Monday, 5 May 2008

Message from Nishijima Roshi

Dear Michael,

I hope this finds you well.

Recently, it has come to Nishijima Roshi's attention that you are making statements such as the following on your blog and elsewhere:

While waiting/not waiting for Gudo to make up his mind whether or not I am doing this work in his name, I am going to proceed at random to translate Chapter 28 of Master Dogen's True Dharma-Eye Treasury, titled "The Matter of Buddha Ascending Beyond."

Nishijima Roshi, who is cc'd on this mail, would like me to make it clear to you that he does not wish to be associated with your new translation in any manner. He wishes you to remove his name in all ways from any connection with the project, and he requests you to make it clear that you are not doing any part of this work in his name. Finally, it is not in any way to be treated as an approved revision or later edition of the "Nishijima-Cross" translations of Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Yes, like it or not, I am writing as his lawyer.

That being said, nobody as any ill will toward you, we hope that your project of translation of Shobogenzo, and all other work you are involved with, go well. However, Nishijima Roshi does not want to be associated with this translation or your ideas on Alexander Technique.

Thank you for understanding. If you wish, you may publish this email (if in its entirety) on your blog.

Gassho, Jundo James Cohen

My reply:

Dear Jundo, Sensei,

Thank you for letting me know the decision.

Whether or not I have the real understanding, the ability, the strength of will, or the emotional detachment/disloyalty to "erase the efforts" of Sensei, I do not know. But it may be my inevitable duty to endeavor do what Sensei feared I might do.

If, in that case, I succeed, it will never be the erasing of Sensei's efforts. It will be the fruition of his efforts -- whether he is able to recognize it or not.

If, on the other hand, I fail, the Nishijima-Cross translation will remain as the standard, which will also be the fruition of Sensei's efforts.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Cross

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