Author Archive for Ryotan Sensei

Entering the Gate

Apr. 23, 2010 - Posted in: Blog - 8 Comments

My three-part workshop on the koans of Nyogen Senzaki, one of the first Zen teachers in America, begins at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.  The first two parts (April 27, May 4) will include lecture and discussion.  The third part (May 18) will be a Dharma Dialogue — or “Dharma Combat”– open to all.  Together we’ll learn something of the life and times of this great American Zen pioneer and study some of the koans he handed down to us.

The text we’ll be using is the The Iron Flute, Senzaki’s translation and commentary on a famous 18th Century koan collection, available from Amazon.  This is a rich collection and would make an excellent addition to anyone’s Zen library.  Copies of the koan text will be distributed at each of the workshops. 

If you’d like to get a headstart on the koan that we’ll look at on Tuesday, it’s Case 1 of The Iron Flute, and runs as follows:

Manjushri Enters the Gate

One day Manjushri stood outside the gate when Buddha called to him.  “Manjushri, Manjushri, why do you not enter?”

“I do not see a thing outside the gate.  Why should I enter?”  Manjushri answered.



Daisan for All!

Mar. 10, 2010 - Posted in: Blog - 38 Comments

Daisan was unknown in T’ang Dynasty China. Instead, students asked their questions publicly, usually following a Dharma talk.

I’m delighted that we’re able to revive this custom, thanks to blogging. Please post your questions, on any and all Zen subjects, in the
comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them here. I’ll also be posting other tidbits of interest.

Our Zendo now is truly boundless. Send me your questions, and we’ll roll the wheel of the Dharma together.