Kasan was asked to officiate at the funeral of a provincial lord.
He had never met lords and nobles before so he was nervous. When the ceremony started, Kasan sweat.
Afterwards, when he had returned, he gathered his pupils together. Kasan confessed that he was not yet qualified to be a teacher for he lacked the sameness of bearing in the world of fame that he possessed in the secluded temple. Then Kasan resigned and became the pupil of another master. Eight years later he returned to his former pupils, enlightened.
Alright so… this kōan hits a little close to home for me. You see I used to love public speaking when I was younger. In fact, when I first went to college I thought I was going to become something of a public speaker. However I’ve always been rather introverted, and at some point I developed this crippling anxiety when I’m in public. It’s not so much that I’m afraid of being hurt by anyone so much as I become hyperaware of myself and my body — specifically my heart rate. Anyway it crushed any lingering aspirations for public speaking, and is something I’m still struggling to fix.
Fortunately I recently snagged a new job involving customer service in a very popular area, so I’m throwing myself back out there for a real sink or swim experience. Hopefully, like Kasan, I can regain my calm and composure. See I knew I’d bring that long-winded rant back to topic!