This year we held our memorial service for Maezumi Roshi online. This being the 25th anniversary of his passing, and the first year that all members could participate online from across the globe, we had a unique opportunity for remembrance. All five of Maezumi Roshi’s remaining first-generation successors who are still members of the WPA attended and offered their reflections, along with members of Roshi’s family.
Chozen Bays Roshi offered these dharma words to begin the service:
Taizan Maezumi Roshi!
Just look at the family you spawned, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, a motley bunch of rascals, multiplying like rabbits, giving out treasure maps to riches hidden in a thorny thicket of thoughts, swindling people into buying homes they already own and inhabit.
Foolish man, setting sail with nothing but a vow in the pocket of your black suit.
You reeled us in with that twinkle in your eye and your unfailing attention.
You intrigued us. We intrigued you.
Just look at what you convinced us to do – traipsing around in Chinese robes over Japanese kimonos over American underwear, clothing that trace the lineage you passed to us.
We picked up that lineage, joined the family business, and scattered across the face of this ball of rock, earth and water that spins in space, always half in light, half in darkness, stealing people’s hopes for a grand ENLIGHTENMENT!
We all pay the penalty for getting tangled up in that mischief, and . . . we pay it gladly.
Now we gather to say we miss you wicked bad, and
we are grateful that our karmic threads became inextricably tangled and
we are honored to carry on your vow to plant the roots of Dharma so deeply in people’s hearts that it will never die out.
That’s another one of your jokes — how could it ever die out?
Thank you, thank you, thank you . . . . .