森山 (法輪) 大行 老師
Moriyama (Hōrin) Daigyō rōshi (1938-2011)
Daigyō Moriyama rōshi (Otsuki, 2010)
The zen lineage chart of Moriyama rōshi, Dharma heir of Noiri rōshi and Dharma brother to Genshō (Gabor Terebess)
Daigyo Moriyama Roshi was born in 1938 and raised in a layman's family. After graduating Philosophy department of Komazawa University in 1962, he was ordained by Hakusan Roshi. He practiced in the head temples of Soto Zen School, Eihei-ji, Soji-ji and Soji-ji Special Monastery. Then he moved to Tokyo branch temple of Eihei-ji and practiced under Niwa Zenji, the head abbot of Eihei-ji until 1979. Between 1970 and 1973, he served as the 7th head priest in 桑港寺 Sōkō-ji, a Soto Zen temple in San Francisco in U.S., (succeeding Suzuki Shunryu), and experienced dramatic growth of Zen Buddhism in the United States in 1970's.
Moriyama & Suzuki in the seventies
In 1980 near the Mount Fuji mountains, Moriyama Roshi founded Zuigakuin Zen Monastery to practice Bendoho, traditional teaching of Dogen Zenji and to promote Buddhism internationally. In Zuigakuin, without telephone or electricity, Moriyama Rôshi's disciples dedicate themselves exclusively to daily manual chores and to Zazen. Moriyama Roshi accepts and teaches Japanese and non-Japanese practitioners, and also founded temples and Zen centers around the world such as in France, Uruguay, Brazil, Akita prefecture in Japan, Sweden. In 1992, he moved to Brazil and served as director of Soto Zen Buddhism Organization in South America several years. After retiring from the directorship, he continued his missionary work in South America and led various zen groups until 2002.
Later Moriyama Roshi resided in Zuigakuin and is actively involved in teaching practitioners inside Japan as well as his disciples live outside Japan. He is also communicating with other Buddhist groups outside Japan to further promote international Buddhism missionary activity.
Master Moriyama has not
made any contact since the catastrophe of 11 March, 2011 has touched Japan. Our only information is that he could have been
region that was affected by the Tsunami.
森山 (法輪) 大行
Moriyama (Hōrin) Daigyō rōshi (1938-2011)
l'extreme Nord du japon, dans l'ile de Sakhaline - occupée depuis la guerre par les soviétiques. A 22 ans, finissant des
études de philo a Tokyo, il rencontre son Maître Hakusan Kôjun Rôshi (rôshi: vieux Maître; titre
Il commence a pratiquer zazen, et impressionné par la dignité et la compassion vivante du Roshi, il décide de devenir également moine.
Il est ordonné a l 'âge de 24 ans. Il passe ensuite une année a Eiheiji, le temple fondé par Maître Dogen. Puis 5 ans a Sojiji, le temple de Maître Keizan Jokin, ou il poursuit sa pratique de moine, et commence les cours spéciaux pour futurs enseignants.
Il reçoit la transmission de son Maître, Hakusan Kôjun Rôshi.
Son Maître l'envoie aupres de son frere 'dans le Dharma', Niwa Roshi pour compléter sa formation. Il restera 2 ans a la branche de Tokyo de Eiheiji, comme assistant personnel (Jisha) de Niwa Zenji. Celui-ci lui demande alors d'aller a San Francisco, reprendre le temple précédemment dirigé par Suzuki Roshi (celui-ci a quitté ce temple pour fonder le Zen Center). Ce sera la premiere rencontre du Roshi avec l'occident: le San Francisco de la fin des années 60! Grand choc, et grande admiration pour la force de la pratique des occidentaux.
Apres 3 ans, Moriyama Roshi revient au Japon, aupres de Niwa Roshi; a ce moment il est enseignant, puis Ino (Maître enseignant aux moines). Apres 6 ans il reçoit le titre de Shike (Maître de monastere). Aidé par ses Maîtres il fonde Zuigakuin dans la montagne japonaise.
Zuigakuin est un petit temple, consacré a la pratique telle qu'elle est exposée par Maître Dogen.: méditation (zazen) et travail (samou) -la pratique inclut aussi Takahatsou (recherche d'aumônes), renouant ainsi avec la tradition bouddhiste des moines mendiants et pauvres- l'autre source de revenus est seulement les dons faits par les visiteurs et les disciples.
Peu de confort -pas d'éléctricité, ni de téléphone, peu de chauffage- mais riche du Dharma, et ouvert a tous: japonais ou étrangers, hommes ou femmes, seul compte le désir de pratiquer et de suivre la voie des Patriarches; une vie simple, précieuse, une pratique rare dans le Japon actuel, c'est le don de Maître Moriyama a tous ses disciples. Le temple a été ouvert en 1978, le Zendo achevé en 1980 (une grande cérémonie de 20eme anniversaire est prévue en l'an 2000!).
En 1992, Maître Niwa demande a Moriyama Roshi de repartir, cette fois en Amérique du Sud. Maître Moriyama sera nommé Sokan (responsable national). Il habite Sao Paulo, ville d'émigration de nombreux japonais apres-guerre. Il reconstruira le temple de la communauté, et créera des groupes de zazen pour les brésiliens, a Sao Paulo et dans d'autres villes du Brésil. Sa disciple Joshin Sensei commencera des groupes de zazen en Argentine, en Uruguay et au Chili. Mais désireux de poursuivre sa voie simple de moine, Maître Moriyama, lorsque tout est mis sur pied démissionne et regagne Zuigakuin, ou il continue a accueillir visiteurs et pratiquants, jusqu'au début de l'année 2000 ou il repart pour le Brésil, a Porto Alegre pour y diriger un nouveau temple.
Sans Limites (Hokaiji)
Founder: Daigyo Moriyama Roshi
Riou La Selle, 07320 Saint-Agreve, France
野圦 (白山) 孝純
Noiri (Hakusan) Kōjun rōshi (1914-2007)
Kôjun Noiri Roshi (roshi: vieux Maître; titre honorifique) est maintenant agé de 85 ans. Il vit au temple de Kanyô-an. C'est maintenant sa disciple, Myozen Terayama Roshi, qui s'occupe du temple et des disciples.
Kojun Roshi est célebre au japon pour 2 choses: d'une part... sa sévérite envers ses disciples! C'est un maître strict, qui a dédié toute sa vie au Dharma.
Il a suivi les préceptes des moines, sans famille, mais aupres de son Maître puis avec ses disciples.
Il a reçu l'enseignement des Maîtres de l'Ecole Soto et il a retransmis a tous les disciples assez courageux pour affronter la force de la "Montagne Blanche" (Haku San).
Il a eu deux successeurs, la nonne Myozen Roshi et Moriyama Roshi.
Il est également un grand lettré, spécialiste des caracteres chinois. Il fut le premier a faire imprimer les poemes écrits en chinois par Maître Dogen, le Eiheikoroku. Comme une grande montagne, Kojun Roshi passe quotidiennement une grande partie de la journée en méditation.
Dans le systeme japonais traditionnel, chaque maître a lui-meme 2 Maîtres:
le Maître du lignage
le Maître du Dharma
Maître Moriyama a eu pour Maître du Dharma:
丹羽 (瑞岳) 廉芳
Niwa (Zuigaku) Rempō zenji (1905-1993)
He succeeded Butsuan Emyô Niwa as superior of the Tokei'in. After having assumed the station of vice-abbot, he became in 1985 the 77th abbot of the Eiheiji monastery, one of the two principal temples of the Sôtô school. He then received the imperial title of Jikô Enkai Zenji (Great Zen Master of Compassion, Ocean of Plenitude). He died in September 1993 Tetsuzan Gendô Niwa succeeded him in 1986 as the abbot of Tokei'in.
Zuigaku Rempô Niwa Zenji was noted for his brush calligraphy, and works by him can be found under various pen names, including Robai (the old plum tree) and Baian (the plum tree hermitage).
Successors: Daigyō Moriyama, Gudo Wafu Nishijima.
Niwa roshi lineage > http://www.treeleaf.org/articles/TreeleafTheLineage.html
Master Renpo Niwa was born at Shuzenji in Shizuoka Prefecture as the third son of Katoda Shioya, in February of 1905. His father was a schoolmaster of several schools, and had sons and daughters totalled 10. And Mura, his mother, worked hard as a farmer for further support of their family. Master Niwa told me that he was a rather tender boy, and enjoyed to play with girls. But when observing the very smart style of a Budhist monk who commuted to Shuzenji temple, he found himself wanting to become a Buddhist monk. So when he was 11 years old, he asked his family if he could become a Buddhist monk, and he was permitted.
And fortunately because his uncle Master Butsu-an Niwa was the Master of Tokei-in in Shizuoka City, and so Master Renpo Niwa became a son-in-law of Master Butsu-an, therefore Master Renpo Niwa commuted from Tokei-in to a primary school. But because he selected Nirayama Middle school near Shuzenji, and so he commuted to the middle school from his home, but because he entered into the Shizuoka High School, therefore he commuted to the high school from Tokei-in again.
When Master Renpo Niwa was going to enter into a University, Master Butsu-an asked Master Renpo to select a law division in the University. However, because Master Renpo strongly hoped to study Buddhism in the University, he insisted his own strong hope, and Master Butsu-an permited Master Renpo to enter into the division of Buddhism. I guess that at that time, even in the Soto Sect, there might have been so many lawful problems occurring, and so Master Butsu-an wanted to get a good assistant for himself in the Soto Sect. But I heard that Master Butsu-an easily permitted Master Renpo to select the Indian Philosophical Division.
Master Renpo Niwa entered the division of Indian Philosophy in Tokyo Imperial University, and during the first summer vacation, he visited Eihei-ji as a Buddhist monk officially for one month. After graduating from Tokyo University, he became the head official in Tokei-in, and then visiting Antaiji in Kyoto for commuting to Otani University, and then he entered into Eihei-ji. Then he became the Master of Ichjoji and Ryu-un-in in Shizuoka, and he succeeded the Master of Tokei-in in November of 1955. He became the Master of the Tokyo Branch of Eihei-ji in 1960, and then he worked as the 77th Abbot of Eihei-ji from April 1985 to September 1993.
[by Nishijima Gudo Wafu]
In these portrait photos Niwa zenji wears an ōkuwara (大掛絡), a sort of big rakusu, another version of the kesa, hanging over his left shoulder.
Zuigaku Rempô Niwa Zenji est né à Shizuoka, au Japon. En vertu du système de transmission familiale des temples introduit par la réforme de l'époque Meiji, il se fit moine assez tôt, après ses études au lycée de Shizuoka. Selon le système inauguré au XVIII° siècle par Menzan, il reçut la transmission du Dharma (shiho) trois ans après avoir pris les préceptes. Il fut pour cela adopté par le supérieur du temple Tokei-in, de Shizuoka, selon un système complexe de rotation entre plusieurs temples de la localité, occasion à laquelle il prit le nom héréditaire de Niwa.
