From Susan Ji-on Postal:

I remember Maurine Stuart telling that when Soen Roshi was doing calligraphy one day, he asked her to please sing, while he worked, the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony.


From Brenda Eshin Shoshanna:

Soen Roshi always said that Zen was not a religion but a practice.


From Joan Stambaugh:

I met Soen Roshi one time and I remember him saying: "Zen is not meditation!"


From Adam Genkaku Fisher:

Once, during sesshin, Soen Roshi encouraged us all with: "There is birth and there is death. In between is enlightenment." To this day, I am not entirely sure why he was not laughing. "In between" -- imagine that!


From Lou Mitsunen Nordstrom:

One morning at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, during Soen Roshi's talk. a young man interrupted him, shouting, "No more talking about nothing!"Soen Roshi paused and said, "Yes, I have been talking about nothing. Now, may I continue?"


The one-word essence of Soen's teaching, which he uttered at the saddest and most difficult times, clearly having realized that it unconditionally applies to any and all events and situations in human life: "OK! OK! OK!"


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