San Francisco, 1975: I saw the flimsy poster, but it was quaint rather than crude. Bishop Nippo Syaku would give some short talks about Zen. In the rawboned Victorian near Filmore street, poor lighting made the room seem drab, but Bishop Nippo lit up the place. The Bishop was a round-faced, cheerful fellow, very chipper he was. He spoke often of the nature of things.”We say, ‘Oh the flower is pretty!’” He beamed, “But flower does not care!”
On this evening, he spoke of how the True Buddhist is without fear. This amazed me, and made me ponder. I raised my hand.
“Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” I said. I pointed to an empty chair. “Let’s say the True Buddhist was sitting right there.”
Bishop Nippo nodded.
“And let’s say that a Sabre-Tooth Tiger came through that door.” Everybody looked at the door. I continued, “Now the True Buddhist would feel no fear, but he would jump up and run like hell, correct?”
“Ah!” said Bishop Nippo Syaku. “That is True Buddhist!”