My Practice at Antaiji
(Kyoto. 40yo. Teacher)
My practice at Antaiji in the summer of 2003 happened to coincide with the arrival and passing of a typhoon. What good fortune. I felt a bit like I was cheating during zazen as I was listening to the wind on the mountain while I was supposed to be...supposed to be...what was I supposed to be doing? Nothing. I was supposed to be doing nothing. Thinking not thinking. But I couldn't help myself. Surely the sound I was hearing was caused by a hand of something greater than ourselves. Or, more likely, a foot. While we tiny humans sat in the temple on the mountainside thinking not thinking, a foot of something greater than ourselves scratched unconsciously at one of its other feet (the essence of thought not thought).
Did it know I was listening? I've heard it before. I recognized that sound. I'm American, and though I was far, far from home at Antaiji that evening, it was somehow comforting to know that even there, I could hear the familiar sound of great Buddha feet...scratching.