A 50 ans, il fut nommé supérieur de la branche de Tokyo du temple Eihei-ji. Fervent pratiquant de zazen, il y fit reconstruire le zendo (salle de méditation) afin que les jeunes en formation (pour la plupart fils de chefs de temple) puissent revenir à cette pratique essentielle.
Il devint ensuite le supérieur du Eihei-ji, dans les montagnes du Fukui (mer du Japon). Ainsi qu'à Tokyo, il y pratiquait zazen tous les matins avec les moines, selon les enseignements du fondateur du lieu, maître Dôgen.
Il a été le maître de Gudo Nishijima et de Moriyama Daigyo.
Après la mort de T. Deshimaru, trois de ses plus proches disciples ont été certifiés maîtres dans la tradition du zen soto, par Niwa Zenji, sans jamais avoir connu Stéphane "Kosen" Thibaut, Etienne "Mokusho" Zeisler et Roland "Yuno" Rech."
"Zenji" car il fut le précédent supérieur du temple de Maître Dogen, Eiheiji. C'est la plus haute position de l'école Soto Zen. Il est mort le 7 septembre 1993.
Niwa Zenji est né dans un temple de haut rang, lié a l'aristocratie. Il devint moine tres tôt, puis Maître et fut nommé a 50 ans supérieur de la branche de Tokyo du temple Eiheiji. Il y fit reconstruire un nouveau zendo (salle de méditation) car lui meme pratiquait beaucoup le zazen et il souhaitait que les religieux venus faire leurs années de formation pratiquent également de façon plus intensive.
Puis il devint le supérieur du temple de Eiheiji auquel il imprima un nouvel élan, venant chaque matin pratiquer avec les moines, redonnant a ce lieu le gout du Dharma de Maître Dogen. Il devint aussi un grand soutien pour les groupes de zen a l'étranger: ainsi, comme il est de tradition pour les Zenji de faire entrer dans leurs lignages ceux qui pour une raison ou pour une autre n'ont plus de Maître, il donna sa transmission a plusieurs disciples de Maître Deshimaru, a la mort de ce dernier.
Il aida Maître Moriyama a commencer Zuigakuin, puis il aida également la disciple de ce dernier, Joshin Sensei, a fonder la Demeure sans limites. Nous avons tous, pratiquants en Europe, une grande dette de gratitude envers lui!
Moriyama Roshi has disciples in Brazil, USA, Argentina, Uruguay, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Canada, Korea and Sri Lanka.
Joshin Luce Bachoux Sensei (Sensei=enseignante)
Après avoir pratiqué en Europe, Joshin Sensei part pour le Japon. Elle passe plusieurs années à Zuigakuin, où elle est ordonnée, puis elle y reçoit le Sceau de la transmission de Maître Moriyama, devenant ainsi enseignante de l'école Soto Zen. A la demande de ce dernier, elle rentre en France pour y partager l'enseignement reçu à la Demeure Sans Limites. Elle a fait également de nombreux séjours en Amérique du Sud pour y aider son Maître.
Elle a ouvert en 2006 Le Chemin du Vent à Vaudevant (Ardèche) pour ses étudiants les plus anciens et voyage pour donner des conférences ou diriger des retraites.
Elle collabore au supplément « Les Essentiels » du magazine La Vie depuis cinq ans.
Pour Moriyama Roshi, mon Maître: http://www.larbredeleveil.org/daishin/bulletin/spip.php?article376
Jokei Ni Marie Lambert (Ni = nonne)
Elle a été ordonnée à Zuigakuin en 1999 ; elle vit à la Demeure sans Limites. Durant ses années de formation, elle a effectué plusieurs « angos » (retraites de trois mois) aux USA auprès de Bennage Ni-Osho et également au Japon, auprès de Maître Aoyama Shundo, nonne et Supérieure du monastère de Nagoya, auteure de « Graines de Sagesse ». Jokei Ni a aussi fait plusieurs séjours au Village des Pruniers.
C'est elle qui accueille les personnes qui viennent pratiquer à la Demeure sans Limites et dirige les retraites.
Março de 1938, no extremo norte do Japao, conhecido como ilha de Sakhaline -
ocupada depoisa da guerra pelos soviéticos.
Aos 22 anos,conclui seus estudos de filosofia em Tokyo, e reencontra seu mestre Hakusan Kojun Roshi.
Ele começa a praticar o zazen, e impressiona pela dignidade ecompaixao viva de um Roshi. Decide tornar-se monge.
É ordenado com a idade de 24 anos e passa um ano em Eihei-ji, templo fundado por Meste Dogen. Durante 5 anos em Soji-ji, um templo fundado por mestre Keizan Jokin, ele realiza a prática monástica, e inicia um curso especial para transformar-se em professor do Dharma.
Ele recebe a transmissao de seu Mestre, Hakusan Kojun Roshi.
Seu mestre o envia par seu irmao do Dharma, Niwa Roshi para completar sua formaçao. Ele ficará 2 anos na seçao de Tokyo do Eihei-ji. Niwa Roshi lhe pede entao para ir a Sao Francisco, na Califórnia, USA, retomar o templo precedentemente dirigido por Suzuki Roshi (este havia se retirado deste templo para fundar o Zen Center. Esse seria o primeiro encontro de Roshi Moryama com o ocidente - o Sao Francisco do fim dos anos 60! Grande choque, e grande admiraçao pela força da prática dos ocidentais.
Após 3 anos, Moryama Roshi volta ao Japao, junto a Niwa Roshi, nesse momento ele é professor, depois Ino (Mestre professor de monges). Depois de 6 anos ele recebe oo título de Shike (Mestre de monastério). Ajudado por seus mestres ele funda o Zuigakuin nas montanhas japonesas.
Zagakuim é um pequeno templo, consagrado a prática tal como ela é exposta por mestre Eihei Dôgen: meditaçao (Zazen) e trabalho (Samu) - a prática inclui também Takahatsu (pedir esmolas), reatando assim com a tradiçao budista dos monges mendicantes e pobres - a outra fonte de renda é somente doaçoes feitas pelos pelos visitantes e discípulos.
Pouco conforto - nada de eletricidade, nem telefone, pouco aquecimento - mas rico de Dhrama, e aberto a todos: japoneses e estranjeiros, homens e mulheres, o único que conta é o desejo de praticar e seguir o caminho dos Patriarcas; uma vida simples, preciosa, umma prática rara no Japao atual, é o dom de Mestre Moryama a todos os discípulos. O templo foi aberto em 1978, o zendo terminou em 1980.
Roshi Niwa pede a Moryama para partir, desta vez para a
América do Sul. Mestre Moryama foi nomeado Sokan (responsável nacional). Ele
mora em Sao paulo, cidade de emigraçao de numerosos japoneses após-guerra. Ele
reconstrói o templo da comunidade, e cria grupos de Zazen para brasileiros,
Moryama tem ministrado ensinamentos tanto para monges quanto para discípulos leigos, por mais de 30 anos. Desde o início, sempre teve especial interesse em acessar a prática do Zen para pessoas que nao tem experiencia anterior no Budismo.
Em 26 de fevereiro de 1998 Roshi Moriyama concedia uma entrevista para Revista Bodigaya em que declarava "eu tenho um novo projeto. O Grupo VIAZEN vai iniciar a construçao de um Centro de Treinamento Zen nas montanhas".
fevereiro de 2000, mudou-se para Porto Alegre e conforme declaraçao sua para
Revista Bodigaya, quando anunciou a construçao do Mosteiro Zen Internacional
Dogen Zenji, ele veio par ficar. "Vim morrer no Brasil".Dados
1970-73 - Monge Superior do Soko-ji Zen Temple,
1978 - Fundaçao do Zuigakuin International Zen Temple, próximo a Tokyo, Japao
1992 - Fundaçao do Hokai-ji International Zen Temple, em St.Agreve, França
1993-96 - Monge Superior do Templo Bushin-ji,
Moriyama Roshi nasceu em março de 1938, no extremo norte do Japão, na ilha de Sakhaline. Aos 22 anos concluiu seus estudos de filosofia em Tokyo, e encontrou seu mestre Hakusan Kojun Roshi.
Foi ordenado com a idade de 24 anos, em seguida permaneceu um ano no Templo Eihei-ji. Depois, durante 5 anos, realizou a prática monástica no Templo Soji-ji e um curso para se tornar professor do Darma. Recebeu a transmissão do Darma de seu Mestre, Hakusan Kojun Roshi.
Seu mestre o enviou para seu irmão do Darma, Niwa Roshi, para completar sua formação. Ele permaneceu 2 anos na seção de Tokyo do Eihei-ji. Niwa Roshi lhe pediu para ir para São Francisco, na Califórnia, USA, retomar o templo precedentemente dirigido por Suzuki Roshi. Esse seria o primeiro encontro de Moriyama Roshi com o Ocidente - São Francisco do fim dos anos 60. Segundo ele, foi um grande choque e uma grande admiração pela força da prática dos ocidentais.
Após 3 anos residindo nos Estados Unidos, Moriyama Roshi voltou ao Japão, junto a Niwa Roshi, onde se tornou professor e Inô. Depois de 6 anos, ele recebeu o título de Shike (mestre de monastério). Ajudado por seus mestres, ele fundou o templo Zuigakuin em uma região montanhosa do Japão.
Zuigakuin é um pequeno templo consagrado à prática tal como ela é exposta por mestre Eihei Dogen: Zazen e Samu - a prática inclui também Takahatsu (pedir esmolas), revivendo a tradição dos monges mendicantes. O templo é bastante austero, não há eletricidade, telefone e aquecimento; mas é muito rico no Darma e sempre esteve aberto a todos interessados, sejam eles japoneses ou estrangeiros. O templo foi oficialmente aberto em 1978, e o Zendo foi concluído em 1980.
Em 1992, Roshi Niwa pediu a seu discípulo para partir novamente, mas desta vez para a América do Sul. Assim, mestre Moriyama foi nomeado Sookan (representante da Soto Zen para a América Latina) e passou a morar em São Paulo, onde reconstruiu o templo da comunidade, Busshin-ji, e criou grupos de Zazen em várias cidades do país.
Em 1994 conheceu a Sanga de Porto Alegre. Nesta mesma época Moriyama Roshi deixou o cargo de Sookan e voltou para seu templo no Japão. Durante os anos seguintes, realizou visitas ao Via Zen, até que se mudou definitivamente para Porto Alegre em 2000.
