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Lions Roar : May 2016
What is your practice tradition? Soto Zen offers the pure practice and insight of everyday mind; White Plum Asangha brings forth the sharpness of koan study; Zen Peacemakers empha- sizes social engagement and peacemaking. Primary teachers? Roshis John Daido Loori, Taizan Maezumi, and Bernie Glassman. What is your current project? Right now the world is looking at racism and religious difference, and so am I. How can we think about, talk about, and make change about the suffering that causes hatred? How do we address racism, classism, and “other-making” in our world? Favorite meditation practice? Zazen: “just sitting,” whether standing up, lying down, or walking around! Favorite getaway? Bird-watching in Central Park. Amazing creatures—both those flying and those watching them. Your favorite virtue? Dana, or generosity, the giving energy that connects us to everything. It is the seed of all the others. When there is giving, there is compassion and service. Your principal poison? I guess it would be greed: I do take such pleasure in the visual, tactile, and taste realms! The feel of a breeze, the scent of a blossom, the sound of birds, the colors in the sky, the tastes of a meal. Your idea of happiness? A job well done; a process that is working for everyone; a roomful of practitioners. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? For some reason, early in my Zen practice I was often called to help with a clogged cesspool or to empty composting toilets. Unfortunately, I became an “expert” in this field. If not yourself, who would you be? A very strange question. What “self” would we be talking about? Your favorite author? W.S. Merwin, the poet who seems to find the right word revealing the detail, revealing the vision. What’s for dinner? Ah, I love to cook. Tonight it’s watching mushrooms sweat in the pan, the way ginger makes a salad “pop,” the transformations of raw to cooked, cooked to plate, plate to joyful meal. A motto that represents you? “A duck’s legs are short, a crane’s legs are long.” LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 33