The Zen Priest Ordination of Janine Seitetsu Larsen

The Zen Priest Ordination of Janine Seitetsu Larsen December 10, 2019

Empty Moon Zen Network

SHUKE TOKUDO

Soto Zen Priest (Unsui) Ordination for

Janine Seitetsu Larsen

and the Bright Cloud Sangha

at the University Unitarian Church in Seattle, Washington

Rohatsu Eve, 7 December, 2019

 

Outline of Service

Entry Procession

Bows

Welcome 

Invocation of the Buddhas 

Preamble

Preparing the New Buddha

Atonement 

Wisdom Water Blessing

Receiving the Precepts

The Three Treasures

The Three Pure Precepts

The Three Grave Precepts

Verse of the Kesa

Ceremony of Recognition

Conclusion

(Small, low table is prepared with incense, candle, lighter, water bowl, pine/ cedar branch, razor & shaving bowl w/ small towel; koromo, lineage chart, certificate of ordination, zagu, kesa, bowls. (Overflow items on a cloth below/ nearby) 

Incidental Music as attendees are seated

David Owens, guitar

  • Concluding as Shika reaches Densho (hanging bell)

Shika (supports ceremony; bells, and chanting)Tom Daimon Wardle

  • Enters, goes to Densho
  • Waits for music to conclude; plays roll-down on Densho.

Chalice Lighting – Janine’s sister & husband do this during Densho roll-down (need lighter/ matches)

 

Entry Procession

Music: David Owens & Ellen Hoffman – “Lullaby”

Assisting Priest (Honored colleague assisting with the ordination) – Tamon Ryushin Hart, Osho 

Officiant (ordaining teacher) – James Myoun Ford, Roshi Goes to cushions – remain standing

Ordinand  Janine Seitetsu Larsen Goes to cushion – remains standing

Officiant – offers incense

Shika announces, “Please stand in body or spirit and join us in three bows”

  • Inkin roll-down

Bows

All bow three times, officiant at bowing mat. (Ordinand remains standing)

 Shika: (To congregation) “Please be seated.”

Shika: (to Ordinand) “With sincere mind and heart, please make your bow to the Buddha…”

Ordinand bows once.

Shika: “With sincere mind and heart, please bow to your family.”

Ordinand bows to family.

 Shika: “With sincere mind and heart, please bow to your ordaining teacher.”

Ordinand bows to officiant. Officiant returns the bow.

Ordinand kneels before officiant’s table.

Welcome

Officiant says a few words of introduction to what follows.

Invites the Reverend Jon Luopa, senior minister of the University Unitarian Church  to welcome all on behalf of the church.

 

Invocation

Assisting priest: “We invoke the presence and blessings of our ancestors within the Dharma as we enter the Buddha’s way.”

(Ryushin recites following; Shika sounds clappers at each ;)

; Being one with the Buddhas in the Ten Directions.

;  Being one with the Dharma in the Ten Directions.

; Being one with the Sangha in the Ten Directions.

;  Being one with our principal teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha.

;  Being one with the first great woman teacher

Mahapajapati and all her sisters whose names have been left unsung

;  Being one with the successive Buddhas and ancestors.

;  Being one with the great teachers in China, particularly great teacher Bodhidharma and great teacher Huineng.

;  Being one with the great teachers in Japan, particularly the founders of our Soto school, great teacher Eihei Dogen and great teacher Keizan Jokin.

;  Being one with the first teachers in the west, coming from China and Japan and Korea and Vietnam, shaping and reshaping the forms of our way, and particularly our founders, great teacher Robert Aitken and great priest Jiyu Kennett.

;  Being one with all Bodhisattvas and arhats in the Ten Directions.

;  May they all be present here as witnesses to the ordination of Janine Seitetsu Larsen.

Preamble

Assisting Priest:   “The way is perfect like vast space, where there’s no lack and no excess; the person who does not realize this truth wanders lost in a world of confusion and hurt, while the person who realizes the way is immediately at home.

“To be able to play freely in the field of awakening it is necessary to let go of our grasping. Today in this ordination ceremony, you make your vow to open your hands and let all be free. Have no doubt; there is nothing that surpasses this opening of our hands, letting go of our grasping and entering the great way.