Em 2001 é publicado, no Brasil, seu livro "Primeiros Passos no Zen”, compilado a partir de textos coletados por seus alunos e entrevistas concedidas à Editora Bodigaya. Os ensinamentos contidos nestes Primeiros Passos do Zen podem ser considerados parte da chamada "transmissão oral” de mestre à discípulo, colhidos "aos pés do mestre”, no dizer de Enio Burgos, tradutor e editor.
Em 2005 Moriyama voltou para o Japão para cuidar de seu mestre. Realizou uma nova visita ao Brasil em 2009, quando se comprometeu a vir uma vez por ano para orientar Sesshins e transmitir ensinamentos.
Em 11 de fevereiro de 2011 estava com uma visita agendada ao Brasil, mas, devido a uma lombalgia grave, cancelou a viagem por ordem médica. Em 18 de fevereiro, após ter pernoitado em um Templo de um amigo em Tóquio, foi visto pela última vez ao tomar um taxi até uma estação de trem. Seus discípulos passam a procurá-lo, mas encontram muitas dificuldades em suas buscas após 11 de março, quando ocorreu um Tsunami no Japão, deixando todo o país em estado de emergência.
Sem ninguém saber seu paradeiro, em julho de 2011 é dado como desaparecido pelo governo do Japão.
No dia 25 de julho, o aluno de Moriyama Roshi, Abe Tessan, postou no blog do Zuigakuin, a seguinte mensagem:
Já se passaram cinco meses sem nenhuma notícia de Moriyama Roshi. Apesar de investigações, neste momento não se sabe nem as condições e nem o que pode ter ocorrido. Atualmente o templo Zuigaku-in está fechado. Quanto à reabertura do Templo Zuigaku-in e sua programação, por favor entrar em contacto com o templo Kissho-in. Aqueles que desejam praticar o zazen em meio à natureza devem se dirigir ao zendo do templo Kokenji. O monge superior do templo, Sensei Sato fez o seu treinamento com o mesmo mestre de Moriyama Roshi. O blog Zuigakuin será encerrado até o final de agosto. Para posteriores notícias sobre Moriyama Roshi, favor acessar o blog "Shibaura Zazenkai."
Como continuação da vida de Moriyama Roshi, a Sanga do Via Zen aspira honrar sua caminhada e anos de dedicação a essa comunidade, realizando seu projeto de constituir um Mosteiro internacional para o benefício de todos os seres.
O Budismo no Brasil
Por Cristina Moreira da Rocha
All Roads Come from Zen: Busshinji as a Reference to Buddhism
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 35/1: 81–94
Zazen or Not Zazen? The Predicament of Sōtōshū's Kaikyōshi in Brazil
Daigyō Moriyama Rōshi, the sōkan (superintendent) for South America
appointed by Sōtōshū for the period 1993 to 1995) started travelling to Porto
Alegre. Based at Busshinji, Moriyama would frequently go there, conducting sesshin
twice a year. At first, he followed the steps of Tokuda, giving talks and teaching
zazen at UFRGS, GFU, and the martial arts school where many had practiced
under Tokuda. However, after leaving his post of sōkan at Busshinji in 1995, Moriyama
moved to Porto Alegre to lead his sangha. He returned to Japan in 2005.
After many years without a sōkan for South America, Sōtōshū finally sent
Daigyō Moriyama Rōshi to Busshinji temple in 1993. Between 1970 and 1973,
Moriyama had been the abbot of Sōkōji, the Sōtōshū temple in San
Francisco. There he substituted for Shunryū Suzuki Rōshi (1904-1971), a
kaikyōshi forced to resign from his post as abbot of the temple because his activities
with his non-Japanese American students were not accepted by the Japanese
community. Although Moriyama worked in the temple and Suzuki was
managing his newly established San Francisco Zen Center, they maintained
close contact. When interviewed, Moriyama told me he shared Suzuki's ideas of
foreigners having a beginner's mind (shoshin), that is, one which is
empty and ready for new things (Suzuki 1980, p. 21). This is how Moriyama
expressed his discontent with Japanese Zen and his hopes for Brazil:
In Japan, monks are more interested in social practices and money to be
received for services rendered to the community, such as funerals and worship
of ancestors, than spiritual work. That is why I put my energy in a foreign
country; here [in Brazil] Zen Buddhism can be created again in a purer way...
Traditional Buddhist countries are losing the essence of Buddhism; I think
religions are created, evolve, and degrade, and this is happening in Japan now.
I feel that here the same thing that I witnessed in California is taking place: in
Brazil there is a kind of energy that I don't find in Japan.
(Personal communication, Săo Paulo, October 1999, my italics)
This resembles the words of Shunryū Suzuki Rōshi: I came to America to
bring the pure way of Zen Buddhism (Chadwick 1999, p. 326). Moriyama's
words were translated into actions and after three years working as the sōkan at
Busshinji, he experienced the same problem Suzuki did in 1969. The Japanese
congregation was not happy with his preference for the Brazilians of non-Japanese
origin and pressed Sōtōshū to dismiss him. As mission temples belong to the congregation
rather than to the priest, as is the norm in Japan, the congregation had
the right to do so. In 1995 Moriyama was ousted from the temple and from his
post at Sōtōshū. He welcomed the change and took his non-Japanese Brazilian
students with him establishing two Zen groups, one in Săo Paulo city and the
other in Porto Alegre, the capital of state of Rio Grande do Sul. Today he lives in
Porto Alegre and, together with his sangha, is building a monastery in the countryside.
Although living in Brazil, his international connections are strong: his
oldest disciple runs a Zen center in France, he often travels to Argentina and
Uruguay to oversee other groups of students and he has a German disciple assisting
him in Brazil.
Sharf and Nattier paint an accurate portrait of Tokuda Ryōtan and Daigyō
Moriyama and their desire to leave Japan for Brazil. Both kaikyōshi held a marginal
status in their own country. The former did not belong to a temple family
and chose not to marry into one — as is the norm in Japan in order to acquire a
position in the institution — but rather left the country to preach his own Zen
Buddhism to foreigners. The latter, albeit having his own temple in Japan
(Zuigakuin, in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo), has chosen marginality
by not offering the regular set of services to the surrounding community.
This choice is revealed in a leaflet advertising Zuigakuin to prospect
Brazilian students. There one reads:
Zuigakuin (Zen Buddhist Center for Cultural Exchange) temple was founded
in 1978 by Daigyō Moriyama and differs from other Zen temples in two
aspects: it intends to reestablish Dōgen's Zen practice and it offers Western
students access to this practice.
Moriyama and his students are presently working at building a monastery
significantly called International Buddhist Monastery Dōgen Zenji
in Rio Grande do Sul state.
ZEN BUDDHIST CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE
address: 401 Yamanashi-ken, Otsuki-shi, Hatsukari-cho, Japan
Zuigakuin was founded in 1978 by Zen Master Daigyo Moriyama and is unique in two aspects. First - in its intention of reestablishing a way of practice as Zen Master Dogen has pointed it out in the 13th century. Second - in its attempt to provide access to foreign Zen students. Everyone is welcome to share in the daily schedule of zazen, sutra chanting, meals and work. The temple is located deep in the mountains. There is no electricity and telephone. Life becomes simple and clear in the presence of sounds, silence and the rhythm of nature. Thus Zuigakuin provides ideal circumstance for the preservation of mindfullness in all our activities. Roshi
Zuigakuin conducts relations with many Zen groups and centers in the USA, Brazil and Europe. At any time several languages are spoken. Besides English also French and German, for the time being. A branch temple is located in the South of France under the direction of Rev. Joshin Bachoux, one of Moriyama-Roshi's dharma heirs.
At least one week before coming to Zuigakuin send a letter (return postage appreciated) or fax, including your name, address, telephone or fax number, the date of arrival and intented length of stay. (The temple is closed from January to mid March.) Please bring loose clothes for zazen as well as working clothes. Keep in mind that the location is in the forest and at
For further information (also in English) contact Miss Fukushima at the Tokyo office.
Tel: 03-3864-4631 or fax: 03-3864-4638
Zuigakuin is about one hour's hike from Hatsukari, the nearest station on JR-Chuo Line. The trail to the temple is well-marked and the local inhabitants can point the way. Hatsukari is about 2-hours from Shinjuku and Tokyo Station.
telephone 04 75301362
6140 Chabot Road Oakland, California 94618 USA
El Arbol del Despertar Migueletes 1169 CP 1426 Buenos Aires Argentina
Rua Germano Petersen Jr 634 90540-140 Porto Alegre RS Brazil
Zen del Uruguay
Bartolome Mitre 1330 apto 1 Montevideo Uruguay
de Estudos e Meditaçao
A/C Espaço Kiokawa Travessa Meroipe 25 Vila Mariana 04012-020 Sao Paulo SP Brazil
by Stefan Chiarantano
Published on 10/24/06
It was a cloudy morning when I set out to visit Zuigakuin on Mt Takigo in Hatsukari. I'm now staying in Uenohara which is perched on a mountain. The JR station is located in the valley below on the other side of the Chuo expressway. I walked to the station below. Along the way birds of prey were circling above the mountain tops. There were very few people about. I passed a young girl walking her dog and a father pushing his child in a stroller. The ramps that connect the city to the JR station below provide wonderful vantage points to take in the surrounding scenery and beauty of the mountains. I stopped now and then to take in the greenery. The leaves were a deep green and some were turning colour.
Hatsukari is about 30 minutes away on the Chuo line from Uenohara. I'm visiting Zuigakuin, a Zen temple and retreat house. I haven't called ahead to announce my arrival nor do I have a map as to how to get there from Hatsukari JR station. All I know is that the temple is about a hour and a half walk on foot from the station. I soon discovered that Zuikaguin is perched on top of Mt. Takigo, 700 meters above the JR station.
The JR attendant gave me my starting point and told me to ask someone when I got to that point for directions. Then, a Japanese couple approached asking if they could be of some assistance. They were very kind and drove me to this point. They asked if I was planning to stay there. "No, I'm just visiting." I said. From there, I inquired at a garage and was told to follow the road beside it. So, I did and walked on. It was so quiet and the air was crisp and fresh. I could hear the gushing of water from the river running beside the road. I was sweating profusely. Sweat was dripping my forehead and flies hovered around my head. I could distinguish different birds sounds coming from the neighbouring woods. I was feeling a little nervous. Perhaps, I thought I should have called ahead. I continued on with my doubts. When the road forked up ahead, I was lucky to come upon an elderly Japanese woman who gently pointed the road to follow.
When I came to a marker which read Zuigakuin 2 kilometers ahead, I thought great. Then I came upon another marker which read Zuigakuin 1 kilometer ahead. I thought I'm nearly there. Along the way, I passed a small Shinto Shrine. Its Torii was fashioned out of logs of wood.
