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Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

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Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby LolloRosso on Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:32 am

Hi, I was hoping to find somebody who can help me to find "the right way" of sewing a rakusu "Diamond Sangha style". For example, is the pine twig sewed onto the neck holder, as I have heard that that is a Rinzai tradition. Also, the rice field/patchwork in the middle seems to have many different patterns online;
I would have thought traditionally it's whichever kind of piece you found in the tip (back when monks were supposed to strip naked, go out to the tip to find pieces of cloth, then dye them and sew a robe out of them).

Thanks in advance :)

Fiona

P.S.: It still confuses me how there can be a 'right' and a 'wrong' way when really there is no right and no wrong in Zen.
P.P.S: Does it have to be the same colour all-over? Or could I perceivable have a Rakusu with some patches interwoven? After all, google says a Rakusu is meant to be an individual garment...
Commenced on my Rakusu - very exciting!
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Re: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:00 am

There are on-line descriptions from various Zen centers. It really depends on the tradition in which you are formally taking the precepts or lay ordination. Surely they can answer your questions. If you are not doing either, and if I may politely and respectfully ask, why are you asking?
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Re: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:23 am

hi Fiona,
The right way of sewing a rakasu has nothing to do with the way the pine twig or rice fields are sewn. Rakasu is a practice of it's own. Forget the internet instructions. Find a community to assist you.

ofc, there are different traditions, don't be fooled that this has any meaning at all. I have seen both Soto and Rinzai pine twig and rice field sewing. Rinzai appears to be unique in also adding a circle on the front strap.

linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby jundo on Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:42 pm

You should ask the Teacher of the Sangha where you are sewing, not just do it without guidance. A Rakusu is received with receipt of the Precepts, usually in Jukai or the like, with that Community. One typically does not make one on one's own. You should ask about the style there. Most places, they have their own way.

We have sewing Practice in our Community, but it is Nyoho-e style and an aspect of our Jukai preparations. It is a wondrous Practice, in which each careful stitch ... and every mistake and repair ... is life.

There is no "right or wrong" way, and yet there are right ways and wrong ways. No mistake is possible, and yet we make countless mistakes. Not understanding that truth, and seeing life only one way or the other, would be wrong and a mistake. (a Koan).

Gassho, J

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Re: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby LolloRosso on Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:47 pm

Thank you very much everybody for your replies.

I do have a sangha, and I do have permission from my roshi to commence sewing a Rakusu, but guidance was...well...limited.
I am well aware that I still hold expectations, and I am trying hard to let go of them. (They could have, he should have...) In this way, my Quest to sew a Rakusu has been wonderful Zen practice so far.

What I have taken away from all your comments is that I need to push a little more assertively for guidance.

Isn't it fascinating how it is NOT just the finished rakusu, or the process of sewing it while chanting, and the need to fix as you go and accept this fact, but also the journey of HOW you even commence (like in my case now) that becomes practice. :p:
Commenced on my Rakusu - very exciting!
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Re: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby Meido on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:35 am

LolloRosso wrote:For example, is the pine twig sewed onto the neck holder, as I have heard that that is a Rinzai tradition.


Rinzai rakusu actually have a mountain (triangle) shape on the back.

Good luck with your sewing. If the style you're directed to make has a ring and you don't want to make one yourself, you can find folks online who make nice ones e.g. http://www.kestrelcreek.com/rakusu-rings/

~ 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: Rakusu - Diamond Sangha Style

Postby LolloRosso on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:13 am

Oooh, they are lovely! Thank you for the link.
I had heard it is permissible to use curtain rod rings. While I like the idea of being resourceful, they seem to be cumbersome when bowing, as they are not flat :)

However, I wanted one made from Australian wood, and was lucky enough to have a friend who is working with wood and she chose a Queensland Silver Ash for me.

Thank you for clearing up the neck stitching for Rinzai tradition by the way. Rumour officially un-confirmed :)
Commenced on my Rakusu - very exciting!
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