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Lions Roar : July 2017
me, who had one tail of his knot standing up straight and was carefully spreading out the sides. Then he folded the top of it over, and put his hands in his lap. I looked at Hosho. He nodded towards my untied kit. So once again everyone was waiting for me, with Hosho finally whispering, “Just leave it.” Then a closing chant. Afterwards Hosho asked me to stay behind. We sat there waiting for the others to leave. I wanted to tell him one of my cabin mates sucks on lemon drops dur- ing meditation and the other one leaves his clothes all over the floor. “Do you know what the word ‘oryoki’ means?” Hosho asked. I tried to think. “Something like... ceremonial meal?” “It means ‘just enough.’” My face went hot. “The cantaloupe. You’re right. I took way too much.” He shook his shaved head. “That’s not what I’m saying. ‘Just enough’ means...” He paused. “Tell you what,” he said. “Why don’t you think about what it means?” “Right now? Think about it right now?” While you’re here with us. You’re here for a month, is that right?” “Yes,” I said. Three and a half more weeks, I thought. Jesus, I thought. “Have it there in your mind: ‘What is just enough?’ Let it work.” “Like a koan, you mean?” He smiled. “If you like.” A koan is a question a Zen teacher gives a student to work on. It’s not some- thing you can figure out an answer to, and in fact they don’t even usually make any sense, like the most famous one: What is the sound of one hand clap- ping? Try figuring that out. You can’t. The answer has to come from a place way deeper than thinking goes. Anyway, I liked having my own koan: What is the meaning of just enough? Hosho took me through the entire oryoki ceremony again, moment by moment, with imaginary food, being Spiritual & Wellness Retreats A Catskill Nature Resort & Spa Sponsered by Tibet House, US experience the Host Your Retreat www.Menla.us | (845) 688-6897 Mahasukha Spa of Menla Japanese Incense since 1705 www.shoyeido.com LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 24