I respectfully disagree with such "rule", although followed at Zen places in
Asia, but less in America. Who makes all these rules? -- The Rakusu is
nothing but a shortened monk's robe any person can get when accepting the
Buddhist Precepts. I cannot find a saying by Buddha that would have his
followers learn how to sew. It is very difficult for most people, especially
men, to sew, especially in times where sewing machines are the norm. Why
put a burden on people, who simply want to follow the Buddha path? Why
imitate old-fashioned tailoring? (Similarly, do we Zen practitioners now use
horse buggies and oil lamps instead of cars and electricity? I am sure I
could come up with all kinds of explanations for using those as a sign of
accepting Zen and giving up more time ... ). Then there are some places,
where they won’t give you the Precepts unless you have sewn your Rakusu
first. What in the world does such a “practice” have to do with Buddhism?? –
By the way, there is no such thing as "Zen precepts". There are only the
Buddhist precepts that all Buddhists, no matter what sect, are holding to.
Neither does your name on the white (back) part with your teacher’s
signature make your Rakusu any more “authentic” than being left blank. That
you follow the Buddha path in all sincerity and practice is what makes YOU
authentic, not any piece of cloth!
Here are a few of the many respectable (Zen) monasteries and places that
offer to sell you a Rakusu:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
> Behalf Of Emmanuel W. Martins
> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 07:11
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [Zen] Re: Where can I buy a rokasu?
> Hi fellows,
> I am sorry but no Zen learner should BUY a Rakusu. It must be sewed by
> the owner, and a most skilled MONK or NUN should oversee the work,
> teach how to sew in japanese way, chose the color, the kind of cloth.
> it is a work of about 40 hours and the sewing work means a meditation
> "here and now" because the learner stay absolutely concentrated in
> this work.
> On the back of the Rakusu the learner master will write the learner's
> Dharma name and will sign so Rakusu will be authentic. This Rakusu
> means the learner's acceptance of the Zen precepts and will be in use
> in every zazen or sesshin along the learner's path.
> If a learner has no time or willing to sew his own Rakusu, he should
> give up having one. You all know time we fabric it and time depends on
> our choose of priorities.
> There is no hurry to sew a Rakusu. Learner can wait months or yars to
> find a sesshin for sewing it in a Zen Center, often in other state,
> even in other country.
> This is the way we behave at our sangha,
> Emmanuel Toku Jyo
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