Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fr Jerry Cusumano, S.J. And The Cave

Besides my daily sitting I went for sesshin (intensive Zen sitting of 9-10 hours a day for five days or more while staying at a Zen temple) .I did these sesshin under the direction of Fr. Hugo Lasalle, the German Jesuit pioneer in Zen, at Shinmeikutsu (The Cave of Divine Darkness), the Zen facility which he had recently completed.[1] I also became a disciple of his own master, Yamada Koun Roshi in 1979. However, during these early years I did not go for guidance to Yamada Koun Roshi but practiced only with Fr. Lasalle. After seven years he urged me to continue my practice with Yamada Koun Roshi in the Sanbô Kyôdan at the Zen Centre (San Un Zendo) in Kamakura. I did so and have continued there under the two Roshi who succeeded Yamada Koun Roshi after his death in 1989, namely, Kubota Ji Un Roshi for 15 years, and since 2004 to the present, Yamada Ryoun Roshi, the son of Yamada Koun Roshi. In summary, during my first 10 years in Japan I did not practice Zen. After starting Zen in earnest, during the first 10 years in my Zen practice I was consistent with daily sitting and several sesshin a year but I was off and on with regard to receiving weekly/monthly guidance. However, for the last 25 years I would characterize my practice as that of a serious lay person: sitting at least for 30 minutes a day, participating in zazenkai (one day sittings, where I receive direction from the Roshi) four or five times a month, and participating in sesshin, four or five times a year.The Sanbô Kyôdan is a religious corporation recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture. It was founded in 1954 by Yasutani Hakuun who continued to try to synthesize the Soto and Rinzai branches of Zen as his own master, Harada Sogaku, had begun to do. Yasutani Roshi’s successor was my first Zen master, Yamada Koun Roshi. The Sanbô Kyôdan is a lay organization with no affiliation to any of the major sects of Zen in Japan. However, partly due to the influence of Fr. Lassalle, it has been very influential in the West. As one commentator has noted: “the influence of the Sanbôkyôdan on Western conceptions of Zen has been far out of proportion to its relatively marginal status in Japan.”
Link (here) to the Jesuit website 

Blogger Note: It is important to read this link (here) about Yasutani Hakuun and his anti-semitic views.

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