When I reached the two tall marble gate posts, one on either side of the road, to the entrance of the temple, I was excited. When I neared the temple which I could see through the woods, I heard the sound of a car approaching and pulled over to the side to let the car past. The driver stopped and rolled down the passenger window. It was Moriyama Roshi, the Zen master. By this time, I was sweating profusely and out of breath. I said, "Hello. I'm visiting the Zen temple but don't have an appointment. I hope it's okay." He got out of the car and introduced himself. He got back in and then asked if I wanted a ride up. My aching feet told me to say yes, so I did.
He escorted me inside and told me to take a rest inside a lovely tatami room which overlooked the surrounding nature. On the walls of the tatami room hung photographs of Moriyama Roshi, his disciples, and students. There was a shelf with literature, some of his books, and Zen material. He asked me how much time I had and I said "a little" since I didn't want to intrude on his daily routine.
We spoke in English which was a relief since my Japanese is very poor.
He gave me a tour of the center. We first visited the Zendo, the meditation hall which was very spacious and airy. The high ceilings gave it a majestic feel. Blue cushions were laid out on elevated wooden benches running along the walls. It was divided into two sections, one for lay practitioners and one for monks and nuns to sit zasen. A beautiful carved clapper in the shape of a fish hung from the ceiling. At the entrance to the Zendo was a drum, and a very small kane hanging from the ceiling. A statue of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom was centered in the section reserved for monks and nuns. Then, we visited the Hondo where Buddhist chanting takes places. It's a spacious room with tatami flooring. There's an altar with a statue of Buddha flanked on both sides with statues of Bodhisattvas. The chants are taken from the Zoto Zen Sutras by Kokuzozan Daimanji. The three jewels, Buddha, Darma, and Sangha, are chanted three times. Here's an excerpt from one of the chants:
Makahannya Haramitta Shingyo
Avalokitsvara Bodhisattva, doing deep prajna paramita
clearly saw the emptiness of all the five 0 conditions
Thus completely relieving misfortune and pain
O Shariputtra form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form;
After that, we visited the living quarters and the kitchen. The Hondo, living quarters, and kitchen are fashioned out of a 200-year-old farmhouse that he has lovingly restored. The house is without electricity. Water is drawn from a neighbouring stream and filtered. Water for bathing is heated in a steel drum. Gas burners are used to cook simple, vegetarian fare. He served me green tea.
The center welcomes novices, lay practitioners, and guests who want to get away from it all and experience communal living in a Zen environment.
Moriyama-san's lineage goes back to Dogen, the founder of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Moriyama-san spent 6 years in Brazil. Dogen found enlightenment in China and brought back his knowledge, the transmission of light, to Japan over 700 years ago during the Kamakura period.
Before leaving, I paid another visit to the Hondo to leave a donation to show my appreciation and for being graciously welcomed without an appointment. I left with the knowledge that I had come across an enlighted being, an arhat, whose presence I won't forget.
The descent to the station was invigorating and the quiet filled me with a sense of peace. As I was getting closer to the JR station, I encountered two groups of hikers whose loud animated conversations jolted me back to reality.
The JR attendant asked me if I made it okay, I replied "Daijobu des", which means okay. He smiled. While I waited for the train to arrive, I contemplated the beauty of Zen.
* * * * *
Zen Buddhism in Brazil: Japanese or
by Cristina Moreira da Rocha
Journal of Global Buddhism 1 (2000): 31-55
The Arrival of Buddhism in Brazil
Buddhism was introduced into Brazil by the Japanese immigrants who first arrived in 1908 at the port of Santos, in Săo Paulo State. Emigrating to work at the coffee, cotton, and banana plantations, they intended to return to Japan as soon as they had amassed the necessary means. At the end of the nineteenth century, Japan was leaving the feudal system behind and going through a period of economic difficulties; the rural population was especially hard hit. Consequently, the Meiji Government (1868-1912) wanted to relieve pressure on the land, while creating colonies that would grow food for export back to Japan.(1) The Brazilian Government, on the other hand, needed laborers for the plantations since slavery had been abolished. Brazil had become independent in 1822, but by the end of the century, the ideas of abolitionism and republicanism were everywhere. Both movements were successful: the abolition of slavery was ratified in 1888, and Brazil became a federative republic in 1889.
The Japanese male immigrants who migrated to Brazil were not firstborn sons. Due to the rule of primogeniture in Japan, the eldest son inherited all family property as well as the responsibility for taking care of the ie (household) and worshipping ancestors. Having so many duties, they could not emigrate. Consequently, the younger children were the ones who left the country to seek a better life elsewhere. As a result, because they were not in charge of promoting religious rituals for the ancestors, religion was not central to their lives.(2) They only went back to religion at the time of family members' deaths in Brazil.(3)
In addition, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibited Japanese monks from accompanying the immigrants to the new country because their presence could prove to be evidence of Japanese non-assimilation into the mainly Roman Catholic Brazilian culture.(4) In fact, at that time there was an ongoing debate in the Brazilian Congress about the ability of the Japanese to assimilate into Brazilian culture. Many senators wanted to stop Japanese immigration altogether. The discussion was public, and many newspapers carried articles picturing the Japanese immigrants as inassimilable.(5)
Nevertheless, the relationship between the Japanese immigrants and religion changed completely when Japan was defeated in World War II. The immigrants had to give up their dream of returning to their homeland because Japan was destroyed both economically and morally. However, after years of laboring in rural areas in Brazil, Japanese immigrants began to ascend socially and become more urbanized. Due to the terrible work conditions at the plantations faced by Japanese immigrants upon arrival, most of them tried to save enough money to leave the farms and purchase their own land. In addition, Japanese privately-owned businesses and the Japanese government (under the Kaigai Kogyo Kabuhiki Kaisha) invested in Brazil, buying land for the immigrants to form Japanese-run colonies. After successfully working on their own land for a time, the Japanese immigrants then began moving to urban environments and establishing small businesses. The ones who remained in the rural areas became producers, landowners, and distributors of farm and other products.(6) Migration to Săo Paulo City became intense after the 1950s. "In 1939, only 3,467 Japanese immigrants and their descendants resided in Săo Paulo. About 20 years later, they totaled
The migration to the metropolis was also part of Brazil's economic project. The so-called "national agrarian vocation" made no sense anymore. The country was facing the upheaval of post-war industrialization and urbanization, and political power was drifting from the rural aristocracy to the industrial magnates. Săo Paulo, with a population of
Due to the decision by most Japanese immigrants to remain in Brazil (because of Japan's defeat in World War II, as well as its socioeconomic ascension, urbanization, and the approaching old age of many of the immigrants), several Japanese religions—among them Buddhism, Shintoism, and the new religions of Shintoist and shamanistic inspiration—began preaching more intensely in Brazil.(10)
The Japanese defeat in World War II made the immigrants realize that they would have to assimilate culturally into their new homeland. In order to help their descendants to acculturate more easily, a pattern was established: the younger children went to college, and the oldest child stayed home and followed the father's profession, thereby maintaining the family business. Two kinds of nisei (second generation) were created: the eldest brother, who spoke Japanese, was closely tied to Japanese values and the Japanese way of life. In addition, the eldest brother followed a Japanese religion. On the other hand, the younger children, who undertook the mission of socioeconomic ascension, went to university, were not fluent in Japanese, and converted to Roman Catholicism.(11) Cases were commonly found of parents baptizing their children as Roman Catholics so that they would not face discrimination. In many cases, conversion was not the result of religious conviction. According to research undertaken in 1987-1988, 60 percent of the Japanese immigrants in Brazil and their descendants were Roman Catholic, while only 25 percent followed Japanese religions.(12)
Zen Buddhism in Brazil
From the mid-1920s onwards, there was religious activity in larger Japanese colonies (in western Săo Paulo State and in Paraná State). Although there were butsudan (Buddhist altars) inside Japanese homes, the religion that proliferated was State Shintoism (the cult of the emperor). At the center stage of such a cult was the nihon gakko (Japanese school), which was not only a place designed for teaching the Japanese language and culture with material sent from Japan, but also a meeting place for the colony, the headquarters of the agriculture cooperative organization, a ballroom for weddings, and a makeshift shrine for the recitation of the Imperial Rescript on Education of 1890.(13) In
The emperor's portrait was the divine body, the Imperial Rescript on Education the holy word, the Japanese national hymn the sacred chant, the school director the priest, and the Japanese school the deity [sic] of the village. Thus was created the "religious structure" of the Japanese immigrants.(14)
The lack of Buddhist rituals is possibly due to the Meiji period (1868-1912) ideology and its radical nationalism. This ideology shunned foreign religions and philosophy such as Buddhism and Confucianism, while it deified the emperor. In
When Japanese religions arrived in Brazil—and hence infringed upon the Japanese Government's edict that no preacher should emigrate—however, they suffered restrictions and threats. This was the case of new religions such as Tenrikyoo, which arrived in 1929, Oomotokyo, and Seicho-no-iee.(16) ) During World War II, Japanese schools were closed, Japanese language newspapers were prohibited (there were four Japanese daily newspapers published in Săo Paulo with a total circulation of around fifty thousand), and speaking Japanese in public and private (including houses of worship) was banned. But when the fear of the "yellow peril" weakened because Japan lost the war, Japanese Buddhist schools began sending missionaries to Brazil to proselytize.
Nevertheless, although the idea that Buddhism was not disseminated in Brazil prior the World War II is supported by many authors (Lesser, 1999; Clarke, 1999; Nakamaki, 1994; Comissăo de Elaboraçăo dos 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil, 1992; Saito, 1973, 1980; Saito & Maeyama, 1973), one author contradicts this idea. The historian Ricardo Gonçalves affirms that the first ship, Kasato Maru, which docked in Brazil in 1908, carried a priest from the Honmom Butsuryo (a branch of the Nichiren school) on board. This monk later established a temple in Bauru, in Săo Paulo State. Subsequently, a priest from the Shingon school arrived, and in 1925, the first priest from the Joodo Shinshuu school arrived. In 1932, Joodo Shinshuu established the first Brazilian Buddhist temple in Cafelândia in Săo Paulo State.(18) Although it is perfectly acceptable that there were Buddhist congregations in Brazil prior to World War II, the idea that immigrants' lives were centered around the cult of the Emperor is also an acceptable supposition. Both theories can be seen to complement one another if scholars accept the fact that although there was Buddhist activity before World War II, it actually only became institutionalized after the 1950s. All of these authors agree that after World War II, the religious institutions in Japan sent official missionaries to establish temples and proselytize. Even so, this contention needs to be further studied.
