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Richard Baker in the SFZC Wind Bells

1983 - 1987         
No Wind Bell published since the 1978-79 issue

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Richard Baker main page


Summer 1983

 

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Editor's Note: 
This is our first Wind Bell in several years. In the past we have apologized for the 
long delay between issues and have promised to do better, but we have not been able to 
keep our promise. So rather than promise again, we would Only like to thank you for 
your patience, and also mention that this issue has been gestating for almost two years, 
so some of the material is not of the present moment. We are sorry, and we will keep 
trying. 
Also, many of you may have heard that in April began a one-year leave 
of absence as Abl»t of Zen Center. Since then here have been many changes and devel- 
opments in Zen Center which we would like to tell you about. However, in order not to 
delay printing the Wind Bell any further, we are sending it out as it is. In the near future 
we will describe more fully our situation. 
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ALAN CHADWICK 
Alan Chadwick returned to Green Gulch 
in of 1979, seven years after he 
first established our gardens here. He was 
too ill to work any longer in the garden 
itself, but he was able to give small classes 
and lectures, several times a week, and 
talk to individuals. 
During this time he asked o•roshi to 
be his heir and literary executor and to see 
to it that his few possessions were passed 
on appropriately. He asked that his per- 
sonal library bc kept at Green Gulch and 
become the basis of a horticultural 
library. He also asked that Baker-roshi 
take initial responsibility for establishing a 
horticultural society to continue his work 
and teaching. He wanted this society also 
to help maintain gardens where training 
of his apprentices could continued. 
Before Alan died he met with many of his 
enior apprentices, with Baker-roshi, and 
other students and friends. At this meet- 
ing the bxsic form of the Alan Chadwick 
Society was worked out. The Society is 
now incorporated and working on sev- 
eral projects: collecting the Alan Chad- 
wick Archives to housed at Green 
Gulch with his library, establishing the 
Alan Chadwick 
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Consecration rhe Alan 
Chadwick Memorial Stone: 
L: Father Michel Culllgan, 
R: Baker-roshi 
Gardeners' Guild, a network of apprentices and students of horticulture, collecting his 
teaching on cassette tapes so they may one day be released and/or transcribed and 
published. 
Alan Chadwick died at Green Gulch on Pentecost Sunday, May 25, 1980 Just before he 
died, he set up on a small altar to the left of his bed a print or Raphael's Madonna and 
Child Enthroned with Saints, and on the wall to the right of his bed fif- 
teenth sonnet. Then he died calmly in his own time and consideration. Kathleen Acacia 
Downs, his devoted helper, was with him all through the morning and was joined by 
Baker-Toshi at the last. For the next forty-eight hours friends and apprentices joined him 
at his bedside — speaking to him, reading psalms, sitting. 
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We are very grateful that Greens Restaurant and Tassajara Bread Bakery Il are now open 
al Forr Mason. We hope this will be a wonderful place for people to meer and ear together. 
We want to give special thanks 10 the Fort Mason Foundation Board and Slag; who are 
responsible for rhe vision and patience, especially Ann Howell & Rudy Who 
worked closely with us from rhe beginning. 
Architect Ellis Kaplan, gave us month' of consultation and did the many, many drawings 
needed to bring all rhe ideas 'ogether. 
Archireer Sim van der Ryn, solved rhe problem of how 70 enclose rhe kitchen. and did rhe 
final plans. 
Artist Edward .4vedisian. helped develop the flow and accessibility of rhe whole space, and 
gave us the five powerful paintings in the dimng room. 
Artist J.B_ Blunk, grandly conceived and created a sculpture people can ear al. 
Artist Willard Dixon, gave us the three luminous South wall cloud paintings. 
Artist Mayumi Oda, gave us the appropriate Goddess of Earth & Treasure Ship of 
bles scroll. 
Paul Discoe and the nn Center Construction Crew are responsible for the over-all loving, 
careful construction, rhe planed wood walls, and rhe oak and walnut tables. 
Joan Inrkey conceived Of and designed the marvellously detailed lighting that so changes 
the restaurant at night. 
Ned Spencer, Jim Bockhorsr, and Charles Wallis did rhe electrical, plumbing, and healing 
design and work. 
aik@roshi broughl all the design ideas together and umpired close calls. 
Alice Waters and Chez panisse brought us standards, advice, and teaching. 
Three major donors gave us the initial push, courage, and encouragement to go ahead 
There were many Other donors Of financial, emotional, and technical help, especially the 
entire Zen Center Community. 
And finally, the almost-invisible and ever-present work of rhe Founding Manager. Karin 
Gjording, brought together an rhe ordering of dishes, kitchen equipmenl, carper, and 'he 
other facilities, with the space required for each. 
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DOGEN SCHOLAR'S CONFERENCE 
From October 8 through I l, 1981, Tassajara and Zen Center were host to a conference, 
organized by the Zen Center of Los Angeles, of many leading scholars in the field of 
Dogen studies. The conference heard papers from: Carl Bielcfeldt, Stanford University; 
Hee Jin Kim, University of Oregon; Tom Kasulis, Northland College; Masao Abe, 
Claremont Graduate School; Masatoshi Nagatomi, Harvard University, William 
LaFleur, C.C.L.A.; Yasuaki Nara, Komazawa University; John Maraldo, University of 
North Florida; Francis Cook, (J.C. Riverside; and Robert Bellah, U.C. Berkeley. 
Tcnshin Reb Anderson, and Maezumi-roshi at the Dogen Scholars 
a ' Tassnjara

