Monday, May 25, 2009

Scavenging and reading

Nothing too new on the sewing front. I have been gathering material from various places in preparation of eventually sewing another Kesa. I found a beautiful quilt laying in a nook underneath a cement slab from a burned out old farm house parts of it are still brilliant and untouched others are marked with mold spots that are rather permanant. I plan to use bits of this. Besides that I've taken to reading up on the Kesa.

Over the past few days I have been revisiting Kesa Koduka and Den-e. Few things that stuck out to me. Master Dogen wrote quiet impassioned lines about the Kesa and its merits while quite vehemently chastising those who have ignored the merits of the robe. Both chapters were a great read and boy i make sure I don't toss my kesa carelessly on my desk. the one i wear when im naked its getting a more careful treatment too.

Now, each robe and all nine kinds of robes have been received in the authentic transmission from the Buddha-Dharma itself; the robe could never be inferior to a four-line verse, and could never be less effective than a single phrase of Dharma. This is why, for more than two thousand years, all followers of the Buddha—those with the makings of devotional practice and of Dharma practice—have guarded and retained the kaṣāya and regarded it as their body and mind. Those who are ignorant of the right Dharma of the buddhas do not worship the kaṣāya.

The kaṣāya has been called since olden times “the clothing that wards off suffering from heat” and “the clothing of liberation.” In conclusion, its merit is beyond measure. Through the merit of the kaṣāya, a dragon’ scales can be freed from the three kinds of burning pain. When the buddhas realize the truth, they are always wearing this robe. Truly, although we were born in a remote land in [the age of] the latter Dharma, if we have the opportunity to choose between what has been transmitted and what has not been transmitted, we should believe in, receive, guard, and retain [the robe] whose transmission is authentic and traditional. In what lineage have both the robe and the Dharma of Śākyamuni himself been authentically transmitted, as in our authentic tradition? They exist only in Buddhism. On meeting this robe and Dharma, who could be lax in venerating them and serving offerings to them? Even if, each day, we [have to] discard bodies and lives as countless as the sands of the Ganges, we should serve offerings to them. Further, we
should vow to meet [the robe] and humbly to receive it upon the head in every life in every age. We are the stupid people of a remote quarter, born with a hundred thousand or so miles of mountains and oceans separating us from the land of the Buddha’s birth. Even so, if we hear this right Dharma, if we receive and retain this kaṣāya even for a single day or a single night, and if we master even a single phrase or a single verse, that will not only be the good fortune to have served offerings to one buddha or to two buddhas: it will be the good fortune to have served offerings and paid homage to countless hundred thousand koṭis of buddhas. Even if [the servants] are ourselves, we should respect them, we should love them, and we should value them.
both of those are from Den-e. which is what im currently reading.

Anywho just writing I found interesting. Nothing very smart to say.



Jordan said...

Ha! on the material gathering front, I recovered a trash bag full of empty ammunition bandoliers which I am removing the stitches from to use for my next process. It sat out in the rain a bit so it may have some mildew spots to add character.

Shohei said...

Nice Jordan! My wife has been handing me old jeans with no knees, shirts and such. I figure they are to be rags and not fixed...hmm should ask! How is your Children's kesa coming? My little one aked for a blanket like daddies so im going to tackle that sometime soon.


Jordan said...

Ah, that project is currently in an opperational pause due to compeating demands. I think I will return to it soon though. I will post any progress when I make some.

Dave Fisher said...

Seee.. the garment sof a super hero , I knew it. Every passage I read on the kesa and rakusu make me think. Now that is a powerful garment of greatness.