When I relocated my Zen Dojo to its current location I decided to do not much of advertisement. Just a plain and simple hand-woven web-pape, some information shared on facebook and continuing this blog. My wish was to be present at the Dojo, provide a good place for Zazen and studying Zen-arts and let interested people join my practice. And maybe bring some of my beloved and dearly missed Kyoto to this very German city …
A year and half later the Dojo’s regular income does not even cover half of its expenses. Is it due to my poor understanding of Zen and my limited teaching skills, the less than ideal location or the lack of any in the West oh so popular “traditional Japanese” costume- and ranking show with associated shaved-had black-robes catwalk? I don’t know.
“Don’t worry, just go on!” was my former teacher’s advise I always followed. When he gave me teaching permission during the opening ceremony of my former Dojo near Aachen a couple of years ago he passed me on a calligraphy from his former teacher, Omori Sogen Roshi, saying 吾道一以貫之. I translate these wise words of Confucius as “Never give up following your Way!”
Well … easier brushed than done. I believe this calligraphy once must have had a brother or sister explaining “And your source of income will be …”. Alas, I never saw it. So I am afraid I have to close down my Dojo before long to avoid bankruptcy. The good news is, not too many dedicated students will be affected by the loss, and I will be free to move on … or to move back to my beloved home-town. Said that, I am not so sure where exactly it is located … maybe I just disappear, or better, gently fade away.
Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; `but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!
P.S.: Once more the end of a month passed and once more I decided not yet to cancel my Dojo’s contract.