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Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Discussion of Japanese Rinzai Zen (臨済宗) including Obaku Zen (黄檗宗).

Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:06 pm

[For those who don't know, Korinji is a Rinzai monastery being constructed near Madison, WI USA...see http://www.korinji.org]

I'm happy to announce that Korinji has begun taking preliminary applications for residential practice, with the first ango (4-month monastic training period) scheduled to begin in March, 2018.

We're currently gearing up to break ground this coming June for our house, upon completion of which we're ready to start living and practicing there full-time. So, all of you who are just chomping at the bit to move in...it's time to start planning and getting your affairs in order!

Both lay and ordained persons, of any gender, are welcome to apply to stay at Korinji. We are offering residential practice opportunities of two main types:

1. Formal practice stay, i.e. participating in the the full monastic schedule. Stays may be of almost any length, from short weekend visits to several weeks, months, or years. Note: persons desiring to train for ordination will be generally required to reside for a minimum of one year...2 ango and 2 seikan, including 8 one-week sesshin.

2. Focused internships. These are opportunities to reside at the monastery and participate in most of the daily schedule, but with allowance for up to four hours per day individual practice of a particular art or discipline. The intent is to explore the unity of Zen practice and one's chosen art. Internships may focus on an art or discipline one already practices, e.g. painting, yoga, photography, writing, etc. In that case, the daily schedule and program of practice would be crafted by the applicant in collaboration with me. For persons interested in things that I personally teach - Budo (traditional martial arts), or the art of forging/metalworking - I will create the training program and oversee it in the manner of an apprenticeship. Internships may be of nearly any length, depending on one's chosen art and goals (reviewed on a case-by-case basis).

A final note: due to the realities of where we live, we do request donations for residence. Scholarships may be given according to need, however, and in general no sincere person will ever be turned away for inability to contribute. Persons donating to Korinji in the future may feel gratified that their contributions not only keep the monastery afloat, but also allow us to host trainees regardless of means.

Full information on all of this may be found at http://www.korinji.org, and feel free to PM me.

A few photos below. It's a nice place. There's a lot of work to be done, so if you feel that helping to establish a new Zen place is a worthwhile way to spend one's time/energy, by all means come practice with us (and, free cemetery plots now up for grabs...I will be honored to have my ashes mingled with those of any ZFI friends :lol2: )

~ Meido

Saturday Afternoon.jpg


KorinjiZendo.jpg


20160917_170122.jpg


20150710_183142 (1).jpg


Korinji winter.jpg
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明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Michaeljc on Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:10 am

The Monestery looks lovely Meido. Congratulations

The focused internship is a great idea IMO

:Namaste:

Michael
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:12 am

Meido,

Wow!, lovely. The beautiful work of many hands. Congratulations! What a result.

For decades I've dreamed of being "Gatekeeper" at a Zen Buddhist practice place. The fellow who works on buildings and grounds, and does probably a little or a lot of everything mechanical, electrical, gardening, etc., makes kyosakus, rakusu rings, etc., and of course who studies and practices with the teacher and sangha, and follows the calendar and timetable of practice at the temple. But, no way does it seem I will leave the desert anytime soon, perhaps not until cremation.

I bet Flutemaker could potentially do well to have a post as Gatekeeper, though. :O:

I think I'd like my ashes divided between New Jersey (or perhaps in a park on Manhattan, or on the Columbia University Campus), and the observatory mountain in Chile called Cerro Tololo (Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory).

Meido, let me ask you, please: at what point on the compass is the altar in the Korinji Ch'an Hall, err, Zendo, located? And, is the building (the walls... ) sited exactly on (facing... ) the cardinal points of the compass? Thanks.

(BTW, Christian cathedrals, you may know, have the altar at the East point, and the Rose Window at the opposite end of the Nave from there).

Many blessings for those who practice and teach at Korinji!, and all sentient beings.

Oh, and by the way, Meido, what is the floor material visible in the Zendo? Is that carpet? Painted wood? Painted concrete? Cork flooring? Thanks... .

