Sangha Reflections

On the Death of Peter Muryo Matthiessen

“I was at sesshin at Mar de Jade in Mexico when I learned of the death of Peter Matthiessen. I knew him as Muryo, Zen priest. Sad. I am sorry I won’t see him again. As always you think 'why didn’t I call or write or visit that one last time?' Now I can't. But Peter was 86, had had a good full long life, had cancer, was battling with it, knew what was in store for him and was OK with it. So as these things go, he was lucky, and there is nothing to regret.”

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Disturbance is a Necessity

“Flying home from Mexico after sesshin. On the plane I am working on ms of my big book of essays on ‘reading, writing, language, and religion.’ I keep cutting, polishing. There is no finished text, but at some point you say ‘finished’ and off it goes to the publisher. Is any day ever finished? No, but the sun goes down anyway, and we had better be satisfied with it.”

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