Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Study Hall

From Eloquent Silence, part of Nyogen Senzaki's commentary on case thirty-two of the Gateless Gate:
"Buddhists in Ceylon think a shaved head is the most important thing in qualifying as a monk. I admire their obedience to the old Buddhist custom. I suppose all the monks in Ceylon look like Ananda, as far as heads are concerned. A monk who wears white hair like Senzaki would not be allowed to enter any monastery in the lands of Theravada Buddhism. I have no attachment to my hair.  I would shave off my hair, should I go on a pilgrimage to the southern lands. However, I would ask the monk who guards the gate there to show me the way to the monastery without using words and without the wordless. If he did, I would consider him a disciple of the Buddha even though he is living 2,500 years after Buddha's time. If he did not, I would tell him he is an outsider, even though he sits inside the gate".

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