A BABY’S EYES

As a young lawyer, I represented art galleries, dance companies, “movement” activists, and various educational and religious groups, especially those wishing to qualify for federal tax-exempt status. During that time, I was representing a small Zen Buddhist group in Washington, D.C. At one point, they requested whether I would also represent their parent group, a large Zen Buddhist monastery in the Catskills. I agreed, but they then told me I would first have to personally meet their Zen Master, Eido Roshi. Every year he came to Georgetown University to give a talk so I would be able to meet him there. When the time came, I went to Georgetown and was led backstage for a face to face meeting. I was a bit apprehensive – what would it be like to meet a “real” Zen Master? The man I was introduced to was in his mid-sixties, but when I looked at him, the first thing I noticed were his eyes. I was looking at an elderly man, bearing a lifetime of experience, who was looking at me through a “baby’s” eyes. (Of course, how this actually works is that one automatically sees oneself through the other person’s eyes.) This was shocking to me – I had never seen anything like it!  What I learned was that human beings exist who are able to combine the openness and spontaneity of a child with a deep adult wisdom. I learned that human beings are not all alike and that, with respect to my own life, I certainly had a long way to go.

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