This morning, I was reading -- skimming, actually -- an interview with Michael Elliston, a Zen teacher in Atlanta, Ga. The interview seemed to center on the Zen teachers and environment he had, so to speak, grown up in.
And, truth to tell, I was a bit disappointed. I was curious about his own views and life and not so much about his lineage and credentials. I can see where others might find such information useful or supportive, but I just don't care much how someone dresses or whether they run a Zen center ... I want to know something about the woman or man, what their views are, whether they like chocolate, and what wisdom they have come up with in an effort-riddled life.
In earlier times, times gone by, I imagine I cared about such things as the interview seemed to focus on. Who anointed whom, who knows whom ... it probably felt pretty wowsers. But these days it tastes a bit like stale beer ... not enough fizz. (This is just me noticing my own propensities. It is not a criticism of the interview.)
As Dylan Thomas wrote, "Time passes. Listen! Time passes."
I prefer the personal nitty-gritty when it comes to Zen teachings ... something that integrates more clearly the teachings and the stuff on some unscrubbed sidewalk.
Oh well, taste is taste and one man's lack of fizz is another man's fireworks.