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  • Becoming a zen monk in Japan...

    Hello,I have been thinking for a long time about becoming a zen monk and lately I also started learning japanese,but i'm still at a begginer's level.I searched and tried to learn everything i can about visas,plane tickets,steps into becoming a zen monk...
    I am planning on going in Japan the next year maybe,because i need to improve my japanese level.But i have several things i didn't find on the internet such as:
    Do i have to offer some money to the temple i will be joining,or the master will accept me free and put me to test?
    Can i join a temple just by going there and speaking with the master and the he will put me to test,or do i have to sign in somewhere,to fill some papers?Because in orthodox monasteries you can just go there and they will welcome you and put you to test.

    I am living in Romania and there is no zen temple here,not even in Bucharest,that's why i am asking you...i would be grateful if you can help me with any information.

  • #2
    Originally posted by kheran View Post
    Hello,I have been thinking for a long time about becoming a zen monk and lately I also started learning japanese,but i'm still at a begginer's level.I searched and tried to learn everything i can about visas,plane tickets,steps into becoming a zen monk...
    I am planning on going in Japan the next year maybe,because i need to improve my japanese level.But i have several things i didn't find on the internet such as:
    Do i have to offer some money to the temple i will be joining,or the master will accept me free and put me to test?
    Can i join a temple just by going there and speaking with the master and the he will put me to test,or do i have to sign in somewhere,to fill some papers?Because in orthodox monasteries you can just go there and they will welcome you and put you to test.

    I am living in Romania and there is no zen temple here,not even in Bucharest,that's why i am asking you...i would be grateful if you can help me with any information.
    Not sure about Zen monks but not all places will accept you if you dont speak the language. I have only heard of a couple of foreigners becoming Buddhist monks (to my knowledge Zen Buddhism is not popular in Japan) and one of them was at Eiheiji temple in Fukui prefecture. You would likely be expected to live there as a novitiate/trainee for several years before being inducted into the temple as a full-fledged monk.It is possible I believe to stay overnight at Eiheiji temple.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
      (to my knowledge Zen Buddhism is not popular in Japan) .


      Where are Tomoko and JT when we need them to actually do something useful, like archive that clanger????


      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
      and one of them was at Eiheiji temple in Fukui prefecture. You would likely be expected to live there as a novitiate/trainee for several years before being inducted into the temple as a full-fledged monk.It is possible I believe to stay overnight at Eiheiji temple.

      Eihei-ji (i[SIZE=2]?[/SIZE]) is one of two main temples of the Sōtō sect of Zen Buddhism. Its founder was Eihei Dōgen. Eihei-ji is located about 10 km (6 mi) east of Fukui in Fukui Prefecture, Japan





      BTW, KB, this is probably a Stuart Walden troll thread.



      Let's hope so, at any rate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kheran View Post
        Hello,I have been thinking for a long time about becoming a zen monk
        May I ask,
        To what do you hope to accomplish in learning and experiencing about Zen as a priest that you cannot also learn and experience as a layperson?

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes.................and more importantly, what is a person thinking about becoming a Zen monk doing thinking about it all????

          An intelligent shoe cannot be an intelligent sock, and yet the converse does not hold.

          Surely, what Nothing cannot erase will be erased by death.

          Mu de ha naku naran
          Shi de ha naku naru


          retires to the sound of one hand clapping

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kheran View Post
            Hello,I have been thinking for a long time about becoming a zen monk and lately I also started learning japanese,but i'm still at a begginer's level.I searched and tried to learn everything i can about visas,plane tickets,steps into becoming a zen monk...
            I am planning on going in Japan the next year maybe,because i need to improve my japanese level.But i have several things i didn't find on the internet such as:
            Do i have to offer some money to the temple i will be joining,or the master will accept me free and put me to test?
            Can i join a temple just by going there and speaking with the master and the he will put me to test,or do i have to sign in somewhere,to fill some papers?Because in orthodox monasteries you can just go there and they will welcome you and put you to test.

            I am living in Romania and there is no zen temple here,not even in Bucharest,that's why i am asking you...i would be grateful if you can help me with any information.
            Peace to you, dude. Check out this foreigner-friendly zen temple in Western Japan :

            http://www.antaiji.dogen-zen.de/

            Comment


            • #7
              Zen Buddhism in Japan has been replaced by those Nintendo Wii machines.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kheran View Post
                Hello,I have been thinking for a long time about becoming a zen monk and lately I also started learning japanese,but i'm still at a begginer's level.I searched and tried to learn everything i can about visas,plane tickets,steps into becoming a zen monk...
                I am planning on going in Japan the next year maybe,because i need to improve my japanese level.But i have several things i didn't find on the internet such as:
                Do i have to offer some money to the temple i will be joining,or the master will accept me free and put me to test?
                Can i join a temple just by going there and speaking with the master and the he will put me to test,or do i have to sign in somewhere,to fill some papers?Because in orthodox monasteries you can just go there and they will welcome you and put you to test.

                I am living in Romania and there is no zen temple here,not even in Bucharest,that's why i am asking you...i would be grateful if you can help me with any information.

                for someone seeking answers, you sure have a lot of questions....

                Comment


                • #9
                  What's up with all those people wanting to become a (zen) monk?

                  Depressed? No meaning in life? Midlife crisis?

