Tendai Sages

Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:09 pm

After alot of trial and error, testing and practicing I have discovered Tendai as the school that resonates with me naturally.(it has took me a long time to figure this out, itks not just a whim)

That being said I would like to go into why I started this topic.

I was looking into the schools of japanese buddhism and discovered the term Yamabushi. From what I read it seems to be more in line with the Shugendo schools.

But I was curious if this was originally a Tendai practice?
Or if there is a Tendai tradition of mountain sages?
Who would be considered a siddha or perfected in the practices of Tendai in recent times?

It has been ponted out to me the best means of attainment is service of the sangha and solitary retreat.
And of course study and practice.


I hope the questions were clear.

Peace.

Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby coldwater » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:33 am

Hello Rikudou Sennin,

Here is my tiny understanding of the subject...

Yamabushi is essentially a term for mountain ascetic practitioners. It may have been something else in the past. Shugendo then is based in Tendai, Shingon, or Shinto practices. I don't know if there is a 'pure Shugendo' or a fixed tradition of mountain sages...since it was all developed out of so many different religions and shamanic-like practices. Other sects may also have their own variants of mountain asceticism. Each Shugendo tradition then has it's own variations, subsects, groups, temples it is associated with etc. Some larger, some smaller.

Are there siddhas? Yes, I am sure there people who have developed spiritual power. There are people who have mastered various aspects of Tendai practices. Tendai is very eclectic so it depends what practices you are looking for specifically. You can find people who are experts in all sorts of aspects of dharma practice.

See Marathon Monks of Mt.Hiei or the various documentaries of similar names online. They kaihogyo monks live closest to lifelong mountain asceticism. I am gonna guess there have been mountain sages since mountains were around. I also understand things like the yamabushi, kaihogyo, and shugendo developed out of people living ascetic religious lives in the mountains and practicing. Then it gradually became more organized.

If Tendai is your interest there are options in America you could contact. They could possibly help you to understand yamabushi within Tendai better?

California Tendai Monastery, A Tendai-Shugendo mountain monastery. - www.caltendai.org
Here you would be a renunciate monk engaged in ascetic mountain practices of both Tendai and Shugendo. You would practice dharma and life a live of service to others. It is also possible to stay and practice for intense shorter periods without becoming a monk.

Tendai Buddhist Institute in NY. www.tendai.org
They have a developed education program, spread over a period of years, that would prepare you for the various forms of service and community building expected from a Tendai priest. I don't know about residential/long term possibilities there but you could inquire or attend one of their short retreats.

You could also contact Rev.Ara in Hawaii as he has trained individual priests. I don't know about his relationship or practice to mountain based asceticism.

If you are able to communicate in Japanese or already have a connection with someone in Japan you could go there and see with who and where you connect. Visit mountains and temples like Koyasan, Kinpusen-ji, Hieizan, Dewa Sanzen etc.

If you want to practice the dharma to serve sentient beings- there are definitely many places to learn it and do it. Many types of people who are masters of various aspects. If mountain asceticism in Tendai is your dharma door...then the internet is possibly the least effective medium for it. Best best is visit places!
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Seishin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:50 am

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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:33 pm

There's a good film out now called Shugendo Now. You might be able to find it at a library; it's a documentary. It shows how shugendo works in recent years in Japan.

If you really want to get a taste of Shugendo, check this out:

http://www.caltendai.org/BecomingAMonk.html
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:35 pm

Im so frustrated with myself because i was just out in california, now im back in atlanta. Im a vagabond with no fixed home, and travel on foot mostly but occasionaly catch buses, hitch hike and even hop trains.

So my best bet would be to get training in New York and then travel to Cali for full time service and practice?

I really want to dedicate fully, not as a form of escapism but a sincere inherent call to do intensive practice until my disappearance day.
I have tried to stay put live a normal life and practice the dharma, but I honestly would rather spend 10 hours or more of practice a day. :crazy:

I cant hold back tears when i feel the suffering in the world.

On another note, im pretty good with sanskrit, im to the point of transliterating andhave a grip on the grammar and prosody, but im going to put that on hold and practice the heart sutra in japanese to get a feel for the language. Any study guides you fellows would suggest?

Thanks

Namu Amida Bu
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:54 pm

Just want to say that I hope you can get yourself out to California. It seems perfect for you. Good to know you have found your path. Best wishes.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Seishin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:59 pm

I'm afraid I'm not learning any Japanese at the moment and from what I understand, the Tendai Institute chant predominantly in English.

Gassho,
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:01 pm

RikudouSennin wrote:On another note, im pretty good with sanskrit, im to the point of transliterating andhave a grip on the grammar and prosody, but im going to put that on hold and practice the heart sutra in japanese to get a feel for the language. Any study guides you fellows would suggest?
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar

EDIT

Heart Sutra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeKLADNSpsI
Last edited by Konchog1 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:04 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Just want to say that I hope you can get yourself out to California. It seems perfect for you. Good to know you have found your path. Best wishes.


Thanks Andrew108 for your kind words!

