonomous, but still had to seek ‘permission’ to make any major move and, if you ultimately left the Order, you were required to abandon your robes.  There are a few examples of monks who defied the Order and left with their robes anyway, but they were disparaged when I was there which reinforced the idea that if you wanted to keep your robes, you had to stay put and could only change locations if allowed to.  I asked my teacher once if I could move later on and he said not likely, I should expect to stay at Shasta for as long as I was a monk.

            I was explaining this to a monk from another tradition recently who said hogwash, once you are ordained you cannot be unordained and that kind of restriction on practice would seem to be a control issue.  Tibetans, Chan, Theravaden, even Soto Zen, which is supposedly the Order’s main model for practice, can’t take your robes away except for egregious breakages of rules or laws and, as has been show in recent scandals, sometimes not even then.  Why is it the Order has complete jurisdiction over each member’s robes and practice?  There are many things I could have endured had I known at one point I could start my own practice somewhere else after transmission.  To act more as a training monastery instead of a cloistered inescapable life sentence would bring the choice back to the individual trainee as to how their practice would develop.

            One of the most difficult things I personally experienced about leaving the monastery was that I was required to disrobe.  It felt like somehow I was turning my back on my own training because my robes were precious to me.  I have spent the last few years rehabilitating my understanding of what that means.  Today I trust that my life is my kesa, and where I find and how I sew each panel into it is my daily training. 
 
            On other threads here, folks have talked about the cult-like behaviors they experienced and how to recognize if you are in a cult.  One of the main signs suggests that a cult has “control over members’ activities and social connections.”  I would appreciate hearing about other’s experiences of disrobing and thoughts about how you were not given control of your ordination and later practice under the Order.
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breljo



Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 4:17 pm

Regarding "le pointe vierge" I couldn't help but think of a quote from Rumi I was just reminded of recently: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field, I'll meet you there.
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cmpnwtr



Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 4:49 pm

breljo wrote:
Regarding "le pointe vierge" I couldn't help but think of a quote from Rumi I was just reminded of recently: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field, I'll meet you there.

I think your Rumi quote carries something of the meaning. I have read it translates as "the virgin point".
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Howard



Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 5:09 pm

Hey Lise

Perhaps I should of just let my pet peeve out onto the back lawn instead of here...but.

...Lost leader, the dude with the broken compass in front.  Just kidding and covering for what my grade 3 spelling teacher said was a lost cause.

Loss leader= product advertised to sell at a loss in order to attract customers in the door to buy other things. On it's own, it would cause a loss of profit but when it results in additional products being bought, it pays for it all and more.

This "killing the Buddha" koan is the example most commonly brought up by the rest of the Buddhist world to question why Zen calls itself Buddhist.
It probably was the perfect teaching for someone, somewhere, but it has been misinterpreted too many times to be called anything overall but unskillful means. Only with some serious 2 stepping, can the plain speech of cutting down or killing the Buddha, be brought around to your explanation of it.  And no I don't see dead masters everywhere.

Attachments to anything are addressed with acceptance, compassion, love and detachment. Attempting to cut down or kill an attachment is just another run around play for the ego.

Personally I think that meeting the Buddha on what ever road you walk, is just being awake. Not meeting the Buddha on every road you walk or seeing some as Buddhas while seeing others as not, just describes sleep walking..


Abstractedly
H
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Howard



Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 5:25 pm

Lise wrote:
Howard wrote:
pet peeve alert


And if you meet Buddha (internelly or externaly) cut him down.


That old chestnut about cutting down (or killing) the Buddha that one meets on the road
is the lost leader of all koans and if anyone thinks that attempting to cut or kill an attachment works as an effective way of addressing it, then do I have two halves of a cat deal for you.
 

Is that what this means? I have read others' posts on this forum to mean that if you see someone on the road and you think they are Buddha, you're letting your mind turn them into something you want them to be instead of seeing them as they are (which may or may not be Buddha). I thought it was our minds' projection that we're advised to watch out for, and the interest in wanting someone or something to be Buddha. I didn't read it a literal admonition to cut something down, kill someone, push away, etc.

Sorry if I misunderstood your comment, Howard. I have trouble grasping a lot of the abstract stuff.



Hey Lise

Perhaps I should of just let my pet peeve out onto the back lawn instead of here...but.

...Lost leader, the dude with the broken compass in front.  Just kidding and covering for what my grade 3 spelling teacher said was a lost cause.

Loss leader= product advertised to sell at a loss in order to attract customers in the door to buy other things. On it's own, it would cause a loss of profit but when it results in additional products being bought, it pays for it all and more.

This "killing the Buddha" koan is the example most commonly brought up by the rest of the Buddhist world to question why Zen calls itself Buddhist.
It probably was the perfect teaching for someone, somewhere, but it has been misinterpreted too many times to be called anything overall but unskillful means. Only with some serious 2 stepping, can the plain speech of cutting down or killing the Buddha, be brought around to your explanation of it.  And no I don't see dead masters everywhere.

Attachments to anything are addressed with acceptance, compassion, love and detachment. Attempting to cut down or kill an attachment is just another run around play for the ego.

