Dogen Sangha Blog


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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dogen Sangha (5) Transfiguration of Dogen Sangha

An Outline of the Transfiguration

(1) The Progress of Information Technology

About 9 months already have past since I began the Dogen Sangha Blog on November 29th of last year. And I think that there have been so enormous changes during that time, even though we haven't noticed them clearly. Because before that time in the case of Dogen Sangha usually tens of people have come together at adequate places for them to practice Zazen and have Buddhist lectures, but recently utilizing the so developed information technology the contents and width of Dogen Sangha activity have developed so much.

And nowadays, by utilizing this blog, people in the world, even though they are living throughout the world, they can get very exact and clear informations from Dogen Sangha by reading clear sentences on the desktop. Furthermore, the informations are described with a printing type, and so readers can get Buddhist philosophical system conceptually and clearly, and so if the readers have any kind of questions, they can ask the questions, and they can also read the answers directly on the desktop. And even though they are living anywhere in the world, they can get the answers also just on the desktop. Nowadays, a man, who is living in a isolated primitive place in Brazil alone, reads Dogen Sangha everyday actually.

(2) Actually Printed Information

At the same time it is very valuable that the Blog is printed with printing type. If the informations are represented only by voice, the contents of informations can not be so exact and clear, but if we post the informations relying upon the Blog, the intellectual meaning of informations can be represented clearly and exactly. Therefore even in the case of explaining the precise meaning of Buddhist philosophy, we can transmit the meaning of it so exactly and clearly, and so the transmission of Buddhist philosophies have become much easier than before. Of course there are still maintained so delicate and profound parts, which should be transmitted, but at the same time it is very clear that mutual communications in Buddhist societies have developed so much.

(3) The Limitless Area of Transmission

Furthermore it is never necessary for us to limit the width of information without a reason, and so we can limitlessly enjoy our freedom of expressing our thoughts, if we keep the natural limitation, which our civilization enforces us as our human duty. I think that we, human beings, have got so excellently powerful methods of informations recently relying upon so powerful development of information technology, and so I hope that all human beings might be careful in utilizing so powerful civilization of the new Age. Relying upon the so progressed information technology, we are going to enter into so gorgeous and so effective Age of civilization already, and I think that it is very important for human beings to utilize so excellent new civilization without fail. We are just facing the very splendid new Age, and so it is very important for human beings to utilize the important chance effectively.

(4) Appearance of Dogen Sangha Personal

It is necessary for me to think the appearance of Dogen Sangha personal. Actually in my case, in the middle of June last year, I broke the second lumber vertebra, and so I closed Dogen Sangha in Ichikawa, and I have moved to an apartment in Takashimadaira in the north-west of Tokyo. My wife has died about two years ago already, and so I am living in the apartment alone. But I am continuing my Buddhist life, and so I practice Zazen two times a day everyday. Therefore even though I am living in the aparment alone, actually I am continuing my Dogen Sangha life.

And if there is a married couple, who practice Zazen together everyday, there can be Dogen Sangha of man and wife. And if their children have begun to practice Zazen together with their parents, there must be Dogen Sangha as family.

Therefore relying upon the so developed information technology, the situation of Dogen Sangha must change so enormously, and so we should think about such a kind of enormous change in Dogen Sangha too. And in such a kind of historical change, there might be enormous change, which might be impossible for us to suppose its situations exactly now.


Blogger jundo cohen said...

Dear Roshi,

It is wonderful that you are open to new technologies as a means to speak old Wisdom. I have no doubt that, if Dogen Zenji were alive today, he would have an e-mail address and a word processor (perhaps he would have been a MAC user).

As you know, I am about to open my "e-Sangha":

While it is aimed primarily at people who are unable to attend a flesh-and-blood Zazen sitting (such as the elderly, physically disabled, and those who otherwise do not live near a Zen center), I am trying to capture all of the atmosphere and doings of an actual Sangha.

Thus, students will be able to, not only email questions or participate in a blog on zen topics ...

... but also engage in face-to-face Sanzen with me via video, and join me in sittings too that way (not quite up and running yet):

Sesshin and weekly sittings and Zen talks will also be live broadcast (and available for download) by video over the net:

Live broadcasts of Sesshin: Should make for exciting TV! SOmeone called me the first Zen "televangelist," but I am afraid that my broadcasts will be much to dull for popular appeal. (Also, no plans to accept money!)

Students will be strongly encouraged to engage in Samu through volunteer work in their communities, work which actually helps others such as hospice work, aid to the homeless and the like. In other words, I am hoping to create a real community of people, just as found in any Sangha.

It won't be fully operational for a few more weeks. It is but an experiment amid changing technologies, and we will see how it goes.

It is not a substitute for going and being with other people, but is a way to be with other people who know there is no place we need to go.

Gassho, Jundo

10:23 PM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger brad said...

Yes, an internet presence allows more information to be spread, but as Jundo wrote there is still the need for people to meet with other people.

11:40 PM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Siir evrimi said...

Dear Roshi
This Franck from France.
Its very nice to be able to use new technologies of communication to share , teach, to learn about Buddhist philosophy.
I am also going to open DOGEN SANGHA of Paris soon within my IAIDO Dojo. As my self and my students are practising zazen before every practise of IAIDo ( 15-20min each time) i will open one session only for zazen in near future . Generally my 15 to 20 students are sitting together.
An blog will also translate your teaching into French from your blog ( if you are agree of course)
My dojo is open to all brothers and sisters practisin sotou shu and gudo wafu nishijima sensei teaching to come and practise with us.
Franck (Kaiho)


12:11 AM, August 22, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

master gudo, I really enjoy reading your blog. to be able to receive your words from japan seems like a small miracle. on some days there are responses to your posts from many countries and continents. I have also been able to find some of your books on

jundo, your website looks very promising. and your meditation timer function is a nice feature.

brad, you have been heard loud and clear. I think we know your feelings on this point. thank you for that.

4:46 AM, August 22, 2006  
Blogger jundo cohen said...

Just for point of reference, "Brad" is not our Brad (Warner). Hello "other Brad."

Gassho, Jundo Jim

6:13 AM, August 22, 2006  
Blogger Siir evrimi said...

I would like to bring a correection to what i have written on my previous post. Please note that all brothers and sisters practising budhisme of Dogen and follows Master Nishijima teachings are welcommed to my Iaido dojo.
i dont belong to any sotou shu sect or to other sect.

5:26 AM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

“Of course there are still maintained so delicate and profound parts, which should be transmitted”

For example, the matter of how the head would like to be worn in Zazen, originally, might be the ultimate delicate and profound matter. And yet, even though it is so delicate and profound, it has a very definite criterion -- like two equally matched teams playing tug-of-war.

In the past I took the view that the samadhi of the Buddhist ancestors and the criterion of FM Alexander were similar. But recently I see that my former view was not so clear or decisive. Therefore I grasped for some clear and decisive affirmation of my view.

3:19 AM, August 30, 2006  

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