Wish i would have known when i was out there last month

Peace
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:06 pm

if you want to learn the Heart Sutra in Japanese, I suggest finding an audio clip or youtube video or something. Then find the transliteration. Chant along with the video twice per day until you know it by heart.

Or find a local Zen group that chants it.

Just so you know, the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra is really a Japanese-sounding version of ancient Chinese characters. It's different from contemporary Japanese language.

I'm glad to hear you have a handle on Sanskrit: that'll pay dividends for you.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby coldwater » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 pm

Chanting at CTM is all in romanized Japanese. Very little English is used. If you can read hiragana, katakana and kanji there are options to chant from that but it is not a requirement.

You can also ask to visit or practice at CTM anytime, it is not a pre-requisite to go to NY first for education.
They are connected to each other and cooperate so either one is a way into Tendai.
There is a lot of info between the two sites and you can see what is more suited to you.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby kirtu » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:30 pm

RikudouSennin wrote:I cant hold back tears when i feel the suffering in the world.


The world is a mass of suffering.

On another note, im pretty good with sanskrit,


Good, keep it up.

but im going to put that on hold and practice the heart sutra in japanese to get a feel for the language.


Japanese is not hard at a superficial level. Many Japanese texts are transliterated Sanskrit. At a literary or deeper level - that will require serious study of course.

Namu Amida Bu

Namu Amida Butsu

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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby kirtu » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:33 pm

Jikan wrote:Just so you know, the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra is really a Japanese-sounding version of ancient Chinese characters.


That's how it's written. I thought that the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra was mostly transliterated Sanskrit (perhaps transliterated through Chinese).

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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:46 pm

Jikan wrote:
If you really want to get a taste of Shugendo, check this out:

http://www.caltendai.org/BecomingAMonk.html


I'm still waiting to hear back from TBI,(im probably going to call agian tomorrow) so i wanted to ask you in the meanwhile what would you recommend for me to get a good understanding of the Mahayana from Tendai P.o.v.

Tendai is is of the Madhyamaka view right? Can you explain more about Hongaku, i read a passage on wiki, it was basically how i thought anyway.

Im currently doing nembutsu and reading Lotus Sutra and Pureland Sutra, but i want to develop a strong foundation.

Namu Amida Butsu
Last edited by RikudouSennin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:04 am

coldwater wrote:Chanting at CTM is all in romanized Japanese. Very little English is used. If you can read hiragana, katakana and kanji there are options to chant from that but it is not a requirement.

You can also ask to visit or practice at CTM anytime, it is not a pre-requisite to go to NY first for education.
They are connected to each other and cooperate so either one is a way into Tendai.
There is a lot of info between the two sites and you can see what is more suited to you.


Oh okay, im planning on traveling to California agian... :twothumbsup: Im hoping when i get out there i can stay awhile, because it will be difficult to get all the way out there and just stay for a weekend, i'll do anything to prove my commitment. I'll even walk to california if i cant get any other way :jawdrop:
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby RikudouSennin » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:57 am

so it became apparent that there are many sadhanas in the Tendai school.
I was curious about Mikkyo and how Tendai school is able to uncover/attain enlightenment in this present lifetime.

:namaste:
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Huifeng » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:40 am

kirtu wrote:
Jikan wrote:Just so you know, the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra is really a Japanese-sounding version of ancient Chinese characters.


That's how it's written. I thought that the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra was mostly transliterated Sanskrit (perhaps transliterated through Chinese).

Kirt


The Japanese text is the Chinese text, and the Chinese is a translation -- not a transliteration -- from Sanskrit, Xuanzang's version is the norm. Of course, the Japanese have a number of ways of pronouncing the Chinese text, though.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby dearreader » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:53 am

Huifeng wrote:The Japanese text is the Chinese text, and the Chinese is a translation -- not a transliteration -- from Sanskrit, Xuanzang's version is the norm. Of course, the Japanese have a number of ways of pronouncing the Chinese text, though.
~~ Huifeng


Venerable, this is true for the sutra itself but not for the mantra at the end, correct? In my understanding it is really uncommon for mantras to be translated and then recited. That in fact the mantra should be recited in its transliterated form as taught to you by your teacher. Is this the correct understanding as far as you know?
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Jikan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:05 pm

dearreader wrote:
Huifeng wrote:The Japanese text is the Chinese text, and the Chinese is a translation -- not a transliteration -- from Sanskrit, Xuanzang's version is the norm. Of course, the Japanese have a number of ways of pronouncing the Chinese text, though.
~~ Huifeng


Venerable, this is true for the sutra itself but not for the mantra at the end, correct? In my understanding it is really uncommon for mantras to be translated and then recited. That in fact the mantra should be recited in its transliterated form as taught to you by your teacher. Is this the correct understanding as far as you know?


I can't speak for Ven. Huifeng, but I can say that's how I've been taught.
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Re: Tendai Sages

Postby Jikan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:11 pm

Apropos of the matter of "translated" mantra:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=12437#p161433

^^^this thread may offer a more useful point of departure, or at least some context.

:namaste:
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