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GabrielleC
02-13-2007, 09:08 AM
I am hoping if I describe this instructor, someone out there might be able to tell me his name and even his dojo. I have searched every where for this information and have had no luck in finding him myself.

He is a Buddhist monk and an Aikido instructor. He is Asian, perhaps Japanese. He is a heavy set man who is featured in all of the Learning Channel/Discovery Channel's Martial Arts shows. I have the impression that he may be located in the San Fransico area.

I am hoping that this is enough information to be able to place a name to an instructor. I would greatly appreciate any help that you can give me in my search.

Thank you very much!!!
Gabrielle

Ron Tisdale
02-13-2007, 09:10 AM
He has some posts archived here, but he doesn't post anymore.

Rev. Kensho Furuya, I believe.

Best,
Ron

dbotari
02-13-2007, 09:14 AM
Yes, His name is Kensho Furuya. He is an ordained Zen monk. His website is : www.aikidocenterla.com

Dan

GabrielleC
02-13-2007, 09:16 AM
Dan, thank you so much for that quick response to my question. I greatly appreciate it!

Sincerely,
Gabrielle

Dennis Hooker
02-13-2007, 09:37 AM
I am not being contrary here but how does one become an ordained Zen monk? Are we assuming Zen and Zen Buddhism to be the same thing? Can one become ordained in Zen or must one be a Buddhist to become ordained?

GabrielleC
02-13-2007, 09:55 AM
Ron, sorry that I didn't include you in my thank you. But, thank you!

George S. Ledyard
02-13-2007, 10:02 AM
I am not being contrary here but how does one become an ordained Zen monk? Are we assuming Zen and Zen Buddhism to be the same thing? Can one become ordained in Zen or must one be a Buddhist to become ordained?
Dennis,
I believe that when you hear someone refer to an "ordained" Buddhist Priest, you are talking about someone who has done an official ordination ceremony with a particular school of Zen Buddhism. I believe that the characterization of Kensho Furuya as a Zen Monk is a misnomer as a monk is someone who lives in a monastery. Ordination as a Priest means that he is certified to conduct the Buddhist services that go with Zen practice. This is what Rev Furyua is, I believe. It does not mean he is a Roshi.
One would assume that anyone bothering to get ordained is a practitioner of Zen Buddhism.

Dennis Hooker
02-13-2007, 10:31 AM
Dennis,
I believe that when you hear someone refer to an "ordained" Buddhist Priest, you are talking about someone who has done an official ordination ceremony with a particular school of Zen Buddhism. I believe that the characterization of Kensho Furuya as a Zen Monk is a misnomer as a monk is someone who lives in a monastery. Ordination as a Priest means that he is certified to conduct the Buddhist services that go with Zen practice. This is what Rev Furyua is, I believe. It does not mean he is a Roshi.
One would assume that anyone bothering to get ordained is a practitioner of Zen Buddhism.

George I believe misnomer is the right word. There are Christians and probably other people of various religious convictions that practice Zen as well. I have always viewed Zen as an activity not a religion and the common use of ordained carries religious overtones.

dbotari
02-13-2007, 02:24 PM
Mea culpa. I should have been more accurate in my description of Rev Furuya. Sorry folks. :(

Dan.

Dennis Hooker
02-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Dan you did not miss it. I did a Google on Ordained Zen Monk and came up with hits. That what lead to me to the question. I just can't make the connection. Many people practice Zen that are not Buddhist. Ordained must be used in a looser since than when I when I studied theology.

Fred Little where are you???

