The Turnover

"The Turnover", number 146 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

There was a dramatic turning point in the war with Japan. The Emperor of Japan surrendered and the country started the process of rebuilding.

During this time there were amazing and previously unthinkable events. While Aitken was waiting for his repatriation, the leaders of his group were asked by the Japanese, when building dance halls for the occupation forces, should they build separate ones for officers and enlisted men or not.

This is a complete and utter acceptance of the new situation.

Here is the lesson for all of us zennies. Accept every new situation with the same gusto. And every situation is new, even those that are repeated endlessly.

I found this reproduction of a BBC program about Zen in Japan on youtube. It is in 8 parts but each are short. If you practice zazen, you'll be in for a treat during the last 3 minutes of the program. There is some great footage of old training centers in Japan.

Zen Buddhism: The Land of the Disappearing Buddha, a 1977 BBC Production.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.