Apr 142012

An old friend and student of Roshi, a high ranked martial arts teacher, was announced to arrive with his wife, baby and two students for holiday. I wondered if it might not become challenging to combine a Zen Dojo’s busy schedule with that of a group of tourists, and I was a bit worried about sharing the house with people who go to bed late after pub and get up half a day after the rest of us. But unexpected interference is always a good Zen exercise …


The morning after his guests arrived the Roshi came three or four times to the guesthouse for discussing the sightseeing schedule, though in vein, all of them were still sound asleep.

Since it was our free day, I just did some cleaning inside the house, very silently not to wake up the sleeping ones, so every now and then I had the opportunity to talk a bit with the Roshi. He took me to the neighbour’s house, a cultivator of bonsai trees, and we had some interesting exchange concerning architecture and living in an old Japanese house.

When his visitors finally made it out of their futons around eleven, he asked me to translate. The Roshi did not show any anger, just slight astonishment, and I concluded he really must be a very generous character. Though, he asked all of them to join next morning’s service at 5 am, and I had the impression that his friends did not really trust my translation at first …

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