Responsibilities of Western Priests.

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Varis
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Responsibilities of Western Priests.

Post by Varis » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am

Hello, I wanted to ask those of you who are Tendai priests or priests in training a few questions: What are your responsibilities as a priest at your temple? Are you expected or required to hold a leadership role? Are you tied to your home temple? Do different priests have different responsibilities?

Thank you.

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jikai
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Location: Tokyo, Japan.
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Re: Responsibilities of Western Priests.

Post by jikai » Mon May 07, 2018 10:27 am

Varis wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am
Hello, I wanted to ask those of you who are Tendai priests or priests in training a few questions: What are your responsibilities as a priest at your temple? Are you expected or required to hold a leadership role? Are you tied to your home temple? Do different priests have different responsibilities?

Thank you.
Hi Varis,

Sorry it has taken me so long to give a reply. The answer depends on a few things. For example, what lineage you come from; simply put who your teacher is. They will have their own way of approaching those responsibilities. In Japan there is the blue-print if you like, but that doesn't necessarily mean that things look the same in the West.

Your last question is perhaps simplest. Yes, different Soryo have different responsibilites. Again, largely dependent on your teacher and their way of doing things.

We are always tied to our 'lineage-home-temple' in some form. That is the temple of our Master. I think its fairly safe to say that everyone is expected to support and work with said temple in one form or another. This could be on a day-to-day basis- as in performing services and classes, cleaning, etc. Or it could mean helping out during festivities like New Year, Obon etc.

If you are not near your 'lineage-temple' you are expected to serve as a Dharma Teacher in one form or another. This most often means that you are expected to establish your own Sangha, or at the very least contribute to the maintenance of, or the furtherance of an already established Sangha.

It will also depend on your rank as well to some degree. You won't be doing Goma Fire Ceremonies for example until you have Kanjo/Abhiseka. Nor will you take (ordained) disciples at lower ranks. Although again, the ranking system in the two lineages represented in the West differ, so that might change what you do at which level as well.

For the past few years I've been in Japan, so my experience during that time has been fairly standard. Before then though, I had established a community in my home town (Sydney/ Aus) and held regular services (Sutra chanting), Sutra copying, Meditation, Buddhist Doctrine Seminars etc. In the traditional setting you add to this, Religious Holidays, funerals, Memorial services, retreats, Goma fire ceremonies and so forth. My teacher is fairly traditional, so at his temple (in Hawaii), we do all of those things.

Is there anything in particular you are wondering about? It is a big question, so anything you can give me will help me tailor my answer a little bit more to your needs.

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Seishin
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Re: Responsibilities of Western Priests.

Post by Seishin » Thu May 10, 2018 10:36 am

^^ :twothumbsup: this ^^
jikai wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 10:27 am
Hi Varis,

Sorry it has taken me so long to give a reply. The answer depends on a few things. For example, what lineage you come from; simply put who your teacher is. They will have their own way of approaching those responsibilities. In Japan there is the blue-print if you like, but that doesn't necessarily mean that things look the same in the West.

Your last question is perhaps simplest. Yes, different Soryo have different responsibilites. Again, largely dependent on your teacher and their way of doing things.

We are always tied to our 'lineage-home-temple' in some form. That is the temple of our Master. I think its fairly safe to say that everyone is expected to support and work with said temple in one form or another. This could be on a day-to-day basis- as in performing services and classes, cleaning, etc. Or it could mean helping out during festivities like New Year, Obon etc.

If you are not near your 'lineage-temple' you are expected to serve as a Dharma Teacher in one form or another. This most often means that you are expected to establish your own Sangha, or at the very least contribute to the maintenance of, or the furtherance of an already established Sangha.

It will also depend on your rank as well to some degree. You won't be doing Goma Fire Ceremonies for example until you have Kanjo/Abhiseka. Nor will you take (ordained) disciples at lower ranks. Although again, the ranking system in the two lineages represented in the West differ, so that might change what you do at which level as well.

For the past few years I've been in Japan, so my experience during that time has been fairly standard. Before then though, I had established a community in my home town (Sydney/ Aus) and held regular services (Sutra chanting), Sutra copying, Meditation, Buddhist Doctrine Seminars etc. In the traditional setting you add to this, Religious Holidays, funerals, Memorial services, retreats, Goma fire ceremonies and so forth. My teacher is fairly traditional, so at his temple (in Hawaii), we do all of those things.

Is there anything in particular you are wondering about? It is a big question, so anything you can give me will help me tailor my answer a little bit more to your needs.

Gassho,

Jikai.

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