Zengenji was the first Sootoo Zenshuu Zen Buddhist temple in Brazil. Built in the early 1950s in Mogi das Cruzes, a town on the outskirts of Săo Paulo City, Zengenji was constructed with Japanese Sootoo Zenshuu funds and the help of the Japanese community who lived in its vicinity. The Busshinji temple was built in
In 1955, the Sootoo Zenshuu Buddhist Community of South America (Comunidade Budista Sootoo Zenshuu da América do Sul) was established and officially recognized by the Brazilian Government. In the same year, the Buddhist Society of Brazil (Sociedade Budista do Brasil) was founded by a Brazilian of non-Japanese origin (Murillo Nunes de Azevedo) in Rio de Janeiro. Azevedo was the first Brazilian interested in studying Buddhism "as a philosophical and artistic system." He was a professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, where he taught philosophy of the Far East. The Buddhist Society of Brazil organized lectures and exhibited films on Buddhism supplied by the Indian and Sri Lankan embassies.(19) In 1961, Azevedo translated the Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D. T. Suzuki into Portuguese. However, mass interest in Buddhism and Zen by non-Japanese Brazilians did not occur until the 1990s.
The schools of Nishi Hongwanji, Higashi Hongwanji (Joodo Shinshuu), Joodo Shu, Nichiren, and Sootoo Zenshuu sent missionaries to Brazil in the early 1950s. The missionaries sought Japanese families who were associated with such Buddhist schools in Japan prior to their migration to Brazil. In 1958, all of these Buddhist schools were united in the Federation of the Buddhist Sects of Brazil (Federaçăo das Seitas Budistas do Brasil).
Brazilians of non-Japanese descent began seeking Zen Buddhism starting in the late 1970s. In 1968, Sootoo Zenshuu headquarters sent the Japanese monk, Ryotan Tokuda, to the Busshinji temple in Săo Paulo as a missionary. Upon arrival, he opened the temple to non-Japanese Brazilians. Working together with these new practitioners, Tokuda founded the first Zen monastery of Latin America, Mosteiro Morro da Vargem, in the state of Espírito Santo in
In 1985, the Center of Buddhist Studies (CEB) was created in Porto Alegre, which is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul. CEB comprised practitioners of several schools of Buddhism, including Zen. In 1989, Tokuda and CEB's Zen practitioners inaugurated the temple Sootoo Zen Sanguen Dojô. Currently the temple follows the orientation of Daigyo Moriyama Rooshi and his French disciple, Zuymyo Joshin Sensei. Moriyama is a Japanese rooshi who has disciples in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, USA, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Canada, Korea, and Sri Lanka.(23) Continuing his missionary work among non-Japanese Brazilians, in 1993 Tokuda founded the Zen Center of Planalto in Brasília, the federal capital. In the future, the center plans to establish a Brazilian Buddhist library and a Brazilian Buddhist university. In the following year, Tokuda and Brazilian practitioners founded the Zen Center of Rio de Janeiro. In 1998, Tokuda established the Serra do Trovăo monastery in the state of Minas Gerais. This monastery was founded exclusively for the training of new monks and holds two seven-day retreats monthly. It is important here to note that Ryotan Tokuda has a connection with European Zen. He has Zen groups in Italy, France, and Germany. In 1995, Tokuda founded the École Nonindo de Medicine Traditionelle Chinoise and the Association Mahamuni, both in Paris.
Currently, there are twenty-three Zen Buddhist centers and temples, three Zen Buddhist monasteries, thirty-four Tibetan centers, seven Theravaada centers, thirty-seven Nishi Hongwanji (Joodo Shinshuu) temples and twenty-two associations (where there is no resident monk), twenty-six Higashi Hongwanji (Joodo Shinshuu) temples and associations, two Joodoshu temples, four Nichireshuu temples (with 5,000 families of adherents) twelve Honmon Butsuryu Shu (a branch of Nichiren) temples, and four Shingon temples (with 850 families of adherents) in Brazil.(24) Tibetan Buddhism, which was the latest to arrive (1988), is undergoing a boom similar to that which is taking place in the West. In fact, Buddhism in general is becoming better known and is attracting media attention in Brazil. In June of 1998, important Brazilian magazines published three articles on the expansion of Buddhism and meditation in Brazil and its famous adherents (television stars, politicians, etc).(25) Elle magazine featured the American Lama Tsering Everest, as well as the Tibetan Chagdud Rimpoche, who moved from the US to Brazil in the mid-1990s. Lama Tsering noted that "[i]t is the right moment for Buddhism in Brazil . . . the involvement of Brazilians with Buddhism is karmic." The Tibetan Lama Chagdud Tulku Rimpoche is building two monasteries: one in Tręs Coroas in the state of Rio Grande do Sul that is intended to house 400 people during retreats, and another one in Brumadinho, in the state of Minas Gerais. The Elle magazine article estimated the number of Buddhist practitioners at around 500,000, distributed among the Tibetan, Nichiren, Sooka Gakkai (150,000 adherents), Joodo Shinshuu, Joodo Shu, Shingon, Theravaada, and Zen schools.(26)
The only reliable statistics available on religion in Brazil are from the 1991 census. According to this census, the Brazilian population (170 million people) comprises citizens of the following religious affiliations: 83 percent Roman Catholic (141.1 million), 6 percent pentecostal (10.2 million), 3 percent traditional evangelical (5.1 million), 5 percent with no religious affiliation (8.5 million), 1 percent Spiritists (1.7 million), 0.5 percent with miscellaneous African religions (850,000), 0.2 percent Buddhist (340,000), and 0.08 percent Jewish (136,000).(27) As the statistics show, the great majority of Brazilians come from Roman Catholic families. What these figures do not show is the symbolic migration from one religion to another, which frequently happens in Brazil. Many Brazilians either practice more than one religion at the same time or migrate from religion to religion.(28)
Furthermore, although the number of Buddhists is only 0.2 percent, one has to be aware that for most Brazilians, Buddhism is more a "philosophy," a "way of life" than a religion. Zen Buddhism is often viewed as a meditation technique that helps to relieve stress. Busshinji abbess Koen supports this view on Zen Buddhism in an interview for the O Estado de Săo Paulo newspaper: "It's not necessary to be a Buddhist to practice this kind of meditation. The temple offers several lectures for those who wish to learn this activity, even if they have no intention of becoming Buddhist."(29) In the same report, one practitioner notes that "Zen Buddhism was a way to awaken my sensibility without denying my Catholic religion." As a result, being Buddhist does not exclude professing other religions. Many Brazilians continue being Roman Catholic while adopting Buddhism. If asked which religion they profess, it is most likely that they will state that they are Catholic (because they were baptized) or have no religious ties (if they do not profess any religion) even though they might have adopted Buddhism as a way of life.(30) The abbot of Morro da Vargem monastery, Daiju (Christiano Bitti), reinforces this point in an interview for Isto É magazine: "If a Roman Catholic considers his/her religion as a study of himself/herself, so he/she is also a Buddhist. Roman Catholic priests, who were initiated in Buddhism, told me that afterwards they understood the Bible better. Buddhism has neither the intention to dispute adherents nor to convert them. People loosen up because we are not disputing anything. We just want to strengthen the faith of the Brazilian people."(31)
Because the monasteries, temples, and Zen centers—all of which were established after 1976—cater mainly for non-Japanese Brazilians, there are no conflicts over which practices of Zen Buddhism are performed. Yet, when Japanese immigrants and non-Japanese Brazilians share the same place, dissension arises. This is the case for the temple Busshinji in Săo Paulo.
Inaugurated in 1955 and catering for the needs of the Japanese community for more than three decades,(32) Busshinji suffered considerably when a new abbot was appointed by the Sootoo Zen school in Japan. In 1993, Japanese monk Daigyo Moriyama Rooshi arrived in Săo Paulo with new ideas about how Zen practice should be.
The Japanese rooshi came from a context where Zen Buddhism was highly institutionalized and structured due to nine centuries of history in Japan. Moreover, due to the patrilineality and primogeniture that are part of the rule of succession of the Japanese society, boys who enter the monasteries to become monks are those first-born sons of families that possess monasteries. As a result, to be a monk becomes a profession as any other, a way of making a living inside a rigid structure.(33)
Facing this situation, the rooshi decided to leave Japan in search of a more "active" Zen Buddhism. Having worked with Shunryu Suzuki Rooshi in San Francisco in the 1960s, Moriyama Rooshi shared Suzuki's ideas that foreigners have "a beginner's mind (shoshin), one which is empty and ready for new things.".(34) When interviewed in 1997, he said that in Japan, monks were more interested in social practices and money to be received by services rendered to the community (funerals and worship of ancestors) than in spiritual work. Meditation (zazen), debates with the abbot (dokusan), studies of the Dharma, retreats (sesshin), and manual work (samu)—all meant to aid in the way to enlightenment—were not properly practiced. As Moriyama Rooshi declared:
That is why I put my energy in a foreign country; here Zen Buddhism can be created again in a purer way. Japanese Buddhism is changing Buddha's and Doogen's teachings (Personal interview, 1997).
However, upon his arrival in Brazil, the rooshi encountered a Japanese community that demanded him to perform the same things that he was not willing to do in Japan, that is, "masses" (as the members of the sect denominate the rituals in Brazil), weddings, funerals, and worship of ancestors, instead of a practice based on meditation.
The conflict became even more serious when the Japanese rooshi met a group of Brazilians of non-Japanese origin who were quite interested in meditation and in Buddha and Dogen's teachings. From the moment that these Brazilians entered the temple and began to interact with the Japanese-Brazilian community, conflicts arose. As a result, in 1995 the headquarters of the Sootoo Zenshuu school in Japan released Moriyama Rooshi from his services due to the Japanese community's strong pressure. In Japan, the abbot, as a first-born son, inherits his temple from his father. In Brazil, the Japanese community owns the temples. As a result, Japanese missionaries (who are appointed by the Japanese headquarters) have to prove that they are good proselytizers. Because the Japanese community was dissatisfied with Moriyama's work, he was called back to Japan by the Sootoo Zenshuu school. A number of his Brazilian followers also left the temple and founded a new Zen center (Cezen) in Săo Paulo where the rooshi is a spiritual mentor. Moriyama continues to travel to Brazil independently twice a year to visit his disciples, promote retreats, and give Dharma talks at his two Zen centers located in Săo Paulo and Porto Alegre.
Ironically, the successor of Moriyama Rooshi—and newly appointed abbess—was a Brazilian nun of non-Japanese origin. Claudia Dias de Souza Batista was ordained in Los Angeles under Maezumi Rooshi in 1980 (when she received the Buddhist name of Koen) and lived in a monastery in Nagoya for six years thereafter. Koen took the abbess position at Busshinji and soon started enforcing all of the activities more strictly than they had been before. One Brazilian of non-Japanese origin practitioner observed:
When Moriyama was in charge of the temple, he tried to adapt Japanese Zen to Brazilian culture. It was more flexible. With Koen, as she recently arrived from Japan, she tries to maintain the patterns and rules by which she lived in Japan. She tries to impose everything, the rhythm, behavior and discipline of the Japanese practice. She is very inflexible (Cida, 40 years old, astrologer).
