Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
My answer to the previous thread
Time to say a few things.
Suppose you take part in a retreat of some sort led by a charismatic and great teacher of a non Zen tradition, and you suddenly interrupt him and start to explain the whole show about Dogen, the practice, the lineage and show how it clearly works and how beautiful and true it is...I can imagine that the teacher will invite you to stop, reminding you that you are, because of your presence in this event, supposed to practice what he is teaching. You order the food that the chef is cooking, you don t walk in a Chinese restaurant asking for Indian curry. This is the meaning of :" get off my lawn, kids". Nothing wrong with Zen, nothing wrong with the other tradition, just a matter of manner, timing and being in tune with what happens.
I would like to thank the guys here that say they don't understand : where are you? And at the same time, would invite them to give this question more time before they try to ansswer it, answering such a question is off the mark, living with this question as a dynamic and whirling action is key. Derviches never fall in the static state, the still state, zazen, is not the static state.
A teacher is a person that does his or her very best to live accordingly to the Buddha Dharma and point to the original face of the student, a coach, a spiritual friend, he will only focus on what is really important and required without all the fluff and stuff we sometimes get lost in. And that s precisely what does not work with the New Age take on things, you merely blend traditions, merge recipes, cook your own thing and sometimes self proclaim yourself a spiritual teacher, often with a solid bank account hidden behind the stage. Rags hiding riches. In doing so you may be sharing a few inspiring advices but you are also feeding greed and confusion in people expecting something special to happen on the happy Spiritual market of spirituality, the modern quest for the latest gadget, the most up to date version of the software. The role of a teacher is to help the student to cut through that crap and come to simplicity. Tibetan Buddhism is plagued with this illness of collecting merits and doing countless initiations. Many Tibetan teachers are now asking their students to keep it simple. Otherwise, you will always be begging for something else.
Do I read much outside Zen? Not anymore. A few beloved poems of Rumi, a text from the Mahamudra or Dzogchen tradition sometimes, I basically focus on Shobogenzo, sutras and old Chinese Chan poetry. Everything else is not necessary anymore. Call me stupid, shortsighed, call me limited and intolerant ( actually I respect the other guys very much, too much for asking from them Zen- like stuff, or taking some ofthe things they teach to fit into my way of doing this).
Zen is Zen. Advaita is Advaita. Jundo is Jundo.
One last thing. Two days ago I met a Zen monk form the Rinzai monastery round the block,a white scarf wrapping his head wearing a black samue, he was shopping some great food in Seven Eleven, the local combini. As I asked him where he was from and if he was a priest, he answered in complete humbleness lowering his gaze: I am just training, I am nothing really.
This is very extreme. in Europe and in America guys voice their opinions loud and with great pride on forums and in dojos.
I suppose the truth is somewhat in the middle. We have much too learn from this humble ( yet too often hypocritical ) soft way, they could do with a bit of our cocky style.