Most of my most unforgettable memories of Kobun concern personal teaching moments between us and would be hard to generalize, but I do remember the first time we had a big laugh together. I was editing the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology at the time and the question that had been popping up for psychologists interested in developmental psychology and "the farther reaches...." was if meditation could make one "more spiritual"? I was standing with Kobun just outside his front door as students who had been sitting inside were now leaving, their cars pulling away. I said to Kobun, "Kobun, I already know about, have read about, "No Gaining", but they forgot to add the bit about all you could lose, like your ideas and opinions about "the spiritual"! At that, Kobun threw back his head and laughed so hard I had to join him. It was the first of many times we were to laugh together.
I was his Jisha for a few years early on, in the years he emphasized the guerilla model and I remember telling him earnestly that I did not want to end up being a 'professional religious'. "Don't worry," he told me. "Many people want that." Still, after many years practicing with him I did worry that refusing to go on to the next step of founding a Zendo in his name as proper gratitude was, perhaps, failing him. However, in 1983, after reading some lineage history, I discovered a Chinese account of a Master who had transmitted over a hundred students with only a small number of them 'appearing in the world'. When I took this, to me, good news, to Kobun one dokusan, he laughed. We bowed, and as I was leaving the room, he called out, "Sonja!". As I turned back, he threw the teaching stick at me. Of course, automatically, I caught it. There may be other Kobun guerillas out there with a stick? With his help, I did ordain a few students who he inscribed in Japanese headquarters but life changes for both of us put an end to that era.