Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taking it personally

It is easy to take things people say personally. Can you take the Dharma personally? At the end of each day of sesshin a leader calls out, “All things pass quickly away.” Fine words! Can you take them personally? They are meant for you and me. Hakuin wrote. “All beings by nature are Buddha.” Fine words! Can you take them personally? They are meant for you and me.


  1. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    How is your venerable health these days?

    Thank you for once again pointing out the unsurpassed Buddha's Way.

    I vow to embody it fully.

    Ted Biringer

  2. moment by moment, situation by situation, I face myself, as I could not avoid it. Everywhere I look, I see I have a million faces. What are other people?

  3. Thankyou for these words Roshi

  4. Thanks, Roshi _/\_

  5. Hello Roshi (retired),

    I wasn't sure how to relate the following story to you. It is a communication I have recently had with a woman who used to make Zen robes, Carol Auilar. So here goes...

    Hello Carol,

    Thank you for the information. I will do some more research for robes.

    Thank you for being so kind over the years.

    Your practice has become you. Or you have become your practice.

    It is so nice to communicate with someone like you.

    The last time I purchased a robe with you I was waiting for it in the mail. Meanwhile, I wore the old robe. At that time I was working with Robert Aitken Roshi of the Diamond Sangha on koan practice.

    I remember telling him about something that had become like a koan for me. It comes from the saying, "Wear your robe like a field, far beyond form and emptiness."

    I kept saying to myself, "Wear the old robe". And of course the old robe became all of existence for me. Once, when I said to him, "Wear the old robe," he replied, "Also new."

    I hope you like this story.

    Thanks again,

    O. B. Ray, Psy. D.
    Contract Manager
    Allocation & Matched Funding Section
    Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division Center for Family Health California Department of Public Health
    (916) 650-0411

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Carol Aguilar []
    Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:31 AM
    Subject: Re: Lay Robe and Kimono (under garment)

    Hi O.B.,
    Of course I remember you. It's nice to hear from you. I stopped making meditation clothes over five years ago. Unfortunately I don't know who is currently making them. Have you googled "Buddhist meditation clothes"? This kind of service is usually connected to a Zen Center and it changes frequently. You might also contact ZCLA in LA or Zen Mountain Monastery in NY.
    Best of luck with your search and practice,
    Carol Aguilar

  6. Taking things interesting quandary...Letting the truth pass through the personal stance..."all things pass quickly away" hits a gut blow! I will not be here long, so what is this really about! The mourning of the eventual loss of Me stirs the pot until it is seen that Home is beyond this passing away!