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Minimal ordination?

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Minimal ordination?

Postby TonyD on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:18 pm

Hi,

Not sure if this is the right category for this question. Let's say you want to be able to teach basic meditation and Dharma to people, and you want to have authentic Buddhist experience and credentials to do this. (Doesn't necessarily have to be Zen.) Is there a way to get a kind of minimal ordination, that doesn't involve traveling to Asia to live as a monk in a monastery, shaving your head, getting hit with sticks, etc. but also is not just purchasing an ordination? Because you have a family, job, etc and can't give up those obligations, but you still want to share the genuine Dharma with others, since it has helped you so much. Plus it would be fun to officiate a wedding, if you can also get authorized to do that. :)

Gassho
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:48 pm

Tony, it could be good to look very closely at "why 'minimal' "?

Ha, I'm put in mind of someone asking how they could get a "minimal" medical-degree in order to practice medicine. ;) Would you ever want to be treated by such a "doctor"? (or "dentist"?). :tongueincheek:

One can always talk freely with our friends about the Buddhadharma... without a presumptuous and cursory program of directed teaching in how to teach (or share).

But, by the way, some institutions offer legitimate certifications in spiritual counseling, or chaplaincy, which I think sometimes includes training in officiating at marriages. Some programs might include Buddhist chaplaincy.

Key in any of this, I think, would be to have and to continue a strong practice in some living Buddhist orthodox sect, with teacher and sangha, and to awaken at least once, and to continue practice afterwards still in close consultation and connection with teacher and sangha. The reason to stress this is so that you would have "your own" Wisdom (prajna), and Compassion (karuna), and would thus not merely be parroting words from texts, but would be able to speak from experience, and from the genuine promptings of true living Wisdom, and true living Compassion.

I think it was Abbot Meido Roshi, here at ZFI, who shared the recognition that one of the most dangerous things one can do is to be a teacher of Zen Buddhism. One's training and experience must be intense and thorough, I'd say, and the integration of one's realization and practice must be sufficient not only to guide oneself in life, and keep oneself out of trouble, but also to help others do so, and to cause no harm. Tall-orders, all!

tread scrupulously,

and -- my suggestion -- don't try this without consultation with your living Buddhist teacher, and other advisors,

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby TTT on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:05 pm

If you have some questions, ask in the ASK a teacher section on the forum.
Spring time
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:36 pm

I am baffled to think that ordination requires "traveling to Asia to live as a monk in a monastery, shaving your head, getting hit with sticks, etc."

It is wisely said that anyone who really wants to be a Buddhist teacher should not become one. That ambition can end with you posting long incoherent philosophical screeds on the Internet and lecturing actual teachers on the real meaning of Buddhism that only you have discovered. ;) .

This is quite different from the healthy ambition to help others. Perhaps the best thing to do is as Joe says: establish a strong practice, study, and help others as appropriate. If help means being asked to ordain, adjusting sitting posture, or becoming a garbage collector so be it.
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Avisitor on Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:35 am

Buddhist do not officially perform Wedding Ceremonies as a priest or judge would.
A Buddhist might recite a sutra or say a few words to honor the spiritual aspects of the couple's lives

Ordination is more for a person who wishes to become a monk
To dedicate one's life from this moment forward to holding and practicing the precepts that are in the vow to become an ordained monk

Sometimes it is asked why would a Buddhist want to get married when a Buddhist holds freedom from attachments and experiencing enlightenment as most important
Since marriage seems to honor the attachment of two people to each other
But, in Buddhism, there is nothing written to speak against marriage
So, as long as marriage is an expression of love and one's place in the universe then it is okay

Sharing the genuine Dharma??
If you are genuine and your practice is strong then there is no problem
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: Minimal ordination?

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:35 am

I was married by a Buddhist nun.
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Meido on Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:53 am

Well, I have been the officiant at numerous weddings, using a traditional ceremony handed down for that purpose.

Zen kuyo (ceremonies, from the Sanskrit puja) also involve a bit more than just reading sutras or providing spiritual edification. The wedding ceremony, for example, begins with a katsu, the purpose of which is to cause the participants to enter samadhi. And I'm not even discussing here the deeper purposes of chanting itself.

It is important when discussing Zen to not view things (like marriage or ordination ) from what might classically be called a Sravakayana viewpoint. Especially since Zen is not ultimately bound even by a Mahayana viewpoint.

Tony, ordination of course is an issue to take up with one's teacher. However, conducting ceremonies to be frank is not fun. Why? Because Zen ceremonies have a deeper purpose and function than what is obvious on the surface. This function requires a complete engagement of one's entire mind, body, breath and energy. Often, quite a bit of preparation as well. It is, in fact, exhausting. One is not there for enjoyment, but to help the people.

To be honest I cannot imagine why anyone would want to be ordained. Ordination is not a title, or a position of status. It is a vocation with duties and obligations that can be consuming. This is so much the case, that even in Japanese lineages in which celibacy can be set aside after a time, one may still find that having a family is difficult. And if one already has a career, why take up another one? Are the obligations of an ordained persons something that can be easily done part time, or as a hobby?

