Saturday, June 12, 1971
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We say “Zen Center student,” you know. Or, we say “Zen Center.” But it is—tonight—today—I want to make this kind of idea clear, you know, as much as possible. Although, you know, I say, “You are Zen Center students,” and although you say, “You are Zen Center students,” you say, “I am Zen Center student.” I don’t know! [Laughs.] I am not so sure who you are. But to me, as long as you are here, you know, to me you are Zen Center students. [Laughs.] That’s all. And if you go out from this building, I don’t know who you are. [Laughs.]
Do you know who you are? [Laughs.] Is there any particular, you know—do you belong to some particular, you know, religion? Are you member of some particular church, or member, you know—do you strictly belong to some group? I don’t know. Perhaps not. Most of you does not belong to any group in its strict sense. But some of them [you] may belong to—strictly belong to Zen Center. And if someone belong [laughs] to Zen Center in its strict sense, and some of you do not belong to any school and yet practicing our way in the same building, you know, how that is possible [laughs], you know? How is it possible to practice, you know, same—some certain way, you know, with someone who strictly belong to some group. How is it possible? If that is not possible, you know, should I accept student who belong to Zen Center in its strict sense? Should I do that?
Maybe some student thinks in that way, but, you know, I accept, you know, students from various religion. Some of you may be Christian. Some of you may be Rinzai students. Some of you may be, you know—may, you know, still, you know, have some other teacher in your mind—always, maybe. But still I accept them. Why is it possible for me to accept students, you know, from various religion as a Zen Center student without any discrimination? It’s, you know—we, you know—I or we (same thing [laughs])—if I say “we” [laughs] you will be very much concerned about word “we.” If I say “I,” it may be okay, you know, but if I say “we,” [laughs] it looks like, you know, there is some, you know, group, and so-called-it “Sōtō” or “Rinzai” group or, you know, Sōtō group. So if we say “we,” you know, you may not feel so good, but to me it is same thing, you know. “We.” “I.” Same.