photo by Lisa Law

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


Dan Chesluk


Hi - - -

I've been meaning to write a note about this for quite some time. If I don't do it now, I never will - - -

Just a brief anecdote about my time at Zen Center - - -

I was at City Center and Tassajara for about a year and half - - 1969 - -1970 (maybe I arrived in 1968).

All in all, a life-changing time which has had a profound and determining influence on my life-course.

Towards the end of my time at Zen Center, I was living at 300 Page St. and preparing for a move up to Canada to visit Molly Jones and Larry Hansen who were living on Quadra Island in British Columbia.

Someone came to me and said that Suzuki Roshi wished to have a kind of "meeting" or talk with me in his room at City Center. So at the appointed time I arrived and we had a chat. At this time he expressed to me, basically that no matter what I did, or where I went, that I would always be "his student" , always part of the "greater sangha" (or something to that effect). He described someone else who had gone off to live in the Santa Cruz mountains and how he still considered that person to be part of the Sangha. I think he actually said something like - - "You will always be one of us " .

Somehow, this particular event has stuck with me - - - maybe as an example of what I consider his "wide mind" or inclusive spirit. Actually, he was exactly right - - - after going off and doing many things and having all kinds of life experiences, I "came back" and resumed an active Zen practice.

Anyways, I just wanted to express my gratitude for that all-inclusive spirit which we were all lucky to be part of - - - - -

The reunion was a lot of fun and quite moving. I really enjoyed the little talk your son gave (at the Greens dinner).

Take care and all the best - - -

Dan Chesluk