Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's Never True That We Don't Understand

July 13-14-15. Seminar in Johanneshof.

Yesterday N. said, "It's never true that we don't understand." I wrote it down. Roshi wrote on the easel,"Four Functions of Self: separation, connectedness, continuity, context." I wrote those down too. He says he's given us that list many times before, and I'm sure it's so. He pretends to be surprised that most of us don't remember, don't recognize when he says something he has said more than once before...
noon break, seminar, Johanneshof

more pix on flickr .

In my room I am reading Desolation Angels. Usually I dutifully read only Buddhist books during stays in a practice place, but here on the page is poor old Kerouac alone in the firewatch shack on Desolation Peak: trying to write and to do Buddhism, and mostly failing to rise to the occasion. Been there, done that; in fact, doing that right now.

The schedule, the flavor of the practice--we could be any place that any of Suzuki Roshi's descendants are practicing and it would feel the same. Except that here the household language is German. Or not. I'm on the coffee-and-tea crew. I have only English, Claus has only German, and Dominique has mostly French but enough English to smooth our working together. K.F. points out that here we are, quite a number of us, thirty years later and mostly our same selves except with grey hair. This is not exactly what the teaching has to say about change, but there it is...

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