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The Wheelwright Press is nevertheless not limited only to or even Buddhist books. 
In 1981 were fortunate to be able to release a new book by Lama Govinda. the cul- 
mination of his study spanning forty years: The Inner Structure of the I Ching: The Book 
of Transformations. The physical preparation of the book alone took two and one-half 
years, as, for example, some of the diagram pages had seventyfive separate pieces to 
checked and aligned, and the book has fifty-seven diagrams. 
Lama Anagarika Govinda and Li Goumi Govinda 
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In his preface to the book, said: 
Here we have in this extraordinary lat-x»r of love and intelligence by Lama Anagarika 
Govinda, a basis for and a means to understanding the I Ching directly. Until now, all 
occidental studies. tornmentaries, and translations have been based on the accumulation 
of Chinese commentaries, and not on the structure of the I Ching itself — the trigrams, 
hexagrams. and their permutations and systematization. The Ching is probably the 
most subtle structural representation of the active inter-independency of the human 
mind and the phenomenal world that has yet been made by man. 
Although language awakens us to developed possibilities of common thought, still lan- 
guage guides our thought into the predictable and repetitious, By contrast, the Ching 
summons the mind to its more inherent possibilities, without the conscription of names 
and syntax. Where language describes, the I Ching implies, suggests, guide; us to what 
we could not or would not have thought of, thus returning the mind to its own emotive 
and mathematical workino prior to the conceptual and controllable expressions of 
language. 
When these lines and their alternations have been studied and understood, the I Ching 
can awaken us to what we more actually feel, think and can do. While language is for 
communicating with others. the Ching is for communicating with oneself and ourself. 
Another project for the future is Walking in Beauty: Reflections of A Yurok Indian Educa- 
lion, teaching and stories by Harry Roberts.

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THE NUCLEAR ISSUE 
This year nuclear weapons and disarmament is an issue that has seized the awareness of 
Zen Center members, as it has people all over the country. What becomes of the Bodhi- 
sattva vow to liberate all beings which is the foundation of our Great Vehiclc practice if 
all the beings have been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, and the only thing that 
remains. in a phrase from Johnathan Schell's just-released Fate of The Earth, is a "com- 
munity of insects and grass?" 
A thousand years ago in China, someone asked a Zen Ma.gter, "When the final karmic 
fire destroys everything, dcr.s Buddha Nature still exist?" and the master replied, "No!" 
(another time though, he said "yes," as Suzuki-roshi discusses in his lecture in this 
issue.) In the past, Zen Center's consistent policy has been not to take sides as an insti- 
tution on any political issue, following the traditional understanding that Buddhism 
docs not take sides. Zen Center members do take stands as individuals without expect- 
ing or pretending to represent Zen Center asa whole. But the nuclear issue transcends 
politics, since it affects every human and non-human life form on the planet, and the 
question how to respond practically and responsibly to this overshadowing great No has 
been on everyone's mind. 
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made his own view clear in recent lectures, saying that in his own opinion 
the chance of a nuclear holocaust, by accident if not by design, was quite likely within 
the next ten years unless some very big response arose to prcvcnt it. And he encouraged 
everyone in Zen Center to begin thinking and discussing what our responsibility is as 
individuals and as a community. A series of meetings followed, at Green Gulch and the 
City, releasing great energy as though of relief that at last this concern, until now more 
private, could bc voiced and acted upon collectively within our consideration as Bud- 
dhists. Films were shown, study groups were formed and speakers invited, as thc com- 
munity members began to inform themselves and each other. Many worked actively to 
help get the Nuclear Freeze initiative on the ballot in California. Baker-roshi himself 
V ICAL 
Volunteers hand our leaflets ar the San Francisco Vigil, Market al Banery Stree!s 
continued his active participation in the "track two" diplomacy — a program of contact 
and dialogue between Americans and Russians outside ordinary channels — which had 
been initiated by Esalen Institute, and which imspired his visit to the %viet Union last 
summer. where he found among the people he met an equally earnest desire to avoid 
war; and as well, a surprising and extremely well-informed interest in Buddhism. Zen 
Center has helped to sponsor or host several events in this exchange program, including 
a series or Russian films to be shown at Greens restaurant.

