Mirror of Zen Blog

Simple Simple Job


I am just a tour guide. A glorified travel agent, and not much more.

An exchange today with a new participant in our daily livestream on YouTube:

It is really important for someone like me who has this role leading meditation, to constantly and unswervingly remind the practitioner that I have nothing “special”. The practice doesn’t make me or anyone into a “special“ or “holy“ or more substantial person or thing. When anyone, in their natural enthusiasm and gratitude for returning to their just-now life, wants to think of me as a guru, I run as fast as possible in the opposite direction! (Fortunately, this correspondent might not have that “guru“ idea, but human psychology has a high possibility to trend there!)

Anyone who has truly lived long in Paris, and who has experienced deeply the many possibilities of life there, can bring a visitor to Paris and show them exactly where to find the things and experiences they need to have there. Nothing more.

You cannot really show Paris to anyone if you have only experienced it through books, or through a few YouTube videos, or even through obtaining a PhD about Paris or attending a few workshops on Parisian life and culture. You must go there yourself. You must live there.

Then, maybe, if someone comes to you with questions about Paris, you might be a little bit useful in helping them to attain their own experience there.

That is all.

Women Cannot Get Enlightenment


I know this was posted here over a year ago, but it really deserves to be shared, like, every six months or so. Even more. Its teaching-value is truly inestimable!

Dae Soen Sa Nim had this truly clear, no-bullshit way of pointing directly right at the heart of the matter. No extraneous cuts, a spiritual surgeon foremost among surgeons.

And you could substitute out the word “women”, and insert instead “buddhists”, “gay people”, “woodworkers,” “health care providers,” “conservative people,” whatever. His pointing is supremely effective and durable in any situation, at every level, in every case, whatever contortion of “identity” you throw at it.

Pure mastery. The Socratic method of true Zen. Authentic insight and the boundless liberative skill in no-hindrance expedient means that comes from it.

I don’t rah-rah endlessly because he is my Teacher. I speak this way because even just this one instance reveals why he is my Teacher.