Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Killing Time

Yamamoto Genpō Rōshi used to say, "There is no killing worse than the killing of time." Reading from the crime section of the newspaper, he would relate how a man stabbed his wife and children to death. He would read how a woman bludgeoned her husband to death. Then he would say, "There is no killing worse than the killing of time." When I stray from Mu, and return, I thank my old teacher for saving me from death row.


  1. Time wise, the advent of this internet may have set of the greatest killing spree since Verdun. But I find that since taking up Zazen, even when I am doing nothing at all, I am not killing time. Okay, so maybe I haven't really mastered doing nothing at all, but paying full attention to the moment is not killing time.
    Thank you for blog.

    David Clark

  2. This Time that remains no time at all, is the precious commodity called Life...Killing time is killing our lifeline. The moments pass in oblivion, the precious blood of life passing by untasted...the saddest of the sad!

  3. Friday; Cliff and I went to the Sierra's to camp next to a high mountain stream. Friday night and Saturday morning we did Zazen on some flat rocks in the middle of the stream. Flowers and water plants and the great forest. A symphony of bird sounds, bug sounds and of course the water sounds. We were completely taken away by it all. A perfect Zen rock garden. What a time we had!

  4. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for your teaching.

    I always think of the cascade mountains in spring;
    The Gold Finches sing among the frargrant blossoms.


  5. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Through W. S. Merwin I found you. Which took me back to Thich Nhat Hanh. Which is where I began over 20 years ago. So has time really passed? The value of each moment is inestimable, for it is never lost.

    Thank you for your teachings, and for The Dragon Who Never Sleeps. The gathas are wonderful.

    Ron Beasley