Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little further

Slow and steady - well slow anyways! I finished the center set of the 7 strip kesa and have the some stitches done on the next set's 2 patches of material. I basically took a night off that turned into 5! Well not a lot to show at the moment but I will see how much progress there is tonight and possibly post some pictures.

I have decidedly taken a much slower, careful approach with this. I found my self rushing again lastnight even and I ended up making some pretty mean mistakes that required me to pull the stitches and start again. Best part is I made a NEW mistake after pulling them out... not a serious one but I noted it just the same.


Pierre Turlur said...

Good luck with your new sewing adventure! And thank you for trusting my blog. You may always ask me any question when you need to (and if I can answer...). You are right, take it easy and slowly. Starting with the center piece is a good idea because you canbuild up the kesa on both sides. This centre piece also represents Buddha mind. Always check the relationship in terms of distance of each stripe with the next one. Use the iron as much as you can making sure everything is dead flat. And the tricky part for a kesa is the...frame. When you get there, give me a shout.



Scott said...

Scott here from Treeleaf! I just found my way to your blog and once again find that you have inspired me in my sewing endeavors. I had been wondering if making a kesa was an appropriate thing to do if one isn't a monastic, which I don't think you are but I could be wrong. How did you get started?

Dirk said...

Thank you Taigu!

Hi Scott,

Im in the same boat as you. Im not a monastic I just really dug sewing the rakusu! As we worked away I really became interested in the details so to speak of the robe and so I read [am still reading] some in Master Dogen's Shobogenzo(kesa-kudoku) and look further online

I read basically that there that sewing the Buddha's robe was fine for all Buddhist, lay or monastic, to sew and wear. That the kesa is not separate from Zazen. and Zazen is kesa... As Rev. Taigu pointed out in the videos for the rakusu - you are already wearing the Buddha's robe, sewing the kesa or rakusu and wearing them just remind us of our dedication and [is] the Buddhas teachings.

I got started by reading very thoroughly Taigu's blog
then working out all the measurements.

Long and short of it all you certainly can get sewing on a kesa! Harry is also sewing a kesa and has been posting on his progess on his blog

Well anywho im a newb who is probably misguided albeit with good intentions... Glad your jumping into this too!


Pierre Turlur said...

Well said Dirk,
Hi Scott, the kesa has nothing to do with being a monk or non monk. It is the robe of zazen. Everybody may wear it.
Good luck to both of you!!!


Mike Cross said...

For an even more ancient affirmation:

"A man who eats anything at any place, WEARS ANY CLOTHES, lives in self-sufficiency, who is happy to be anywhere without people and avoids the company of others like a thorn -- he is recognized as a determined man of achievement, and knows the taste of the bliss of peace."

-- Saundarananda 14.50, trans. Linda Covill

Bon courage!


Dirk said...

Thank you Mike!