Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Alive and Well

Many thanks to those who have written asking after my health and general well being. Soon after I returned from Wales a month ago my strength fairly much dissolved in a somewhat alarming way. This coincided with my having to notch up my efforts to meet a deadline. Thankfully I found a knowing Chinese doctor who had me back on my feet very quickly. Last time we met I asked how I might maintain my energy now it had returned. She went on at great length and I listened intently. The interpreter turned to me and said, 'Doctor says, when tired you rest'! I've been doing that and thankfully I can say with confidence that I am both alive and well.

I'm really sorry however to have been silent these past weeks. Just a couple of days ago the documents I've been working on were completed and circulated for consideration. This is not the end of my need to focus on my monastic responsibilities, as I'm bound to do that anyway. However I'd like to get back to writing here again and will do my best to return as often as I can.

The one subject I'd like to write about is the Master/Disciple relationship which is central to the way we pass on the teaching in our tradition. I read an article in Tricycle by Jacob Needleman called Bread and Stone. It's an interesting look at the age-old question of how to recognize an authentic spiritual teacher. Through a conversation with a few of his students the question turned around to how much do you want to find a spiritual teacher. How urgent is your inquiry? Having found a teacher, how intent are you to listen and follow their advice. Zen Master Dogen has lots to say on the subject.