Hi All,

This week we’re learning about some of the Korean nuns, Wangdoin, Yoyeon, and Manseong, who all studied with male teachers.

It’s sad to read that so many of the Korean records have been lost due to war, politics, and even Zen vs Zen maneuvering. Cut to the present day… I wonder, have things improved?

I loved reading about the orientation of Manseong. The way it was done was not just a clever end-run around the rules, but a thoughtful and valid way to honorably satisfy the requirements of the day. To me it seems both funny and touching somehow that it was more acceptable to ordain with a dead person than with the living master right there. What wisdom the teacher showed to know that it was really one and the same. Again, cut to the present day… in the modern Zen world, seems like someone is always calling someone else’s jukai, ordination, or practice invalid for one reason or another. Question: how can we know if our practice is valid if someone of "authority" suggests that it isn’t?

Manseong’s practice and teaching was so confident, direct and practical. Fun to read about, and another wonderful example to follow!

How about you, did anything in this weeks reading ring your bell, for better or for worse?

Take your time and savor these teachings. With this short section it’s a good week to catch up. Let me know if we need to slow down, take a break, or go faster! And as always, please do share your thoughts on this book, it’s a safe space here and we’d love to hear what you’re thinking.

Gassho
Byōkan
sat + lah