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GREGORY BATESON 
Gregory Bateson died at Zen Center's Guest House on July 4, 1980, in the midst of his 
family and friends. 
Glegory, With his Wife Lois, began staying at the Guest House regularly when, as a 
Regent of the University of California, he had to attend the monthly meetings held at 
the nearby LLC. Extension Center. Gregory gave lectures a number of times to Zen 
Center students at Francisco, Green Gulch, and Tassajara, and held a large confer- 
ence at the Green Gulch Wheelwright Center. 
We found in Gregory Bateson a great teacher: a rigorous thinker, septic, incisive 
questioner — and yet a man who could put these powers at (he service of a vision 
which sought to include and connect everything. In conversation, he often tried to 
determine what wer the differences txtween his thinking and Buddhism, because there 
was such an extensive overlap. We learned a great deal from him; we found confirma- 
tion in his thinking and in his probing use of language — an opening and measure for 
Buddhism in Occidental culture. HC became a great guide for us. And it seems that 
Buddhism and were useful to him, too. 
At Gregory Bateson's funeral, eighteen hits Of the big bell, the Obonsho. were followed 
by a procession into the Meditation and Buddha Hall where the ceremony began with 
an offering of incense and food. Stevens' Blue Guitar, and passages from Wil- 
liam Blake and T.S. Eliot were read by members of the family and friends. Governor 
Brown read the Twenty-third Psalm. During the ceremony, Cnegory's family and many 
others spoke directly to Gregory. Zentatsu Baker-roshi addressed and said about 
Gregory: 
"Gregory, you were intellectual history itself. descendant of a family which pre- 
pared, with courage and daring, the way for you. And then you youlselr brought us 
over into, helped lead us into this century, from the ecclesiastical Victorian world into 
our world, and then, not content, you further thrust yourself and us into 
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this age we yet understand — a world where dualisms are resolved and oneness is 
the sign or being. Your own life was an amswer to entropy — heat passing heat to us 
a sacrament for our true life." 
"Gregory Bateson gave his life over to science, to understanding being, to a science of 
trust and not of interference; and at the end he trusted life to end in its own way, within 
his own way, and with his family and July 4, 1980 at noon. Day." 
"Gregory, you were able to pass through the golden net of culture, deepen and yet not 
be caught by the explanations or sciencc and society; you all attempts to explain 
away or obscure the vast darkness." 
" fruc philosopher, scientist, anthropologist, biologist, cybernetician, educator 
reforming education like your grandfather, psychologist, lover of life and of us — now 
in death as in life you move — the boundaries, the edges, softly moving, shimmering, 
reflecting, dissolving, a difference, we call it Dharma, joining, connecting. " 
"Stretched over the void — we have offevxd this ceremony and ourselves to your light, 
to your heart, to your sweetness, to your flights of intelligence, to your and 
compassion that illuminate this often bitter world, to your passing on to us life itself, to 
your flashing in the utter darkness. " 
"Let us be mindful of this great man within us, of our new existence. " 
Offerings for Gregory Bateson on Zhe altar Of the Green Gulch zendo 
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SEARCHING 
by Thich Nhat Hanh 
FOR OUR LOST 
BROTHER 
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist whose role as 
a leader of the Buddhist movement for rxace during the Vietnam war is well-known. He 
headed the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation during the Paris peace talks, and is 
the author of several books, including Lolus in u Sea of Fire, The Miracle of Mindfulness, 
and Zen Keys. In years, Thich Nhat Hanh has lived in France, rarely traveling, 
and has concentrated on teaching meditation practice and mindfulness study to those 
directly involved in peace activism and social change. The following talk was given at 
the conclusion of a three-day "Reverence for Life" conference sponsored by the Temple 
of Understanding in New York City in June of l:LSt year, in conjunction with the second 
United Nations Conference on Disarmament and the huge anti-nuclear march of nearly 
one million pcoplc_ Baker-roshi, Lew Richmond and Arnie Kotler from Zen Center also 
attended the conference, and from our meeting with Thich Nhat Hanh asked him to 
visit Zen Center in April or 1983. His two weeks with us this April, spent mostly at Tas- 
sajara, had a profound impact on all of us. We would like to report on it in more detail 
in the next Wind Bell. 
Thich Nhat Hanh 
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Winter 1983

