THE PRACTICE OF ROBE FOLDING: Zazen in Motion

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jundocohen
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THE PRACTICE OF ROBE FOLDING: Zazen in Motion

Post by jundocohen » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:31 am

In our Lineage, we honor the Kesa (the "Kasaya," the traditional top robe worn over the shoulder or as a "Rakusu") as a symbol of the Dharma and all reality. In our tradition, it can be worn by both priest and lay people just the same, anyone who has undertaken the Precepts in "Jukai." However, the long sleeved black robes underneath, the "Koromo," are not so important. My teacher, Nishijima Roshi, sometimes wore a Koromo and sometimes just a Kesa over a western business suit, and once referred to the Koromo as "dressing up like old Chinese aristocrats for Halloween." :P Nonetheless, he also wore the Koromo sometimes in respect for tradition and our "roots," and so do I.

Some folks like to purchase what is called a Zen "Lay Robe" in the west, very similar to a "Koromo," and strictly speaking it is --not-- needed at all for Zazen. In fact, any comfortable, clean, plain and dark clothing suited to the weather is fine for most group sitting, and you are naturally free to wear what you wish in your own home (Even then, I could tell you the story of when I was invited to the nudist Zazen group, but I leave that for another day. :? ). However, it is also fine to wear a "Lay Robe" should someone wish because ... like incense or a Buddha statue ... special clothing can help remind someone of the sacred space and specialness of a moment of sitting. Of course, ANY moment or place in life is sacred and special, but sometimes symbols like that can remind the heart. So, some people are helped by that, and it is fine.

However, for those who do wear a "Lay Robe" (and, really, for anyone ... because I think that the same beautiful practice can even apply to t-shirts and running pants when the heart honors them too! :bow2: ) I would like to link to this video showing the ART of KOROMO FOLDING, itself a form of "Zazen in motion," an act of care and mindfulness, and a wonderful practice to undertake in its own right. The priest here is a Soto priest in Japan known online as the "Mystery Priest" (he wore a mask long before Covid, wishing to offer teachings anonymously). It is a wonderful dance to watch, and even more so, to practice and undertake. (By the way, not all Koromo need to be black in Soto Zen. In fact, for the priests at home in their temples, even a little color and fashion is allowed sometimes.). 8-)

https://youtu.be/GHuptPpO6CQ

Gassho, Jundo

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jundocohen
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Re: THE PRACTICE OF ROBE FOLDING: Zazen in Motion

Post by jundocohen » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:33 am

One more by the same mystery monk, and I recommend this for everyone to scan through. It is the procedure for removing the robe to go to the toilet! Best that one is not in a rush (though from 9:30 he shows how fast it can be done with practice ... but even so ... ) :oops:

https://youtu.be/gqAatc6bSc0

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