What makes this case more interesting is that traditionally, the Japanese-Brazilian community maintained some diacritical cultural traits preserved and away from Brazilian society (among them were the language and the religion) for the maintenance of its ethnic identity.(35) Although second and third generations have started assimilating into Brazilian culture (36) and are quite integrated into the country today, the abbess position in the only Zen Buddhist temple in Săo Paulo is not one that the community can leave in the hands of a "foreigner." How, then, did a Brazilian nun get the highest position in a Buddhist sect, and furthermore, how could she have been accepted by the Japanese-Brazilian community?
Although Koen is a Brazilian nun, she slowly gained acceptance because she worked hard at preserving the rituals that the Japanese community expected to be performed. At the same time, by speaking Japanese and Portuguese fluently, she served as a successful intermediary between the Japanese and Brazilian communities. This conflict of motivations, practice, and aspirations is one that has occurred in similar Western contexts, be it in Buddhist centers in the United States or Europe.
In spite of the fact that the Japanese community and Brazilians of non-Japanese descent have separate practices in Busshinji, one must take care not to think of cultures as "organically binding and sharply bounded."(37) Between the Japanese community and Brazilian society at large, there are Japanese descendants who were educated according to both Japanese and Brazilian custom, and as a result, display mixed cultural patterns. They dwell in the interstices of society and comprise a small group of practitioners who began going to the temple because of family pressure and have ended up attending the activities offered for Brazilians of non-Japanese origin. Many Japanese descendants told me in interviews that one of the deciding factors for choosing to be affiliated with "Brazilian Zen (or 'convert-Zen')" over the "Japanese community Zen" was the language spoken because most Japanese descendants do not understand the Japanese language, which is spoken at the rituals for the Japanese community.
In fact, Portuguese is beginning to be recognized as the official language of Busshinji Temple. In 1998, for the first time, there were two parties vying to run Busshinji's administration: one composed of the old traditional Japanese board and a new party comprising Brazilians of Japanese ancestry. The latter won and began enforcing an adaptation of Zen Buddhism to Brazilian culture; for example, they required that suutras be translated into Portuguese, sponsored lectures on Zen Buddhism given in Portuguese, and started study groups of suutras. In addition, they set up retreats for children and began giving assistance and computer courses to prisoners, as well as providing help to AIDS patients. Traditional activities like rituals, funerals, and ancestor worship that cater for the Japanese community are still performed, but they are separate from the activities of the Brazilians of non-Japanese origin.
Transplanting Zen Buddhism to Brazil
So far we have seen how Zen Buddhism evolved in Brazil, its practitioners, their motivations, and the conflicts that have occurred. However, it is important to place the study of Zen Buddhism in Brazil within an analysis of the transplantation of Buddhism to the West. Although Zen in Brazil has its own history and developments, it is deeply related to the history and developments of Western Buddhism. In order to establish this relationship and further analyze Zen in Brazil, I shall use the analytical categories coined by Martin Baumann, a German scholar who works with the transplantation of Buddhism to Europe. Baumann identifies five processive modes for transplanting a religion to a new sociocultural context. They include contact, confrontation and conflict, ambiguity and alignment, recoupment (re-orientation), and innovative self-development. Baumann explains that the process of transplanting a particular religion does not need to cover all these modes and must not necessarily occur in this sequence.(38)
The first processive mode, that of contact, comprises strategies of adaptation such as the translation of scriptures. Translation is one of the main concerns of monks, nuns, and practitioners in all Zen centers, temples, and monasteries where Brazilians of non-Japanese descent are involved. Not only are suutras translated, but also recitations that are used in retreats before meals and manual labor (samu). Though translated, these recitations are chanted using a Japanese rhythm, that is, stressing each syllable as those speaking the Japanese language do. In addition, Brazilian Zen centers produce written materials in Portuguese that discuss the meaning of ordination, provide explanations and drawings on how to sit zazen and do kinhin (walking meditation), and transcribe lectures by the rooshi or monk in charge of the group. Furthermore, new means of communication such as websites are used to spread the word.(39) Produced by most Zen temples, centers, and monasteries, these websites include schedules of activities; articles about the history of affiliated temples, monasteries, and Zen Centers; translated suutras; and pictures of temples and monasteries.
The contact mode can lead to the second processive mode of transplantation: confrontation and conflict. Confrontation happens when "protagonists of the imported religious tradition are concerned with presenting the peculiarities which contrast with existing traditions."(40) The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs avoided this when it prohibited Japanese monks from going to Brazil to proselytize before World War II. As shown earlier in this paper, there were already enough cultural conflicts between Brazilians and Japanese; the Japanese Government could not afford a religious one. Conflict actually arose when the Japanese community and Brazilians of non-Japanese descent started sharing the same religious space in Busshinji. As we mentioned above, the Japanese community and Brazilians of non-Japanese descent do not accept the other group's practices as "true" Buddhism.
"Ambiguity and adaptation" is the third processive mode of transplantation. Baumann explains that there are unavoidable misunderstandings and misinterpretations that happen when transplanting a religion into a new sociocultural context. "For members of the host culture it is only possible to interpret and understand symbols, rituals or ideas of the imported religious tradition on the basis of their own conceptions. The bearers of the foreign religion share similar problems of understanding with regard to the new culture and society. As a consequence of contact unavoidable ambiguities arise."(41) Because of the prevailing Roman Catholic environment, much of the terminology used in speaking of Buddhism in Brazil is Roman Catholic in origin. For instance, rituals such as funerals are called "missas" (masses); the abbot is called "bispo" (bishop); and there are mentions of "paraíso" (heaven), "inferno" (hell), and "rezar" (to pray).
Furthermore, there are also intentional ambiguities that are part of a strategy to make the foreign religion less exotic to the host culture, and by doing so, reduce conflicts. This involves emphasizing similarities and links with concepts of the host culture. Such ambiguous delineation can be observed at Busshinji, where Brazilian holidays are commemorated with the Japanese counterpart. For instance, Children's Day (October 12) in Brazil is commemorated on this date, but with a festival for Jizo, the bodhisattva who looks after children in Japan. In addition, the Brazilian "Day of the Dead" (November 2) is commemorated on this date, but with references to Obon, the Japanese festival for the deceased ancestors.
In the same context, Sootoo Zen in Japan began to emphasize the ecological connotation of Buddhism as a strategy for displaying a modern Buddhism that is in tune with current world issues. This is done through "Caminho Zen" (Zen Way), a Japanese magazine written in Portuguese especially for Brazilian followers. Indeed, one of the reasons given by many Brazilians of non-Japanese origin practitioners to justify their migration to Buddhism is the religion's connection with ecology.(42)
In a lecture given in a sesshin (retreat) in Porto Alegre, Moriyama Rooshi connected Buddhism with Greek philosophy. Through this approach, the rooshi compared the term "Apathia" (lack of feeling), created by the Greek philosopher Zenon, to the idea of "Atarakushi" (to quiet the kokoro/spirit). By doing this, Moriyama brought Zen meditation closer to the Brazilian/Western context. He finished his lecture by saying that he is studying other "Buddhisms," because "in a globalized world people have access to an increasing number of religions, and the true religion is the one it is closer to the follower (February 14, 1998)." Tokuda also makes use of intentional ambiguities in his frequent quotations from the Bible and comparisons of Jesus to Buddha.(43) Similarly, he compares the ecstatic state mentioned by the Christian mystics, Saint John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart, to the experience of enlightenment in Zen. Tokuda says there is no difference between West and East concerning this state of ecstasy. He even refers to the image of God, affirming the Christian experience of union with God as similar to satori:
As Saint John of the Cross said: the night of senses, the night of spirit, the night of soul. Through this internal voyage, we start to leave the exterior world and begin to work with our inner world, diving into our subconscious, into our unconscious. When we get to the bottom of this darkness, there is a union with God, with Love. To this experience, Zen gives the name enlightenment, satori.(44)
Baumann adds that a foreign religion may borrow features of the host culture, for example, organizational structures. All of the temples and monasteries in Brazil comply with Brazilian law and are registered legally as non-profit organizations. In addition, they are managed as a Brazilian organization would be: the temple in Săo Paulo and the Zen centers all over Brazil have a democratically elected president and a board of directors.
The fourth mode, "recoupment or re-orientation," is a critique of the ambiguities that have arisen. The foreign religion tries to reduce the ambiguities in order to regain the identity of the religious tradition. One of the examples that Baumann uses is the ordination of Tibetan lay people. When Tibetan Buddhism arrived in Germany, the Buddhist refuge ceremony was given immediately to people attending ceremonies. However, a decade later, initiations are only offered after a thorough preparation. Such is the case of Brazilian Zen Buddhism. Until the 1980s, traditional Japanese monks gave ordination to Japanese descendants without any process or preparation. Likewise, in the 1990s, Moriyama Rooshi gave lay ordination to Brazilians of non-Japanese origin when requested. However, after arriving from Japan, abbess Koen started to carry out rituals more formally and strictly, establishing a two-year preparation course prior to lay ordination.
The last of the strategies of transplantation, "innovative self-development," deals with the creation of new forms and innovative interpretations of the religion in the host culture. This generates a tension with the tradition from which the religion developed. Many innovations took place in the United States and Germany. Feminism determined a new status for women in Buddhism. Another example is the democratic organization of Zen centers instead of strict hierarchy. In Brazil, the tension between Japanese Buddhism and Brazilian Buddhism marks the innovations that are occurring. Such innovations are mainly being imported from the Western discourse on Zen.
The appropriation and construction of Zen that took place in many Western countries had a similar departing point. D. T. Suzuki—one of the first Japanese scholars to write on Zen in English—and the Kyoto school scholars were fundamental to the creation of a discourse on Zen in the West. As Robert Sharf observed, for Suzuki Zen was "pure experience—ahistorical, transcultural experience of 'pure subjectivity' which utterly transcends discursive thought."(45) Sharf argued that Suzuki was writing during the period of Nationalistic Buddhism (Meiji New Buddhism—Shin Bukkyoo) "as a response to the Western universalizing discourse." Under this pressure, Suzuki and many other writers such as Okakura Kakuzoo, Watsuji Tetsuroo, Tanabe Hajime, and Nishida Kitaroo—influenced by the ideas of nihonjinron (the discourse on and of Japanese uniqueness)—struggled to recreate Japanese national identity as something special that was identified with the Way of the Samurai and Zen Buddhism. For these authors, Zen, as the very essence of the Japanese Spirit, would denote the cultural superiority of Japan. Moreover, because it is experiential and not a religion, Zen was able to survive the enlightenment trends of the West and was viewed as rational and empirical.(46) The global expansion of Zen Buddhism carried Shin Bukkyoo ideas with it. However, they were appropriated, indigenized, and hybridized locally. Similarly, Brazilian Zen took part of this process of Zen Buddhism "glocalization" (a process that Roland Robertson terminologically specified as the blending of the local and the global).(47) The interviews that I conducted with Brazilian practitioners of non-Japanese origin showed that their interest in Zen Buddhism is a result of the United States' influence, through the media, (48) books on Zen,(49) movies,(50) and travels. In fact, all of the people interviewed noted that their first contact with Zen was through books.(51) The United States is a strong source of ideas and material on Zen for various reasons. For example, English is more accessible to Brazilians than Japanese. In fact, most of the books on Zen now available in Portuguese were originally written in English. Moreover, due to the fact that these practitioners come from the intellectual upper-middle class and the vast majority are degreed liberal professionals, many of them can read the books in English before they are translated. Some buy books about Zen via the Internet from Amazon (www.amazon.com) and/or subscribe to American Buddhist magazines such as Tricycle. Some practitioners even choose to travel to Zen centers abroad.
