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Nov. 7th, 2017 @ 07:21 pm Gisho
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Saturday was klik’s jukai, her layperson’s initiation into buddhism. It was part of the closing ceremonies of the zen retreat: there were three people getting their zen teacher diploma and two people doing jukai. As part of the initiation, klik got a buddhist name. I already knew this for weeks (which got me into trouble once she found out), and I had put it in silver foil on the box I made for her to store her rakusu: Gisho.

Gisho means “good start”, and is a reference to the concept of the “beginner’s mind”. That is the idea to approach everything with an open mind, never rely on routine. It is also a reference to a figure in a book of zen stories that is also called Gisho. It’s quite fitting.

When I visited friends in Groningen while klik was on her retreat (and I’ll write about that at a later time), I waked past a store selling decorations. Normally I’m not a fan of ‘decorations’: it’s all just stuff that simply accumulates — that doesn’t make my life any better. But I saw this excellent christmas tree ornament, and I had to get it! I mean, who thought it would be a good idea to mix buddhism with christmas? The two don’t have anything in common! But it’s a proper buddhist depiction of the Buddha: the right ‘curls’, the right ears, the right robes, the right meditation posture. And it’s large as well: 17 cm in height!

It will be the proud centre piece of our christmas tree come December!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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From:spiral_meter
Date:November 11th, 2017 02:56 am (UTC)
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i loooooooooooove Buddhism and definitely wanna get into it more. i was reading a lot about it but kinda lost momentum and i hope i can pick it up again.

b
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From:fub
Date:November 13th, 2017 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Just like there isn't one 'Christianity', there are many different forms of Buddhism. A friend of ours is into Tibetan Buddhism, and that is really different from the Zen Buddhism that we know. I mean, the central ideas are the same (just like the central ideas between, say, Roman Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals are the same), but the way they treat those things are very different.
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From:spiral_meter
Date:November 14th, 2017 04:37 am (UTC)
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yes, i remember reading about this.

b
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From:ashmedai
Date:November 11th, 2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
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Not knowing much of anything about Buddhism, I wouldn't know how to spot a proper depiction of the Buddha. I just know that ornament is beautiful!
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From:fub
Date:November 13th, 2017 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Isn't it just? I just had to have it!
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From:nucleosides
Date:November 11th, 2017 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Those are some very pretty pictures!

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From:fub
Date:November 13th, 2017 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:meringues
Date:November 13th, 2017 05:33 am (UTC)
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I like her Buddhist name :)
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From:fub
Date:November 13th, 2017 07:31 pm (UTC)
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I do, too! We're not using it in everyday use, though. For her, it's just symbolic.
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From:lisa_thecat
Date:November 13th, 2017 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Wow, I love the Buddha ornament!!! What an awesome find!!!
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From:fub
Date:November 13th, 2017 07:32 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it is! And the weird thing is that this shop wasn't even on the shortest route to my hotel -- so I guess I did something wrong with my navigation app. It's really a case of lucky coincidences. And zen teaches us to be 'in the moment' and to take those opportunities as they are presented to you, so that's exactly what I did.
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From:changeling72
Date:November 16th, 2017 07:14 am (UTC)
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Lovely presents.

I always thought Buddhism was a peaceful religion until I heard about what is going on in Burma.

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From:fub
Date:November 16th, 2017 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Most religions are peaceful in principle. But religion can also be used to divide people, and claiming divine sanction can make good people do evil things. Buddhism isn't immune from that.
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