Friday, August 14, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: Treeleaf Sangha “ALL ONLINE” JUKAI & ANGO - Coming Up!

I am pleased to announce that TREELEAF SANGHA, a Soto Zen Sangha, will soon commence preparations for our

ALL ONLINE ‘JUKAI’ (Undertaking the Precepts Ceremony)” …

including Precepts Study readings and discussions, and a Rakusu sewing circle, also all fully Online….

Treeleaf Zendo (Jundo Cohen, teacher) was designed specifically as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. Members now sit in over 20 countries. The focus is Shikantaza “Just Sitting” Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. This Jukai is being made available to those in the Zen Community who, due to living in remote areas, health issues, or childcare and family needs, cannot participate easily in such events. If you feel the commitment do so, but do not have the opportunity at hand, please feel free to consider participating.

Sewing and Precepts study will commence online from EARLY SEPTEMBER.

Anyone interested may find more information HERE (LINK)

As well, we will combine our Jukai preparation this year with our upcoming, “fully online” 100 day ‘ANGO’ (100 day Special Practice Season) … also fully online … ANGO DETAILS HERE (LINK)

In keeping with the philosophy and path of practice here at Treeleaf (”life is our temple”), we will seek to obtain many of the same … (and, I believe, quite a few additional and very special) … fruits and lessons of a traditional Ango while sitting within the “monastery” of our day-to-day lives, jobs, problems, unending distractions and family responsibilities. The most important point to keep in mind is that those work duties at the office, daily problems and family responsibilities ARE THE PRACTICE PLACE as much as the Zafu (sitting cushion). The home kitchen is the temple kitchen, the office, store or factory is the garden when we practice Samu (work practice), etc Each presents countless opportunities for practice, and for manifesting Wisdom and Compassion.

ANGO will commence from AUGUST 29th 2009 … … AND CULMINATE WITH OUR SPECIAL 2-DAY “AT HOME” ROHATSU RETREAT (currently scheduled for the weekend of December 5 & 6, via live netcast).

Please feel free to write to Jundotreeleaf[a]gmail,com if needing further information, or visit

Gassh, Jundo

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Book Review "Unmasking Buddhism" by Bernard Faure

Lucidly accomplishes its stated aim.

Bernard Faure is a renowned Buddhist scholar and the author of a number of excellent Buddhist studies, including the landmark, "Chan Insights and Oversights."

This book sets out to present the basic elements of Buddhist history, doctrines, beliefs, and practices. In this slim volume (159 pages), Professor Faure lucidly and succinctly provides readers with a remarkably extensive overview of the fundamental characteristics of Buddhism in plain English (where Buddhist "jargon" is unavoidable, Faure offers succinct, straightforward explanations).

While furnishing the average reader with an excellent grasp of Buddhist basics, Bernard Faure also applys his sword to some of the common, widespread misunderstandings concerning Buddhism.

The book is divided into three parts: I - Buddhism in History - II Buddhism in Local Cultures - III Buddhism and Society.

Some of the issues dealt with in Part I include: the diversity of Buddhist schools (or sects), the "human" nature of the Buddha, Buddhism and "nothingness", Karma, and the teaching of reincarnation. Part II includes discussions on: Buddhism as atheistic, Buddhism as "spiritual", the role of the Dalai Lama, and the place of "Zen" in the Buddhist realm. Part III discusses, among other topics: Buddhism and tolerance, Buddhist violence, Buddhism's relation to science, Buddhism and vegetarianism.

The book is rounded off with a thought provoking and insightful "Conclusion." It also includes a great little Glossary, a Biblography, and a very good index. Bottom Line: A great book for beginners that want to get a solid grasp of Buddhist basics.

Recommended for every Buddhist who has ever been asked by their non Buddhist friends, "What does Buddhism teach anyway?"

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