“Today, Seitetsu, you shave your head and you put on the Buddha’s robes. Cutting your hair is a sign of cutting the root of grasping. Changing your clothing is a sign you step out of the cycle of delusion opening the way of freedom for yourself and for all beings.  These symbols were created to remind you to cut the root of delusion, to release that tight grasp, to open your hands allowing you to hold all things gently with love and compassion.

“Remember, among all the Buddhas in the three worlds, no one awakened without opening their hand, letting go of dualistic views. So, this is a special time, making such a vow is rare in the events of the world. The way of ordination is vowing to walk the path of awakening with all of your heart, your mind, your being.

“Seitetsu, please notice, please attend closely. Your bodymind is turning from its endless wandering among the abandoned grasses and you are being reborn into the country of nobirth, into your native land of the Buddhas. Grasping and ignorance do not cease, and yet in this moment your original face, your true nature is revealed.

“Having nothing with which to cover your round head and wearing your Buddha’s robes you stand out a witness before the world. If you follow this path truly, whoever comes in contact with you receives great benefit. Your abode is beyond the Three Worlds, and yet its virtue pervades the Ten Directions. You walk equally among the Buddhas and ancestors. Remember your teachers and your true nature. Respect the way of the Buddhas as your very heart.

 

Officiant:  “It is said: In the drifting, wandering world, it is very difficult to cut our grasping. But now you are vowing to let go and to realize the truth beyond self and other. This is true gratitude. This is the way of love and compassion.

“Seitetsu, think of your parents and thank them for having given you this life. Consider carefully the mysterious karma that brought you here to this place and this time and this event. Think of what your loved ones, your parents, your children and your husband have done for you, and further consider what your sangha has done to bring you to this moment. Think of your teachers. Thanks to them you are now able to dedicate your life freely to the welfare and service of all beings.

“Now Seitetsu, recall the world of boundlessness. That you can do this is indeed rare, so far beyond the imagination of those caught in the tangle of self and other. When for the first time bodhisattvas raise the Bodhi Mind in the midst of birth and death, single mindedly seeking awakening, the merit they derive from this very-moment-mind is deep, broad and truly boundless. Though Tathagatas may explain it minutely, its healing truth can never be exhausted.

Wisdom Water Blessing 

Assisting Priest explains the wisdom water blessing, and then blesses the wisdom water three times and then uses it to bless the ordinand, and around the hall blessing the congregation. Assisting priest returns the wisdom to the water bowl three times and says, “Everything is new and fresh.”

Preparing the New Buddha

Officiant:  “This last hair is called the shura. Only a Buddha can cut it off. Now I will cut it. Will you allow me to cut it?”

 Ordinand answers “I will”

Officiant cuts the shura.

Officiant: “Shaving your head and again shaving your head. Cutting your grasping, you are now in the path of Buddha. With the mind of awakening you are free to help all beings in the realm of suffering.”

 Officiant:  “I now give you the inner robe of the Buddha.”

  • Cense, and then hand koromo to Ordinand. <
     Ordinand:  “O, Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, please concentrate your hearts on me. I, Seitetsu, Buddha’s disciple, receive this uttarasangha robe of seven panels, each panel made from two long pieces and one short piece. I will wear this robe of Buddha with the mind and body of its sacred meaning.”
    Ordinand then hands koromo to Assisting priest, who helps to put it on the ordinand. Ordinand is in choki (high kneeling) with arms sticking straight out.
  • Ordinand then makes three bows. 

Ordinand:  “Leaving home, I seek the boundless way. Freed from my ancient karma, freed from my grasping, freed from form and color, everything is changed except my desire to live in truth with all beings.  Embracing the path of love and compassion I vow to free all who suffer.”

  • Officiant censes lineage chart and gives it to Ordinand.
  • Officiant censes ordination certificate and gives it to Ordinand.

Officiant censes the Buddha bowls and gives them to the Ordinand.

  • Ordinand: “O, Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, please concentrate your hearts on me. I, Seitetsu, Buddha’s disciple, receive the Buddha’s bowls that are just enough for eating and begging.  I will use these bowls made by the ancestors and follow their sacred meaning. The endless merit of the Buddhas and Ancestors fills these bowls. I vow to offer it to all beings.”<
    Officiant censes zagu (bowing mat) and gives it to ordinand.