 

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IMPORTANT NEWS AND CHANGES 
In April of this year, Zen Center'S Abbot, Richard Baker-roshi, began an indefinite 
leave or absence. The precipitating event which brought this about was his relation- 
ship With a married resident woman student, and the upset which this caused for 
those principally involved, and for others in the community who knew about it. 
Although wc have never becn primarily a traditional celibate monastic community, 
we have clearly established guidelines for the conduct Of intimate relationships: no 
deceiving, no harming of anyone or their practice, and, if one is a practice leader, set- 
ting a good example for others. Because the matter involved the Abbot, and because 
he had been involved in similar situations before, the Board of Directors convened to 
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discuss this situation and an appmpriare response. The Board's first decision was to 
inform each student personally and individually so that everyone would have the 
same information. Then, after several more days of community response and discus- 
sion, the Board and Baker-roshi agreed on an indefinite leave ot absence, to be 
reviewed in one year, in April, 1984. 
These events brought up for examination many fundamental issues for our Buddhist 
community: the student-teacher relationship in Zen, the nature and limits of spiritual 
authority, the way information is shared and the way we commumcate with one 
another, and the way men and women relatc to each other in spiritual practice. The 
events also highlighted questions about Zen Center as an insritution which have been 
ongoing for some time, having to do With our size, finances, decision making, and 
priorities. 
It is not easy to write about what we are going through in a way which includes the 
larger Inembership of Wind Bell readers, but Which also respects the privacy of indi- 
viduals and the contextual nature of the facts. It may seem odd to someone reading 
the preceding paragraphs that this incident could: by itself, give rise to such far- 
reaching consequences, This event, however, was the catalyst which created an open- 
ing for us to examine many fundamental questions con&rning our understanding of 
Buddhism and Buddhist institutions, Some of these questions had to do specifically 
with the Abbot: e.g., Why was there such a difference hctwecn his lifestyle and the 
lifestyles of other members of the community? Other issues invoh•c everyone: how do 
power and authoritv function in a spiritual community, and in What ways did all ol- 
us, not iust the Abbot, contribule to perpetuating dubious assumptions about the role 
and authority of the teacher? For resident members, especially, whose work, spiritual 
practię, social life, and, in many cases, financial support are all provided within the 
insriturion of Zen C,enter, these quesdons, understandably, have become very impor- 
tant and disturbing. 
To understand the depth of our questioning, il is important To remember that Zen 
Center, like many Zen Buddhist groups in America, has been organięd as a ' 'person 
church", in which each student's primary spiritual and personal relationship is with a 
single person, the Rashi or teacher. Many of thc religious groups in America which 
arc trying to adapt Asian traditions to the West arc cxpcricnclng some Of the same 
problems. We are unfamiliar with the context and structure of Asian societies in 
which spiritual leaders cxcrcise their authority; our expectations have been formed, in 
most cases, by books rather than by upbringing. 
At the same rime, we are experiencing many positive aspects to this new situation. 
Each individual is having to deep questions of himself and of the institution. 
More people now feel responsible for taking care of Zen Cxntcr, and feel that they are 
responsible for their Own spiritual practice, It is almost as though this situation has 
allowed us, as Americans forming new traditions, to realize the next step in the pro- 
ccss of R more maturc Buddhist practice. As we begin to talk more hon- 
estly to one another, we have discovered an Rlmost astonishing simultaneity and sim- 
ilarity in each other's experience of practice at Zen Center. A few people have left, 
but, for the most part, the demands and difficulties of what we are going through 
have brought people closer together, and have created many fresh possibilities for 
growth and insight. 
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To provide a way for us to kccp in touch with each other as we pass through these 
changes, we began, in September, a process of biweekly meetings of residents and 
non-residents in small groups of eight to ten rxople at aii three practice places. These 
meetings are helping us to create a flow Of information, helping to build consensus on 
major issues, and allowing evervone to participate in the decision-making 
The sharing groups also give peoplc a sense of having emotional support from their 
friends and a feeling of increased intimacy with fellow students. During this time, the 
Board of Directors, which is the legal decision-making body of Zen Center, has been 
meeting frequently to help safeguard our fundamental purpose during this period of 
change. The Board includes among its Inembers those senior students who were clos- 
est to Suzuki-roshi. 
During the months sinę the leave of bcgan, Baker-roshi has been away much 
of the time. Zen Center has to support him and his family financially, and 
to furnish them with the two houses 'hey have used in the city and at Green Gulch 
Farm. He has participated a little in the daily schedule of the community, but, for the 
most part, he has spent his rime traveling, cither with his family or by himself. It 
seems that be, too, is examinmg many things about himself and about Zen C.nter. He 
has not yet expressed anything definite about what he would like to do, or would like 
the ammunity to do, and he has allowed the process of change to go on within Zen 
without trying to participate in or influenct it. It seems that he has cnjoycd 
the opportunity to live a much quieter life than he has been able to do in recent years. 
Since his return to San Francisco on Ocrober 30, he has been meeting with individual 
students. 
Although there is a great deal more that u'uld be said, wc arc so much in the midst of 
this often trying process that, ar This time, it is hard to know what is important and 
lasting, and what is of only temporary interest. It may be belter, and also more accu- 
rate, given all that is happening, to err on the side of saying too little rather than too 
much. The community of Zen Center, which grew from the small group of medita- 
tors around Suzuki-rosbi the present rather large institution and sangha, seems 
fundamentally strong and sound, and becoming more so. Some small chgnges are 
already apparent. For example, after years of publishing the LVüd Bell very infre- 
quently, we arc sending you this issue only four months after the last one. We hope 
Vou will take this as an encouraging sign of renewed vitality and determination to con- 
tinue Suzuki-roshi's way in America. We expcct to report to you again in the Spring 
when it may he possible ro speak more definitively about our new direction.

