Loori-roshi

With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,

This morning I went outside to eat some raisin toast. While doing so, I feed the birds and picked up things. Granddaughter Livvie has a tent set up and it is full of toys. As I'm picking up, I notice a bird swoop down to snack on my toast. Sharing is a good thing.

The passing of someone like Rev. John Daido Loori-roshi is one of those inevitability's none of us look forward to. The man was a pioneer of Zen in the United States. His monastery, books, dharma talks, and photography stand as a testament to a life well lived in service to others and to the dharma.

I met him once in California at the 800th birthday of Master Dogen. He walked with a slow deliberateness and slightly hunched back. There was a slight smile on his face and seeming twinkle in his eyes. He taught through himself: a manifest buddha. Yet, also, was challenging. His teaching was as historic masters, the kyosaku and a word or bell were always present.

We use his books for Jukai study, especially The Heart of Being and The Eight Gates of Zen. I have studied his translation and commentary of Dogen's koan collection, as well as his many other works. I found him to be an upright man who had great love and appreciation for the ancestors and their ways... and always a deep understanding realized on the page!

I thought there was such a stark contrast between the two dharma brothers, Loori and Glassman roshi. Out of the same teacher, these men took quite different paths, yet both arrived in the same place, having never left, as we say.

May his name be for a blessing.

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