Personally I think that meeting the Buddha on what ever road you walk, is just being awake. Not meeting the Buddha on every road you walk or seeing some as Buddhas while seeing others as not, just describes sleep walking..


Abstractedly
H
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breljo



Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 5:41 pm

Bill writes:

I think your Rumi quote carries something of the meaning. I have read it translates as "the virgin point".

Yes, perhaps as in the Scripture of Great Wisdom, "Void, Unstained and Pure" ?, but perhaps I'm off on the wrong tract alltogether.
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cmpnwtr

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Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Fri May 30, 2014 6:28 pm

breljo wrote:


Yes, perhaps as in the Scripture of Great Wisdom, "Void, Unstained and Pure" ?, but perhaps I'm off on the wrong tract alltogether.

No, I think you've got it right. It fits.
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 12:09 am

Enida, thank you for sharing your granddaughter's reaction to the robe story. The Buddha certainly would have advised RM Haryo to have some compassion for you.
And "time out" for the OBC is great advice.  "Time out" is intended to let the child contemplate his/her behavior and think of ways he/she might have handled a difficult situation in a better way. The head of the OBC might well face the wall and consider why they shouldn't give you back the robes you made and that you cherish.
But I think your grandchild's advice to never quit asking poses a real challenge. The OBC's reaction if you asked a SECOND time would certainly be interesting!

 She answered so sincerely and innocently, "Tell him it is really special to my heart and may I please have it back, and the Buddha says please care about me or you will have a time out."  She also advised me to never quit asking......

 
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 2:39 am

Time or a quick advert now there are a few more people joining in, I am sure Lise will turn a bind eye in return for the usual new pair of soccer boots world cup style for the boy.
My bijou emporium neatly placed in Mevagissy harbour (main tourist rout) which is called' Zen Thoughts' is having a once in a life time Sale Bonanza.
I have a well positioned sign in the window which says American Express and USD welcome I am clearing out what was once my most popular ranges ...The Plastic Buddhas,usually with internal lcd lights,Th stone garden Buddhas made from ferrule cement,heads of Buddha doorstops,All of these are made out the back by Morwenna a local girl I should have got rid of years ago due to her excessive drinking of cider,being foul mouthed, and having a constant stream of male visitors.
Interestingly our tourist friends now want authenticity,it is a new word for us so we have a new sign  'Authentic Zen Thoughts' done in computerised brush strokes our latest line of traditional statues made from hard metal resin complete with authenticity certificate of where the object d'art was found and which century it dates from,apart from my stonehenge bookends these are the fastest selling lines.
Coaches can park on the quay everyone welcome hurry its whilst stocks last
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mstrathern
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Age : 74
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 12:54 pm

I have not been well recently and spoke a bit loosely. But I seem to be on the mend now so have a chance to clarify. I meant the kill the Buddha phrase iconoclastically. Howard, quite rightly, said that the statement itself can be a bit of an icon and therefore it's unwise to use it as it is now more often misused than used correctly, if so he's quite right. Zen has mainly been an iconoclastic movement, others have preferred to use icons as the way beyond icons. As an Indian saying has it 'a thorn to remove a thorn, but then you must throw them both away'. Surprisingly it is true in Catholic doctrine too where dogma is a gateway to truth, after you have passed through, you leave it behind. Anyway my early love was the Pali(?) neti, neti .... not this, not this. Unfortunately this has led some to a totally dry, arid and inhuman place (as can the Heart Sutra, if taken wrongly) Lise put it rather well in her post. It is the mistake of taking the symbol for the thing that I was referring to. Mmm .... the meanderings of a sick old man I'm afraid. But more about that in a week or two.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 1:09 pm

I like the throwing them both away Mark but I mustn't smile too widely as I certainly have benefited from bowing to Buddha statues, and I still do bow to Buddha statues and still feel it is part of my practice.Is it diffrent from many years ago maybe maybe not,i dont really think about it these days.
( Not sending up any Cornish tonic..saving it till I see you soon I hope)
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 1:39 pm

Speedy recovery Mark...nothing too serious I hope.....
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Leaving Your Robes Behind.....   Sat May 31, 2014 4:14 pm

mstrathern wrote:
I have not been well recently and spoke a bit loosely.    ... others have preferred to use icons as the way beyond icons. As an Indian saying has it 'a thorn to remove a thorn, but then you must throw them both away'. ..Unfortunately this has led some to a totally dry, arid and inhuman place (as can the Heart Sutra, if taken wrongly) ..
 
Excellent observations, Mark, both about iconoclasm and icons... As you well know the use of icons as a vehicle for spiritual understanding and devotion comes to us from Eastern Christianity where also the ill advised movement of iconoclasm and the wanton destruction of icons also originated. In Eastern Christianity the contemplative practice of icon gazing is an important tradition, the aim of which is to gaze upon the icon, especially the eyes, as a window into the transcendent Light of the divine, and not as an accurate visual representation. The art of icon "writing" ( not drawing or painting) as it is called is not intended to make any kind of accurate rendering of the religious figure, but rather to make a teaching and contemplative object through which the icon gazer can see through or past the actual figure or image. The beholding of and embodying of the original Light is the goal of that tradition of Hesychasm, and Hesychastic meditation, also known as the Prayer of the Heart.
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