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A long ago meeting with Zen Master Paul Reps

Discussion in 'Enlightenment Games' started by Daniel~, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    I was in attendance at Grossmount Jr. Collage. As nearly as I can Recall I was 18 or 20. So this was around 1967 or 68. I had made the acquittance of everyone teaching in the small Philosophy and Religious studies department.

    I stopped by the office of one of my teachers as I often did. I was told that Mr.Reps had been contracted by a joint invitation to come and speak first at my Jr. Collage then at San Diego State Collage. They asked If I would be willing to show Mr Reps around our campus and then accompany him to his talk at S.D.S.

    To be honest although I had done a bit of reading in Zen, it was only a bit and I had not heard of Mr. Reps.But I of course said yes!

    As we sat talking in my teachers office were trying to come up with the transportation.
    Mr Reps asked me if I would accompany him to S.D.S as well.
    I said that I would like that very much!

    He Snapped at me
    "How do you know?"

    Bounced out our wholly practical talk of schedules, I was suddenly aware that this guy bears watching! This guy shoots from the hip!
    "ah,...a lucky guess?"

    Mr Reps stared at me like I had just said the dumbest thing he'd ever heard.
    Then he laugh and affectionately patted my shoulder several times.

    He then turned on my teacher and for the first of many times asked him when would he (MR Reps) would GET PAID!!

    My teacher explained in detail, I could tell that it was not the first time he had explained the payment methods. Mr Reps listened carefully and it seemed to me with great suspicion.

    Then he said
    "What about about the food! Your supposed to feed me and my guests!!"

    Then he turned to me and said:
    Go get a some of your friends! These guys owe me a lunch!
    I grabbed my best friend and my girlfriend at the time. Mr. Reps like my girlfriend.
    We could all tell as he kept making passes at her.
    (He must have been 80 at the time!":O}

    We went to a local Chinese restaurant Not at all high class but they served pretty decent food..
    As soon as the waiter arrived MR. Reps shushed us all and told us not to order the full meal as they (The cooks) would just cook it all up at once leaving it to sit in the kitchen and lose it's freshness.

    Then looking at us he reconsider and said never mind I'll order for us!

    I can't pretend I remember what we had, but it came one course at a time and we loved it! So there we eating and then awaiting the next course.

    Mr. Reps started in on the two teachers who he invited as well.
    and it was rather brutal!
    "Why aren't you teaching these boys anything!?"

    I can't remember how many ways he found to tell them they weren't doing there job!
    He would ask my friend or I questions, listen to our answers then ask the teachers,
    "Why aren't you teaching these boys anything!?"
    My friend and I ate this up!! I learned what delight there can be in seeing teachers reduced to students again.

    (For the record both teachers were fairly good at their jobs, not so good at fending off Mr. Reps criticisms.

    And somehow it didn't occur to them to simply say as they both had said to me in the past with honest humility that they didn't know anything...I mean they had read all those books. They understood what they had read .

    They were both fairly gifted in their jobs. but Mr. Reps wasn't talking about our formal education and student and teacher alike knew it. We just had no clue what to do about it.


    After launch we parted. My friend and girlfriend and I went with Mr. Reps to San Diego State for his lecture there.
    He spoke to a fairly large room. several hundred people as I recall.
    He asked for a volunteer to come up. Deathly silence!

    I liked Mr. Reps and besides he had just fed me...my meals were not very regular back then. So I stepped forward. He had me sit in a chair facing the room of people.

    He informed us all that I was way to stiff and tight. He began the massage my neck and shoulders, I was uncomfortable.

    He told everyone I was uncomfortable!

    They laughed and I tightened up. I don't remember anything of what was said, lost in my insecurities. I TRIED to relax.

    Mr. Reps told everyone I couldn't relax!

    When he was finished with his (Lecture/presentation?) a S.D.S teacher came to show us out.
    I remember the conversation as we were walked to our car.

    "Where's my money!? I was supposed to be paid yesterday!!"
    We made a side trip and we picked up Mr. Rep's fees.

    I later learned that Mr Reps was helping a student back in Hawaii and the Kid needed the money for school fees.

    We parted in the Early evening. I went home. I had the worst Migraine headache of my life.

    I suffered all night and slept near morning.

    When I awoke. I was at peace for the first time of my life. I spent the next 4 days weeding a rose garden Resting and wondering how long it would last. There was a suspension of desire. I wanted nothing was content with everything.

    When I returned to School I was told that Mr. Reps had really wanted to see me before he returned home.

    "The saddest words of tongue or pen. What might have been."

    How to thank one who gave you peace when you thought no peace was possible for you?

    R.I.P.
    Mr Reps and thank you for sharing your person and your wisdom with one who was nearly brand new,
  2. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    This is a great story, Daniel! Thank you very much!
  3. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Kind of you to say my friend.
  4. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    How do you know it was kindness thundered the Zen Master. Just Kidding!! It's a fascinating recount of your experience, thank you again!
  5. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    I know he was kind because he gave me a migrain head ach. ":O}
  6. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    The generosity, it burns!

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