The Rōkoan hermitage arose to meet the needs of practitioners, both in Kyoto and from abroad, seeking to further their practice. Practicing here is a precious chance to devote ourselves wholeheartedly and, whenever others are present, do what we can to support their practice while living together in harmony. Zen practice is the core, zazen is the natural focus: several hours of concentrated sitting – on your own or with others – every day. There is the opportunity for regular one-on-one. It is not a guest house, it is not a monastery.
Nowadays he who studies Buddha-dharma must seek true insight. Getting true insight, he is not affected by birth-and-death, but freely goes or stays. He need not seek that which is excellent – that which is excellent will come of itself.
‘The Record of Rinzai’, translation by Ruth Fuller Sasaki.