One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same any place in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear. — Dave Brubeck



Sunday, August 29, 2021

"The End of the Rainbow"

Over thirty years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Steve Allen asked Issan, “The world is ending. Where is the great peace when we need it?” 

Steve tells us that the setting for his question was the formal ritual in which Issan took the high seat of a recognized Zen teacher, his mountain seat. Steve imagined that he was simply cementing his relationship with his root teacher.

Issan remained silent.

After a while Issan turned the question around and asked Steve what he thought. Steve answered, “We find it with each other.” Not just a good answer--but one that held real answers to questions that we didn’t even know we had.

A disciple’s question might bring forth the deep understanding of his or her teacher, but Steve also found a way to liberate himself. Our connections with each other are not limited. The ancient ritual might have required that Issan portray the immutable stone face of one mountain, but his follow-up question revealed a heart of gold. 

When the end of the world gets in your way, follow the way that brings us together. When the storm clears, it may lead to the end of the rainbow.


David Bullock, Del Carlson, Angelique Farrow, Steve Allen, Issan Dorsey

4 comments:

  1. Ah, I just found some in this moment reading these words. Gratitude

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  2. Follow the way that brings us together. Yes. Thanks Ken

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  3. ok, let's talk about Issan; the one mountain

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  4. Thanks for that. In the same vein as your post, we might misapprehend conclusions from a picture, a smell, etc. In your jpg, for example, it looks to me to be Larry Sheridan, not David Bullock on the leftmost. And Tommy was all about unlocking, not locking doors. Frustrated all of the other 4 left.

    I remember the day he passed, Hartford St locked the door.


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