Friday, September 24News Written in the Stars

Zen Is Right Now

Zen Is Right Now

“I would ask, ‘Do you think I should go to Japan to study and practice? Do you believe it’s important for me to learn about Japanese monastic life?’ He would always tell me, ‘There is no place to go.’

“At other times I would ask, ‘Is there something you would like me to do?’ He would say, ‘There is nothing to do. You are free to do whatever you desire. Just be yourself.’ I kept those words in mind, almost like a mantra: ‘There’s no place to go; there’s nothing to do.’

“I asked Suzuki if he would explain the Heart Sutra to me, so I could answer the questions my friends were sure to ask.

“ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but let’s do it later. Take a look at the amount of sweeping we have to perform. Help me with the sweeping first.’

“We did the sweeping. He then went on to do something else. It seemed he’d forgotten.

“Another day, at breakfast I said to Suzuki, ‘This would be a good time to tell me about the Heart Sutra, so I can answer my friends’ questions.’

“ ‘Yes, I’ll do it, but I need to clean up the dishes first. Okusan has left, and we have guests arriving later. So help me clean the kitchen.’

“We finished up the dishes and then he rushed off.”

Published at Fri, 25 Jun 2021 13:00:00 +0000