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Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 51 Sesshin with Sasaki Roshi At 101 years of age, Joshu Sasaki Roshi is still teaching his unique brand of Zen. Michael Haederle offers us a rare look at the world of this enigmatic master. YOU MAY HEAR bursts of gunfire or explosions during this sesshin,” the sign read. That gave me pause. Formal Rinzai Zen practice with Joshu Roshi was always intense, but gunplay had never before been part of the equation. As I read on, I realized that a movie was being shot in the neighborhood. It figured. Here in LA, reality and illusion mingle effortlessly. I had come to Rinzai-ji, the home temple of Kyozan Joshu Sa- saki Roshi’s network of Zen centers and monasteries, to partici- pate in a seven-day sesshin marking the forty-sixth anniversary of his arrival in the U.S. Forty students were converging from as far away as Austria to practice with the 101-year-old teacher. Although he has taught thousands, Joshu Roshi remains an enigma in the West. He has published little of his teaching, and he seldom speaks in public, apart from the teisho, the talks he delivers during his sesshins. Because he regards encounters with journal- PHOTOS BY JOSHI RADIN