Standard conditions of participation in Zazenkai and Workshops
These principles are applied at Perth Zen Centre Jizoan, it is also suffice to say that they are broadly standard throughout all Zen Temples, Centres, Groups, both Rinzai and Soto, and even beyond to other forms of Buddhism.
Zen is based on eye to eye transmission of the Dharma. It is an unbroken tradition originating with the Historical Tathagata Buddha Sakayamuni, 2500 years ago and transmitted from Ancestor to Ancestor.
Participation in zazen in the group sittings or by one’s self even for 20 years does not authorize you as a Zen Teacher/Master or practice leader. It should be recognized that to become a Zen teacher is a specifically directed vocation dependent on many years of formal study with a Shiso or ‘Dharma father/mother’ and entailing considerable qualification. It is substantially different to becoming a Yoga teacher by Course training for example.
A Dharma teacher has embarked on a deeply personal decades long journey of Self that has begun with ‘I am not nor ever will be anyone else’s teacher’ long before their own Shiso has authorized/transmitted them as such, and even that has been followed by more deeply matured doubt.
Participation in a workshop or seminar or talk series does not authorize you to teach that body, similarly as mentioned above.
Your Dharma family is not perfect as human beings are not, but Dharma Wisdom is, the perfecting of Dharma Wisdom however is a lifetime.
Do not slander yourself and others by seeking the faults in others while ignoring your own. Even participating in a single sitting, listening to a single Dharma talk or joining a workshop, seminar etc. is an opportunity to open yourself, but completely dependent on your willingness to develop personal maturity.
Others around you are living breathing beings, with feelings, rights, doubts, faiths, it is not ethical for them to be used, manipulated or preyed upon for self gratification (including, financial, sexual, material, social and ego). Your participation in Zen training in any form must be based on the principle that you are not embarking on gain, anything else is not authentic Zen, or authentic Life.
Others around you are living breathing beings, with feelings, rights, doubts, faiths, they are not shadows existing to deliver reward satisfaction to you.
Your participation must be based on the Ten Essential Precepts; Not Kill Life, Not Steal, Not be False, Not use Sex for gain, Not use intoxicants, Not Slander others, Not seek self praise, Not to hate, To value the Community, To devote one’s self to Awakening.
To represent one’s self falsely, to seek praise, to manipulate others for gain, and make dependent through alcohol, drugs, sex, speech, to turn others against others, is to steal and ultimately Kill life and squander the opportunity to Awaken one’s self in this life Awakening one’s self is the practice of the Bodhisattva way.
The Bodhisattva way is; Giving, Kind Speech, Kind Thoughts, and ultimately empathic identification.
There is no Buddha, no Zen, no Buddh-ism, that you may say; another ‘Is’ or ‘Is Not’, and therefore I may (give myself permission to), hurt them. The Bodhisattva way is therefore the way of all Human beings beyond name and gain.