Sunday, December 18, 2011

One year in the OBW

One year ordained and I've already killed the teacher

It's been a year now since I was ordained in the OBW. The first months I tried to figure out what it meant and what I was going to do about it. People asked me if I was going to start a group or begin teaching in some way or other.

For some (most "zen" people) it was very difficult to understand that I wasn't a teacher until a student would recognize me as such. There was even one zenmonk that asked me how I should be "treated", throwing away with one question all her years of practice.

I didn't start any group, nor am I going to do it in the future. The fact is that I'm no teacher at all, I don't feel like one. What I do have been doing is writing with friends, sometimes meeting and talking. And this is something I consider very important, to have the oportunity of sharing a path and a practice that for me is the most important in this life.

It is in this sharing that the teacher can appear, only when we both are the students. As long as we can listen and give us to that listening, the teacher has a chance. Otherwise is just a name, a title, an empty word.

The breath, my other teacher

During this year I've also turned back to the practice on the breath. Doing an active work on it, one can easily find ease, comfort, joy and pleasure in sitting meditation, allowing so for longer meditation periods and a mind that is more receptive to explore body, feelings and ideas as they present themselves.

I know, many of you won't be happy to hear this, being so fond of non-doing. But I firmly believe in the process of construction that meditation is (one day I may explore how much construction is there in "emptiness", "non-doing" and "egolessness"). Maybe a quote of mister Gotama can help me here: "The path to freedom is a path of development and letting go"

Ending the year on retreat

Soon I'll be on my anual solitary retreat; think of me when you're celebrating Christmas, because I'll be doing jhana. This is the third year I'm allowed to do it in the same house, so it's turning a tradition now.

Finally, just let you know that my blog do jhana is back on track.

Whishing you all a peacefull end of the year.



  1. “When the teacher is ready the student will appear.” People who fancy themselves Zen teachers often say this backwards. The Dojin always remains a student, teaching should never become a profession, but always remain a byproduct of sharing what we learn along the way.

    Enjoy your retreat Daishin, silence and solitude have always been the best teachers. Zen should always remain the tradition with “no dependence on words or letters” and probably more importantly; a tradition with no dependence on teachers.

    When the gees e fly south for the winter, the leader always drops back when it is time for another to lead, his turn will come around again. There is no ego here just the task at hand, when this is understood the role is fulfilled. This is the true way of Zen.

    Great post!

  2. When Daishin went to America for ordination, I went along to be with him. When there we had many discussions and disagreed across a vast array of subjects!

    Without this difference of understanding, how could I have learnt form him?

    He was a teacher when he became a priest. He was a teacher when he stood aside from being a priest. He is a teacher now he is a priest again.

  3. "Just the task at hand", thank you Koro.
    Michael, Hongzhi loves to hit Dahui; without one, there is not the other.
    When I went to America for ordination I met many good friends, but I never became a priest. As I still haven't buried, nor married anyone I'm still free from that label.
    May you all have a nice holiday.

  4. You helped bury me.

    Sorry mate, you're a priest!