Peter Muryo Matthiessen died two days ago. As a Zen teacher he embodied the
tradition of teacher, artist, adventurer/warrior.
He was a renowned and prolific author and Zen teacher. He was modest, well mannered and kind. In the interview linked below he says he did not want to speak or write about Zen very much because words obscured it.
What is there to say about the true boundless life that is right in front of us at every moment?
Here are two links: One to a New York Times magazine article and another to an National Public Radio interview.
Thank You Peter
A student asked Master Joshu for instruction in finding the way.
Joshu said, “East, West, North, South.”
Though Joshu was a great master, he was, of course, completely lost.
When questioned he couldn’t find his way.
His ignorance could fill volumes.
These volumes could be called “A Complete Guide to the Way”.
What a joke that would be: volumes pointing to the finger rather than the moon.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be as clueless as this old master!
East, West, North, South.
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To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion.
That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.
Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas……
Eihei Dogen – Genjokoan
To choose this life, your life- isn’t this the greatest act of courage?
What else is there to look for?
To appreciate this very life as the life of realization is to transcend both delusion and enlightenment.
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If only, if only …….. dead.
The way of Zen is genuine and whole hearted.
Do not pretend to know what you don’t.
Do not pretend to be who you are not.
Be one with yourself.
Make your life, your practice, real.
Now step forth with your whole body and soul.
To pursue the way you must abandon self deception and fear.
If only, if only …….. dead.
A famous hockey player said, “You miss one hundred per cent of the shots you don’t take.
“Well,” he said with equanimity, “you see, in my opinion there is no point at all in talking about music. I never talk about music. What reply, then, was I to make to your very able and just remarks? You were perfectly right in all you said. But, you see, I am a musician, not a professor, and I don’t believe that, as regards music, there is the least point in being right. Music does not depend on being right, on having good taste and education and all that.”
“Indeed. Then what does it depend on?”
“On making music, Herr Haller, on making music as well and as much as possible and with all the intensity of which one is capable. That is the point, Monsieur.
Herman Hesse “Steppenwolf”
And Zen practice is just the same.
It is not about knowing anything or going anywhere.
It is about forgetting the self and being the music we will never know called life.
And life is always right here.
Right here is the beginning and end of the song.
It is the place where life can be “played” with all the intensity of which one is capable.