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Showing posts from August, 2017

What do Sōtō Zen teachers do?

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Sōtō Zen is not Dōgen's way. Dōgen despised the idea of sects. It is not really a school at all. It is not a building, or a tree with branching trunks, a stream, or a person. Because it is not a person it cannot move, or feel, or have beliefs about something. Like any religion, it is made by people, and specifically, by peoples' actions.

Since the time I started writing this blog, people now and then have written and asked me to be their teacher. I always said "no," and referred them to the nearest Zen center. Brad Warner has written quite well about how weird it is to have a stranger write to you asking to be your student. And I think James Ford also has some good guidelines about how to chose a teacher. I have always said "no" to people because I had nothing to offer; I didn't have transmission when I started writing this blog, and I didn't really have sangha either, which is important, because you need a building to sit zazen in. But now that I a…