Roshi wasn't well. It spoke through his thin
slumped shoulders, the frequent pauses he took
to regather himself.
Then he paused some longer while.
You could feel the moans of concern
from the group of his meditation students.
When he continued,
it was clearly from a higher level of Mind.
"When Butso lay on his sickbed, dying,
he was content with his finiteness,"
Roshi recounted to us in a weak, story-line lilt.
"A longtime disciple came one day
to see him in pious worry.
But Butso tried to console him.
He explained to him,
'the Sun-faced Buddha lives ten thousand years,
the Moon-faced Buddha but a month.
There is nothing to gain and nothing to lose,
if one truly knows one's Buddhahood.'
Does Enlightenment cure one's illness
or end one's suffering?'
he tried to illustrate the obvious to his friend."
In near unison, several of Roshi's students then questioned in concern
" And how have you been these last days?'
staring over at Suzuki's drawn face.
Roshi nodded, smiled and patiently explained again,
'The Sun-faced Buddha. The Moon-faced Buddha.'"