--Joe

ps The han and mallet too are lovely, gorgeous. BTW, I've been making mallets with convex heads for about 20 years. We find that these allow a fine sound to be made, but also are nearly non-destructive to the han surface, even over the (very... ) long term. Something you may want to consider! Then again, all things are ...impermanent. :tongueincheek:

(see pic attached below of a lathe-turned mallet I made in Feb., 1998 for Zen Desert Sangha, Tucson, Arizona; Head of American Cherry; handle of White Ash. The han I made for them is of 1 1/2 thick Spalted Maple [not shown here] )

mallet_1998.jpg
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby jundo on Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:00 pm

I hope that I might just drop in to say how wonderful this is, and what a Treasure a place such as this, to have in the West for those whose Practice is called in such direction. Wondrous.

I might note that a Soto priest from Japan is also building a monastery faithful to the Japanese Soto way in America which is just opening its doors. We need such places and all benefit, not only the people who are called there and find their Practice there.

Thank you.

Gassho, Jundo
Founder Treeleaf Zendo, Japan. Member SZBA. Treeleaf is an online Sangha for those unable to commute to a Sangha, w/ netcast Zazen, interaction with other practitioners and teachers & all activities of a Soto Sangha, fully online without charge (http://www.treeleaf.org) Nishijima/Niwa
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Michael, Joe, Jundo, thanks for the kind words.

Michaeljc wrote:The focused internship is a great idea IMO


Glad you think so. We've known from the beginning that the main thrust of the place should be to function as a sodo/senmon dojo, i.e. a training monastery that holds to the kind of daily and annual schedule shown on the site. But this does not mean there can't be any number of different ways for people not pursuing that kind of long-term residence to experience the place. Our lineage has an approach to integrating arts and physical culture that I think important and useful, so this is one way for us to express that. I'd love also to see artist/writer's retreats, artists in residence, and so on be a part of our annual schedule. We have clay in the stream bed below the zendo, and terrain suited to a step kiln...would also be nice to build one and have folks doing ceramics.

desert_woodworker wrote:Meido, let me ask you, please: at what point on the compass is the altar in the Korinji Ch'an Hall, err, Zendo, located? And, is the building (the walls... ) sited exactly on (facing... ) the cardinal points of the compass? Thanks.


It was aligned more with consideration for the terrain and maximum sun exposure; around here snow can linger on north-facing slopes for weeks longer than south. It's a 30x70' building located on a fairly steep slope of a ravine. This slope was chosen because it faces approximately south by southeast. The altar is aligned just a little bit north of east. You can see the structure here:

https://goo.gl/maps/R3Sf49wwaVJ2

Another point is that one traditional altar setup has it positioned with its back to the main entrance. Ours, instead, is at the far end of the room, opposite the main entrance. This was a conscious decision to maximize open space, since the zendo will serve other purposes as well for various events (even if we eventually build tan - sitting platforms - though I am leaning against that).

We'll eventually have a detached cabin which will double as a solo retreat place/caretaker's hut. So applications welcome for that job.

Nice work on the mallet, I'll keep that (and you) in mind for when the time comes. The woods suitable for these things on our land are maple, oak, and hard elm. The latter dulls chains like stone.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:56 pm

Meido,

And, inside the Zendo, is that carpet on the floor? Painted wood?, or maybe etc.? Just wondering what surface you have settled upon for the floor. tnx,

--Joe

ps Dense foam, for sparring? :lol2: ;)
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:07 pm

Sorry, meant to answer that. It is a low-pile carpet. Reasons for choosing that: the building is not built into the hillside, but floating on 6x6" posts set on concrete piers. If it had been a normal building, I'd have gone with tile or hardwood. But this design means it has a small amount of movement with the seasons, so we were advised to initially go with carpet. After a few years of settling, we might be able to do something else if we want.

To be honest, though, it's a cold winter here...so it may be that this will be the best surface for bare feet much of the year. The place is heated with an ultra-efficient wood stove rated to 2400s sq. ft. (the main room that you see in the photo is about 1800), but still there will be some chilly mornings.

Which reminds me: the walls are 2x6 construction instead of 2x4; there are several inches of closed cell foam under the floor, and a combination of foam and batt insulation in the walls and ceiling. The r values are therefore really up there, and with very little wood it can get almost too warm...after a while. But of course it doesn't really need to be heated to residential temps for sitting...high 50's/low 60's is sufficient.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:21 pm

Thanks!, Meido. The low-pile carpet sounds like a great choice.

I wish I could send you folks some (a lot... ) of our desert warmth (read "heat"): I call it "Passive-Aggressive Solar".

