Shoheijuku Newsletter July 2020
Six months have already passed this year. I hope all the dojo members are doing well. We resumed the classes at each dojo in the middle of June, though it will take more time to go back to the full-scale practice. Many dojo members joined us for the first time in a long time with full of energy.
I would like the instructors to teach classes as taking extra careful measures against infection.
As I wrote last month, I would like to express my sincere appreciation again to people from all over Japan as well as from overseas for their heartful donations as we have been in a hard situation for the dojo operations.
There was even a case where people who had been away from the dojo for over ten years contacted with each other and made donations to us.
I recalled those faces from the old days and got full of nostalgic and thankful feelings.
As I thought about how I should spend every day under such an unusual situation, I have been reading various books and impressive words I wrote down in the past. Just recently, I encountered a word that really resonated with me. It is from the book “Zen Words as Power for Living” published by Chichi Publishing. In the book, there is a talk between Mr. Yokota Nanrei, the chief abbot of the Engaku-ji Branch of Rinzai School, and
Mr. Oka Junsho, the abbot of Enyu-ji, Tendai School. I have been reading the article again and again. In the postscript of the book, the following story was posted.
During the Tang Era of China, there was a Zen master called Joshu who lived for as long as 119 years.
One day, one of his disciples questioned him “What will you do if you encounter a great disaster?” The Zen master answered “Kakko,” which means “Just right.”
In the Book of Joshu, it is translated “Alright! Here it comes!” I thought it was an excellent translation.
Whenever I encounter a terrible incident that I think “No way!”, I always try to deal with the situation with the mind of “Alright! Here it comes!” even if my mind is full of anxiety.
Even if I cry or fail, I cannot stop my steps until I die during the journey of my life. If I need to take one step forward anyway, I would like to go in high spirits. I believe that is a “kakko-ii (cool)” way of life.
(An excerpt from “Zen Words as Power for Living”)
Come to think of it, when I was still young, I asked a similar question to Osawa Kisaburo Sensei at Hombu Dojo. At that time, Osawa Sensei told me to think “Shimeta (I’ve got it!)” rather than “’Shimatta (Shoot!)”
These days, I have been asking myself if I can say “Kakko” or “Shimeta” even under the current situation.
— Morito Suganuma