Alfred Pulyan

Letters from a
Zen Master

Nov 14, 1960

Dear Dick,

Forget about me for the sake of argument for the moment. Take a Zen Master.


Sokatsu Shaku on his seventieth birthday (April 16, 1939) said that in his 40 years of teaching 3,000 men & women came to study Zen. In the 40 years only 13 completed the training & of these only 4 became teachers in turn.

These 4 were Zuizan Goto, Eisan Tatsuta, Chikudo Ohasama and Sokei-An (who “worked” in New York & founded “The First Zen Institute” which still exists -- the Zen Master there now is Miura Roshi).

These 4 men were remarkable men. I know several persons who knew Sokei-An (See “Cat’s Yawn,” fairly easily obtainable -- a reprint of issues of a magazine published by & written by Sokei-An).1

Footnoted on letter of Sep 23, 1960, in the appendix Personality of the Master (on right side, scroll down from the linked section).

As for Chikudo Ohasama (who studied also at Heidelberg) a friend of mine (an “awakened” man) “worked” in Berlin with Ohasama.


NOW! What “proof” could any of these Zen Masters give you? What would you accept as “proof”?

If Jesus called on you one day what would you require as “proof”?

If two spies met in the old Nazi Germany (the “Third Reich” of Hitler) & each told the other they were working for the “allies” (US, England etc.) what proof could they give one another? All documents would mean nothing --- HOW could they get together?

What proof could anyone give of something that was a personal experience?

After Jesus was supposed to feed 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread & 2 fishes, the religious leaders asked him for a “sign”. Wow! What did they want? More? Red, white & blue rays from every pore like poor Gautama??

It is not a matter of “ignorance” & “authority.”

I am imposing nothing on you & expect nothing of you.

But you wrote me & I have no earthly way of knowing what you desire as proof? You never tell me.

The “Supreme Court” has established clear rules of evidence& in law what is admissible & what is not admissible is clearly codified.


But you wait to hear ANYTHING WHATEVER that is said & automatically (& correctly) reply “nyet” (NO!). “Doubt” in you is more than scepticism. It is a “quest.”


Then if you see something done what is that to you? Is that what you want? Miracles? Wonders? “Signs”?

A little levitation?
One of my letters appearing under your plate without coming through the mails?
A vision?

What would you regard as “proof”?

Please include a stamped addressed envelope. A mere psychotherapist who talks to you for 5 years (or you to him) may cost $6,500 or more (say $25 a week). So .04 is still cheap & I don’t get it as revenue. Uncle Sam gets it.

If it isn’t worth that to you then the thing for you to do is obvious. But have the decency to write a pleasant last letter & say good-bye like a human being.



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