2010年4月18日日曜日

What is Bendoho?

In Zuigakuin, daily schedule is structured in accordance with Bedoho, the traditional daily schedule in Zen Monastery developed by Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen Buddhism in Japan.  The word "Bendoho" consists of three words Ben-do-ho.  "Ben" means wholehearted practice, "do" means the way or Tao, and "ho" means Dharma or model manner.  Therefore, Bendoho means the manner on wholehearted practice of the way, or the traditional daily schedule in Zen Monastery.

Bedoho is one of six parts of Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community (Eihei Shingi), which also includes:
  1. Instructions for Tenzo or Temple's Cook (Tenzokyokun)
  2. Model Manner for Taking Food (Fushukuhanpo)
  3. Regulations for Study Hall (Shuryo Shingi)
  4. Model Manner When Meeting Senior Instructors Who spent More Than Five Summer Practice Periods (Taitaiko Gogejariho)
  5. Pure Standards for Temple Administrations (Chiji Shingi)
Specifically, Bedoho sets the model manners, movements, chanting, timing in the following activities:
  • Night and morning Zazen in Meditation Hall (Zendo)
  • Sleeping in Meditation Hall
  • Washing face and brushing teeth
  • Holding clothes and sleeping mat and quilt
The traditional Bendoho sets model manners in very fine details reflecting life style, culture at the time of its creation.  In Zuigakuin, the manners are relaxed somewhat to suite modern life style, but still honors sprit of the traditional Bedoho, which is "... when the assembly is sitting, sit together with them; as the assembly lies down, lies down together.  In activity and stillness, be at one with the community..."


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