- an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him.

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Brief Memories
of Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Center back then, etc. 

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Brief Memories

photo by Lisa Law



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2-21-11 - Barbara Bash with a brief memory of Shunryu Suzuki. Check out Barbara's website and visual blog.

Heard of Barbara through her husband, Steve Gorn, at the Baajaa Gaajaa Music Festival in Pune.

First I want to say how much I loved your book Crooked Cucumber . It became a standard to measure subsequent biographies of Trungpa Rinpoche that often fell short for me in their need to focus only on the perfection aspect. It's the way a teacher worked with the whole range of their life experience that I long for.

Your book so satisfied that longing. Diana Mukpo's book Dragon Thunder also expressed that fullness of view for me.

My time at the Zen Center in San Francisco was quite brief. I went to sit a few times - in 1968 I believe. I was living in San Francisco after dropping out of college and traveling in Europe. I felt adrift - out of connection - and ended up at Antioch College in Ohio later that year where I hooked up with people who led me eventually back to Buddhist practice and Trungpa Rinpoche.

My memories of the Suzuki Roshi were only as a presence in the zendo - a wind walking through the space during zazen. My inner awareness was just beginning to find its path. I touched into the Zen Center for a moment - did not hear Suzuki Roshi speak - just felt him pass by me . . .it was not my time to connect with a teacher.

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