Showing posts from July, 2016


With respect to all,
We have a sort of fascination with Masters, those of us walking along a “spiritual path.”  I’ve noticed of late there are at least two categories of Masters. Those who master a Way and go more deeply within that Way and those who master and move on. It seems we seek Masters, become Masters, and start all over again… or we settle into our faith tradition, embracing it as fully as possible.  I, for one, feel when one achieves a level we might call Master, the Master ought go deeper while others, move on. Those who move on might move to a different teacher, a different lineage, or even a different faith tradition altogether. In both cases the Master is still seeking, never satisfied.
So, we read in Teacher bios, ”Master So and So was transmitted by Master X, then began study with Master Y, achieving the rank of Master, he then went on…”  and so on and so forth. Such Masters are, in my opinion, searching without receiving.  I can, for example, master a liturgy, ceremony…


With respect to all,
Yesterday I was talking with two of my students over pizza. The subject of my teacher,  Rev. Ken Hogaku Shozen McGuire Dai Osho came up.  I miss him dearly even though we sometimes fought like cats and dogs. He was a strong, centered, mountain of a man. We were alike in many ways, we were also different in as many ways.  I found myself talking much like him. I can be both a strong-willed teacher and a softy. Mostly the latter, yet people tell me I’m somehow intimidating. Go figure. We rarely see ourselves in the same way others do.  
There seems to be a perennial discussion in the American Zen world regarding ritual  and ceremony. Ought we wear robes, shave our heads, offer Dharma names in Japanese?  Or ought we simply sit and devout ourselves to our various practices off the cushion? Some of us are fully one way or another.  Fortunately, I am from a lineage whose founder, Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka Dai Osho, thought to leave Temple Zen as practiced in his homeland in h…