One Who Never Dies

Today is the 50th anniversary of Rev. Master Jiyu’s ordination on Jan.
21, 1962 in Malacca, Malaysia by Rev. Seck Kim Seng.

She had stopped in Malaysia, on her way to Japan, to receive an award for
setting to music the Buddhist anthem “Welcome Joyous Wesak Day” written by
the American monk Rev. Sumangalo. There had been an international contest
and Peggy Kennett had won.

The Chinese Sangha assumed she would be ordained there because there had
already been a number of Westerners ordained in Malaysia by Rev.
Sumangalo. He usually gave them “Su” which is a superlative or intensifier
meaning “true”,”excellent”, “very” etc. as part of their ordination names.

As was customary in Chinese Buddhism Peggy Kennett was admitted to the
monastic Sangha by shaving of the head, giving of robes and taking of the
basic ten precepts as well as the Bodhisattva Vows. She did not receive
the bhikkuni precepts at that time.

The head shaving was performed by Rev. Seck Kim Seng making him Peggy
Kennett’s Ordination Master. Rev. Kim Seng was the Head of the Malaysian
Chinese Sangha. The strong Dharma connection between himself and Peggy
Kennett was recognized by both of them and was the reason that she chose
him to be her Ordination Master.

Rev. Sumangalo was the Precepts Master and Rev. Seck Sian Toh was the
Bodhisattva Vows Master. The Head of women monks was present at the
ceremony to perform the robing of Peggy Kennett in the monk’s kesa.

Rev. Sumangalo gave the ordination name, as was customary for him to do,
in Sanskrit. The name given to Peggy Kennett was Seck meaning “of the
Buddha family” which all Chinese monks have as part of their names and
Sumitra meaning “beautiful or true friend”. In Chinese characters this
becomes “kind friend”. “Kind” is the equivalent of “Maitri” or “Metta”-
loving kindness. In Chinese this is often combined in meaning with the
equivalent of “Karuna” – compassion. In Japan this was rendered as Jiyu
which means “kind, compassionate friend”. Jiyu is also in Japanese a pun
for the word used for “freedom from all restraints”. The name Ho Un added
to her name in Japan together with Ji Yu means “the true kind friend who
has arrived at the highest stage of the Bodhisattva path, the Dharma Cloud
raining down Compassion on all beings”. This also happens to be one of the
titles of the Bodhisattva Maitreya.

In gassho,


No Hiding Place

Bit more
and more
and more…

Sometimes one sticks ones head above the parapet, bit by bit. Later. No parapet.

As for #sill4amo today. I forgot! Then later I remembered. Sometimes that’s the best one can do. Glad so many people are still-for-a-mo still. It has been a week now. Three more weeks to go and photographs are coming in of benches and chairs you are still on.

Together With….

Bench Vancouver, BC Canada
and bench Seattle, Washington USA

It seem that winter has reached the west coast of Canada and the US. I believe it is quite unusually for there to be snow in Seattle and Vancouver, but here is poof that they have it. Lovely benches too and thank you to you two #still4amo participants for them.

My afternoon has had me multi tasking right up to 5.00 pm. However when the moment came I just stopped what I was doing. That’s emailing back and forth with somebody and messaging back and forth with another somebody while worrying I’d lost a years worth of data. I did set the Online Timer which is a really helpful tool to use. One minute goes SO quickly.

Anybody who imagins a monks life is removed from the hurly burly of daily life, is mistaken. (At least for today anyway.) Anybodies life is engaged with what’s there. Sometimes what’s there is… a lot at once.

And there is snow on the hill tops around where I am.

Still Beside The Road – #still4amo

Sky from a layby at 5.00 pm

The setting sun this evening rendered the hills in a mysterious light. I tried to stop and take a photograph earlier in the process but very nearly got stuck in mud!

There are some interesting comments being left. A couple of dogs sitting with their people…waiting to be fed. And a chap stopping work dead on 5.00 pm to sit for a bit.

Life continues. We are fortunate, so very fortunate.

Stopping To Be Still – #still4amo

Armchair style bench
A brisk sunny afternoon bench

Walking along the street yesterday I spotted a group of youngsters eating their lunch on a bench beside the road. Much tweeting and rustling going on as well as laughter. There is nothing like sitting on a long bench with friends, perhaps with a bag of chips to warm ones hands. Memories of sitting on a park bench beside Derwent Water in the Lake District. Vegi Pasties I seem to remember, with hot tea to wash it down with. It was a grand monks day outing!

Park benches can be a great place to take a moment to be still, to regroup, settle and then move on. There is always a place to sit however making the time to do that is not so easy. Deciding to stop at a bench, or wall, to sit4amo while on a mission is a huge ask of oneself. Walking has a momentum, missions have a press to complete, arriving on time is important.

I’m finding the pre-arrangement to sit at 5.00 pm each day this month a great help. I know that I am committed to stop then and even if it’s just one minute that’s fine. The momentum of activity and the press to finish a task are eclipsed by my greater intention to simply stop.

See Meditation Mantra – #still4amo for background information.