There are No Teachers of Zen


Zoketsu Norman Fischer offers his reflections on his own teachers and what it means to him to become a teacher of Zen in a tradition that also embraces the emptiness of teachers and teachings. In the talk he cites this koan:

Book of Serenity, Case 53

Huangbo said to the assembly, “You people are all slurpers of dregs. If you travel like this, where will you have today? Do you know that in all of China there are no teachers of Chan?”

At that point a monk came forward and said, “What about those who guide followers and lead groups in various places?”

Huangbo said, “I don’t say there’s no Chan, just that there are no teachers.”

This talk is based on an essay Norman wrote for the Winter 2014 issue of Bodhidharma Magazine.

About Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer, guiding teacher of our group, offers more dharma talks, essays, and poetry at his web site,
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