Last Lecture of Sesshin: PRACTICE TO BE LIKE A STONE
Saturday, February 28, 1970
Before we sit, six-day sesshin was too long. But after we completed, it was too short [laughs, laughter]. I think you feel, you know, quite different feeling. For an instance, when you walk, you know, you have quite different feeling. You feel as if you—your legs have become shorter [laughs, laughter], and your legs stick to floor, you know, and you feel very heavy [laughs] in your walking. It should be, you know, great joy for you, you know, when you completed such a long torch, you know. But, you know, it is strange, you know, not to have so much joy, you know. I think that is because you have more composure in your feeling. And this is, I think, important.
Zen student is not, you know, so expressive, you know. Mostly they keep silent. They do not walk so fast. They don’t act so actively, you know. You know, they have some—something, you know—something different, anyway. Especially when you sit for so long time, you yourself feel you changed a lot. You feel, you know, it is difficult even to smile [laughs]—even to say something, you know. That will be the feeling you have. And if you continue your practice, you will be more and more so. And even though you will not change into a strong buddha [laughs, laughter], a great change will happen to you, you know, and you will be someone which you didn’t like at all. “I don’t want to be like this.” [Laughs.] But although this kind of experience is not the experience you wanted to have, but this is the experience anyway you will have through [laughs, laughter] zazen.
But there is—there is no need for you to worry, you know, because this is the way, you know, upwards, and soon you will find out the way downwards, and you will find yourself in the city again as a normal person. So there is nothing to worry, but in zendō it is necessary for us to have this kind of experience through practice.