October 7, 2014
He’s Leaving Home
Early on in the passage, Ryota begins to display the Buddhist principle of attachment through the idea of becoming a monk. As a young child he wanted to be a monk and never let go of the idea of becoming one. On Sundays, he would follow his father to zazen meditations. He attached himself to that practice and soon began participating in zazen with the adults as a child. In order to become a monk he detached himself from his public school and the distractions that came with. He was willing to give up most of his childhood experiences and friends to move onto a private religious based school.
When the priest decided Ryota was ready for his ceremony, a couple drastic changes happened. He was basically shedding his families past from him and adopting a new mother and temple family. Some of his own family close to him were not even allowed to be present in the ceremony, as it would help detach him from the family. His head was shaven to symbolize a new beginning and getting rid of his dirty past. He detached himself from his family surname when the priest suggested in changing the name to sound better. Also suggested by the priest, he changed his first name, which ultimately verbally detached him from his existing family. The name changes were legally altered along with Ryota, now known as Ryokai, becoming adopted by the priest. Now his original real parents had to simply start calling him by a name they hadn’t named their own son. The priest dictated Ryokai’s actions for now on. Ryokai finished junior high living at home and was then completely detached from his family by cutting the ties and began his life in training as a monk.
Leaving his home meant parting with all of his possessions. When he left his home to enter the temple, he did not even look back to see his mother and sister one last time. The priest stated, “All he needs is his lamp for studying and the clothes on his...
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