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.
Zen postulates absolute freedom in which all attachments and restraints are completely wiped away. The Buddha therefore is to be cast away and so are the Patriarchs. Any restraints whatsoever in the mind are to be cast away. For the one who has passed through the abyss of Great Doubt, transcending subject and object, you and I, and has been revived as the True Self, can there be anything to disturb him?
Zenkei Shibayama, The Gateless Barrier