Temple of Peace

No need to be in chains

Sawaki Rôshi:

People call me "Homeless" Kodo, but I don't take it as an insult. They call me that because I have never had a temple or a house. Everyone is homeless. It is a mistake if you think that you have a fixed home.

Uchiyama Rôshi:

As his disciple, I did not always feel good when I heard Sawaki Roshi called "Homeless" Kodo. The word "homeless" reminded me of stray dogs and cats. But now I understand that his nickname is really a title for the true person. Everyone is a stray in reality.

Because my teacher was a homeless person, I also had to be homeless. The only way I could support myself was by begging, being barked at by dogs all day. One time a spitz viciously barked at me, growling and leaping as if it wanted to tear me to pieces. Suddenly, the collar chain broke and it immediately began to cower and whine. A dog threatens with barks and growls when it is chained, but quickly loses its nerve when freed. The spitz' behavior amused me because it reminded me of some human beings. They behave threateningly when they are chained by financial power, titles or organizations. As soon, as the chains are removed, they retreat, feeling small and powerless. How absurd they are. Each of us is just a person living alone, majestically. For human beings, there is no need to be in chains.

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