Starting on the Path

This is Masumi’s Truth. This is not the TRUTH.

Welcome! My Dharma name is Masumi, and I am a Zen student. Masumi means “Clear Truth.” I received Jukai (took the Buddhist precepts) on January 31, 2009. Nine years later, on January 5th, 2018, I declared my intention to study to become a Zen priest, and my teacher agreed to take me on as a student. The commitments I’ve made for 2018 are to sit zazen (meditation) six days a week for an hour a day, to receive training in deeper elements and forms of Zen practice, and to refrain from alcohol for the whole year. Thus, I have taken this dive into the still pond with my whole being.

Masumi’s Truth is a contemplation of Zen practice from the perspective of a lay person on the Path to Buddhist priesthood. As I walk this Path and face unknowns, there may be moments of TRUTH. However, I am not formally a teacher, therefore what you will find here is the truth of the self, my self — you will find my failures and breakdowns as well as my insights. This is why I start this blog with the words “This is Masumi’s Truth. This is not the TRUTH.”

As a convention in this blog, capital letters are used to refer to ultimate REALITY beyond the duality of mind and body. To use a quote from a book,* this REALITY, or IT, is all that which is UNBORN, UNCHANGING, UNDYING, UNCREATED. And therefore, it is sometimes hard to grasp. I have moments when I understand, but it may be just as quickly lost. So know that I, too, am a student, and all life is a classroom.

I hope that I will be ordained as a Buddhist priest in this lifetime, but the important thing is just to be on the Path and sit zazen. Thank you for joining me on this Path.

* Zen Master Keizan Jokin. 2001 The Denkoroku: The Record of the Transmission of the Light. Translated by Rev. Hubert Norman, O.B.C. Shasta Abbey Press, Mount Shasta.