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ZEN CENTER PRACTICE LEADERS 
Over the last few years, the following individuals have taken on many of thc teaching 
and practice responsibilities at Zen Crnter. We present a short introduction of them 
to the Wind Bell readership. 
HAROLD ' 'REB" ANDERSON 
Tenshin Zenki — (Naturally Real/ Full 
F unction) 
Reb was born in Mississippi in 1944, and 
raised in Minnesota. He first visited Tas- 
sajara in the Summer of 1967, and then 
became a member of Zen Center in 1968, 
He was ordained by Suzuki-roshi in 
1970, and shortly before Richard Baker 
became Abbot of Zen Center, Suzuki- 
roshi commanded him to be thejisha, or 
personal attendant, to the new Abbot. 
He was head monk at Tassaiara in 1972, 
and was the Tanto, or head of practice, at 
Green Gulch Farm from 1973 to 1977. 
He became Tanta of the City Cenrer in 
1977 and continued in that position until 
he was appointed Godo, or Assistant 
Abbot, in 1983 after receiving the 
Dharma Transmission Ceremony from 
Baker-roshi in January of this year.

 

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THE VENERABLE THICH NHAT HANH 
Ghikudo Lewis Richmond, and Koho Arnie Kotler met the Venerable 
"ftich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese 7zn master, in New York in June 1982 and 
marched with him in the large anti-nuclear demonstration. At that time, Thich Nhat 
Hanh, who is also a and author, agreed to Come to Zen Center sometime to help 
instruct the students here. He was an instructor of novice monks for twenty years in 
his monastery in Vietnam. He visited Zen Center for nearly the entire month of 
March, 1983, and inspired and encouraged us very much.

