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Solar Confronted Buddha, Moon Confronted Buddha: A Small Second to Recall a Life and a few Academics


 

 

 

Final 12 months, a silly monk.
This 12 months, no change.

Ryokan

Fifty-two years in the past, in the present day, on the 5th of July 1970, I obtained shukke tokudo, additionally known as unsui tokudo, ordination as a novice Soto Zen Buddhist priest in Oakland, California, from the Soto Zen priest Houn Jiyu Kennett.

Additionally. In twelve days I’ll flip seventy-four. Not a kind of massive marker years, however useful for noting the buildup of years, or from one other angle a chance to notice extra sand tumbling down the glass…

I take this present day as particular marker for my non secular journey. It started earlier, maybe clearly. I needed to undergo some issues to finish up in that state of affairs, with my hair being minimize and a gown being placed on me. However recalling this on this second I do have a small flood of reminiscences.

A not insignificant a part of Zen priest life is naming one’s ancestors and providing the benefit of apply and particularly the recitation of sutras to them. There are lots of methods to rely lecturers, historically its the lineage chart going again to the Buddha.

There are, clearly, different methods to rely one’s lecturers.

In the present day I consider my lecturers. I maintain them up with infinite gratitude.

Amongst them, firstly my grandmother, Bolene. She labored principally as a maid and housekeeper. And he or she walked with spirits, and was a Christian prayer warrior. Grandma taught me to learn utilizing a big illustrated King James Bible resting on her lap. With out her my life would have been a a lot totally different one than the one I had and have.

Authors of books grew to become my subsequent lecturers, particularly these English Hollywood expats who admired Vedanta, Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and most of all Christopher Isherwood.

My first actual instructor after my grandmother was little doubt Mel Sojun Weitsman, who with associates based the Berkeley Zendo as a department of the San Francisco Zen Middle. I truly didn’t notice he was my instructor on the time, I believed that honor belonged to Shunryu Suzuki, who I noticed and heard, however by no means met. Mel was the one who confirmed by instance what a path which may work for me might appear to be.

Then Kennett Roshi. Houn Jiyu Kennett. Within the sense of a scholar instructor relationship, ours was comparatively temporary however intense. I skilled residential monastic coaching for a few years underneath her direct instruction. Right here I discovered one thing of Soto Zen’s liturgical path, which me, though truthfully, extra within the summary. Extra importantly because it turned out, that is when and the place I discovered one thing of the facility of zazen and a approach into shikantaza as an anchor for my inside life. A number of ordinations, adopted, beginning with that unsui or shukke tokudo fifty-two years in the past. These had been pivotal years, they launched me on a journey, one I couldn’t foresee.

However, then because the sensible word, Casandra’s foresight was a curse.

Two temporary marriages that deserve greater than three phrases. After which my life companion Jan, with whom I simply celebrated forty years of marriage. Really my lecturers.

James Julian Gillmon and Michael Zaharakis launched me to the impartial sacramental motion. Wali Ali Meyer and Moineddin Jablonski initiated me into universalist Sufism. Jim Wilson launched me to koan apply at a second after I was prepared.

For my Zen life, my vital instructor was John Tarrant, who patiently, properly principally patiently accompanied me via the Harada-Yasutani koan curriculum. We explored the arcana of the custom collectively for about twenty years. And alongside the best way he gave me the instructing authorizations that mattered in my life, for that a part of my life.

After I returned to highschool different lecturers who formed my life appeared. First whereas claiming an undergraduate diploma Gordon Tappan, for himself initially, but in addition for main me to a different studying instructor, James Hillman. Later in seminary I had a number of lecturers who touched me remarkably deeply: Durwood Foster’s sensible ecumenism, Louis Weil’s inviting Anglicanism, Masao Abe, oh, Abe Sensei! And most of all, Joanna Macy and her engaged Buddhism.

With their various blessings I launched out into the steadiness of my life. Professionally as a Unitarian parish minister, which introduced all types of lecturers to me in moments of harm and wish and pleasure, theirs and mine. And my nice advocation as a Zen instructor, with all types of collaborators and associates and college students who had been and are my lecturers in skinny disguise.

No matter benefit I’ve collected in my life, I gratefully, I sincerely supply it to you, pricey ones.

Ten thousand bows…

And what have I gotten out of this? All of this? From them and my life?

Earlier in the present day I used to be visiting a koan with a pricey buddy who’s within the second turning right into a instructor of the Zen approach. We learn for the second time, first a couple of years in the past out of the Blue Cliff assortment and now once more the place it rests within the Ebook of Equanimity, the case known as “Mazu Unwell.”

Nice Grasp Ma was unwell. The superintendent of the monastery requested him, “How are you feeling today?” The Nice Grasp stated, “Solar-Face Buddha, Moon-Face Buddha.”

A moon confronted Buddha lives for an evening and a day, a solar confronted Buddha lives for a kalpa. Brief or lengthy, quick and lengthy, buddha.

What did I get from my lecturers and this life? Effectively.

I’ve come to know this koan proper into my bones and blood. A lot passing. A lot harm. A lot magnificence and style and pleasure…

Holding. And letting go. And discovering the timing of it, studying the steps of this dance.

I’m so grateful for the various invites to show into this life. This unhappy, damaged, passing, and exquisitely, painfully lovely life.

I’m so grateful.

Solar confronted Buddha
Moon confronted Buddha

Ten thousand bows…

***

From the picture: Within the again row from left to proper Aubrey Thornton, Mark Daiji Strathern, Mokurai Edward Cherlin. Within the center row James Etsujo (later Myoun) Ford, Joshua Jitsudo Baran and Lance Merritt. Within the entrance row Myozen Delport, Houn Jiyu Kennett & Steve Kozan Beck.




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