In his discourse, Daidoshi asks, "What is the wisdom that has no teacher? What is the truth that cannot be given because it has always been present? It's a truth that all of us are born with and we die with it, whether we realize it or not. It is the ground of being inside of each one of us." This issue raises the question of what a teacher really is. If we already have everything we need, who or what can truly teach us? And what exactly is the wisdom that we seek?
Reginald Ray's piece suggests that this very body—in all its impermanent, sensual emptiness—is our teacher. Frederick Franck explores art as a teacher, one that can help us give up an identity, and make contact with an authentic self. Mark Slouka's meditation on nature's cycles of life and death portrays the perfection inherent in all of life. Brenda Peterson's article on clearcutting is a reflection on the karmic effects of ignoring inherent wisdom—what happens when we deny our relationships to the earth and to each other.
In his talk, Shugen Sensei reflects on the suffering we create when we see ourselves as lacking, and thus seek external fulfillment. "Within adversity or injustice it is especially difficult to understand that if we want to get to the root of the suffering, we have to deal with both the creator and master of the suffering." He points to the dharma of taking responsibility for ourselves, for what we create, for all of life—this, he teaches, is the medicine we can administer for suffering.
Ryushin Sensei's dharma talk returns to the questions of communication, transmission, and the nature of secret teaching. What is secret teaching? he asks. "Everything returns to us after we recognize that we have had it all along."
Since Daido Roshi's passing, the theme of this Mountain Record has become even more relevant and poignant to those of us who have called him our "teacher." We already have what we seek, we must trust ourselves—this is the legacy that Roshi left us—our inheritance from a wise teacher who refused to give us that which we already possess
Valerie Meiju Linet,MRO
Mountain Record, Editor