Qatana
02-13-2007, 02:55 PM
Many people practice many Christian practices who are not Christian, either, Dennis. Zen Buddhism Is a religion with ordination of both monks and priests, AND it is also a Buddhist meditation Practice; just as most of the other Buddhist traditions are both.
Jack Kornfield was ordained as a Theravandan Buddhist monk,left the monastery, got married and oopened a Buddhist meditation school. He is still a Buddhist but not a monk. Robert Hall, MD teaches the exact same meditation technique in the Same school as Jack, and he is not a Buddhist.
I don't know if this is any clearer than mud, but what I'm getting at is that for some Buddhism is a Pratice but in most of Asia, Buddhism is a Religion, with ordination.

aikidoc
02-13-2007, 04:02 PM
George I believe misnomer is the right word. There are Christians and probably other people of various religious convictions that practice Zen as well. I have always viewed Zen as an activity not a religion and the common use of ordained carries religious overtones.

Cultural groups have definitely made it an -ism or religion. The more appropriate term I believe is Buddha-dharma. Buddha himself cautioned against making it a religion from what I recall.

Fred Little
02-13-2007, 04:29 PM
Dan you did not miss it. I did a Google on Ordained Zen Monk and came up with hits. That what lead to me to the question. I just can't make the connection. Many people practice Zen that are not Buddhist. Ordained must be used in a looser since than when I when I studied theology.

Fred Little where are you???

Right here boss.

Luckily, I can answer in English, which has capitals and lower-case letters, so we can capitalize or not as appropriate.

So Capital-Z Zen is the name of a sect of Buddhism found in Japan.,

Lower-case zen is nothing but meditation. OK, it's a bit more -- it's the english version of the japanese version of the chinese version of the ancient indian word for "meditation," the english version of which would be dhyana.

Rev. Furuya seems to be a legimate ordinant in the Soto School of Zen Buddhism; at what level, I don't know.

To pick up on George's point, not only is he not a monastic, but he is hardly unusual in that respect. Very few Japanese who have undergone Buddhist ordination of some kind are full monastics, even if they live in a monastery.

Most of the Buddhist world doesn't recognize Japanese ordinations as complete, because between Saicho dropping the full monastic discipline for Tendai Buddhism in the late 8th Century (and that was the sect that almost all the newer forms of Buddhism arose from between then and now) and the end of priestly celibacy in the late-19th Century (due to changes in the secular law governing ownership and inheritance of temples), their priestly discipline doesn't conform to the same set of rules that almost every other Buddhist Sangha has maintained for 2400 years.

From this point of view, a Zen Buddhist Priest is less a priest than he is an elder or a deacon. There's currently a huge debate and long-term experiement going on about this in Buddhist circles as Buddhism comes to the West. Some think the full monastic ordination and tradition is critical. Others think the Japanese model is better suited for the West. Yet others think the Japanese model is like training wheels. I don't expect to live long enough to see how this experiment turns out.

On to Dennis' point. Absolutely, a lot of folks who are Christian practice meditation and it's quite appropriate to call it lower-case-z "zen." Thomas Merton was a Christian who actually did practice Zen Meditation, which is to say, meditation in the tradition of the Zen-School.

Since the Japanese tradition is the best known in the States, and Zen is the best know sect, there is a tendency for people to just talk about practicing zen.

Personally, if I was pointing someone to basic meditation practice that they could pursue fruitfully without regard to their religious background, particularly if they aren't really up for adopting a whole new religious tradition but want a tool to help them out, I would suggest Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratna. (http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mfneng/mind0.htm)

You can buy it in book form too, but Bhante G has gone through so many printings that he's decided it's time to just put the book out there for the benefit of whoever needs it.

Sorry to go on so long, hope this helps.

FL

Cady Goldfield
02-13-2007, 04:32 PM
Wow. For something that is supposed to be as "life simplifying" and focused as Zen, there sure is a lot of complexity (not to mention, politics) and structure! It's enough to cross a rabbi's eyes. :hypno:

Dunno whether he still does it (or if the publication still exists), but Rev. Furuya used to write a column for MA Training magazine, and also appeared in Rainbow Publications' other martial arts mags. I remember when he was Danny Furuya... before his ordination.

sclore
02-14-2007, 11:13 AM
There is a compilation of Kensho Furuya's MA Training Magazine articles published in book form entitled "Kodo, Ancient Ways: Lessons in the Spiritual Life of the Warrior/ Martial Artist."
ISBN 0897501365, published by Ohara Publications. It is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested, for whatever that's worth.