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Spring 1984

 

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ZEN CENTER NEWS 
On December 20, 1983, Richard SåkG-rosh1 resigned as Abbot of San Francisco 
7xn Cznter. The events which led up to this decision were outlined in the Winter 
1983 Wind Bell. In his letter to Zen Center students and friends, Baker-roshi said: 
I have waited all these months trying to decide what to do because I did not 
know what to do to fulfill the vow I made to Suzuki-roshi to continue and to 
develop a place for his teaching which would endure. Now I see that my role 
as Abbot and leader is more damaging to the Sangha and to individuals than 
any help I may add by staying. And I see even more that the present situation 
and any effort I make in it is damaging to the teaching and this is completely 
unacceptable to me. I want to do what is best for Zen Center and the lineage 
and the teaching. And I want to do whatever I can to lessen, to end the deep 
suffering and pain many persons feel. So it is with deep regret and shame 
before Suzuki-roshi and you that I resign as Abbot and Chief Priest of the 
San Francisco Zen Center. I resign with trust and hope in your wisdom, in 
the strength Of your future, and in the compassion and intelligence of each or 
you and of all of you working together. Please heal and help me to heal the 
wounds I have opened and plemse end and help me to end the suffering I 
have caused. I know you can work together to make Zen Center the wonder- 
ful PIX* to practice and place to share your lives that I know it can be. Thank 
you for being patient with me all these months while I absorbed the truth and 
teaching of this situation. And thank you for being patient with me all these 
Baker-roshi's resignation was accepted by the Board, and on December 24, 
Edward Espe Brown, Board Chairman, replied to Baker-roshi's letter: 
We are grateful for your fundamental and abiding commitment to the teach- 
ing and your courage and confidence in taking this step. We deeply appreciate 
your invaluable contributions to the founding of Zen Cznter and the many 
efforts, often unrecognized, you have made that we can live and practice 
tc*ether. We respect your wish and share your intention to heal the wounds 
and end the suffering we have all been experiencing, and I hope we can find 
ways to mutually assist one another in our common effort to practice Suzuki- 
roshi's way. I offer incense and bow.

 

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On February 28, 1984, the Board voted to give Baker-roshi a year of transitional 
financial support beginning on March 1, 1984. The Board also invited Dainin 
Katagiri-roshi of the Minneapolis Meditation Center to be interim Abbot of 
San Francisco Zen Center for the coming year. 
Katagiri-roshi first met Suzuki-roshi at the old Sokoii temple on Bush Street in 
San Francisco, and Suzuki-roshi invited him to stay in San Francisco and help 
him with both the Japanese congregation and WIth Zen Center. Katagiri-roshi was 
9 
officially appointed priest for both groups in 1965; after Suzuki-roshi's death in 
December 1971, Katagiri-roshi left Zen Center and eventually formed his own 
group in Minneapolis. He has visited us frequently in the last twelve years, often 
staying for about a week in the Fall and giving lectures on chapters from Dögen's 
Shobogenzo. So, for older students who knew him in Zen Center's formative years, 
and for many newer students who have heard his lectures, Katagiri-roshi is an old 
friend and respected teacher. We are very grateful that he has been able to take 
time out from his many activities in Minneapolis and throughout the mid-western 
States, to supE»rt and guide us through the coming year Of changes and transition. 
On March 14, Katagiri-roshi was formally installed as Abbot in a Ceremony at 300 
Page Street in San Francisco.

 

 

Fall 1984

 

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ZEN CENTER NEWS 
Richard left San Francisct) Zen Center and moved to Santa Fe, New 
Mexico, in July, and is negotiating for a Bay Area location. We hope ways can be 
found for 7xn Center and the new group to assist each other in our common effort to 
practice Suzuki-roshi's way.

 

 

Spring 1986

 

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During the next practice period, the same person conceived the idea Lo send Richard 
Baker, who was in Japan, a tape of greetings from the students at Tassajara. So each 
person in the practice period said, "Hi," in way or another. I remember that I said, 
*'Warrn smiles from cold

P34 - from Reb Anderson lecture

 

 

Fall 1986

 

