Tuesday, June 14th
- Martin Goodson

Originally there is no rubbish & forthcoming events for w/c 13th June 2022

Oak Leaves



The 12th June saw the memorial day for Soko Morinaga Roshi who was head monk at Daitokuji when Ven. Myokyo-ni (Daiyu Myokyo zenji) was training there in the 1960s. Later on he was Abbot of Daishu-in Temple and also Head of Hanazono University.

He met his teacher Zuigan Roshi just after the end of WWII. Japan had been defeated and was in chaos. Soko, like many of his generation, was in the midst of both a spiritual and moral crisis. Everything that they had been told they could trust and believe in had turned out to be wrong and like many of his peers Soko was suffering a crisis of faith.

After a number of dead ends Soko found himself at the gates of Master Zuigan's temple; he was looking for something but did not really know what? Zuigan invited him in and Soko sat down and poured out his heart telling all about his feelings of anger, shame and disbelief.

After a couple of hours he had finished and up to that point Zugan had not said a word. Master Zuigan then looked Soko in the eye and said: ' I may help you but you must trust me 100%'.

Soko was dumbfounded, he had just told Zuigan how and why he was unable to trust anyone and here was this priest asking him to trust him 100%. Soko thought Zuigan must be either mad or a fool! However, there was nowhere else for him to go and he knew it so Soko said 'Yes'.

Shortly after Soko was given the task of sweeping the leaves along the paths around the temple. This he did with gusto wanting to show his enthusiasm. When he had finished he went to Zuigan and asked: 'What should I do with the rubbish?' Zuigan glared at him and said 'What rubbish?, there is no rubbish, show me!'

When Soko took Zuigan to the pile Zuigan told Soko that the leaves could be used for kindling to heat the bath water and to go set some sacks from the shed and fill them. Soko grudgingly had to agree that this was a good idea. When Soko returned he saw Zuigan carefully picking up the stones from the pile and using them to fill in the indentations in the gravel edging below the eaves of the buildings where the raindrops fall and leave their marks. Then finally he took the bits of moss and used them on the moss garden replacing the areas that had been scuffed off by shoes when people had walked over it. Finally there was nothing left of the pile. Master Zuigan came up to Soko and again looking him in the eye said: 'So you see, originally there is no rubbish in either people or things.'


This week we have our regular live-streamed Zazen meditation on Thursday at 1900hrs BST, you will find the link on the meditation page. The format for this event is a 30 minutes quiet sitting, followed by the chanting of the Four Great Bodhisattva Vows and then a short Dharma talk.

Please note that the last tutorial for module 6 of the Living with Uncertainty course will be next Tuesday 21st June. The Zoom link will be provided in a blog post at the weekend.

Looking forward to catching up with you in due course.