Tuesday, December 8, 2009


"Are you glad about being like this as a result of the surgery?" Some one asked me the other day...

I said I was glad of the insights but not of the limitations - thinking of how restricted my life was in terms of serving and spreading the Dharma. I remembered a talk of Genpo Roshis' about how a thimble cannot carry as much as a large container. The sudden removal of so much like walking and talking, I and we all take for granted, gives me a precious chance to be a thimbleful of purer Dharma rather than spreading bucketfuls of tainted Dharma all over the place. It is really the life I always wanted and that for which I was cut out for from the very beginning - a modern day thimble-sized anchorite. So I get on with feeding the cat and washing the dishes, have gratitude for carers who care, and to those who don't, for children (ditto) and the clear button pushing teishos of supermarket checkouts. There's less to protect such as self esteem and people thinking well of you. It's a step nearer being able to learn from a seven year old if they know more than I do (Joshu) which isn't difficult, especially these days. It is equally easy to know more than I do - and teaching an old man if he knows less than I do, which also isn't difficult. Only round here the old men are doing extremely well as farmers and church goers!

Above all I always feel gratitude to my teacher Genpo Roshi who always knew I was a thimble.


  1. Thimble? Perhaps, but the image that comes to me is of the swan who can separate the milk from the dregs. Being rather impatient, I'd rather have a thimble of clear dharma than a bucketful of mishmash. I am grateful for your teaching, both formal and in the way you live your life.

  2. "Gratitude for carers who care, and for those who don't..." Beautiful. I am grateful for your teaching, Genshin.

  3. Dear teacher,
    Your words are more than a thimble as they tumble through my screen and penetrate my heart with simplicity and wisdom that you, as my elder, have attained through years of practice. You exemplify immense courage and strength and I am very humbled. You taught me to leave no traces in the many times I walked in your short footsteps across the Kanzeon kitchen or into your morning room as Jisha now and then. You are a fine example of the essence of Dharma, in body, spirit and in mind. You shaped aspects of me as Genpo Roshi did for you. I feel my heart reach far across the desert and over the Atlantic ocean to find yours tonight as I so want to tell you I am having the BEST DAY because I found your teachings, insights and inspiration again. I could only wish to find a small part of myself, as tiny as a thimble. Your Magnificence is uplifting and encourging as I hear the temple motto some of the monks used to say, "Keep Going Warrior!"

    All my love from Salt Lake City, and very much hoping I will have the honor of sitting with you once again,