SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Hair!

Some folks have written recently to ask,

Hey, Jundo! What’s with all the hair & the beard? I thought Zen monks are supposed to shave?

Well, many Zen teachers of old had hair and/or beards …

… and even recent Ch’an monks … and Western women (though usually not the beards) …

… Master Dogen had a five-o’clock shadow some days …

… and Zen immortals … and Bodhidharma (with an earring, no less) … and even the Bossman, Shakyamuni Buddha, had a gorgeous head of hair …

Even in Southeast Asian traditions, where things are rather strict, the Rules state …

Hair of the head. The hair of the head should not be worn long. It should be shaved at least every two months or when the hair has grown to a length of two fingerbreadths — whichever occurs first, says the Commentary. In Thailand there is the custom that all bhikkhus shave their heads on the same day, the day before the full moon, so that the Community can present a uniform appearance. Although this is not obligatory, a bhikkhu who does not follow the custom tends to stand out from his fellows …

Beard. The beard should not be grown long, although — unlike the hair of the head — there is no explicit maximum length, unless the two month/two fingerbreadth rule is meant to apply here as well. One may not dress the beard as a goatee, a rectangle, or in any other design. The moustache may not be dressed, e.g., by making its ends stand up. Because there is no prohibition against using scissors to cut the beard, electric razors are clearly allowed in shaving the face.

Oh, and did I mention the deep philosophical reasons for being hirsute? (I will in a minute).

As the song goes (for those old enough to remember) …

Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair A home for fleas, a hive for bees A nest for birds, there ain’t no words For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my
Hair! (hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair)
Flow it, Show it;
Long as God can grow it, My Hair!


Press on arrow for ‘play’


4 Responses to “SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Hair!”

  1. HezB Says:

    Jundo,Ever since David Beckham (English soccer star, well-know to the Japanese now I believe) and a slew of other ‘lame’ mainstream celebs started sporting designer mohawks a few years ago that hairstyle has become a bit lame.Might I suggest that you reference authentic, old-school punk rock by dying your ‘killer crest’ green?… its really the decent thing to do from a ‘lineage’ point of view.Respectfully,Harry.

  2. Gregor Says:

    Jundo,Oh what a hairdo! I’ve got that whole thing going on naturally except I’m doing in reverse, hair on the sides, no hair on top. . . . Harry,How about the Zen mullet?

  3. cd Says:

    i think it’s one of the best looking mohawks around. i’ve always been a big fan of the mohawk/beard combo – i hope you keep it. been a long time since my head’s seen scissors- the last time it did i had a real problem with being bitten by mosquitos and grew it all back!

  4. kirkmc Says:

    I want to see how long that lasts…As for the beard, you’re looking more and more like Osama. :-)Kirk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: