After reading Crooked Cucumber: The life and teaching of Suzuki Roshi, a few stories stay with me.

One is his suggestion of allowing experiences to come and go as guests. We keep the back and front doors open so they can come and go freely, and we don’t always need to sit down with them and serve them tea and cookies.

And then there are two related stories.

One is of a student who came into a wonderful state during and after a sesshin, and asked how to keep it. Suzuki said “stay with your breath and it will go away.”

Another is of another student who similarly had a wonderful experience during a sesshin, and asked how to come back to it. Suzuki said “what you are looking for is what is behind that experience.”

In both cases, he gave them a hint of how to allow experiences come and go and instead find the experiencer – the space & awareness they unfold within. Experiences come and go on their own, so we may as well allow them to. Especially as what we are looking for is that in which these experiences arise.

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