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death (with style... and lights)

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

death (with style... and lights)

Postby Guo Gu on Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

hi all,
something on the lighter side of zen.
today at fsu i'm just finishing up teaching about zen in the buddhist traditions undergrad course and my student forwards me this after class:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/japans-ruriden ... os-1495182
i thought taiwanese temples' "long life lights" were amazing but this definitely tops it. surprising... it's a rinzai zen temple. the temple in question is Kōkokuji 江国寺 (兵庫県洲本市栄町3-3-19).

p.s. "ruridan" mentioned in the text means "lapis lazuli hall." also, i did some research and Kōkokuji is apparently not in tokyo (as the text claims), but is located in the awaji island, off the coast of kobe prefecture.

be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
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Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby fukasetsu on Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:54 pm

How am I supposed to drop ashes on the Buddha when not allowed to smoke?

Kind of kitch, and lame (sorry) :PP:

Would be cooler if the ashes where placed in Buddha's transparent hands, and missing a mucalinda around all the lil Buddha's.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby HePo on Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:28 pm

Guo Gu wrote;

..i did some research and Kōkokuji is apparently not in tokyo (as the text claims), but is located in the awaji island, off the coast of kobe prefecture.


Hi Guo Gu,

in case you were planning a visit this weekend,

The temple mentioned in the article is Koukoku Ji,
2 Chome-20 Haramachi
Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-0053
Japan.

website: http://koukokuji.or.jp
http://koukokuji.com is another temple up north.

Japan Times mentions Koko[u]kuji in an article http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/05/24/travel/whats-blowing-wind-around-ushigome-yanagicho/.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Meido on Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:32 pm

Neat, I like the communal feeling of it. I expect it might be easier and less financially burdensome for families than purchasing a conventional outside plot with a stone marker.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
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
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:35 pm

I walked into such a building once. It was far more basic and rustic. I didn't know the traditions at that time and had the distinct feeling that I was intruding, so did not dwell long.

It is interesting that many Japanese use pure Buddhist traditions at time of death, yet follow something somewhat different during general life. It's appears that they are free to adopt a kind of hybrid.

Mind, many in the west never attend church but call in a minister for a funeral.

Just some observations

m
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Linda Anderson on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:22 am

Guo Gu, I do not understand why this would be the lighter side of zen... ofc, I never know what zen is. This is a file system for ashes which is quite beautiful in a way, and I do like my ideas that it's a community. I'd guess that they don't take the ashes of beloved and deceased one for free... and not forever bec there is an expiration date. So, perhaps, I will conclude that this is zen for a price, and I've seen it a few times before to pay the bills to keep the lights on. so sorry that I have to conclude this and that it's come to this.

I would prefer my ashes to be spread in a river or the ocean by ppl who know me... and even that is a dream of mine.

linda
Last edited by Linda Anderson on Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:30 am

The New York Times of Mon., April 13 (2015) ran a feature about the composting of bodies. This might be ecologically preferable to all other means of treatment of corpses, since it enriches the soil, and involves neither burning nor storage. The article is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/scien ... .html?_r=0

--Joe
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Michaeljc on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:59 am

Through the years I have exported a fair number of horses to Japan. Hence my number of visits there, and exposure to the grass roots.

One was the best horse I have ever bred. She won the All Japan young rider championship (showjumping) which is extremely prestigious for parents. When she died the Japanese owners flew to NZ with some wisps of mane and tail to bury them back here.

As she lay the mane in the hole I heard the female groom - who her cared for most- whisper in English, “Here you are, back home”. They put a rock over the grave and inscribed something on it that I cannot read.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:06 pm

fuki, i think asians generally have a different sensibility than westerners.
hepo, thanks for correcting my mistake. i was searching another set of kanjis for kōkokuji. i see that it's not a rinzai branch but a nichiren temple.
meido, yes the limited space in japan lead to many alternative (creative) ways to handle the ashes.
michael, that's a good observation. in general, east asian religious traditions do not have such a clear boundaries between them.
linda, by lighter side of zen i was making a pun. lights, lighter....
joe, that article on human composting is fascinating. not all states allow for that though, as the article states. thanks for sharing!
be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.org/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:09 pm

Guo Gu wrote:fuki, i think asians generally have a different sensibility than westerners.


I know Guo Gu, but I have a different "sensibility" then most Dutchies/Westerners as well, so I just play about a bit (there's always something beneath the surface though if one is willing to take the invitation)
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby chang zhao on Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:56 pm

It would be interesting to set colors of the lights, e.g., according to Buddha family of deceased. Though, thinking of it, I would prefer trees of the forest as gravestones. The problem is, people destroy forests to build more streets.
_/|\_ Upasaka Chang Zhao (Constant Illumination), Dharma teacher since 2001.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby GreatandWiseTrixie on Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:33 am

i do not agree with ashes. we should replicate the dna modules of the next buddha-archetype. this way the world will become a better place.
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Re: death (with style... and lights)

Postby Jojo on Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:05 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:The New York Times of Mon., April 13 (2015) ran a feature about the composting of bodies.

Reminds me of the film classic "Soylent Green" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green).
In Germany, seemingly, burying bodies / spreading ashes outside of graveyards, is forbidden.
I learnt that this is because modern corpses are contaminated by chemicals, heavy metals :) and medication.
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