Friday, January 30, 2009

Moving Right along...

Last night I Sewed finished sewing the last bits to complete the 7 strips (sets). After a couple of funny mishaps including sewing one line of stitches to the table cloth/ironing pad and having to pull a set completely apart because I mixed up to of the longer bits ... Measuring after each stitch is a really good move, wish I had of thought of that before! Anywho I ended my night by preparing, very carefully, the centre set, marking out the measurements, double checking, ironing and then rough stitching a flanking set.

I'm now seeing just how tough it can be sewing with varied material... though only 2 kinds in this kesa the coarseness of the blue fabric (coarse and fluffy??) makes it grab onto other fabric and makes it almost impossible to make small adjustments by slipping on set back or forth, up or down. Also this makes marking things tough as the brown is a tight weave and very easy to mark out measurements the but the blue moves with any amount of applied pressure ... tricky.
Much like sitting... lean towards a goal and you've change the way things happen heck even holding things in place changes the game (sewing and sitting).

Im making progress, Im making mistakes and Im learning. I'll stop rambling and show where the Kesa is at currently :) (YEAH Pictures!)

Picture Below: As you can see this project has moved to the floor due to size, I mean it makes the bus look like a toy :P Also in the upper left is a white shiny thing that is the sum of the instructions i gleened from Rev. Taigu's blog on sewing the Nyoho-e Kesa (with manny thanks and again with deepest gratitude!!!).

click pic for a full view

On that bit of paper I have written out and broken down the measurements for each bit and drawn out by hand with lables for everything. I really
recommend doing this as its nice to have more than just your numbers written out. The diagram shows me how those numbers fit in and how it all works out. This may seem sort of obvious or simple but if your like me... You leave something for a week then come back to it... I rarely remember why I left and extra 4 cm here and not there. :D

Monday, January 26, 2009

New year, old pace

My wife is now off work for our soon to be arriving new bouncing baby boy in March and so this has freed up a couple of extra hours an evening (LOL in theory).

So I hoped to move a bit faster than what I have been with sewing on the Kesa but such is life!
I'm working away on my sixth set out of 7 and I expect to have that 7th done by Mid week. Aiming to have some sets stitched to each other by next week. Then the scary bits (en and smaller bits :S).

Monday, January 19, 2009


The ceremony is over, rakusu is complete and I have received the Precepts - and the Dharma name Shohei. Cool.

The ceremony its self was wonderful! Separated in to a couple or 3 groups (done to accommodate the video conference sites limitations), there were 2 designated speakers for each group, just to prevent 34+ people speaking at once and feeding back in to the speakers. All went quite well (as you can watch for your self on the Treeleaf video blog- Deepest gratitude to Jundo, Mina, Taigu and Everyone, who made this possible for this backwoodser)

As mentioned by others, the need for mics and speakers meant a lot of reverb when the designated speakers for groups spoke and the "Yes I Will"s echoed on beautifully.

And now back to work, parenting and the other daily tasks that are Zazen that takes place with little ceremony, but its definately some of the most important goings on!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rakusu - A sort of mini-kesa?

I have read that often, but it needs to be said that for me its been one large undertaking. Sewing at first seemed tough but actually vowing to keep the precepts has me looking back at the cake walk of sewing and being rather introspective, im not going to get all that deep here but suffice it to say im not approching this lightly.

Tomorrow is our Jukai (receiving the precepts) ceremony at Treeleaf (first ever jukai ceremony done entirely online?) and after a few months of preparation, studying and discussing the precepts and what they mean, mean to each person and so on, its really sinking in tonight.

Quite greatfully(and selfishly- as I have simply been lurking in the shadows with out so much as a 'Thank you I have been reading up on Mike Cross' blog his wonderful translations of the precetps from Saundrananda as written by Ashvaghosha (the preceding information I must admit I hadn't heard of before I began following Mikes blog - and i may have that info all assed up:)) and im extremely greatful to Mike and those who share via the comments on there! Many thanks are owed.

Well on the sewing front, I finished the Rakusu with the back panel (with bit with Jundo's brush work), and stitched on the 4 joro (little squares that aid in holding the back layers to the rakusu). I will continue sewing on the Kesa this weekend and hopefully will be able to start joing the sets together.