Last week study hall was impacted by, variously, watching English football, going to the big Zen Center meeting, the Young Urban Zen offshoot study group, and going to meet a tanned and relaxed looking Abbot at the airport. Hopefully I can knuckle down a bit this week. I have picked up Eloquent Silence, a collection of koan commentaries and other writings by Nyogen Senzaki.
I have expressed before my interest in this earlier wave of zen teachers, in the early to middle part of the last century, how they mostly toiled in obscurity, and tailored their message to the audience of the time - Senzaki uses a lot of Christian references - without diluting the strength of their teachings. Here is a quote of his from the introduction:
"Monks have no monopoly on Zen. Zen belongs to the world. Laymen and laywomen attendants should study Zen - even children in kindergarten should be trained in the Zen way. The shrubs and grasses around this humble house also study Zen. They show the color of Zen through their own natural green... Zen monks are like street cleaners. They do their work so that others can go their different ways".