I just love these pictures from TIME. That dude on the right is looking like he is about ready to shit a brick. If I lived in NYC I would probably have the exact same look on my face. And people wonder why Westerners need some pre-season training before an all-out rumble with samsara. The look on his face says it all. See the whole set here.
Thanks to @linagato for informing me that the monk in the picture is actually Rev. Nakagaki from the New York Buddhist Church who was also mentioned in this article about the incorporation of Zen practices into Shin churches to attract more attendees. Sort of a “changing with the times” piece but the photos of the Reverend are great and I agree with his progressive stance.
Then, of course, this fella. Scariest monk ever. No wonder the others are keeping a steady pace in front of him. He looks grumpy. His fate was sealed due to his slow gate and lack of reflexes…first some information….
Takuhatsu (托鉢) is a traditional form of alms, common to Buddhist monks in Japan. In the practice of takuhatsu, monks travel to various businesses and residences in order to exchange chanting of sutras in Sino-Japanese (generating merit) for donations of food and money. Monks never beg at temples, shrines, churches, schools, government offices or hospitals.
Monks generally wear traditional takuhatsu clothes reminiscent of medieval Japan and wear the names of their monasteries on their satchels to confirm their identities.
The system that is used by Zen monks who are in training, to beg for their food. This is generally done in groups of ten to fifteen. The group goes through the street single-file, chanting “Ho” (meaning Dharma), and sympathizers come down and fill their alms bowls. This is the monks offering of the Dharma and their lives of guardians of the Dharma to the people. According to Zen tradition, the givers should be grateful.
But rarely do you see how these little begging trips end…
Thats right, banging those drums attracted a zombie horde. It is a generally well-known that takuhatsu is canceled during zombie apocolypse but no-one told this NYC group. Unfortunately, no monks survived. But luckily, Zenombies don’t really “lurch”; they just sit on their decaying asses all day.