"During our nonresidential practice periods at the Minnesota Zen Center, students took turns giving talks at 4:30 a.m. Roshi usually sat very quietly with his inverted half-moon mouth, a world-class frown, and very seldom made any comment about our wobbly efforts to express the Dharma. One morning Roy, a longtime student of Katagiri Roshi, began his talk verbally stumbling around.

" 'While I was walking to the zendo I began crossing the street just as a piece of newspaper was picked up by the wind and blown across my path. As I bent down to pick up the paper, I thought, "I hope someone sees me bending down to pick up this paper," so I froze. I didn't want to pick up the newspaper for the wrong reason. I could see how stinky my ego was, only wanting to do something small for the good if someone saw me doing it. Then I noticed that no one else was around, so I started chasing the paper, but just as I bent down to grab it, I thought, "I will still know that I'm, doing something good, so picking it up is still stinky." I didn't know what to do. By this time, the newspaper had blown away, so I gave up.'

"Out of the silence, Roshi growled, 'Pick up the newspaper!' "