The urban Brazilian upper-middle class seeks Zen Buddhism because it appeals intellectually to them as a philosophy of life. Their main concerns are, among others, relieving stress and acquiring inner peace, turning this symbolic field into a miscellany of religion and leisure. In order to have inner peace, practitioners feel that they have to search for their "inner self." Very frequently, the people that I interviewed said that they sought Zen meditation as a way to learn about themselves. Zen meditation worked either in place of psychotherapy or in conjunction with it.(52)
The French anthropologist, Louis Dumont, argues that in the contemporary world, religious practice is a private choice.(53) In a process of bricolage, the practitioner chooses characteristics from different practices to condense them into a spiritual quest. Thus, each practitioner constructs his or her religion as a unique praxis that is different from all the others, mixing various traditions in order to build a new contemporary spirituality. There are several groups of practices associated with Zen Buddhism in Brazil that are recurrent in the interviews: practices of healing (yoga, Shiatsu, Do In, Tai Chi Chuan, acupuncture); practices of self-understanding (many kinds of psychotherapy, astrology); martial arts (Ai Ki Do, karate); eating habits (vegetarianism, macrobiotics); and other religions (Spiritism, African religions, Mahikari , Rajneesh/Osho).
The Western construct of Zen, which was appropriated, hybridized and indigenized in Brazil, is still a new phenomenon that needs to be further studied. This article is intended to be a first outline of the main trends of this phenomenon.
Though the Japanese community in Brazil has been leaving Buddhism behind and adopting Roman Catholicism as a means to be accepted in the new country, many Brazilians of non-Japanese descent have recently been adhering to Buddhism, as we saw in this paper. For these Brazilians of non-Japanese origin, the main practice of Zen Buddhism involves meditation (zazen) and retreats (sesshin). Zen Buddhism is seen more as a philosophy than a religion. As such, Zen as practiced in Brazil is directly related to the Western construct of Zen.
Among the new features of Brazilian Zen is a retreat for children and teenagers that takes place twice a year (during school holidays) in Busshinji, the temple in Săo Paulo City. In general, the children's parents are adherents of the temple. Interestingly, in these retreats, children of both Japanese origin and of non-Japanese origin learn zazen and Buddhist concepts through drama sketches, drawing, and games. Although their parents have separate practices, the children are already sharing the same body of ideas about what Zen Buddhism is.
Since 1999, Busshinji has also been innovating through its work with prisoners (teaching them zazen and also giving computer classes) and AIDS patients. This is the first manifestation of so-called "engaged Buddhism," which is more frequently seen in the West. Furthermore, Koen, the Busshinji temple's abbess, is also establishing inter-religious debates with Roman Catholic orders and is regularly invited to give lectures at universities across Brazil.
In addition, different Buddhist schools in Brazil are getting together in Cyberspace. Many Buddhist centers are linked together by means of websites. There are three ecumenical discussion forums and two mailing lists on the Internet produced in Brazil for Brazilian practitioners. In the printed medium, most of the Buddhist centers have a newsletter in which they communicate their schedule of activities, publish book reviews, and advertise books and products on practice. There are also four Buddhist magazines published quarterly in Brazil. Two of them are exclusively Zen Buddhist: Flor do Vazio is published in Rio de Janeiro, and Caminho Zen is published in Japan by the Sootoo school in the Portuguese language, and is intended specifically for the Brazilian market. Bodigaya and Bodisatva comprise articles that mostly center on Zen, Tibetan and Theravaada Buddhism.
The phenomenon of Buddhism is still very recent in Brazil. It has evolved much faster in the last decade than in the previous ones. Although much of what has been done was mirrored in the experiences of Buddhism in the United States and Europe, some of its Brazilian characteristics are already clear. Although incipient at this stage of formation, we are able to observe the merging of Buddhist teachings and rituals with non-Buddhist practices and concepts. Many practitioners had and still have a Roman Catholic background and migrated to African cults and Spiritism before finding Buddhism. A bricolage is evolving that, in due course, might create a Brazilian Zen and Brazilian Buddhism, innovatively combining the local and the global in a regionalized form of Buddhism.
1. Jeffrey Lesser, Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), p. 82. Return to text
2. Peter Clarke, "Japanese New Religious Movements in Brazil" in New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response, edited by Bryan Wilson and Jamie Cresswel (London: Routledge, 1999), p. 205; P. Clarke, "The Cultural Impact of New Religions in Latin and Central America and the Caribbean with special Reference to Japanese New Religions," Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 4, 1 (1995), pp. 117-132. Return to text
3. Takashi Maeyama, O Imigrante e a Religiăo: Estudo de uma Seita Religiosa Japonesa
4. J. Lesser, 1999, p. 109; T. Maeyama, 1967, p. 84. Return to text
5. J. Lesser, 1999, pp. 115-146. Return to text
6. P. Clarke, 1999, p. 205. For more references on Japanese immigration to Brazil, see Jeffrey Lesser, Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Durham: Duke University Press), 1999; organized by Hirooshi Saito and Takashi Maeyama, Assimilaçăo e Integraçăo dos Japoneses no Brasil (Săo Paulo: Edusp, 1973), Hirooshi Saito org., A Presença Japonesa no Brasil (Săo Paulo: T. A. Queiroz and Edusp, 1980). Return to text
7. Comissăo de Elaboraçăo dos 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil, "Vida Religiosa dos Japoneses e seus Descendentes Residentes no Brasil e Religiőes de Origem Japonesa," in Uma Epopéia Moderna: 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil (Săo Paulo: Hucitec and Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura Japonesa, 1992), p. 575. Return to text
8. IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), 1991 Census. Return to text
9. Regina Meyer, Metrópole e Urbanismo: Săo Paulo Anos 50, Ph.D. dissertation, Săo Paulo: FAU/USP, 1991, pp. 4-53. Return to text
10. Clarke, 1999, p. 205; Maeyama, 1967, pp. 84-112. Return to text
11. Comissăo de Elaboraçăo dos 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil, 1992, p. 577. Return to text
12. Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros, Pesquisa da Populaçăo de Descendentes de Japoneses Residentes no Brasil—1987-1988, Săo Paulo: unpublished research, 1990, p. 97. Return to text
13. Clarke, 1999, p. 205. Return to text
14. Comissăo de Elaboraçăo dos 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil, 1992, p. 566. Return to text
15. Ricardo Mário Gonçalves, "A Religiăo no Japăo na Época da Emigraçăo Para o Brasil e Suas Repercussőes em nosso país" in O Japonęs
16. Comissăo de Elaboraçăo dos 80 anos da Imigraçăo Japonesa no Brasil, 1992, pp. 573-574. Return to text
17. J. Lesser, 1999, p. 133. Return to text
18. Ricardo Mário Gonçalves, "O Budismo no Japăo na Época da Emigraçăo Para o Brasil e Suas Repercussőes em nosse país" in O Japonęs
19. Regina Yoshie Matsue, O Paraíso de Amida: Tręs Escolas Budistas em Brasília, Master's thesis, Brasília: Universidade de Brasília, unpublished, 1998, p. 104. Return to text
20. Isto É magazine, March 12, 1997, p. 62. Return to text
21. Wilson Paranhos, Nuvens Cristalinas em Luar de Prata (Rio de Janeiro: Fundaçăo Educacional Editorial Universalista, 1994), p. 151. Return to text
22. O Estado de Săo Paulo newspaper, March 31, 1998. Return to text
23. "Zen Oferece a Paz," in Bodigaya magazine, No. 5, 1998, p. 5. Return to text
24. For a complete list of temples, monasteries and centers see: http://sites.uol.com.br/cmrocha. Return to text
25. Veja magazine, "Em Busca do Zen," June 17, 1998; "Salvaçăo para Tudo," June 24, 1998; Elle magazine, "Onda Zen," June, 1998. Return to text
26. "Onda Zen," in Elle magazine, June, 1998. Return to text
27. IBGE, in Revista da Folha, April 12, 1998. Return to text
28. Cristina Rocha, "Zen Buddhist Brazilians? Why Catholics are Turning to Buddhism" (paper presented to the AASR [Australian Association for the Study of Religion] Conference: The End of Religions? Religion in an Age of Globalization, University of Sydney, 1999).. Return to text
29. O Estado de Săo Paulo newspaper, October 27, 1998. Return to text
30. Cristina Rocha, "Catholicism and Zen Buddhism—a Vision of the Religious Field in Brazil" (paper presented to the 25th Annual Conference of the Australian Anthropological Society, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999). Return to text
31. Isto É magazine, March 12, 1997. Return to text
32. Since 1968 Tokuda has opened the temple in Săo Paulo to Brazilians of non-Japanese origin, but the number of participants was not significant. Return to text
33. "During the past century Sootoo Zen, like all Buddhist institutions in Japan, has witnessed tumultuous changes. Its population of clerics has changed from (at least officially) 100% celibate monks to more than 90% married priests who manage Zen temples as family business. [Sootoo Zen] operates only thirty-one monasteries compared to nearly 15,000 temples, the vast majority of which function as the private homes of married priests and their wives and children." See William Bodiford, "Zen and the Art of Religious Prejudice: efforts to reform a tradition of social discrimination," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 23,1-2 (1996), pp. 4-5. Return to text
34. Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginners' Mind (Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1970), p. 21. Return to text
35. Hirooshi Saito and Takeshi Maeyama, Assimilaçăo e Integraçăo dos Japoneses no Brasil (Săo Paulo: Edusp/Vozes, 1973). Return to text
36 Ruth Cardoso, "O Papel das Associaçőes Juvenis na Aculturaçăo dos Japoneses" in Assimilaçăo e Integraçăo dos Japoneses no Brasil, org. by H. Saito and T. Maeyama (Săo Paulo: Edusp, 1973). Return to text
37. Roland Robertson, "Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity" in Global Modernities, edited by M. Featherstone, S. Lash, and R. Robertson (London: Sage, 1995), p. 39. Return to text
38. Martin Baumann, "The Transplantation of Buddhism to Germany: Processive Modes and Strategies of Adaptation," Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 6,1 (1994), pp. 35-61, p. 38. Return to text
39. For a bibliography on Buddhism in Brazil and a Web directory of Brazilian Buddhist temples, monasteries and centers, and Buddhist texts translated to Portuguese, see http://sites.uol.com.br/cmrocha. Return to text
40. Baumann, 1994, p. 40. Return to text
41. Ibid, p. 41. Return to text
42. Cristina Rocha, "Catholicism and Zen Buddhism: A Vision of the Religious Field in Brazil" (paper presented to the 25th Annual Conference of the Australian Anthropological Society, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999). Return to text
43. Ryotan Tokuda, Psicologia Zen Budista, Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Vitória Régia, 1997, p. 55. Return to text
44. Ibid, p. 60. Return to text
45. Robert Sharf, "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism," History of Religions 33, 1 (1993), p. 5. Return to text