:Namaste:

--Joe

Meido wrote:... but still there will be some chilly mornings.
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:39 pm

Meido,

I have one of these wonderful thermal imaging cameras (but paid about $100 less for it two years ago). It has very serviceable resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, and is extremely sensitive.

With it you can search for thermal leaks in structures or objects, or just enjoy how things look in the spectral range of 7-14 microns in the thermal InfraRed range of the spectrum (visible green light is about 0.5 micron wavelength, for comparison).

I've found it greatly useful for detecting heat-leaks (and cold-leaks) in my old adobe house in the desert, and stoppering them up. Also, one can find where more insulation can helpfully be added. It can be used day or night.

Here's the camera at discounted MSRP price on Amazon, for example.

http://www.amazon.com/Seek-Reveal-Handh ... al+thermal

And here's the mfgr's website, "Seek Thermal", showing more products, besides:

http://obtain.thermal.com/product-p/rw-aaa.htm

--Joe

Seek_Thermal_REVEAL_IR_camera.jpg
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Avisitor on Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:28 am

I see visit in the parenthesis.
What kind of visits are allowed and for how long?
What are some of the requirements for a proper visit?

Sorry, just curious to see if they would allow someone like me to visit.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:31 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:I bet Flutemaker could potentially do well to have a post as Gatekeeper, though. :O:

Yep, but I bet Meido-sensei would properly assign me just night shifts at the cemetery gate, though.
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Avisitor wrote:What kind of visits are allowed and for how long?

One has to ride a camel, sing a proper song, carry a bamboo sword.

Avisitor wrote:What are some of the requirements for a proper visit?

This has to be a white camel, one has to be seated backwards, their bamboo sword has to be no shorter than 33.3".

Avisitor wrote:Sorry, just curious to see if they would allow someone like me to visit.

Depends on the Gatekeeper. Usually a beer to enter [and a six-pack to exit].
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:05 pm

FM,

flutemaker wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:I bet Flutemaker could potentially do well to have a post as Gatekeeper, though. :O:

Yep, but I bet Meido-sensei would properly assign me just night shifts at the cemetery gate, though.

Sweet work for a stargazer, if you can get it. ;)

--Joe
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:41 pm

We have chosen where the future cemetery will be. No gatekeeper needed, though. It's just an area of tumbled boulders in a grove below the zendo (see first photo below).

People like to do yaza (free/solo practice in the evening) on the stones there. So gents, if you ever come to stay for a while you would be welcome to spend evenings there after 9pm or so:

https://www.korinji.org/daily-monastic-schedule

Stargazing: better go up the hill. See photo on this page for the view from there:

https://www.korinji.org/special-events

~ Meido

20151002_162608 (1).jpg
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明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:46 pm

Avisitor wrote:I see visit in the parenthesis.
What kind of visits are allowed and for how long?
What are some of the requirements for a proper visit?


Folks who want to visit to practice with the residents for a few days or longer i.e. not coming to live there, but just to join in the training for a while, will in general be welcome.

At some point we will also construct a detached individual retreat cabin which, at least for part of the year, may be available to rent. Someone staying there could join the residents for a part of the daily schedule, e.g.sitting and chanting in the morning, meals, etc., but then have time alone for personal study, writing, or other such activities.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby Meido on Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:58 am

desert_woodworker wrote:I have one of these wonderful thermal imaging cameras (but paid about $100 less for it two years ago). It has very serviceable resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, and is extremely sensitive.


Great suggestion, thanks.

Maybe also good for finding AWOL unsui in the woods.
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby flutemaker on Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:58 pm

Meido wrote:At some point we will also construct a detached individual retreat cabin which, at least for part of the year, may be available to rent. Someone staying there could join the residents for a part of the daily schedule, e.g.sitting and chanting in the morning, meals, etc., but then have time alone for personal study, writing, or other such activities.

I've heard about someone who've been dreaming for many years about living close to nature, though in a detached manner, but still in a reasonable proximity to such kind of a settlement your monastery appears to look like, in order to episodically have the possibility to communicate with the inhabitant(s) about this and that, like what to do in case of a prolonged constipation, or how to better fix holes in one's socks, etc... So most probably this is a great idea, and the prospective clients will not have you wait too long until they [dis]please you with their presence.
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Re: Korinji - Residential practice (or visit)

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:55 am

Cutting/gathering wood; Carrying water. It all goes to support the sangha's practice, together.

--Joe
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