In a lovely story about the Atlanta Zen Center’s abbot, Taiun Elliston’s receiving Dharma transmission from Shohaku Okamura Roshi this past month, the writer says there are about eighty Zen masters in North America.
As everyone who knows about Zen knows, there are, of course, no Zen masters in all of North America.*
Congrats to Elliston Roshi and to the Atlanta Zen community!
*My spouse read this and said that not too many of my readers would get the allusion. I said I don’t have too many readers. She said fix it. So…
Blue Cliff Record, Case 11: Huangbo and the Brewer’s Lees
Huangbo addressed his assembled monks, saying “You’re all eaters of brewer’s lees. If you go about on pilrimages like this, when can you meet today? Don’t you know that in all the land of Tang, there is no Zen teacher? A monk stepped forward and said, “But surely there are those in all regions who reform monks and govern assemblies of disciples.” Huangbo said, “I didn’t say there is no Zen, only that there is no teacher of Zen.”