My advice to people who are interested in ordination of any kind is to first have realization. This can be done as a layperson, no problem. Then after that, if one still feels drawn to ordination, no problem. If one does not, no problem. Either way, its all good whatever you do.

But certainly, to want to take on the role of guiding others is often a mistaken motivation for several reasons. If you want to help people, the best thing to do is just train your ass off and embody the teachings. Doing that, you can trust that everything will become clear... including the point at which it may be useful for someone to share their experience with others.

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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
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Avisitor on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:37 pm

Caodemarte wrote:I was married by a Buddhist nun.

You can be married by a ship's captain if you wish or by the hobo in the street.
Is it legal? I don't know. Is it binding? Still don't know.

In New York State, one is said to have a common law marriage after six months of co habitation in a marriage type living style.
So what does it mean to be married? Got nothing to do with who did the ceremony?
But, in my mind, marriage is the legal binding idea that survives even after the love is gone or the life together as one feels it should be.
A connection .. to see that happy smile when one walks into the room ... a familiar face ...

So, I congratulate you on your marriage. Live long and prosper
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: Minimal ordination?

Postby Nonin on Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:15 pm

Avisitor wrote:Buddhist do not officially perform Wedding Ceremonies as a priest or judge would.


This is not so in Zen Buddhism. I have officiated at many weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, burials, and many other ceremonies as a Zen Buddhist priest.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin
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Abbot and Head Teacher, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby HePo on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:05 pm

Avisitor wrote:
Buddhist do not officially perform Wedding Ceremonies as a priest or judge would.

This seemed too unlikely to be true, so i googled the marriage info for NY state (since that's where you live)

Let's start after you have applied for the marriage licence.
from https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4210/
If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. This fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 calendar days after the completed license is returned by the officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license

from https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4210/

to qualify as an officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony)
see http://law.onecle.com/new-york/domestic-relations/DOM011_11.html

to become an ordained and licensed Ceremonial Minister can be done in ONE day.
see http://www.firstnationministry.org
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:19 pm

Just for the record I am as :hugs: legally married you can get according to US law and under the relevant state law and city regulation. In case it comes up a captain of a ship or registered officiant of your choice can legally marry you or you can just register at city hall with no officiant. :Namaste:
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby HePo on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:27 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Just for the record I am as legally married you can get according to US law and under the relevant state law and city regulation.

I never assumed you were not, the thought didn't even come up - it was AVisitor's post that made me do the research. (took less than 5 minutes).
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:37 pm

C.,

Caodemarte wrote:Just for the record I am as legally married you can get according to US law and under the relevant state law and city regulation.

Do you mention this just because Valentine's Day is coming up, and you want to state unequivocally and publicly that you are not "available"?

:lol2:

Congrats!, and continuing best wishes, ;)

--Joe
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Meido on Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:48 pm

Since we're talking USA marriage trivia: it varies by state.

In Illinois, for example, to solemnize the marriage and sign the marriage license clergy (if one goes that route) are simply required to be in good standing with whatever tradition they represent. However, the law also states that a marriage is not invalidated should this turn out not to be the case, as long as one of the parties married believed the officiant qualified. In practice, this means that anyone the marriage applicants believe to be qualified can do it. Officiants do not need to register anywhere, or show credentials of any kind.

So there you have it: no need to be ordained if you'd like to conduct weddings...in Illinois, at least.

Funerals, on the other hand, are pretty much anyone's game everywhere. All you ZFIers with dreams of big ceremony business, get cracking :PP:

~ Meido
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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: Minimal ordination?

Postby Avisitor on Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:49 pm

Nonin wrote:
Avisitor wrote:Buddhist do not officially perform Wedding Ceremonies as a priest or judge would.


This is not so in Zen Buddhism. I have officiated at many weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, burials, and many other ceremonies as a Zen Buddhist priest.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin

Does this mean you can legally marry two people?
Don't know just asking.
Always believed that Buddhist do .. do weddings but not as priest and judges do with the power of the state behind them??
My meaning is that you sign the paper work to make it legal and it becomes registered with the state?


Caodemarte wrote:Just for the record I am as :hugs: legally married you can get according to US law and under the relevant state law and city regulation. In case it comes up a captain of a ship or registered officiant of your choice can legally marry you or you can just register at city hall with no officiant. :Namaste:

Didn't say you weren't officially or legally married. Just that you can get who ever you wish to conduct the ceremony.
All one needs is the state to allow the marriage and have it in the books ... some states like New York just need six months of living in a marriage style co habitation.


My marriage was a line in an office in China to officially register to marry foreigners
Got the paper work written in English and Chinese and dated and stamped and official seal of the Govt of China
As legally married as can be recognized by any government in the world.
One copy for my wife and one for me. There was no ceremony. No hoopla. I guess that was disappointed me most.

Anyway, congratulations on your marriage.


Meido wrote:Since we're talking USA marriage trivia: it varies by state.

In Illinois, for example, to solemnize the marriage and sign the marriage license clergy (if one goes that route) are simply required to be in good standing with whatever tradition they represent. However, the law also states that a marriage is not invalidated should this turn out not to be the case, as long as one of the parties married believed the officiant qualified. In practice, this means that anyone the marriage applicants believe to be qualified can do it. Officiants do not need to register anywhere, or show credentials of any kind.

