Genpo Roshi was interviewed last week by Kelly Carlin for a live radio broadcast. Here are some of his thoughts:
The past almost two years have been a period of intense self-reflection. I’ve done some teaching, but it’s been really a time when I’ve reflected more than I have since 1972. And I’m even thinking by the middle of November, I’m going to take at least a year, maybe longer, retreat to go deeper. Because what’s happened to me through all this is that I have never ever been so keen on delving deeper, on going deeper into myself as I am now. Even more than with my first opening in 1971, it’s stronger than that. Knowing who I am, taking care of where my shadows are, undoing where my knots are, removing the barriers, and working on myself. I’ve spent a lot of time recently doing that.
One of the voices I’ve been working on is guilt. I don’t say I’m finished by any means. I’m still working on it. It’s a work in progress, and so am I. So guilt is a huge one. Entitlement! Huge! In my opinion, it’s huge in the Buddhist world. I see it in myself, I see it in students. As students of the Way, we think, ‘We’ve given up our life for the sake of the Buddhadharma. Aren’t we … entitled? We’re doing the real work. We’ve given our life to it. We’re entitled.’
I’ve known for more than forty years that you can you have these experiences, but how do you live them? I realized then it was going to take time, I didn’t realize how much time. And I realized it was going to be difficult, I didn’t realize how difficult. But I’m at a place right now, I’m tired of hurting people, I’m really tired of that. I’m tired of being inflated, I’m just sick of it. I just want to be myself, just an ordinary human being, and just live the teachings, really embody them. Just live it. Rather than talk about it, just manifest it. Just shut up and live it.
Listen to the entire interview recorded live with Kelly Carlin on August 3, 2012. You can play it on the show’s website, or download the interview. (The actual interview begins 20 minutes in to the recording.)