email to Adam Tebbe, editor of Sweeping Zen

Oaks and hills, Helen Putnam Regional ParkI just read the interview with Scott Edelstein, which I enjoyed- interesting to hear the news, as it were.

I used to go hear Kobun speak at the Santa Cruz zendo in the 70’s, when I was a student at UCSC. One thing I remember Kobun said was “take your time with the lotus”. I have finally learned to sit the lotus, although my feet can be a little numb when I get up; hopefully I can find my way to sit without pain and numbness, as he did. Heard him acknowledge that at a sitting at Jikoji in the early part of this century: he never had pain or numbness in the lotus; seiza he said was difficult for him, but not the lotus.

I think another way to approach zen in this country is to focus on the lotus. In the end, we can wake up or fall asleep to the location of consciousness, and either way when we relax into the activity that’s present, we open an ability to feel. In my case, I gradually developed feeling that enabled me to sit the lotus; not bad, for waking up or falling asleep!

As to how we teach this, the only trick is to notice that attraction, aversion, or ignorance of the particular of feeling can condition the subsequent place of occurrence of consciousness; such a witness frees the occurrence of consciousness.

I myself studied a lot of things, to discover waking up or falling asleep was all I was doing in the lotus, and that everyone and everything around me was doing it too.

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