Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Day by day, moment by moment, intrinsic adaptability in accordance with circumstances reveals itself.

When you hear the Buddha's teaching , it is the voice of the soul whispering. You call it "conscience." It does not always work by itself; we may have to dig it out to use it. Sometimes we listen; but it is very hard to take its orders---"Don't eat any more sausage!" But you have already decided---"Just a little more."

It is the sorrow of the human being that we know the "law" but cannot obey it. "Well," some old monk says laughingly, "perhaps that IS adaptability." I think I agree. After all, adaptability is not always as cold as ice.

When you understand adaptability in accordance with circumstances, you will understand the unity of all existence---the unity between this and that, you and me, the entire world. All is just one soul working by the same law of adaptability. We understand the law of society, of the human being, and of nature, the law of everything. The same law works in the human heart, in the tree, and in the weeds. When I was studying painting, I understood this very clearly. Now it works in Sokei-an in New York. Giving lectures in this terrible language is the position he must accept. We accept everything.

From the "Zen Eye" by Sokei-an


  1. Hi Tom, I'm glad you posted this piece about adaptability. I like Sokei-an's down-to-earth way of explaining.

  2. Hi Diane, I'm glad that you like it.