Teacherless? I feel like my high school English teacher would be really upset about that. If not, then my dear Nana, a stalwart defender of her majesty's tongue. But I digress.
At Wind-in-Grass, we play games. Sometimes I think of them before the weekly meeting. Sometimes they just suggest themselves to my great relief.
Last week, we played our 4th and 5th games. The Truth Onion and the Teacherless Teacher.
In the truth onion, after a period of zazen ( seated meditation), I invited the group to consider a truth. The idea was that each person would alternative offer a reason why this was, or was not true. Since we had an odd number of people, it worked out that everyone alternated their stances. In this way, I hoped that we might see how the truth as we know it, isn's as certain as we think it is. That it is like an onion, layer after layer, with the center an illusion, empty. In practice, the game may not have demonstrated that.
We used the observation, "Its cold in here". People looked to outside data to confirm it, but inside subjective observation to contest it. Around we went. What I noticed was that after a time, I was not so certain if it was cold or not, or that the feeling was unpleasant. The cold seemed more maleable, more negotiable and abstract. Try it sometimes.
The teacherless teacher seemed to flow better, which was interesting because it came to me on the spot. I asked that each person speak a single sentence into the room in response the the one from the person before them. Just one. In this way, we saw our minds want to anticipate, and struggle to "make sense" and to create a consistent story. As we went around however, the narrative approximated poetry. There were electrons and bird, drafts and waves. Deep water and stillness, the the fish below. Somehow there without a teacher, there was a dharma talk. Whos
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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