Saturday, July 09, 2022

An update

 A few years ago, my Zen teacher went back to Japan mostly because he was asked to be the teacher of another temple in Honshu,  in addition to the one he leads in Honno in Chiba, Ryobo Zen An.

At that time, I told him I needed to deepen my practice, and I am deeply grateful to him that he referred me to Tahoma Zen Monastery.  Since then, I have done 4 sesshins there; I'd previously done a weekend retreat there.

I have stories to tell.

I have monetary obligations to help out the monastery. 

But most of all, the experience of 4 sesshins has really helped me  ...uh.... re-orient my mind.

I understand why John Daido Loori talked about why he couldn't do 無 when he was driving.  Though there's something like it you can do while driving.  AND, though he's discredited because of his sexual offenses, I absolutely understand why Eido Shimano, when asked how to practice 無, said (I'm paraphrasing) that one should practice 無 as though one were Jesus on the cross when he said, "My god my god why have you forsaken me!"

There's stuff I don't agree spot on with some things some folk adhere to, and that's OK. 

It's a sangha. There will be people who rub you the right and wrong way. And we're all here for the same goal: To help all beings transcend suffering.

There's odd stuff about this; it took me 4 sesshins to figure out that when folks like Sozui Shubert wrote things like "Die on the cushion," she meant it, and not only that, facing "death" is the only way to start to resolve the Great Matter of Life and death. 

I am SO deeply grateful to everyone I have met at these sesshins, and hope to do many more. It's really helped not only me, but all to whom I have interactions.