46. Ibid, 1993. Return to text
47. Glocalization is a blend of local and global, an idea "modeled on a Japanese word (dochaku, 'living on one's land') and adopted in Japanese business for global localization, a global outlook adapted to local conditions. The terms 'glocal' and 'glocalization' became one of the main marketing buzzwords of the beginning of the 1990s." Roland Robertson, "Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity" in Global Modernities, edited by M. Fetherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (London: Sage, 1995), pp. 27-44. Return to text
48. The word "Zen" is fashionable in the West: one sees Zen perfume, shops, beauty parlors, restaurants, magazine articles, and architecture. In Brazil, it is a common expression to say someone is "Zen," meaning very peaceful. Zen has a positive image in Brazil; it is associated with refinement, minimalism, a lack of tension and anxiety, exquisite beauty, and exoticism. One illustration of this is the fact that the word "Zen" appears almost daily in the trendy social column of Folha de Săo Paulo, one of the leading newspapers in Brazil. Return to text
49. Many books have been translated. Some of the titles are as follows: The Zen Doctrine of No Mind and Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D. T. Suzuki; Zen Mind, Beginners' Mind by Shunryu Suzuki; The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau; Nothing Special, Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck; and most of the books by Thich Nhat Hanh. When I accessed the Internet site of a Brazilian bookstore in December 1999, the word "Zen" was used in 39 book titles in Portuguese (http://livrariasaraiva.com/br). Return to text
50. The recent Hollywood movies "The Little Buddha,""Seven Years in Tibet," and "Kundun" were very successful in Brazil. Even though they dealt with Tibetan Buddhism, they are directly associated with Buddhism itself and not specifically Tibet. As we will see in this paper, practitioners may belong to various sects of Buddhist temples and monasteries at once. Return to text
51. Cristina Rocha, "Zen Buddhist Brazilians? Why Catholics are Turning to Buddhism" (paper presented to the AASR [Australian Association for the Study of Religion] Conference: The End of Religions? Religion in an Age of Globalization, Sydney, University of Sydney, 1999). Return to text
52. Cristina Rocha, "Zen Buddhism in Brazil" (paper presented to the 4th International Conference of AILASA [Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australia]: Latin American, Spain and Portugal—Old and New Visions,
53. Louis Dumont, O Individualismo: uma perspectiva antropológica da ideologia moderna (Săo Paulo: Ed.Rocco, 1985), p. 240. Return to text
54. Spiritism, or Kardecism as it is known in Brazil, was founded by Allan Kardec (1804-1869) in France. It arrived in Brazil at the end of the 1800s. At the core of its doctrine is the idea of spiritual evolution. According to Kardec, the spirit, created by God, goes through several reincarnations until it achieves perfection. In order to evolve, the incarnated spirits (human beings) should practice charity and proselytize. What is more, the evolution of the spirit depends on its own effort. In Brazil, it suffered influences of Catholicism. As a result, it emphasizes the ideas of healing and miracles. (Koichhi Mori, "Processo de 'Amarelamento' das Tradicionais Religiőes Brasileiras de Possessăo—Mundo Religioso de uma Okinawana," Estudos Japoneses 18 (1998), pp. 55-76, p. 59. Return to text
55. The Sekai Mahikari Bummei Kyodan (World Religious Society of Civilization—True Light) is a new religious movement that was founded in Japan in 1959. It focuses on healing, and similar to Spiritism, it sees sickness as having its origin in possessing spirits. Return to text
56. Bhagwan (God) Shree Rajneesh, also know as Osho, is the founder of the Rajneesh movement. This new religious movement began in India in the early 1970s and drew on both Western and Oriental sources to form a synthesis of New Age spirituality. Osho has a series of books in which he analyzes and interprets Zen doctrine. Return to text
Moriyama Roshi's Dharma Talk in July Sesshin:
What we can learn from practicing Bendo-ho?
In June 17th to 19th, 2010, July Sesshin was held in Zuigakuin. In the Sesshin, Roshi gave a Dharma talk. It is the best to listen Roshi's talk on live. However, for people who could not attend the talk, I (Tessan Abe) will post some of major topics as much as I could understand. Your comments and questions are always welcome.
Moriyama Roshi said, "Zuigakuin is a place to practice Bendo-ho. I hope all practitioners can practice together to familiarlize yourselves with the ancient traditional practice method, Bendo-ho. The Bendo-ho was created by Zen Master Dogen 800 years ago. Practicing such things may be like you are experiencing a totally different culture even if you are Japanese. But, I want you to learn something from your experience in Zuigakuin and bring them back to your daily life.
Bendo-ho is formed with sets of directions and rules set by Zen Master Dogen with respect to each of activities to be conducted in life of Sodo (Monk hall) or temple. Here, the activities include not only manners of Zazen (sitting meditation) and chanting sutras, but also include manners on how to enter the monk hall, how to eat a meal, how to wash your face, how to sleep, etc. The directions and rules were set to concretely illustrate how you should behave or act in each of the activities in order to practice the Buddha way without any misunderstanding and without any delay.
Indeed, the practicing in Zuigakuin without electricity and modern convenience is like the experiencing a different culture. However, at the same time, the experience of a different culture also provides a chance to revisit your own daily life. Think about a trip to a foreign country. You must surprise to see life style or culture different than yours. And, at the same time, many of you must aware your own present culture more and more. In Zuigakuin, the different culture you are experiencing is nothing but the ancient traditional practice of Buddha way. It is like you are chanting sutras to familiarize yourself with Buddha's teachings. By practicing Bendo-ho or living under it, whether you are aware or not, you are familiarizing (not just learning as knowledge) yourself with the teachings of Zen master Dogen through your actions to body and mind.
"Learn something through the experience of practicing Bedo-ho", said Moriyama Roshi. Roshi didn't say you should practice the same Bendo-ho in your home. The experience of Bendo-ho provides an opportunity to revisit your own daily life under light of the ancient traditional practice method of Buddha way. The practice of Buddha way is never limited in Zazen or chanting of sutras. Every action in your daily life is the practice of Buddha way. The important point is to devise a way to use or adopt spirits of Bendo-ho in each one's own daily life beyond difference in a culture or life style.
2. Important point of Zazen (meditation) is in part other than Zazen
This is the second part of the article regarding on Moriyama Roshi's talk during July Sesshin. It has been a long time since the last time I posted the first part.
In Sesshin Moriyama Roshi also said, "The important point of Zazen (sitting meditation) is in part other than Zazen. Of course it is important to do Zazen when you practice Zazen. However, it doesn't mean all you have to do is good Zazen. In addition to Zazen, you also have to do well as a Buddhist in activities other than Zazen such as the manner of eating, the manner of chanting sutras, how to walk, how to speak, every activity in daily life. In Bendo-ho, rules to be followed in every aspect of a daily life in Zen Monastery community. By learning those rules in Bendo-ho, I am hoping that you review your own daily life in light of Bendo-ho and contemplate how you should live your own every day life."
In a society, every individual is assigned with multiple roles. For example, if you a middle aged man, you may be a boss and a subordinate in your work, a husband and a father in your home. And for his own parents, he may be a child. For his brothers, you may be a younger or older brother. It is the best if your Buddhism practice comes only after you have performed all the roles satisfactory. Buddhism practice is to deepen part of an individual self, which still exists apart from all those roles. Once you are able to deepen such a part (the part independent from all those responsibilities), you will be in turn able to do better in your social and family life.
3. Depth of Zazen
This is the third part of Moriyama Roshi's Dharma Talk. In the talk, Moriyama Roshi said:
“Various scales are used to measure the depth of Zazen, the sitting meditation. There are five levels in the depth of Zazen in considering a factor of time which I personally experienced during Zazen.
Level 1: your thought is filled with delusions.
Level 2: you feel the time passes faster than usual
Level 3: you feel the time passes slower than usual
Level 4: you feel no passage of time
Level 5: you can control the passage of time in yourself”
One practitioner asked Roshi, “To reach the higher level of Zazen, what kind of practice I should do and how long I should continue such practice?” Roshi answered as follows:
“It depends on an individual characteristic. Some person may quickly reach to the deeper level, and some person may take much longer time than others. However, you should never worry about such things. I was able to reach the deeper levels through practice, and so can you.”
As practitioners, you really do not need to worry about what level you are at now. In Soto Zen lineage, the practice of Zazen is more emphasized. Naturally, practitioners wonder if he or she is doing correct Zazen or how he or she can attain the enlightenment. However, the practice of Zazen is NOT a means to reach any of such targets or objectives. Zen Master Dogen, the founder of Soto lineage, said in Fukanzazengi (Universal recommendations for Zazen):
“The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the Dharma-gate of repose and bliss.”
Zazen which Zen Master Dogen recommended isn't a sitting meditation or seated meditation practiced as part of the Buddhism practices (Noble Eightfold paths) including other practices than Zazen. Dogen's Zazen includes all of such practices therein. Hashimoto Eko Roshi, one of great Soto Zen teachers, wrote in his book “Lecture on FukanZazengi”:
“The not-learning-meditation Zazen is the way that you should do just-sitting wholeheartedly with no-gaining mind from the inception of way-seeking mind, and walk on the path of continual practice endlessly even after becoming a Buddha.”
In Zazen, there is no “static” condition to be aimed at as the final goal. The important point is “dynamic” actions of adjusting your posture, breath and mind in each and every moment. General idea and manner of Zazen are described in FukanZazengi (Universal recommendations for Zazen). However, you should consult with Moriyama Roshi or your teacher regarding details and specific part of Zazen until you are fully convinced. There are so many different methods for Zazen and meditation in this world depending on religion, lineage and teacher, such as Nen-soku (paying full attention to breath), Su-soku-kan (counting breath), Nai-kan (internal observation), samatha, vipassana, mindfulness meditations, etc. Practitioners aware that only the awakened teacher can teach you what kind of Zazen is suitable for you in that time.