Listen and Hear

‘The Wild, White Goose’ is the personal account of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett’s early years training as a monk in Japan. She was there in the 1960’s where she faced unimaginable hardships. Being both a woman and a foreigner and the time being relatively soon after WW2 all contributed to the way she was treated. And, I have to remind myself that she was there over forty years ago, a different time, a very different place and novice training IS testing were ever one is. I sometimes wonder if I would have been able to stay the course as she did during those years.

I still find it hard to read my teachers diaries, to mentally travel beside her through those grueling times. There were ‘warmer’, as well as ‘cooler’, moments of course. Two years on the run she was alone in her country temple on Christmas Day. She records, “I don’t think I can remember one which was more enjoyable.” Having visited that temple this year I can now picture her there. Simple temple, simple pleasures.

There is a poem at the start of the Introduction to ‘the Goose’, as we affectionately refer to Rev. Master’s book, and it goes thus:

Flying clouds in a flying sky,
I listen and hear the wild goose cry;
Peaceful eve but it’s no use
For I am sister to the wild, white goose.

My heart knows what the wild goose knows
For my heart goes where the wild goose goes;
Wild goose, sister goose, which is best,
The flying sky or a heart at rest?

Author unknown.

I read the diaries for the first time over twenty five year ago and had no conscious thought of flying the same course as the author. However the call to take to the wide uncharted sky was strong enough to lift me up and follow her.

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3 thoughts on “Listen and Hear”

  1. I’m presently reading “Roar of the Tigress.” It’s wonderful. I’ve heard her voice on tape a few times in the past and I hear her in my head when I read the book. I’m struck most my her sense of humour. She makes me laugh and think.


  2. I read the biography of Mother Theresa of Calcutta in the late eighties and I remember being struck by hard her life was in all sorts of ways. When I read The Wild White goose Rev Master Jiyu also describes haveing a real tough time. The real impact on me was the absolute certainty they both had that they were doing Gods work, the complete lack of any doubt that God exists and loves us. My life was full of doubts and uncertainties about everything! In spite of of their hardships I envied the certainty they both had about their God I really wanted that. There are times now when I do feel that.

  3. I read Rev. Master’s diaries just after hearing a taped talk she gave called The Deeper Mind. Both had a profound impact on my life.
    Her conviction, and trust in the process of training amidst the constant and varied difficulties she faced in Japan is a fine example of just what can be done. It’s so easy to find reasons why we can not do something, but Rev Master found the one reason why we can, and then did it. On reading the diaries and hearing the talks, how can I not respond? I hope that my response may one day reflect my immense gratitude to Rev Master Jiyu.

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