Sokei-An

‘When I started to study Buddhism and was studying koans, Zen and Buddhism seemed from my height to be the size of the whole universe. Today, I must confess Buddhism and Zen are just some old furniture in the corner of my mind. I, today, a man at the age of fifty-five, really enjoy my own mind more than Zen and Buddhism. But this was a gift from Buddhism, so I appreciate the kindness of Buddhism. This, our heart, is important. We must have something that is original, that is not Buddhism or Zen, that is science, religion, or philosophy. I did not find it for a long, long time – and Buddhism and Zen were a hard burden. Now I speak about Buddhism and Zen in lectures; but when I am alone I do not speak or think about Buddhism. I enjoy something that has no name, but that is quite natural.’ (The Zen Eye)

It is always refreshing to read the words of an accomplished teacher reflecting on their own current practice. Coming to this passage again, I was reminded, for reasons that may be clear if you read it, of Sekito’s Soanka – the Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage. Something that has no name, but that is quite natural.

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