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Wind Bell Beginnings 
Lcnk.ing through the Center archive in preparation for this issue, we came 
across a Zen Center history project undertaken in 1969-70 by Peter Schneider. 
We reprint here the section on the beginnings of the Wckd Ben as viewed sixteen 
years ago. 
WIND BELI„• unlose idea was the Wind Bell? 
SUZUKI-ROSHI: Not my idea or some other's idea. Dick and some other students 
were always writing down my lectures and asking me many questions about them. 
What I said in my lectures with my broken English was very different from what I 
had in my mind, so I had to write down something. We thought the Wild Bell may 
be a gcnd idea. But in the Wind Bell they didn't get the original talk, just my 
broken English corrected by someorę else, like Dick. 
DELLA GOERTz: Wasn't the Wind Bell part of our early organization plan? It 
Hense's idea that we had to keep track of people, get a mailing list and advertise 
BrrTY WARREN: Who did we send them to at first? We them on bulletin 
boards in colleges. 
DELLA GOERTZ; And we used to have newspaper ads, but they never really brought 
many people, did they? 
BEI-ry WARREN: We used to won-y about getting people to come. 
J. J. WILSON: So everybody was asking, 'Wells what should we call it (the LVzhd 
Belt), ' and everyone had ideas, like Zen Center Newslerrer. And actually that one 
thing kept, that he was going to do. He would have a name for it. And we waited 
and waited. And then finally one day we came to Roshi — I guess it was because 
we were going to go to press — and said, 'We want the for that.' So he went 
upstairs to his rcxym and came down again in about twenty minutes and he had 
written on a piece of pal*r WIND BELL. 
I remember Suzuki-roshi helping. We couldn't run that Japanese mimeograph 
machine. We'd Star to print and the print would fade. So R'hhi came. And actu- 
ally he helped me learn how to work because I was very cautious and tentative at 
that stage. And what he would do is just spill ink all over himself. He'd get down 
there and spill ink and get everything messy. And then after we'd gotten everything 
mesy, we'd Exgin to clean it up. 
GRAHAME PETCHEY: It appeared one Saturday morning. •n:le first edition. Single, 
rather dirtily duplicated sheets, and I remember you and l, Dick, looking at one 
another saying what the devil do we need a newspaper for? 
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DICK RARn•. Who thought it up? 
GRAHA_ME PETCHEY: I think Rcsh_i did. I'm not sure about why, but wanted it, I 
PHILLIP WILSON: I'm not sure if I did the fi_rst ones or if Bill Kwong did. I don't 
anyone doing them before me, but they may have. Suzuki-roshi would 
write it up and then I would write out a form. And the form I love bet is the 
shaF of the Buddha. I always wanted to the Wind Bell simple. And not very 
big. And I don't know why I didn't want it big. When they were talking about five 
or six pages I understand it. But what I could understand wc different 
people doing the Wind Bell so that it never rernain the sole possession of one 
GRAHAME prrCHEY: I was doing the thing myself, pretty much. I mean just writing 
it up and so on. And gave stuff to put in it. Dick always gave the roshi's 
lecture. And then at some point Dick took over. 
DICK BAKER: Yes, everyone was going to take it, one a month, and take tums. And I 
did it one month and tba no one wantd to do it, so I did it two months and I still 
muldn't find anyone to take it. And then Grahame said, 'Well, you did such a gcul 
why you andnue? It wę kind of a chore. I didn't want to do t_rE chore, 
u•ld began taking ineret in it and I beame 'attached' to it. 
Wind Bell 
in space by his teeth, 
Es •whole bay his mouth. 
Eastwind, Wes', North 
dęs care. 
He calks far others in mm-y 
A Prafraparamita 
Tsu Chal Tsun Rym 
Tsu CE Rym. 
— D*n-Zenji

 

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I had a few time with introduct_ions exchanged while 
we were going up or down the Sokoji stairczse in opp«site So I a lit- 
de nervous when went to my fir-st meting with him (and Dick Bakkk who 
arrived later) to confer atnut the Bell. I walked into the old wu)den Bush 
Street temple, surprised that the dmr wC open, called out and slowly climbed the 
narrow staircase. Called out again. No answer. Wondering as went, I mntinued 
down the hall, thinking "Nobody home". Finally I found an open door to a room 
where a small man sitting behind a his fingers laced behind his heKi 
With a wide grin he said, ' 'This must be the plaę." He had just exercised a new 
Anxrian phrase, and we both laughed. 
— Peter Bailey 
17

 

