Posts Tagged ‘hara tanzan’

I’m feeling very understated today. That’s unusual for me, particularly because I’ve been very silly at various points of conversation throughout the day.

Since I just don’t know what to do while being understated, I am going to share a koan about understatement:

The Announcement

Hara Tanzan was a Soto Buddhist monk who served as a temple head and a professor of Philosophy in Tokyo. He was a pioneer in a modernization of Zen, and was the first in Japan to try to blend natural sciences into Zen Buddhism. So by the time his turn on this planet was finished, he’d amassed a number of friends and family he felt he should send a final word to.

On the last day of his life, he wrote up sixty post cards and asked an assistant to mail them for him. They read:

I am departing from this world.
This is my last announcement.
Tanzan. July 27, 1892


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