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 My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye

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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:31 pm

I will write a bit more when I have worked out which buttons to press.
But to start with I went on a retreat in the early part of 1970. I first met Bill Picard whom I asked 'Do you live here' he smiled and said 'I live here' I instantly new that he did not live there, but lived here. That for a young boy with exceptionally long hair, was a little puzzling. I then met who I thought was the teacher who was Mokori, and then the real teacher who was Kennett roshi,I read something about a mirror monk, and remained a bit puzzled.The zendo was some hay bales with plastic over them. the place was a mess, I grabbed a mattress next to Bill,and there started a wonderful friendship.
The retreat was tough, and on the third day, my life seemed to be turned upside down . Bill the ruddy faced potter, had an experience of dropping his body and mind. (For a full description see page12 of the transmission of the mind outside the teaching..Charles Luk page 12.I remember grabbing Bills hand at some point we looked deep at each other, and he said 'keep going Mike you will make it'. I did not know these experiences existed, but it blew me away. It had a profound effect on me. It was with great pleasure, that I was with Bill when he drifted away before he died.
Over the years Bill helped me a lot.

I will write some more if I learn to press the right button.. be patient with me!
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:15 pm

I met Bill Picard i think in 73 when I went with Kennett to the UK for some months - to Throssel Hole, which i think had been established the year before -- and then we spent much time in London and then went down to Cornwall to spend some time in Mousehole with Bill Picard. Found him to be warm and kind and it was great spending some time with him.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:48 pm

Kennett roshi was doing another retreat a few weeks later, this time in south London. I went. There were different types of people here,Michael Taylor who was on the first retreat was driving her around,(Michael was ,and is a wonderful catholic man who now lives on a remote Scottish island) I love him to bits and respect his wisdom. Also was a wonderful anarcist a member of the committee of 100, and the first person to break in and photograph a nuclear bunker, he of course is nameless but I love him to bits too. Then there was an unusual guy who was a little older than me (but did not have the same good looks) and he was called Mark Strathern (At this point I will not say I love him to bits too!). There were others, the American girl who hit the wall in zazen once, shouting out dig it dig it. It was a lively retreat. I was hooked, unenlightened but hooked. The experience of Bill seemed a long way off for me, it was hard enough getting through the day, let alone drop my mind, 'What sort of concept is that'
There was another retreat , I did that, and felt the whole path, was morally right, had a good direction, and could help me , stumble towards something I thought may be real and hopefully wonderful.
Well Mark went to America and became a monk,the next time I saw him he was Daiji, and had he changed. He certainly had, Changed completely. I liked the change, but it did scare me a little. I could not believe it, nhe went straight up to Northumberland, and bought a farm ( maybe rented it first) I am starting a monastry, and he did. Kennet roshi came over for a few months,and came over with 3 monks. Jitsudo , Gensho, and Keitetsu Can't say I loved them either! They were tough it was organised but it felt good. Keitetsu, had a army combat jacket, I thought he had bought it out of a junk shop, but actually he had been to Nam.. as a medic. The retreats were good. I remember 2 things. I experience a oneness of body and mind, It seemed very normal, I noticed when the experience faded away. Also I met Bill there again, this time he received transmission,not a monk but still transmission. We had all changed a bit, even me the ever young hippy. I wanted to to go the next step and be a monk. I thought it may help, it may help me to this experience this realixation, this oneness that Billtried in words to describe.

I was indeed ordained, and called Hofuku and did make it to Shasta for a short stay. Iwas loyal and dedicated I did run a center in London. When I was in kennett roshis room with the senior monks, she did say that her true Dharms heir was Bill. But I have to say, I benefitted from the whole experience. I think Jitsudo or Josh, was a great guest master, Alan Gensho I have great respect for as a spiritual man. Daiji a strong person, who is still my friend. I remember saying goodbye to Peter Keitetsu, who told me he had just won a competition, for a scientific calculator, That like everything else seemed beyond me. Without my hair I departed.

So I was running a Zen place with my wife in London. This was too hard a task for me to do. So I cheated, I asked Bil Picard to run retreats with me. We did they were great. Clear wisdom from experience. I got to know Bill relly really well.He told me stories of his life, his first break through, ( Practical Buddism by Chales Luk page 24) A time just after the first war when he was a hermit on the cliffs in Cornwall. A truely remarkable story. Bill was a very straight man, consistently true and real. It was always sit , drop your mind, who is it that thinks this or that, who are you,

During this time, I had a very strong feeling when meditating, that daiji had left Shasta. It was no surprise to me when I heard that he indeed had, and was scared of the practice. I did not like the discrediting so made conyact with daiji to talk to him, to ask if he was OK. He told me of what is mention here on this forum, about the visions, the previous lives, the lives of historical, religious people. I was surprised,It did not seem like dropping mnd it felt like picking up a mind , It felt dualistic, experiences based on dualism. It was not my way, I moved away, I left with my dignity, and noved close to Bill so I could sit. I remember asking if Alan had left too, and was told,'He had jumped into bed with the devil, the devil had left and he had followed.', For me it was easy, I wanted to sit zazen.I went I had a letter saying I could continue with another teacher if I wanted.

