Now we come to Master Dogen's teacher, Master Ju-Ching (Rujing) of Tiantong Monastery, a very important figure in our Soto heritage.

And he is so important, that Master Keizan focuses on his time as the toilet attendant! :shock: In fact, in any Zen monastery, toilet cleaning is one of the most cherished jobs, and I have been fortunate to have had a chance to scrub the toilets from time to time at almost every Zen retreat I have ever attended!

(by the way, my wife often teases me about how I always clean the toilets at the monastery, but rarely volunteer to do so around our house! ops: )

Notice how Master Rujing pierces the Koan that there is that "never soiled, never in need of cleaning" ... and has his awakening acknowledged by his Teacher ... AND THEN ASKS TO BECOME THE TOILET ATTENDANT! One would perhaps think that this is backwards! Why would he seek to clean the toilets -after- realizing that there is "nothing to clean"? Why would he be enlightened, and a master, and the first thing he does is ask to be assigned to the lowly, stinking lavatory to do something he knows, ultimately, is not needed to be done? If it is originally unsoiled, how can it be cleaned? Most Zen monks I know will be meticulous in cleaning the toilets, often with a tiny brush. Why so much care if it "doesn't need cleaning"?

In much the same way, Master Keizan relates how AFTER awakening, Master Rujing sat single-minded Zazen until he had calluses on his butt, until he was an old man. Why would he do so if he was already awakened? Seems more like something to do BEFORE awakening! Could it be that he also realized that there is nothing even "in need of cleaning, nothing in need of awakening" ... and thus set to work cleaning and sitting?

By the way, I still feel that dear brother Hixon is rarely one for understatement in his descriptions (although, truly, this is a matter that neither can be understated or overstated). He sure knows how to encrust his toilet with diamonds, moonlight, circular rainbows and dancing buddhas!

Rujing (Dogen too) also said that all one needs is Zazen ... no need for incense, bowing, chanting and the like. Yet, once again, one would likely find that Rujing's monastery ... and Dogen's ... was filled with incense, bowing, chanting and much else, as well as Zazen! Once again, a Zen Master talks out of both sides of his no sided mouth!

Cook from 250
Hixon from 234

Gassho, J