Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Zen Masters and Poetry
Zen masters are also admired for their ability to compose poems. I met Seung Sahn founder of Choge Zen centers and he has a book of poems. The Blue Cliff Records of Koans has poems, I think, but I will have to grab the copy off my shelf to be certain. Seung Sahn was an old man but had affairs with at least three American women who all, strangely enough, became Zen masters which is not a transmission which is bestowed casually. I tripped up Seung Sahn once at a public meeting with one question: "It is said that Siddhartha Gautama deliberated for several days whether to preach to the world or retire to seclusion; had he retired what would your practice now be." The audience let out a slight gasp. He did not answer the question really but did seem irritated by it.