    • Ordinand: “O, Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, please concentrate your hearts on me. I, Seitetsu, Buddha’s disciple, receive the nisidana zagu, within our tradition said to be made according to Buddha’s own. I will use it and protect the Dharma.”

    Officiant censes kesa and gives it to the ordinand. Ordinand hands it to Ryushin, who helps to put it on the Ordinand.

    Shika leads sangha in Verse of the Kesa, saying “I invite you to join in chanting the Verse of the Kesa three times. The words are in your order of service.”

    “Great robe of liberation, field far beyond form and emptiness. Wearing the Tathagata’s teaching, saving all beings.” (3X)

    Atonement

    Officiant:   “Now wearing the clothes of the Buddha and having the Tathagata’s bowls, we will give you the Bodhisattva precepts. Wishing to receive the precepts, first of all you should confess and atone using the verse given to us by our ancestors on the great way. 

    Shoki leads sangha in Gatha of Atonement, saying “Please join in chanting the Gatha of Atonement three times. The words are in your order of service.”

    “All my past and harmful karma, born from beginningless greed, hate, and ignorance, through body, speech, and mind, now I atone for it all.”  (3X) 

    Officiant:   “Having confessed and made atonement, you have purified your body, mouth and thoughts. This purification arises within the mystery of atonement, our turning from separation and toward the way.

    Next you reveal yourself as the Three Treasures which have the virtues and merits of the one body. Once you reveal yourself as the Three Treasures, all virtues and merits will be in complete accord.”

    Receiving the Precepts

    Officiant: “You will now receive the Precepts.”

    The Three Treasures

    Officiant: “Repeat after me, but say “being” rather than “be.”

    (Shika strikes clappers with each ; below.)

    Officiant:   ;   Be one with the Buddha.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Buddha.

    Officiant:   ;   Be one with the Dharma.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Dharma.

    Officiant:   ;   Be one with the Sangha.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Sangha.

    Officiant:   ; Be one with the Buddha, in Oneness, the awakened nature of all beings.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Buddha, in Oneness, the awakened nature of all beings.

    Officiant:   ; Be one with the Dharma, in Diversity, the ocean of wisdom and compassion.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Dharma, in Diversity, the ocean of wisdom and compassion.

    Officiant:  ; Be one with the Sangha, in Harmony, the interdependence of all.

    Ordinand:    Being one with the Sangha, in Harmony, the interdependence of all.

    Officiant:   ; The Buddha has been revealed.

    Ordinand:    The Buddha has been revealed.

    Officiant:   ; The Dharma has been revealed.

    Ordinand:    The Dharma has been revealed.

    Officiant:    ;  The Sangha has been revealed.

    Ordinand:   The Sangha has been revealed. 

    Officiant:   “The Three Treasures are revealed. From now on, the Tathagata, Buddha, Complete Awakening, and Perfect Wisdom are your guides. Do not follow misleading or false ways. Because of the benevolent compassion of the Tathagata, you have been able to reveal the Three Treasures. Will you maintain them?”

    Ordinand:  I will.

    • Ordinand puts out zagu and makes three full bows.

    Officiant offers incense.

    Officiant: Next you receive the Three Pure Precepts. 

    The Three Pure Precepts

    Officiant:  ;   Not knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about yourself and the universe, will you vow to cease from evil?

        Ordinand: I will.

    Officiant:    ;   Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world, will you vow to practice good?

    Ordinand: I will.

    Officiant:   ;   Healing yourself and others, will you vow to save all beings?

    Ordinand: I will.

    Officiant: These are the Three Pure Precepts. Will you maintain them? 

        Ordinand: I will.

    • Ordinand makes three bows.

    Officiant offers incense.

    Officiant: Next you will receive the Ten Grave Precepts. 

    The Ten Grave Precepts

    Officiant: “The Ten Grave Precepts”

    Officiant:    ; Recognizing you are not separate from all that is, will you vow to take up the way of not killing?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ; Being satisfied with what you have, will you vow to take up the way of not stealing?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ; Treating all beings with respect and dignity, will you vow to take up the way of not misusing sex?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ; Listening and speaking from the heart, will you vow to take up the way of not speaking falsely?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ; Cultivating a mind that sees clearly, will you vow to take up the way of not intoxicating mind and body?

