Feminist songs

I met Sensei through my son Stéphane Kosen. I was in no hurry to practice. I was part of a very active feminist group, and we were fighting against patriarchy. So Zen patriarchs didn’t interest me.

Little by little, I saw that Stéphane was changing, and that encouraged me to come. I started practicing in the summer of 1978 at the Val-d’Isère sesshin. I’ve always had a very provocative spirit. To express this, I used to write sketches and songs [to the tune of Brassens’ La mauvaise réputation] :
What Master Dogen said,
Do we apply it at rue Pernety?
Man/woman equal to each other,
At the Paris Dojo, it’s nothing!

Sensei took it very badly.

The following year, I said to myself: “I’m going to do another sesshin, so let’s try it again”. I’d also prepared a song [to the tune of Marie-Paule Belle’s La Parisienne] that said:
I’m not a nun yet, we wonder, we wonder,
I’m not a bodhisattva, they tell me I’m in trouble!
I don’t have a rakusu, I don’t care, I don’t care,
But I am mushotoku, and I’m up to my neck in it!
I don’t have satori, too bad, too bad!

And Sensei took it with a smile.

Ko Ei interview with Josy Thibaut in 2017