Daisan, Shoken and Jukai


In our tradition the relationship between student and teacher plays an important role. The teacher can be a guide on your path. He's on the path as well as you are, but is perhaps a bit further along the way so that he may help you. During the private interviews with Sensei (called daisan), you share your experiences, may sometimes get some advice on your practice, or you can work with your koan, etc. In daisan you can share everything and anything that is relevant to your life and practice.


And should you want to deepen your commitment to the teacher, then you can ask to become a formal student. This is called Shoken. It's a short and personal ceremony in which you formally become a student of Michel Sensei and it usually takes place during daisan. Student and teacher confirm the trust they have in each other, their commitment towards each other and traveling the way together. Sensei makes a vow to help the student as much as he can. The initiative is entirely the student's.


There is also the possibility of receiving Jukai. Jukai means "Receiving (Ju) the precepts (Kai)". Sometimes we say that in this ceremony you formally commit yourself to the path of the Buddha. First and foremost you express the vow to recognise yourself as the Buddha and that you wish to try and live your life accordingly. You commit to sixteen vows that express this intention in different aspects. You receive a dharma name and from this moment onwards you can wear the rakusu (a small version of the robe of the Buddha) that you have made for yourself whenever you practice. You wear this robe of the Buddha as an expression and a reminder of the fact that you are the Buddha. The Jukai ceremony is public and festive, in the presence of the sangha as well as any family members and friends that wish to attend.

Zen Heart Sangha