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Lions Roar : March 2018
She was impressive: I remember her as large and tough-looking, with lots of tat- toos and piercings. Maybe I am making up this detail, but I recall she had arrived at the temple on a motorcycle. She sat down in front of me and began weeping. I asked her what was the matter. She told me she was weeping because she had just come from the service where the Zen lineage was being chanted. THE MOST PROFOUND AWAKENING I have ever experienced happened when I was abbot at Green Gulch Zen Center. In those days it was my daily practice to sit in my room conducting interviews in the early morning hours, while the com- munity did zazen and chanting service in the zendo. One dark morning a young woman came to see me. She was a short- term student, someone I hardly knew. FROM WHERE I SIT The Lives of Others Zen teacher NORMAN FISCHER discovers the life-changing— and society-changing—power of really knowing other people’s pain. I was confused by her reply. I said, “Why would chanting the lineage make you cry?” “Because every name is a man’s name,” she said. Of course, I was well aware of this. Some scholars say it’s possible that a name or two on the list could be a woman’s name. But yes, by and large the Zen lin- eage is a male lineage, because like all reli- gions Zen has always been dominated by CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE STOCKSYUNITED/(LEFTTORIGHT,TOPTOBOTTOM:)NICKWALTER,ALICENERR,GUILLEFAINGOLD,LUMINA,JACQUESVANZYL,BONNINSTUDIO,JAYMEBURROWS,JAKOB,BRANISLAVJOVANOVIC,KKGAS,DEJANRISTOVSKI,GABRIELBUCATARU LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2018 13