ZEN AND PSYCHOLOGY
Many Zen Students and even a few teachers think Zen is a kind of psychology. This is a little like thinking that persimmons are a type of banana. The Zen master is more like a flea than he or she is like a psychologist. More like a cool breeze. More like a mountain peak. I am not exaggerating or being fanciful.
Some People think of Zen practice as a kind of therapy. That’s not completely mistaken, of course. Yamada Koun Roshi used to say that the practice of Zen is to forget the self in the act of uniting with something—Mu, or breath counting, or the song of a thrush. That is wonderful therapy. Concern about me and mine disappears.
COPING WITH ONE’S MISTAKES
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, “Being a Zen master means coping with one’s mistakes.” Indeed, and it’s a pretty lonely position. If you confess to your errors, some of the good students will go away. If you don’t, you yourself will go away. I don’t wonder at the alcoholism found occasionally in sacred halls.
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters
This is the first of your five free articles this month. Subscribe today to gain access to our award-winning publication plus all of our online offerings, including films, video dharma talks, e-books, and more.Subscribe Now
Already a subscriber? Log in.