Today I arrived at the Japanese temple of Zen Master Miyazaki, where I will sit in silence. Between silences we will talk about the unrealities of reality.
One can sit in stillness while the world is falling apart.
What is the right thing to do: keep sitting in stillness or stand up, against the forces that deteriorate our world?
To sharpen this dilemma I turned it into a question about dictatorships. How can one sit in silence when living under a dictatorship that ravages the country and tortures people that don’t obey the rules?
I had first taken this question to a Zen Teacher in Holland, and she said: There is nothing you can do against a dictator.
You just sit, you go inside and find a deep, endless trust within yourself.
This was the answer I feared, the answer I loathed.
I asked Miyazaki the dictator question, and his answer was a world apart from hers. You sit in silence, you realize that nothing has any substance, and when confronted with a dictator you either obey or rebel.
In this land of obeyers, Miyazaki and his wife speak out against the nuclear plants surrounding their village, much to the chagrin of the majority of Zen priests.
We have a choice, he said.
I was lucky to cross his path several years ago and lucky to be back at his temple.