Everyone is feeling the loss of Albert, wondering how they are going to continue with their practice, how they are going to get answers to their questions, how they will know what to do and not to do. Where they will get inspiration from.
I spoke with someone the other day, she was very upset about all this, felt she had missed her opportunity, didn’t know what to do, how to deal with the pain she was feeling. I have been listening each day to one of Albert’s teishos, and that afternoon I called up one from the very beginning of the list on the computer, an early one. As I listened, it was as though he were addressing directly all the fear and anguish I had heard that morning, directing, guiding.
It was an early teisho, but the message, the teaching was the same as at his last sesshin. It was all there, and not just the written word, all the intonation and energy, the encouragement and persuasion of his voice. This is where we need to turn, to all those teishos made over the years, the same thing said over and over again. We have to learn how to hear what he was saying.
I received many loving messages during his last stay in hospital and after his death. One person said “I will always carry away what he taught me when I had cancer. It was not possible to feel sorry for myself, or even to indulge. He said, ‘This was an opportunity I might never get again!’ What a difference this made to my attitude.”
Imagine you are sitting in dokusan, and you tell him that your teacher has died and left you on your own. What would his answer be? “This is your opportunity, don’t feel sorry for yourself, use it.”
The only way we can learn to hear what he was saying is to clarify the question, give yourself over to it, you have to follow it through. You do not have to try to find the answer, it has been given to you, in all those teishos. Just allow the question, the longing, to flow through you, to flow through your life.