                  No offense. Just wondering... and how will you support yourself financially? Do you really expect some monk family to adopt a stranger from another country in their temple for free?

                  I think you've watched too much movies. But parttime Eikaiwa clown + parttime Zen Monk sure sounds like a funny story to tell your friends at a bar though lol.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't imagine a country more lacking in sprituality to come to for spriituality.

                    The trains run on time though, and that must be God's work....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Things Japanese - Zen Buddhism

                      Japan's two main religions are Shinto and Buddhism, which cover over 80% of the population. Around 90 million people consider themselves Buddhists in Japan and the religion, which originated in India in the 6th century BC, consists of a number of different sects. It was brought over to Japan in the 6th Century AD from Korea and over the years sects were founded including the Tendai (805) and Shingon sects (806), from China.

                      After the Jodo sect (Pure Land sect), founded in 1175, came the Zen sect, again introduced from China, in 1191. Its complicated theories were popular particularly among the members of the military class. Zen Buddhism's central theories are that human life is full of suffering due to illness, death and the loss of loved ones. By getting rid of desires and attachments, one can achieve a state of enlightenment and escape suffering and the circle of reincarnations. It is said that one can achieve self-enlightenment through meditation and self discipline - sometimes it is called a religion and other times a philosphy.

                      Historically, Zen Buddhism originates from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. He was born in 6th century B.C. and was a wealthy prince in what is now India. At the age of 29, deeply troubled by the suffering he saw around him, he renounced his privileged life, abandoned his wife and child and went to seek understanding. After 6 years of struggling as an ascetic he achieved enlightenment. He came to believe that everything is subject to change and that suffering and discontentment are the result of attachment to circumstances and things which, by their nature, are impermanent. He felt that by ridding oneself of these attachments, including attachment to the false notion of self or I, one can be free of suffering. After this he was known as the Buddha (meaning roughly "one who is awake").

                      The discipline and practical approach of Zen made it the Buddhism of the medieval Japanese military class. Zen monks occupied positions of political influence and became active in literary and artistic life. Zen monasteries, especially the main temples of Kyoto and Kamakura, were educational as well as religious centers.

                      The Zen influence on Japanese culture has a broad range including poetry, calligraphy, painting, tea ceremonies, flower arrangement, and landscape gardening (particularly the distinctive rock-and-sand temple gardens). The popularity of Japanese Zen declined during the 16th and 17th centuries, but its traditional forms were revived by Hakuin (1686-1769), from whom all present-day Rinzai masters trace their descent. Zen Buddhism was introduced to the West by the writings of D. T. Suzuki, and interest in the practice of Zen meditation blossomed after World War II, resulting in the establishment of Zen centers all over the world.

                      Buddhism, under it's various guises plays a large part in many Japanese peoples lives, but buddhist institutions have often been attacked, most recently in the early years of the Meiji period, when the new leaders favoured Shinto as the new state religion and tried to separate and emancipate it from Buddhism. Funerals in Japan are usually carried out in a Buddhist way and many households also keep a small house altar in order to remember their ancestors.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HarryHurry View Post
                        I can't imagine a country more lacking in sprituality ...
                        I would disagree. God is everywhere... just look around you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by YokohamaTommy View Post
                          May I ask,
                          To what do you hope to accomplish in learning and experiencing about Zen as a priest that you cannot also learn and experience as a layperson?
                          Well as a layperson you still have to go back to work and make money so that you can afford a car,a house,food...while when becoming a monk you are tied to the monastery and you do physical effort,sleep less,but you know that you'll stay forever there.You gain a feeling of safety and calm,unlike living in the modern world where your dreams are changing from month to month.
                          As a monk you live a monotonous life and a bit isolated from the modern world,which i like more than being a layperson who has to live in a busy city and always in search for progress.


                          Originally posted by Genkii View Post
                          and how will you support yourself financially? Do you really expect some monk family to adopt a stranger from another country in their temple for free?
                          That's why I'm asking on this forum...do I have to make a donation to the temple to accept me as an apprentice,or if I pass their tests they will welcome me free.
                          I'm sorry if i misunderstood...but i thought that by becoming an apprentice they will give you some work to do in exchange for a bed and food(like cooking,washing,planting vegetables or other physical labours).

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kheran View Post
                            I'm sorry if i misunderstood...but i thought that by becoming an apprentice they will give you some work to do in exchange for a bed and food(like cooking,washing,planting vegetables or other physical labours).
                            sounds to me like you are just looking for free food and board (vegetarian of course). Do you know what an ascetic is?

                            Not sure of the sect but one of the tasks that they do to achieve enlightenment is standing under waterfalls and pouring freezing waterfalls over themselves. Getting up at 3.30 am so you can meditate and chant sutras 5 times a day.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
                              sounds to me like you are just looking for free food and board (vegetarian of course). Do you know what an ascetic is?

                              Not sure of the sect but one of the tasks that they do to achieve enlightenment is standing under waterfalls and pouring freezing waterfalls over themselves. Getting up at 3.30 am so you can meditate and chant sutras 5 times a day.

                              As i said i am not expecting food for free.I am willing to work for that food,i suppose the ascetics like many other monks in all religions work for their food on the field(planting,watering,gathering...),besides chanting sutras and meditating.

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