Roshi Joshu Sasaki -- Bodhi Manda Zen Center

Jemez Springs, New Mexico

Going to Rohatsu with Roshi is not something easily explained. I was expecting the difficulty to be the long hours of sitting in Zazen, but I found Sanzen (Personal Interviews) much more difficult. Reading Koans in books, or talking about them with other people is nothing even close to actually practicing a Koan with a Zen Master like Roshi Sasaki.

No explanation could ever do it justice. It was obvious very early that Roshi understood me better than I understood myself. At times it was like having a mirror stuck in my face, and others, it was like being completely lost in a foreign land.

Joni Mitchell wrote: "Fear is like a wilderland. . .stepping stones on sinking sand." I think Roshi would appreciate that metaphor.

Coming away from Rohatsu Sesshin, I was very clear about one thing. I did not want to live my life as an imposter. Something easier said than done. We all want people to have a good impression of who we are, but if the price is, we ourselves lose touch with who we really are, we have lost the most precious gift of life, and we will never know liberation.

Thank you, Roshi!