Mirror of Zen Blog

The Changing Path 4 — Raising Students (in Zen, “Tending a Bull”)

What was imagined raising students would be: (pre-monk idea) — gentle meeting of minds, receptive and welcoming in the misty spirit of Dharma-openness, a mutual interpenetration of souls, “raising the Bull” through gentleness and soft guidance;

Yen Chua, “Untitled”

What “raising students” is quite likely to be: (post-monk reality) — Yourself worn out physically with the unrelenting shouldering of the efforts to assist peoples’ waking-up work in the 24-hour age of digital hyper-connectivity, when instead of physically coming to practice directly many become accustomed to obtaining near-direct access, an open target for any sort of disappointment that anyone wishes to pin on your inability to always present an always-strong and resolute focus and clarity, all days, every day, it is considered normal to constantly be open to absorbing the forces of unfocused, unexamined, undigested karma, while you yourself struggle against your own physical entropy to continue digesting what is unfocused, unexamined, and undigested in yourself.

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