daido and myotai

Intimate Life: Memorial Words

Bonnie Myotai Treace Sensei
Featured in Mountain Record 28.3, Spring 2010

A cup of coffee—deeply sweet, stirred thoroughly. More than the scent of incense or aftershave, the aroma of a creamy, steamy cup of coffee, and for me, Daido is present, a whisper not quite heard but known nonetheless, in that way of things.

In these days since his death, and in other times when I’ve needed in some sense to bring him awake in my body-heart-mind, all it takes is that—making and taking time to taste, smell, hold, and to be held, by this very simple ritual that he wove resolutely into dailiness (often—Feh!—against the objections of the politically correct Buddhist caffeine police)—before each sitting at dawn; a time or two during the always busy workday of teaching, ministering and administering; and, remarkably, even after evening zazen just before heading to sleep. If Bodhidharma tore off his eyelids and green tea sprouted to wake up centuries of adepts—one of Daidoshi’s legacies is surely the warm cup ofcompletely enjoyed coffee.

His life so often was of that ilk: the intimate gesture, the ritual so simple yet suddenly so radically generous, the bitter and sweet like coffee and cream intermingled into one so thoroughly that it made the most unlikely places and beings know they were home, they had great work to do, and they could, of course, do it. (And if they worked for Dharma Communications, they might find they were doing it again, until it was not just perfect, but beautiful . . . )