Zen: Dogo and Soshin

There was a monk in training under Dogo called Soshin. He was a sincere young monk worthy of his name, which meant “to revere and believe.” He had become distressed, and felt it to be beyond endurance: since the time he had come to the monastery for training, his teacher, Dogo, had not given him, even once, any instructive sermon or appropriate guidance.

Zen Lake

One day Soshin, who could not stand it any longer, went to his teacher Dogo and asked: “Ever since I came to this monastery, you have not given me your gracious teaching even once. What could be the reason for this?”

The master gave the least expected reply, for he said, “Why, ever since you came to my monastery, I have not, even for one moment, neglected to teach you.”

“What kind of teaching have you given me, master?” Soshin asked.

“Well, well! If you bring me a cup of tea, don’t I receive the cup? If you serve me meals, don’t I eat them? If you greet me with your hands pressed, don’t I return your bow? How have I ever neglected to give you guidance?”

Zen Landscape

Soshin, listening to this, hung his head deep, and for a while could not utter a word. Suddenly the master’s roaring cry struck Soshin’s whole being. Dogo said, “When you see, see it direct! If a thought moves, it is gone!”

At this, Soshin uttered an unintentional cry and prostrated himself before the teacher, in tears, whether of joy or sorrow he himself did not know.

 

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Pagoda

Osho’s comments (edited) :

“Don’t move, it is not something you have to think about; just listen directly. There is no question of believing or not believing, accepting or not accepting. Just listen as if you are listening to the sound of running water.

“Soshin’s name … means reverence and belief. Neither reverence is needed nor belief is needed. Soshin has to disappear into an utter absence.”

 

 

 

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