By chance I nmet a monk who had been at Eiheiji, and I asked him if he could get me in to a temple where there was a true teacher. i went I received new robes and bowl now I was called Chisan. The experience was exceptionally helpful, in my spiritual path.

A few years ago Bill Picard was dying, I visited him as much as I could, At one time when he had been given up for nearly dead I went to his nursing home, I entered the main roomhe had his back to me and was 10 meters away, the room was full of old people and carers, he shouted out 'Here comes the silent meditator'. A few months later I had aphone call saying he had hours to live, and get there quick, he had ,had a stroke and was unconcious. I made it , he was still alive, I held his hand and sat with him.I thought he would die that night, but he did not,I went the next day ,I sat next to him and started do do zazen, after 20 seconds, he sat up in the bed, pointing at the door, he could not speak but he wanted to go. thenurses came rushing over and laid him down, he agian subsided, again I sat, and he was back up, this time I laid him down,waited till his eyes were closed, and quietly left.
I went back the next day, the same thing, I started to sit and even though he had laid still since his arrival at hospit, he was sitting upright. It was different and I new it would be the last time.he tried so hard to talk, but could not, he drew a circle in the air with his finger and poined it at me, saying I know you, I held his hand and he quietly drifted off, he died a few hours later,
My friends, it is good bye from me, there are many paths, I have stumbled through all of mine, those that I knew there take care of yourselves, I am fine not scared, not following Daijis version of things I am trying to do what I tried to do before as Dogen said true zazen must be done
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:20 pm

Hello, Chisan Michael, and welcome. I hope you won't say goodbye so soon -- it would be lovely to have you on the forum for awhile. Give your old friends a chance to say hello and all that. You might find some new friends here too.

Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

Kind regards,
Lise
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:12 am

Hello Chisan--or Hofuku--as I remember you, from your time at Shasta. It is so good to hear from you again! Although I knew some of your story from the past, a great deal of it is new to me. (I remained at Shasta during those years when other monks--including Mokurai, Jitsudo, Gensho, Keitetsu, Isan, Ando, Hogetsu, and others--traveled to the UK.)

I will add my voice to Lise's: I hope that you will stick around here for a while!
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:12 pm

Hi Michael, I remember you as Hofuku too. Do you remember me; I stayed with you and Kyosei in London for a while, way back in...was it 1973 or 1974? Glad to hear things are going well for you.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:00 am

Lise thank you for your kind invitation

Kozan How could I forget you I see you are still interested in ecoloogical buildings

Jimyo you look good

I will stick around for a while Shasta left my life a long time ago I disagreed strongly with the lotus years I never disagreed with zazen

How could I leave Lise, without telling you the intriging story of Mr Habu
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:08 am

I love a good story, especially if Mr. Habu is a cat, by any chance? If not that's all right too Smile
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:28 am

Lise I bet you would love Mr Habu to be a cat.

Unfortunately not.
Mr Habu plays a part in this great story of enlightenment and illusion.
Mr Habu is a Japanese man who has a dream this is before kennett roshi left Japan

My other story concerns a letter about me ( also Daiji ) that was delivered only a month ago It was sent in 1976 !

Now which shall I write first
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:02 am

Probably the letter about you and Daiji, if there's no cat story in the other. I'm going to log off for awhile and make scones for morning tea --
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:12 pm

I fell a little like I'm cheating again Lise, The Intriging story of Mr Habu does have a mouse in it, and certainly a mousehole, so I will go for that and try and write it later.


The 35 year old letter, is more difficult to tell, as it hurt my feelings
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:00 pm

Then I should say, don't worry about discussing that letter, unless and until you want to, and tell us about Mr. Habu when you have a chance.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My Friendship with Bill Picard, the early days, saying googbye   Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:42 am

Lise Thanks for your concern, but life travels fast , and in a moment life is gone. One of my friends was blown up by the bomb in Bali at the Sari club,I have spent 4 ot 5 years being there for his parents. My life has been like this, not been quiet and calm,I can face my feelings. Mr Habu's story is nice , you will like it
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