So there you have it: no need to be ordained if you'd like to conduct weddings...in Illinois, at least.

Funerals, on the other hand, are pretty much anyone's game everywhere. All you ZFIers with dreams of big ceremony business, get cracking :PP:

~ Meido


In China, there is no need to register to marry.
People just have a big wedding banquet with all the relatives to let them know a marriage is happening
Later, if there is a need for paper work then they will register the marriage .. sometimes even before a baby is born
Oh, I believe that government worker do need to register their marriage. Something to do with the one baby per couple rule (back then .. hope that has changed ... but?)
Last edited by Avisitor on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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: Minimal ordination?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:33 pm

"Sometimes" people "officiate" at their own weddings, and then formalize the union with the State and the Nation the next week, or the week before, by going to City Hall and seeing the Justice of the Peace, so that all the legalities and privileges and duties become official and recorded.

I once was "Best Man" at such a wedding. Two Astronomers married at the peak of a mountain at the moment of sunrise. They exchanged vows they'd written themselves, and recited poems, then exchanged wedding rings (and kisses). I was the Bride's best-man, and someone else was the Groom's best-man. There was no Brides-maid, because the Bride did not want one.

It was a great day, followed by a reception and meal in town at their home.

The previous week, they'd been to City Hall and the Justice of the Peace, for the wedding-on-paper. No friends or family were invited to that, but only to the ceremony on the mountain.

--Joe
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Nonin on Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:34 pm

Avisitor wrote:
Nonin wrote:
Avisitor wrote:Buddhist do not officially perform Wedding Ceremonies as a priest or judge would.


This is not so in Zen Buddhism. I have officiated at many weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, burials, and many other ceremonies as a Zen Buddhist priest.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin

Does this mean you can legally marry two people?
Don't know just asking.
Always believed that Buddhist do .. do weddings but not as priest and judges do with the power of the state behind them??
My meaning is that you sign the paper work to make it legal and it becomes registered with the state?


I sign the marriage license on the officiant's line, so it's street legal. I've married people and signed the necessary license in Nebraska, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Iowa.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin
Soto Zen Buddhist Priest. Transmitted Dharma Heir of Dainin Katagiri Roshi.
Abbot and Head Teacher, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
http://www.prairiewindzen.org
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby HePo on Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:14 am

AVisitor wrote:
In New York State, one is said to have a common law marriage after six months of co habitation in a marriage type living style.

- forgot to mention:

New York state has not recognized common law marriage since 1933. (except for out of state recognised common law marriage)
Only 9 states still recognize (contract) common law marriage.
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Re: Minimal ordination?

Postby Avisitor on Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:14 am

HePo wrote:
AVisitor wrote:
In New York State, one is said to have a common law marriage after six months of co habitation in a marriage type living style.

- forgot to mention:

New York state has not recognized common law marriage since 1933. (except for out of state recognised common law marriage)
Only 9 states still recognize (contract) common law marriage.

Back in 1989, Lawyers for William Hurt and his ex-dancer girlfriend went to court over having a common law marriage in New York
Then they argued that it was a common law marriage because of the time they spent together in South Carolina.
It was declared not a marriage because the couple did not hold themselves out as married.
They didn't file taxes as married. (But, they did have a six year old son at the time.)
Finally, the case was decided by the woman judge to not be a common law marriage then the ex-dancer accused the judge of falling in love with Mr. Hurt
The judge declined to answer the accusation.

Oh, they do recognize common law marriages.
There are plenty of couples who decided to live together and not go through the motions of getting the paperwork done.
They still call themselves married and have all the legal rights as married people do.
My sister (who passed away from Cancer) was in such a marriage.
After she passed away, her husband from common law marriage had all the legal rights as ordinary husband has.
That dealt with money in the banks and life insurance. So yeah, New York State does recognize common law marriages.


Nonin wrote:I sign the marriage license on the officiant's line, so it's street legal. I've married people and signed the necessary license in Nebraska, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Iowa.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin


Thank you for that information.
I was never sure about that.

Oh, wait .. sorry, another question
Was it the Buddhist organization you belonged to that granted this power to legally marry two people or was it the state??
I was never sure how priest got their right to marry people either.
I know that there are some organizations that do this granting of power to marry people .. through the internet .. don't know how legal that is??
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: Minimal ordination?

Postby HePo on Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:09 am

AVisitor wrote:
So yeah, New York State does recognize common law marriages.

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/common-law-marriage.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage_in_the_United_States

http://family.findlaw.com/marriage/common-law-marriage.html

http://www.unmarried.org/common-law-marriage-fact-sheet/

That means all these websites have got it wrong, really?
Until you can provide a serious source - i think you have got it wrong.

also
Was it the Buddhist organization you belonged to that granted this power to legally marry two people or was it the state??
I was never sure how priest got their right to marry people either.
I know that there are some organizations that do this granting of power to marry people .. through the internet .. don't know how legal that is??

was answered in my previous post and by Meido (Illinois) and Nonin (MN, etc)
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