    Ordinand:    I will.      (Bow once.) 

    Officiant:    ;   Unconditionally accepting what each moment has to offer, will you vow to take up the way of not discussing the faults of others?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:    ;   Speaking what you perceive to be the truth without guilt or blame, will you vow to take up the way of not praising yourself while abusing others?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.

    Officiant:   ;   Using all the ingredients of your life, will you vow to take up the way of not sparing the Dharma Assets?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ;   Transforming suffering into wisdom, will you vow to take up the way of not indulging in anger?

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.)

    Officiant:   ;   Honoring your life as an instrument of the great way, will you vow to take up the way of not defaming the Three Treasures? 

    Ordinand:    I will.       (Bow once.) 

    Officiant:       “These sixteen precepts, the Three Treasures, the Three Pure Precepts and the Ten Grave Precepts originated in the sangha of Shakyamuni Buddha and they have been transmitted through all the generations of Buddhas and Ancestors to me. Now I have given them to you.”

    Officiant:   “Will you maintain these precepts as your very life?”

    Ordinand:   I will.

    Officiant: “Will you maintain these precepts as your very life?”

        Ordinand: I will.

    Officiant:   “Will you really maintain these precepts as your very life?”

        Ordinand: I will.

    • Ordinand makes three bows.

    Officiant:       “When sentient beings receive the precepts they enter the realm of the Buddhas. This is the Buddha treasure, complete and absolute awakening. Truly, those who embrace the precepts are the children of the Buddha.”

    Ceremony of Recognition

    Shika:     “Now we will have the ceremony of recognition.”

    The Ordinand faces the sangha.  The sangha bows to the ordinand as a newly born Buddha. The ordinand bows back. 

    Officiant:       “Buddha recognizes Buddha and Buddha bows to Buddha.”

     All bow and then resume their places.

    Musical Interlude: David Owens and Ellen Hoffman – Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

    Conclusion

    Ryushin: On this occasion auspicious signs appear in the Ten Directions. The earth trembles and blossoms fall. All Bodhisattvas ask all the Buddhas, “What is the meaning of such an extraordinary sign?” All Buddhas reply, “In this world, a follower of the Buddha’s teaching has received the Bodhisattva Precepts from her teacher who has previously received them from her teacher. All Bodhisattvas resolve to observe the precepts timelessly. Therefore, the Universe manifests joyousness.

    The Bodhisattvas vow to all such home leavers, saying “If so, you practice and study together with all Buddhas. Therefore, accept all Buddhas as witnesses and teachers and accept the Bodhisattvas as fellow practitioners.

    Please be mindful of these precepts moment after moment realizing them in your daily life. Due to the ripening of this great opportunity, your body now rests in the Dharma world. Realize that the whole world is involved in maintaining these precepts.

    In these precepts there is no subject and no object and, so of course, there is no merit either. Within this mystery our practice is timeless and boundless. Preserve the good roots of these precepts and share the Buddha Way with all sentient beings.

    Seitetsu, you have received Buddha’s Precepts and all beings have entered Buddhahood. With your name and clothes, with the lineage of Transcendent Wisdom, you are a child of Buddha, one with all Being.

    Ordinand makes three bows to Officiant who responds to the third bow.

    Officiant gives short talk on the names Keido (firefly hall) Seitetsu (sacred wisdom).

    Shika: I joyfully announce to all beings everywhere, that the ordination ceremony of the Reverend Keido Seitetsu is now concluded.  (Applause.) 

    Shika: “We will end with the Four Bodhisattva Vows, printed in your order of service.  Please join us for refreshments immediately following, and in congratulating our new priest.”

    Shika leads the sangha in the Four Vows

    Beings are numberless; I vow to free them.

    Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them.

    Dharma Gates are boundless; I vow to enter them.

    (BELL) The Buddha Way is unsurpassable; (BELL) I vow to embody it.

     Shika, Assisting priest, Officiant, and Ordinand depart to the reception.

  • Enormous gratitude to Linda Baarslag-Bensonm, Dinah Hartley, and Connie Beetleston for the photographs!
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