Jan 9th, 2012
I have been having a little back-and-forth with Rev. Dosho Port about some statements made on his blog, in a post aptly titled "Who Gets to Say Anyway?" ...
There are many Paths up and down the no-mountain mountain, each suited to sentient beings with differing needs. I believe that there are students who may benefit from Koan introspection alone, and those who will not. There are student who will benefit from Shikantaza alone, and those who will not. And there are students who may benefit from some combination, and those who will not. All beautiful paths, suited (or not) to different people.
So I was rather saddened and surprised to see Dosho express a seemingly narrow view of Koan teaching, stating ...
Soto priests without koan training comment on koans regularly (including myself in my nefarious past). ... Now that I’ve done some koan training, I confess to this hubris in my own past and from my current perspective would like to encourage my Soto non-koan trained friends to consider the possibility that there might well be something in a koan that they have not seen from their shikantaza perspective.
I wrote him back to say I agree with his comment that Shikantaza practitioners might not see or teach Koans as Dosho's school or sect teaches, but that, in turn, those other folks "should consider that there may be something in Koans that they have not tasted in their dreams without piercing the purity of Shikantaza". When I informed Dosho that our Treeleaf Community would soon begin dancing with the Book of Equanimity (the Shōyōroku), a collection of Koans much cherished in the Soto world for nearly 1000 years, Dosho wrote:
Seriously, I suggest that you don’t. From what I’ve read of your views on koan and shikantaza, I wonder if you might be misleading your community by working through koan with them – koan that you yourself have not worked through with anybody. Perhaps qualifying what your doing by saying that this is just your view….
Hmmm. Respectfully, that seems a very narrow vision of the Gateless Gate to Buddhist Truth! Dosho did not wish to continue the discussion on his own blog. So, I thought to respond here and invite Rev. Dosho or anyone to offer views (provided one doesn't omit the non-views too!)
So, WHO OWNS THE KOANS?
Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.