White Wind Zen Community

A Community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985

2: Mondo

by Ven. Shikai Zuiko O-sensei

Dainen-ji, November 24th, 2001

[O-sensei]: Is there anything that you would like to talk about that has come up during this Dharma Assembly so far?

[Student]: Sensei, may I say something?

[O-sensei]: Yes.

[Student]: Probably the most suspicious little dictator that comes up is the one that says, as you say, there are other things that would be better to do in this time. There's guilt at just sitting when there's so many things to do. I guess…how to stop it…?

[O-sensei]: Hazard a guess.


[O-sensei]: The content doesn't matter. And if it has come up often enough so that you can actually identify it, talk about it, you can reasonably expect that until it's worn out, it is going to come up again. So see it for what it is, which is a habit. It's a pattern. And feel the breath, sit up straight and then you may notice that there can often be an expectation that once it has been dealt with once that it's not going to happen again. That's not true. So each moment you deal with whatever it is that comes up in that moment.
Thank you for the question. Anything else?

[Student]: A comment on what you were saying about the events of September 11th and how they were interpreted by the Roshi. I happen to have been with a group of people who were involved with international development work as that was happening and, by all of those people, I think I can safely say, it was accepted in the way that you described that the Roshi described it: that this is another thing that happens. It wasn't…

I think there are a lot of people who do accept things like that.

[O-sensei]: And recognize that that's one event in the midst of many. Thank you.

Anything else?

Well, I am sure a few will pop up this afternoon. So, time to deal with the process of overthrowing that dictator. So if you would turn and face the wall…