Let me tell you a story.
A student once asked Suzuki Roshi: “Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?” He replied: “Everything changes.”
Some years ago I acquired a copy of Philip Whalen’s book Canoeing Up Cabarga Creek: Buddhist Poems. I just re-read it and enjoyed it very much. I recall that was also the case the first time I read it. I’m not sure when that was. The book was published in 1996. I may have assigned it in a class I was teaching on Buddhism and American literature. I didn’t know much about the subject back in those days. I know even less now.
I met Philip Whalen once, maybe twenty-five years ago. We have a number of mutual friends. I love his poetry. I’m surprised I only met him that one time and not for very long. He died in 2002. Now it’s 2015. At the back of Whalen’s book is this author’s note : “The Hartford Street Zen Center, located at 57 Hartford Street, San Francisco, has a regular schedule of zazen (meditation) and lectures. Philip Whalen is abbot. Please telephone (415) 863-2507 for more information.” That number hasn’t changed.
Maybe that’s two stories. Or three. Who’s counting?