“After my death I will come back and haunt over you, checking on your practice.” Dainin Katagiri Roshi, one of the greatest pioneers of Zen in America, said this frequently, teasing Dosho Port and his fellow students. For Dosho, Katagiri Roshi’s “haunting” still includes, to borrow a phrase from Warren Zevon, “keeping him in my heart a while”—continuing the intimate exploration of the indelible imprint that a Zen teacher leaves on a student’s heart.
Katagiri’s teaching was at once powerful, gentle, and sometimes almost even casual. For Dosho, some of the richest teachings came in these simple, casual moments during everyday interactions. The structure of this book is built around a series of such vivid truth-happening places, evocative of the ancient koans of the Zen tradition, touching on such topics as the nature and purpose of Zen, the dynamic and working of realization, and, of course, the functioning of the teacher-student relationship.