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Comparative Income Statement 
April 30, 1985 
s 24W77 
3,601,836 
251 719 
S 664,853 
894,853 
1,421.149 
0 
s 307207 
(Ikcre— 
S Z626 
638,471 
(189,294) 
451,m3 
194,205 
129,064 
18.185 
330,601 
215,754 
$(158561) 
$178.395 
INCOME 
Revenx from studena 
W-supB'rt 
Other Income 
TOTAL INCOME 
EXPENSES 
Student %hobrship 
wages 
purctuses for resale 
&her Operadng 
TOTAL EXPENSES 
SPECIAL YEAR-END INCOME 
AND EXPENSE 
CONTRIBUTIONS 
INCDME PLUS CONTRIBUTIONS 
OVER EXPENSES 
April N), 1986 
s 245,703 
4,240,307 
62,425 
4,548,435 
s 654m 
1,m271 
1,023,917 
4507522 
215,754 
405,313 
donation of land in Washington State, write-off of unmDectabk student 
Imns, furniture and b«nks given to Richard in I W, and in business 
schedules.

P63

 

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T•he Wind Bell Staff invited the former Abbot, 7xntatsu Baker, 
to something to this anniversary issue. He did not.

Inside back cover

 

 

Spring 1987

 

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Zen Center's Businesses 
Continuity and Change 
by David Weinberg 
During a period of rapid growth in the mid 1970k, 7.n Center founded or 
acquired six business enterprises. Though recogninbly American in conępt, they 
took their inspiration from traditonal zen crafts and from our particular life 
vegetarian food, baking whole grain breads, joyfully serving 
guests—in San Francisco and at the monastery at Tassajara Springs. Under the 
dynamic entrepreneurial leadership of former Abbot Richard Baker, the businesses 
became closely identified with Zrn Center's teaching and practice style, and several 
of them quickly became very successful. Three of these businesses—Tassajara 
Bread Bakery on Cole Street, Greens restaurant at Fort Mason, and the Green 
Gulch Greengrocer near the City Center on page Street—continue to operate 
under Zen auspices and are highly regarded throughout the Bay area and 
beyond. 
The student population of Zen Center ten years ago was increasing rapidly, includ- 
ing people returning from monastic training at Tasajara who wanted to continue 
to live, work and practice together with other students in the city. Creating the 
businesses provided an opportunity for Zen students to gain their livelihood in set- 
tings that enact the right livelihood values implicit in Our practice. The businesses 
also brought contemporary Zen practice into the modern marketplace where it is 
accessible 10 a wider range of people than might choose to join our formal prac- 
tice. Finally, as it turned out, some of the businesses became sufficiently profitable 
to provide significant financial support for Zen Center. 
By late 1983 Zen Center and its businesses entered another phase: the resignation 
of Abbot Richard Baker resulted initially in personal turmoil for many senior Zen 
students and then in a reexamination of many of Zen commitments, 
including the businesses. Of course, the businesses had their own momentum— 
they were by then established in the marketplace, financially successful, and 
embedded in Zen Center's practice tradition—and they each had a contingent of 
seasoned Zen practitioners guiding them at the managerial level. Eventually, how- 
ever, it became plain that the businesses needed continuing leadership from the 
"owner" and that the ranks of senior managers with Zen Center training was grow- 
ing thinner. The businesses. we were warned by knowledgable advisors and our 
own managers, soon would begin to drift if they were not attended to with skill 
and concentration. 
14

 

 

Fall 1987

 

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Serenity 
44 
Publication of 
The Book of Serenity 
(Shoyoroku) 
Zen Center, in association with Lindesfarne press is plemsed to announce publica- 
tion of The Book of Serenity, an important collection of one hundred classic zen 
koan cases with commentaries. Never before published in its entirety in English, 
this new volume will feature the translation by Thomas Cleary, an introduction by 
him, and forewords by Robert Aitken and Zentatsu Richard Baker. 
Each case contains an introduction by Wansong, a main case drawn from Chan 
lore or Buddhist scripture, commentary, a verse by Tiantong on the 
case, general commentary on the verse, and his comments on each line 
of the case and on Tiantongx verse, plus added sayings. There is a glossary of 
terms and allusions and of technical matters and metaphors of classical Chan lan- 
guage. More important, an index is included of names cited in cases and commen- 
taries with their variations. "lhe index is cross-referenced to the Blue Cliff Record, 
Timeless Spring and Zen Dust. 
The book is due to appear in May 1988. Rather than say more about it, we offer 
the following as a sample of its treasures. 
30

 

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1983 - 1987
No Wind Bell published since the 1978-79 issue

1963 - 1971  1972 - 1973  1974 - 1979  1983 - 1987  1988 - 1998  1999 - 2012

All Wind Bells Index
Richard Baker main page