In my training, every day we had to the see the Roshi twice a day for sanzen (private interview).  So basically we were living form sanzen to sanzen.  We would see him in the morning, and then be preparing all day to see him again in the evening.  Sanzen was omnipresent, and it put pressure on us to be able to show up and bring our essence to him.  

We were very eager to show him we had touched it, to impress him. We honestly loved him so much and wanted to please him. To prove that we could do it.  He was waiting for us. Waiting for us to finally show up. It was the challenge of all challenges. The duel of all duels. In the evening, we would usually sit for an hour and then have sanzen. The energy in the zendo would be sharp in anticipation.  And there we would be, trying with all of our creativity, using all of our Kufu, to touch it, and bring it in to see the Roshi. We had no idea how we would truly touch the great life energy, to wake this dragon within us, and yet we had to touch it every day. Each day was new. It was not like we could do it the same as the day before! This wild, creative, razor sharp way of being changed us over time.  We had to learn to bring everything together into oneness, throwing ourselves into it completely. We became skillful in having no idea how to find it, but touching this deep place every day and learning to bring it.  To present it in real time. And for some this learning to wildly open the door led to some very deep realizations.

This translates to so much in life.  I’ve found this skill to be much of how I relate to everything in my life. And it does not have to be in a Japanese dojo.  Can we creatively find a way to touch this great life energy right now and present it? Can we cultivate the focus to touch it all of the time?  Can we become skillful in having no idea what is happening, and in that being able to find freedom?  Isn’t this what is truly fascinating in life?  This won’t happen because of a bit of fantasy or Mozo (extraneous thinking), but must be digested over and over. This is much of what I am trying to share in our practice together.  And I wish to give everyone permission to creatively explore this type of letting go.  This is the gift of working with a group in a safe container, and it is the secret I bring to my classes. Using our Kufu, letting go into this wild process! Learning to bring everything into oneness and like a hot ball of iron in our throat. Swallowing the entire ocean in one gulp. Thanks so much! you can do it!

A dragon ascends towards the heavens with Mount Fuji in the background in this 1897 ukiyo-e print from Ogata Gekkō’s Views of Mount Fuji.