Aitken Roshi, Deep Bow.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 6, 2010
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Via Phil Bralich:

I am sure there will be an official announcement soon, but many would like to know that Aitken Roshi, renowned American Zen teacher, passed at 5 am this morning Hawaii time.  He was in his 90’s.

Here is one of the koans from one of his latest books.

That evening Owl said, “I’m still thinking about our experience at the Little Church in the Grotto.  Can a Buddhist be Christian?”
Raven said: “Love thy neighbor.”
Owl asked:  “Can a Christian be a Buddhist?”
Raven said:  “There are lots of them.”
Owl asked:  “Aren’t you bypassing a conflict in metaphysics?”
Raven asked:  “What has metaphysics got to do with it?”
Owl asked:  “What is the antecedent of it?”
Raven said:  “Good move owl.”


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “Aitken Roshi, Deep Bow.”

  1. Dan Peterson says:

    I had the privilege once of sitting with Aitken Roshi with his group on the Big Island a few years ago. It happened to be the day when he formally announced his retirement and plans to move to Honolulu to be closer to medical care. He read a letter that was read simultaneously to all his students around the world. Though it was my first (and only) meeting with Aitken Roshi I was very moved, and touched by the sadness of his students. At the potluck at noon we formed a circle for a blessing before we ate. Aitken Roshi took my hand. He was very tender and kind. During the formal Dharma exchange I asked how to bring the mind of practice into every day life. He said, "You could slow down. When the phone rings let it ring twice before answering. When the door bell rings pause a moment before answering." I looked at him. The he laughed and said, "I'll tell you what my teacher told me back in the 1950s in Japan. When you come to a doorway – MU! When you walk through the doorway – MU! When the door closes – MU!" We both laughed in joy. I am very grateful to have met a genuine Zen Dharma teacher.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Love that. I'll apply it. Mu!