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53 - validity

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The monks at a Japanese training temple had questioned a student of Suzuki Roshi's about the validity of the student's ordination. They said that it wasn't real because he hadn't gone through the proper ceremony, hadn't done any monk's begging, and hadn't had his head shaved or received robes until he arrived in Japan.

"So, am I a monk or not a monk?" he asked Suzuki.

"Things go the way the mind goes," Suzuki told him. "If you think you're a monk, you're a monk. If you don't think so, you're not a monk."

p.55. Philip Wilson, Rinso-in, 1966.