November 21, 1978

Noor Mahal

November 21, 1978

Dear Mansur,

As-salaam aleikhum!

I wrote you a long two-page letter going into detail on some of the matters you asked about in your letter of November 17. [I’d asked: “Please clarify: “Are you prepared to state beyond doubt the makams of those in question?” regarding Moin’s letter of November 5, 1978] But it felt too bogged down in possible misunderstanding, so I offer you the following poem of Nyogen Senzaki to his Roshi, Shaku Soyen, instead:

The cold night of late autumn often disturbs my dream.

Surviving my teacher, twenty-two years,

I am still a stupid monk.

I can only follow in his footsteps,

The rest of my life.

The white chrysanthemum in the yard of this humble house

Recalls memories of the past.

Its faint fragrance comes and goes over the Pacific Ocean.

(November 9, 1941)

Ya Fatah!

Love and blessings,