Given my interest in One School Zen, I like to gather stories along those lines. The following is one that I stumbled on while searching for something else. It's another involving one of our Soto Zen founders in the US, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and his last visit with Soen Nakagawa Roshi, one of the early Rinzai masters who taught far and wide. It is a follow up the the recent post about their first meeting at Tassajara along with Yasutani Roshi in 1968.
Here it is:
In the autumn of 1971 Suzuki Roshi was ill and left Tassajara for what was understood to be his last visit. On the drive back to San Francisco, he and his party stopped at a retreat center near San Juan Bautista where Soen Nakagawa Roshi [Wikipedia] [pictured above] was in the last hours of a weeklong sesshin.
Soen Nakagawa Roshi was a prominent Rinzai roshi known in the West for his iconoclasm, theatrical displays, poetry and his connections to a number of teachers who brought Zen to the U.S.A.
Though Suzuki did not feel well the next day, he gave the Saturday lecture at the City Center during which time he described the visit with Soen Roshi.
At the end of his sesshin we bowed more than thirty times, calling out many buddhas' names. He called some special names: Sunshine Buddha, Moonlight Buddha, Dead Sea Buddha, and Good Practice Buddha. Many buddhas appeared and bowed and bowed and bowed.
That is something beyond our understanding. When he bowed to all those buddhas, the buddhas he bowed to were beyond his own understanding. Again and again he did it.
And he served us matcha from a bowl which he made himself. What was he doing, I don't know, and he didn't know. He looked very happy, but that happiness is very different from the happiness we usual people have.
Our practice should go to that level, where there is no human problem, no Buddha problem, where there is nothing. To have tea, to have cake, to make a trip from one place to another is his practice. He has no idea of helping people. What he is doing is helping, but he himself has no idea of helping people."