Author Topic: Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan  (Read 11334 times)

dsiluvu

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Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:43:08 AM »
I've always found that the Japanese has a really define way of interpreting anything in to their refine culture and art. Theirs is most intricate elegance and meticulous attention to every detail makes one appreciate in awe how every thing they create, make, built, touch is really done to perfection of the finest quality. I stumble upon this beautiful Shinnyo Buddhism shrine which is so beautiful and grand, but take a look at the pictures, it is not just the shrine, from the the ladies like dakini's offering incense and light, their uniform, the whole presentation is like a magical piece of art. It is very breath taking and it also goes to show how devoted they are in Dharma... take a look...

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On Oct. 15, 2011, Shinnyo-en Buddhism celebrated the re-inspiriting of the Nirvana Buddha sculpture in the renovated Nirvana Hall at Oyasono, the head temple complex of the order in western Tokyo prefecture. The ritual to enshrine the peaceful and elegant image is called “the eye-opening ceremony,” which has long been a part of many Buddhist traditions. The ceremony inspires people to seek personal growth and awakening through acts of kindness, generosity and compassion in daily life.

Shinnyo-en is considered a layperson’s Buddhism that uses the last teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha as its central text. The third enshrining ceremony represents a significant step for Shinnyo-en as it brings renewed energy to spiritual community.

It was Master Shinjo Ito who was inspired to begin sculpting the Buddha image in 1957, who prayed, “May you cultivate the inherent Buddha nature that lies within each of you, so that you become Buddhas.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/shinnyo-en-buddhist-eye-opening-ceremony_n_1018542.html
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Reclining Buddha
The 16-foot image of the reclining Buddha was sculpted by Shinnyo-en's founder, Shinjo Ito, in 1957 and was first inspirited that year marking the beginning of Shinnyo-en as a spiritual community based on the last teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, as its central text. A second inspiriting ceremony was conducted in 1968 following additions and renovations to the head temple complex in Tachikawa, in western Tokyo prefecture. The most recent renovations and expansions of Oyasono were begun in February 2008.

The Great Nirvana Image or "Reclining Buddha" is the central and guiding icon of Shinnyo-en, the lay Buddhist practice developed by the founder, Shinjo Ito, in the late 1940s. Shinjo Ito had achieved the highest possible rank of monastic spiritual training and the Daigoji Temple in Kyoto, the headquarters of the Shingon tradition of Buddhism which reaches back over 1,200 years. Shinjo Ito adopted the teaching and practices of Shingon for lay persons, outside the monasteries. He furthermore based his teachings on the last sutra, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in which the Buddha taught that enlightenment was attainable by all people.

The word shinnyo denotes both buddhahood (spiritual awakening) and the nature of reality, en in Japanese, refers to a boundless garden or open space. Shinnyo-en is a place for people to discover and develop the buddha, or awakened nature, within themselves through altruistic Buddhist practice.

Shinnyo Buddhism today has more than 1 million members, primarily in Japan, Asia, Europe and North America. Attending an eye-opening ceremony is believed to be extremely meritorious and has a deep spiritual significance that relates to a person's individual practice.

Various kinds of eye opening ceremonies are found in spiritual traditions throughout Asia. An image is not treated as an object fit for meditation or veneration until it has been infused with blessings through a ceremony of consecration that involves symbolically opening its eyes.

The eye opening ceremony conducted in Shinnyo Buddhism comes from the traditions of Shingon Esotericism, which the founder, Shinjo Ito, mastered at Daigoji temple in Kyoto. According to Esoteric Buddhism, spirituality contains two elements: the phenomenal (outer) and the noumenal (inner). In the case of the eye opening ceremony, the phenomenal aspect is the esoteric ritual that a master performs, which one can participate in by attending the service or by making an offering. The noumenal element has to do with how a practitioner makes daily efforts to elevate one's bodhi mind -- in other words, personal transformation and spiritual growth.




dsiluvu

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Re: Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 11:52:42 AM »
Interesting a quite pleasantly surprised to see that the head priest of this Shinnyo temple is a lady... they address her as Her Holiness :)
Shinso Ito is the second head priest in the history of Shinnyo-en. She is the only woman Buddhist priest in more than 1,200 years to have ever conducted services at the Daigoji Temple, headquarters of Shingon Buddhism, in Kyoto.

