Monday, February 23, 2009


Dear Will: The presentational is the non-explanatory. The presentation of any koan is only for the face-to-face encounter with your master.


  1. Dear Roshi, thank you for your kind response. "The presentational is the non-explanatory." Yes, J.D. likes to say "more intimate!"

    Shifting gears, I have a question. As a person develops a well rounded practice, how important is it to spend time exploring old emotional states? Practice points to now and presence. The reality of experience as it is lived. Actively conjuring up mucky feelings from the past seems just phony and a way to keep one foot in delusion. Mind stuff floats in like clouds in the sky. Latching onto this mind stuff is like trying to grab a cloud with your bare hands. Never quite accomplished and thoroughly unsatisfying.


  2. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for your instruction.

    100 years after Yamada Koun Roshi gets on the bus, where will Master Aitken make a presentation of the koan?

    Three Full Bows.


    Ted Biringer

  3. Will- It is not important for a zen student to explore old emotional states when working with a master. It could be important when sitting before an accomplished psychotherapist.

  4. Dear Roshi,
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll remember that the next time I'm "sitting before an accomplished psychotherapist." ;-)