Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Let the facts speak for themselves”—this is a basic injunction in Zen Buddhism.  It is one I neglected when I sent emails to justify a past action. While I’ll be happy to discuss the matter with the people involved, It remains a bad  mistake that speaks for itself.


  1. Don't take it so personally.

    It's usually from the biggest mistakes that I learn the most.

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  3. O. B. Ray ( 11, 2010 at 5:53 AM

    SeaSpray and Roshi - It can be this way (learning a lot from big mistakes) for me too.
    And thank you SeaSpray your compassion comes across even in words.

    O. B. Ray

  4. Beautiful Aitken Roshi:
    Thanks for everything.

    On the old path
    The footprints of my teacher
    And of his teachers:
    Where their feet have touched the earth
    Green life springs up in abundance.

  5. YOU'RE STILL ALIVE!? Wow! I thought you were dead. I'm glad you STILL walk the Earth!

  6. Let the facts speak for themselves. I will remember this for good.

    For this small, yet thoughtful insight, I thank you deeply :)

  7. Anonymous - you have given yourself away.

    You are an Avatar and you are on Pandora.


    O. B.

  8. Hi, friends and Old Boss--
    Reflecting on this post by Roshi, I found myself thinking with gratitude about his work--from the internment camp during World War II, to his long work with Mu, right up to this blog posting. I thought about how, because of his work, I can go to sesshin in the Midwest today. And, reading this post, I thought with appreciation how he is still working. As I am. As Shakyamuni is. Thus the "thanks for everything" and the poem in the comments above. So thanks, Roshi. For everything.

  9. Sometimes inflammatory remarks flare until all is extinguished, maybe that is the lesson. Then one sees that the fake teacher is in all of us. Whenever we say "This is so!", we are pushing the line. Distinguishing the fake inside and that not the Way?

  10. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for this teaching.

    (Until now I was under the impression that Zen masters only "appeared" to make mistakes when in fact they were "just testing" people. Ha!)

    Actually, my teacher once told me that Shakyamuni Buddha was still practicing; and he was only half-way there.

    That, however, was not as difficult to take as Dogen's criticism of five of the truly great old worthies--including that eternal Buddha Joshu! Nevertheless, there it is in the Shobogenzo:

    "The odorous fists are many who, since ancient times, have made comments on and assertions about the story of how National Master Daisho tested Daini Sanzo, but there are five particularly venerable old fists among them [Joshu, Gensha, Kyozan, Kaie, Shibi]. And although I do not deny that the insight and accuracy of each of these five vener able patriarchs are very insightful and accurate, there are many respects in which they have not glimpsed the conduct of the National Master. The reason, if asked, is that all concerned, past and present, have thought that the first two times Sanzo unerringly knew the National Master’s situation. This is our ancestors’ great error, and we students of later ages should not be ignorant of it."
    Shobogenzo, Tashintsu, Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross

    Three Full Bows.

    Ted Biringer

  11. each to his own
    breath by breath
    3 bows to all

  12. Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................