My Work Practice :: Making Rakusu Rings

 

This practice is but a gift from the universe.

I live outside of Moscow Idaho. I'm a woodworker and a Zen practitioner. I make wooden rakusu rings as a service project and as my part of my work (samu) practice. My usual and preferred way is to make your rakusu ring with the you in mind. If you are in a hurry or shy, I have an online store that I try to keep stocked with Pre-made Rakusu Rings.

I ship internationally. I work primarily in domestic woods, mostly sustainably harvested and sometimes wood supplied by jukai aspirant and I've been collecting bits of wood for many years, some with no commercial value but are beautiful nonetheless. I can get and work about any legally available wood in the world. Please contact me at will@kestrelcreek.com to question availability of your desired wood species or if you have special needs. It is important that we connect, with a long enough timeline, (usually a couple of weeks) and to talk about the wood species available and what is desired. I will work with you to get the right rakusu ring that speaks to you.

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I have been formally practicing with the Palouse Zen Community for about 12 years. I am a student of one of Robert Aitken's students, Jack Duffy. His home and retreat center is outside of Bellingham Washington. For me it is a rich and rewarding experience to participate with you in your jukai in such a small way. If you accept a ring from me, I'd really like to receive a photo of you with your completed rakusu (possibly taken at your jukai). Tell me a little about your practice, the group and linage you practice in, where and when you might be taking jukai, if you have specific size requirements, and where to send the completed rakusu ring?

It is important you get a rakusu ring that speaks to you. Please enclose details about your practice, when and with whom you will be taking jukai. Anything you'd be willing to share. These are made one at a time and their precise dimensions vary a little. Select this link to see pictures of the process, warning “sausage being made”.


Select this button “Custom Rakusu Rings” and you’ll be taken to a page with a description of the process for working together to produce you a special and meaningful rakusu ring of wood. I can and will make you one out of any wood species. Or choose one of the rakusu rings I’ve have available already. I’d love to hear from you either way.

will@kestrelcreek.com.


Select this “Pre-made Rakusu Rings” and you’ll be taken to my web store for a look at the limited number of rakusu rings already made. You can buy them there. Please consider contacting me and we can working together on making you a custom rakusu ring. If you don’t see the one that speaks to you, I can and will make you one out of any wood species. I’d love to hear from you in any case

. will@kestrelcreek.com.


When doing small bulk orders I need more lead time and I collect the names, email addresses and home towns of the final recipients of the rakusu rings. This is for my database of the homes of the rakusu rings I make. I really like to know where each rakusu ring ends up, where it sleeps at night. I sometimes provide rakusu rings to Roshis, sanghas or jukai classes, but I'd prefer to work with each aspirant directly. I do not make rakusu rings for resale. If you are interested in a few rakusu rings for a group, contact me at will@kestrelcreek.com and we'll talk.

Please specify if you want a Rakusu ring in either the traditional Soto or Rinzai Schools.
I also make custom sized rings.

References
Link to information on sewing the Rakusu.  
Helpful sewing tips and a precept guide, rakusu pattern and photos of a completed rakusu are available at http://palousezen.org/jukai.html.
Another rakusu ring maker is Zen Buddhist monk Oshin Jennings and they are available at No Barriers Zen Temple.
Rakusu and other zen garments - professional tailor and Zen priest Shuji Valdene Mintzmyer available at http://zenmonkwear.com/
A place to get a pre-made rakusu or rakusu ring at Sitting Still.
Zabu zabu, a source for custom made zen meditation clothing and supplies, including rakusus at http://www.zabuzabu.net/.
Jikan Lucy Brusini propriater at Iki;8 makes custom clothing and rakusus for the lay and ordained Rinzai Zen community http://iki-8.com/
 

 

Making and distributing the rings has been a service project for me. Many people have asked what they can send me in return and my stock response has been nothing. And that is fine. Rather you are making your own rakusu or making one for someone else, please don't let cost be a factor. The "suggested dana" is $25.00 shipping included, $35.00 international shipping, or donate what moves you.

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May the universe tickle you during Zazen!