(See Pictures attached)
Head Priest, Shinso Ito, performs the rite of shajo to bless and symbolically purify the image and the newly-opened temple.

Her Holiness Shinso Ito rings a bell to awaken the buddha nature within all and to offer music to the Buddhas.


Shinnyo-en founder, Shinjo Ito, was always careful to emphasize that buddha images are not meant to be worshipped. Rather, they are seen as tools for reflection, reminding people that there is a beautiful potential inside themselves that can also be shaped into a Buddha.


bambi

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Re: Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 06:01:03 AM »
Wow! Their Dharma center is so modern and beautiful. The reclining Buddha is huge and it stands out so beautifully in the hall. Even their uniform look professional. I was just thinking, wouldn't it be nice if there is an offering of dakini dance before every prayer together with the light/food offerings at the center I go to....
How nice if all the Dharma centers look like this! I would definitely go! Good to know that Shinnyo-en accepts lady priest after 1200 years. Religion should not discriminate gender nor age.

Ensapa

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Re: Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 11:47:48 AM »
Just to share with y'all, that Tantra did went over to Japan it's called Shingon over there. There's a deity called Dakiniten that is an adaptation of the Indian Dakini. She is actually the amalgamation of the native Shinto religion's fox god and can be considered as the Japanese version of Saraswati. Her mount is a divine fox.

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Inari's female aspect is often identified or conflated with Dakiniten, a Buddhist deity who is a Japanese transformation of the Indian dakini,[5] or with Benzaiten of the Seven Lucky Gods.[6] Dakiniten is portrayed as a female or androgynous bodhisattva riding a flying white fox.[5] Inari's association with Buddhism may have begun in the 8th century, when Shingon Buddhist monk and founder, K?kai, took over administration of the temple of T?ji, and chose Inari as a protector of the temple.[1] Thus, Inari is still closely associated with Shingon Buddhism to this day.





Japanese Saraswati, riding on a fox, known as Dakiniten

rossoneri

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Re: Shinnyo-en Buddhist 'Eye Opening' Ceremony In Japan
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 08:26:01 AM »
No doubt Japanese will do everything if possible in perfection. Amazing beautiful prayer hall and i am amazed that the head priest of the temple is a lady. Wow!!! Religion should be practice in a open heart and it really doesn't matter what gender we are, there shouldn't be the case of discrimination.

Wanted to share some brief history on how Buddhism started in Japan.

Presentation of Korean Buddhist Materials

Buddhism is considered to have been officially introduced to Japan in A.D. 538 when the ruler of Baekje, a Korean kingdom, presented a brilliant image of the Buddha along with scripture-scrolls and ornaments to the Japanese Emperor Kimmei. In those days, Emperor Kimmei ruled Japan with his court nobles and immediately controversy started over whether or not such a foreign cult should be accepted. The orthodox Mononobe and Nakatomi clans strongly opposed this new religion on the grounds that Japan already had its traditional and indigenous religion of Shinto. But the influential Soga clan favored Buddhism; they believed that it had much to offer for the enrichment of their culture. Thus in the end, despite the disputes that took place among the court nobles, the emperor deferred the matter to the Soga clan.

About 40 years later, the pious Prince Regent Shotoku (A.D. 574–621) was appointed regent to the Empress Suiko, at which time he declared Buddhism as the official religion. Prince Shotoku was a great statesman and a devout Buddhist. He strongly believed that only with Buddhist teachings could he make Japan a unified and culturally refined country.