Google+ Followers

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ruth Fuller Sasaki

In the pendulum of awareness, every distraction becomes a recognition point to use as an opportunity to
return to our practice.


Really famous Zen Masters, or "Watch it, whether you answer correctly or incorrectly to Zen master's question, you still get 30 whacks from the incense stick. Ouch!!!" 

Alan Watts, Gary Snyder, Janwillem van de Wetering, Nyogen Senzaki, Daisetz Suzuki...these names may be familiar to you if you scan the book shelves of libraries and retailers of both new and second hand book stores for Chan or Zen books. What do they all have in common save for all being literary pillars of the Zen community? 

They all ate at the dinner table of Ruth Fuller Sensaki (1892-1967), a wealthy Chicago socialite who met  Daisetz Suzuki in 1932 in Japan. His introduction of her to a real Japanese roshi resulted in a lifelong pursuit of Zen and eventually the development of (North) American Zen.

Though Ruth was not a recognized Zen master, she was the only Westerner-and the only woman-ever to be made a priest of a Daitaku-ji temple in its many centuries. Ruth Fuller Sensaki forever changed the face of Zen Buddhism. Here's her take on the True Self...

"Of course, as long as this human frame hangs together and we exist as one manifested form in the world of forms, we carry on what appears to be an individual existence as an individual ego. But no longer is that ego in control with its likes and dislikes, its characteristics and its foibles. The True Self, which from the beginning we have always been, has at last become the master. Freely the True Self uses this individual form and this individual ego as it will. With no resistance and no hindrance it uses them in all the activities of everyday life whatever they are and wherever they may be. This is true self-mastery; this is true freedom; and this only is truly living. Now have the long years of Zen study and practice come into full flower.".....from Zen: A Method of Religious Awakening in Isabel Stirling's biography of Ruth Fuller Sensaki in Zen Pioneer, pg. 178. 

Ruth Fuller Sensaki

Also check  out:
Master Cheng Yen in Facebook; 
and the Western Chan Fellowship at

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201, 
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

No comments:

Post a Comment