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Zen RitualStudies of Zen Theory in Practice$
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Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.001.0001

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 Women and Dōgen: Rituals Actualizing Empowerment and Healing

 Women and Dōgen: Rituals Actualizing Empowerment and Healing

Chapter:
(p.185) 6 Women and Dōgen: Rituals Actualizing Empowerment and Healing
Source:
Zen Ritual
Author(s):

Paula K. R. Arai

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.003.0007

Chapter 6 engages in ethnographic study of rituals practiced by nuns in the contemporary Sōtō sect of Zen. Through surveys and interviews conducted among Sōtō nuns in the Nagoya area of Japan, Arai has articulated the ways in which two quite different rituals “shape, stretch, and define” the identity of participants. Both rituals—Anan Kōshiki and Jizō Nagashi—seek to evoke in participants an awareness of their own Buddha nature, and along with that, a strong sense of their own free agency and power. The central themes of these two rituals are gratitude and interrelatedness, and elements in these sacred ceremonies bring these qualities out in the experience of the women who participate in them. In addition, these themes are linked to Dōgen's own Zen teachings as a natural expression of his claims about the Buddha nature in all beings.

Keywords:   Women in Zen, Sōtō Zen, Anan Kōshiki, Jizō Nagashi, Buddha nature

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