At one point she offered me a koan, one of these unanswerable Zen riddles that youre supposed to work on to improve ones practise.
Typically a koan is: What was your face before you were born? She gave me one that I was familiar with which was: Your practice is seeing. I had no idea what to do with that.
So Id go to my cushion and Id meditate for a couple of sessions and Id go to my roshi and shes ask how it was going and Id usually come up with some mystical-sounding bullshit and she would look at me expressionlessly and say: Keep sitting.
This went on for a few months. Id say things like: I saw a pine needle today but I really say the pine needle. Shed look at me expressionlessly and say: Keep sitting.
This went on for a few more months and finally I came back to interview and I said: I dont understand what you want from me. I already see, its not something that I have to learn how to do. Im a person who sees, Im a being who sees.
And she clasped her hands together and bowed to me and said this.
Taken in Baltimore, USA during the SOTM World Tour.