27 March 2015
Down the block and across the street from me is a Starbucks, in front of which is a small bookcase where people leave books, CDs, sometimes LPs... This time there were VHS tapes.
At the time I was in the middle of reading SIT -
kusen of Taisen Deshimaru from the mid-1970s at his dojo sesshin (zazen retreats) in the mountains and valleys of France -
and he had just been talking about Dogen and listening to the river flowing constantly alongside the dojo - talking about hearing the 84,000 sutra-poems of the river... listening but not listening... hearing but not hearing...
When I stepped out of the house that morning after reading and zazen, before heading downtown I decided to get an espresso, and while waiting for it
I looked at the bookcase and immediately on top I saw VHS tapes, and my eyes land upon "ZEN MASTER DOGEN'S Mountains & Rivers Sutra". I was in near-disbelief.
Deshimaru was always talking about Dogen, as it was Dogen who strung through and opened up Zen beyond and into the (Soto) lineage Deshimaru continued 700+ years later.
I had never seen anything of the sort before, let alone on VHS tape, let alone in front of Starbucks in this bookcase. The timing was beyond mere coincidence. It was like a dream.
So I think: "what should I do? I don't have a VHS player... But could it be worth watching? Or transferring? Is it some sort of dramatization? What are the chances of stumbling
across this now... This must be a sign." But after picking it up and thinking about it I set it back down. But then something tells me OPEN IT. SEE WHAT'S INSIDE.
And then I find this booklet, which I took in a daze, returning the tape in its case to the shelf. But immediately I knew... it was time... to bring this through. There was no stopping it.
The harmonious, magnetic alignments of the path itself bring it.
About 10 minutes later, underground in the 181st subway station, alone at the front end of the platform I begin to read it. Soon I am simply overcome with bliss,
a gratefulness so profound I couldn't hold back tears of ecstasy from the bottom of my heart, thanking and honoring from the bottom of my existence coming through inevitably, timelessly.
It was then perhaps the most profound thing I had ever read. [sampai]
I wanted so much to share this with you - to let go of it - to pass it through me and allow it its further chances moving on its course,
as with you too have arrived at this point of continuity on the line joining me now...