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True Zen Teachings

Zen and Good Desires - The Story of Shachekushi

by Taisen Deshimaru Roshi.

When I was young, Kodo Sawaki gave me a collection of stories which included this one. I remember many of them.

A long time ago, the chief of the Kamakura prefecture, Jito, was visiting Mount Koyoasai. The Daimyo was travelling accompanied by his very beautiful daughter. He came across a very elegant young monk in a sanctuary near Koyoasai.

When the young monk saw the young woman, he fell in love with her. Not being able to forget her, he asked Buddha to make her image disappear (like with Tamaki whose problem I solved). But this young monk was not aided by anyone, and he became neurotic. This young woman's face constantly appeared in front of him. He decided to go to see her. He left for Kamakura.

Eight-hundred years ago, trips were taken by foot. He had to cross the sea by boat. He waited at the edge of the shore and fell asleep on the ground. Suddenly the ferryman called out, "Come, the boat is leaving. Please come."

The young monk got up and climbed on board. He arrived at Shiba and visited the chief of the province, Jito. Jito welcomed him.

"I met you near Koyoasai. Why have you come here?"

"I have been sent by my temple and since I had some time, I wanted to see you."

"Please stay several days. The landscape is very beautiful in this province."

The beautiful woman welcomed him like a servant. He was very happy and thought that this was a dream. But this was reality. One night, he entered her bedroom, got into her bed and touched her. He tried to make love for the first time, and the girl welcomed him. The next day, they started again. So he didn't want to go back to Koyoasai.

One month passed, and at the end of a month, the woman's stomach got bigger. Jito became angry, "Why have you broken the kai?" The girl cried and the father authorized the marriage, "But you must return to the social life."

In this era, after having shaved, a monk could no longer let his hair grow. My disciples have long hair, short hair. In the past, this was not possible.

He let his hair grow out, returned to social life and married the young woman. Jito wanted to get a successor out of this. A very strong baby was born from their union, then another son.

Thirteen years passed. In Japan, when a young boy turns thirteen, there is a big ceremony. So the father left with his family for Koyoaisai. They took a trip. As soon as they took the boat for Kamakura, the thirteen year old son fell into the sea and sank to the bottom of the water. The father and the mother called out but were not able to find him. The father cried very hard, and by his cries, he woke up from his dream.

Thirteen years had passed in the dream. He was still on the shore, waiting for the boat.

"I experienced many things in thirteen years, while waiting for the boat."

He had dreamt that he met a beautiful woman, had sex, had two sons and lost the first-born.

He touched his head with his hand. He touched his bald head. Am I going to Shiba or to Koyoasai. If I am find this woman, I will have to get married - masturbation is better."

Kodo Sawaki often said, "For the last seventy years, I have masturbated after drinking sake."

So we could say that it is by the power of Kanzeon that the young monk had this experience.

Étienne surely read this story and had this experience. Mujo, impermanence, life is like a dream.



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