Nyogen Senzaki

‘I am now sowing some inconspicuous Dharma seeds, and I will likewise end my life in this country  inconspicuously. But I am convinced that fifty years from now, the seeds I have sown will sprout, and true Buddhadharma will shine in America. I have made many sacrifices, but I am following my teacher Soyen Shaku’s will, and this is my main purpose for my coming to America. 

I am now fifty-two years old. My hair has turned white; perhaps you would not recognize me. Essentially what I am doing is tsuyubarai: cultivating the soil so that the Buddhadharma may successfully be transplanted to America.’ (Eloquent Silence)

As context, this is from a letter written by Senzaki to a friend in 1928. Fifty years later, there were zen temples established across the west. I have been thinking of Senzaki a lot recently, of how Soyen Shaku abruptly left him in San Francisco and told him not to say a word about Buddhism for fifteen years. Perhaps eventually I will have something to say as well.

4 thoughts on “Nyogen Senzaki

  1. To make meditation and Zen available in a variety of modern contexts and to help people think about how the teachings apply to their lives is a great gift.


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