A Subtle Gift

Katherine’s way of teaching was direct and practical. While preparing to see someone in dokusan just after Labor Day, a flood of micro memories began and my tears followed. A subtle gift drifting into my consciousness as I lit the altar, I could see and hear Katherine demonstrating to me how Suzuki roshi had shown her closing the match book cover before touching the match tip to the striker,

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she repeated his words, “This is doing one thing completely.” And just a heartbeat after this, a new memory of Katherine’s teaching this one through Katagiri roshi putting out the flame of the match by moving it quickly through air, “We don’t use our breath to extinguish.” I shared these memories aloud with my student as we prepared to sit together and continue the conversation. The circle is already and always unbroken. With warmth for the depth and breadth of our Sangha treasure,

Joseph HallGeneComment