Friday, August 19, 1966
SESSHIN LECTURE: Friday Evening
Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco
Suzuki-rōshi: We have already a pretty good understanding of our practice because we have studied it from various side. Here is the interesting subject. I think you—you can easily understand this subject.
Attention! A monk asked Jōshū: “All the dharma lead up to the one, but what does the one lead up to?”
Jōshū said, “I was in the Province of Sei. I made a hempen robe. It weighed seven pounds.”
This is very famous story.
Attention! A monk asked Jōshū: “All the dharmas, all the teachings, all the dharmas lead up to the one. What does the one lead up to?”
Jōshū said, “I was—I have been in Province of Sei. I made a hempen robe. It weighed seven pounds.”
That was answer.
Jōshū is the famous Chinese Zen master who joined our order at his age of sixty. And he studied zazen, our practice, for twenty years under Nansen. And he became a temple [?] monk [?] and—until he died at the age of one hundred and twenty [laughs, laughter]. It is not joke [laughs]. It is true—historical—it is true. And he—his way is so simple, and his life is so bare—bare, you know—bare enough to—just to support himself. He always sit in broken chair, and one of the four legs of the chair, his chair, was always mended [laughs] by—by a rope. Anyway, he is, you know, unique, powerful Zen master.