"The journal I have in mind here can be phrased in ways that are sometimes derivative, irritatingly hermetic, even banal. The people I've heard speak strongly from a Zen perspective -- my first teacher Sekiun Koretsune, & later Dainin Katagiri, Tozan Akiyama, Masao Abe, Shohaku Okamura, Jakusho Kwong -- often sound hesitant and awkward. & yet, because words are so intimate to their lives, their speech, even about silence, is invariably another do, another way to encounter the world without disabling dread."
"Wind picks up, the suddenly full-leaved yard tree & towering shrubs heave & plunge, then a low crack, & a big branch is lying in the street. Distracted, I keep losing focus until I remember that samadhi isn't a target, cross-haired in the front-center of my brain, but a matter of staying wholly in mind/body while everything rattles incessantly."
"Caught, the candle flickering to my left, my inner voices stopped, I look into the presentness which probably underlies the Heart Sutra's radical negations, like Eliot's 'heart of light, the silence' at 'the turning point of the still world.' Weeks after, this moment still seems pivotal, like a quick glimpse of something ordinarily hidden & abstract."
"Is there a dharma premise akin to the psalmist's promise of guidance in the valley of the shadow? This may be what Roshi was trying to convey in dokusan a few weeks ago. He kept staring at me. For long moments I didn't look away."
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