Saturday, February 27, 2010

Follow Your Doubt

If you want to explore Zen practice, sign up for orientation at a promising Zen center. In the question period, ask about Zhouzhou and his response to a question about the Buddha-nature of a dog. If you get a reply to the effect that it all happened far away and long ago, you have the wrong center. Keep looking for a reply to the effect that it is happening as we speak. Then you might be in the right center. Let the teacher convince you.


  1. Thankyou for dropping me off at the front gate of Zen school. Because you gotta know what the rules are before you can break them.

    One has buddha-nature. The other doesn't.

    Free flowing function disables the dog.

    If ZhaoZhou's beast is anything like mine then it needs to be kept on a lead at all times.

    (maybe there's life in the old dog yet!)

  2. This teaching of immediacy shatters the ten thousand diversions. Who can present such a thing, teacher or student! Non the less it is comforting to have bedfellows, cozy and tucked in, riding the waves of this extraordinary unfolding.

  3. Aloha Roshi,
    Sagely advice. It is as direct as Mu.

  4. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for this teaching.

    I hope to try it out the next time I find myself at a Zen center.

    In the meantime, I tried it out at on the cashier at the gas station today after filling the tank of my motorcycle.

    Her reply, "Thirteen dollars and eighty-five cents."

    I told her to, "Keep the change." Thus, indicating my agreement. (Perhaps not quite a mouth like a "blood bowl," she was sporting eyebrows like a "bony deadfall."

    Three Full Bows.


  5. Time! I actually was sitting at the Maui Zen center in 1985 (or was it 1986) when RAiken Roshi's teacher from japan was there to ask him some questions...

    If my bent and gnarled memory is correct it was Yamada Roshi.

    I no longer remember the questions or question. But it was fascinating and I am glad I was there for some Zen History.

    I only just remembered this when I stumbled upon this blog. For 25 years this memory was floating in space, lost to this "I" and then Woof...Flowers in the Sky!!!