Fred Little
02-14-2007, 05:20 PM
Wow. For something that is supposed to be as "life simplifying" and focused as Zen, there sure is a lot of complexity (not to mention, politics) and structure! It's enough to cross a rabbi's eyes. :hypno:

Here's a bit more, just in case you didn't get enough in the last round....

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=35137

FL

Cady Goldfield
02-14-2007, 05:36 PM
Ai, caramba, Fred. There's a forum for everything. :) I'm going to forward this to my fiance, who is Buddhist (Jodo Shu, his family/ancestral sect) and is studying other sects in Japan, China and Korea, including Shingon Shu and Zen/Ch'ang/Sun. He'll love it.
Thanks.

Thomas Campbell
02-14-2007, 09:45 PM
Wow. For something that is supposed to be as "life simplifying" and focused as Zen, there sure is a lot of complexity (not to mention, politics) and structure! It's enough to cross a rabbi's eyes. :hypno:

[snip]

Zen is simple, Cady. It's humanity that's complex. :cool:

Dennis Hooker
02-15-2007, 06:33 AM
[QUOTE=Cady Goldfield]Wow. It's enough to cross a rabbi's eyes. :hypno:

There was a rabbi and a Methodist minister talking. The Methodist Minister said isn't it wonderful how we can meet like friends and talk about God. The rabbi said it sure is. You talk to hm in your way and I talk to him in his.

(blame Ellis)

Cady Goldfield
02-15-2007, 10:22 AM
Thomas, amen.

Cady Goldfield
02-15-2007, 10:25 AM
Dennis, go rent "Fiddler on the Roof" at Blockbuster, and you'll see what that joke means. ;)

heyoka
03-08-2007, 01:09 PM
Just for clarification, Rev. Kensho Furuya Sensei was ordained as a Zen priest under the Most Reverend Bishop Kenko Yamashita of the North American Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism, at Zenshuji Temple, in 1988 or '89.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-08-2007, 01:47 PM
Does anybody reads Aikiweb's home page? The Aikido community is mourning, because Kensho Furuya Sensei passes away yesterday.
May he rest in peace.

crbateman
03-08-2007, 03:17 PM
Does anybody reads Aikiweb's home page? The Aikido community is mourning, because Kensho Furuya Sensei passes away yesterday.
May he rest in peace.Marie, I think Paul knows that. Furuya Sensei was his teacher. The other posts were put up prior to his passing.

heyoka
03-08-2007, 10:49 PM
Just for clarification, Rev. Kensho Furuya Sensei was ordained as a Zen priest under the Most Reverend Bishop Kenko Yamashita of the North American Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism, at Zenshuji Temple, in 1988 or '89.

I'm sorry I couldn't figure out how to edit my post so I'm replying to it to further clarify; the ordination was in 1989.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-12-2007, 01:33 PM
Marie, I think Paul knows that. Furuya Sensei was his teacher. The other posts were put up prior to his passing.

My apologies and all my sympathy to Paul and every student, family and friends of Furuya Sensei. I liked his book "Kodo - Ancient Ways" so much that, having failed to find a french version of it, I decided to try my best and translate it for my Sensei who doesn't read english. Since I have to do this during my free time at work, it's little by little, and Furuya Sensei has been my daily companion for about for months now. I read the news of his passing like that of an old friend.
Again, all my sympathy to those of you who knew him.

Geoff Flather
03-20-2007, 09:21 AM
Respect the man, not haggle over his titles.

He was strong for Aikido, and a good representive of Aikido.

May his God look after him, embrace him and care for him.....

:ai:
:ki:
:do: