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

check home for more links       what's new       Basic info on Shunryu Suzuki   Suzuki lectures donate to this site table of contents   bibliography     interviews      articles/excerpts      Cuke Sangha News   SFZC   Current Events  Thank You and OK!  links    comments         SFZC         table of contents       and more if you look around 

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

Suzuki Basic Info     
Suzuki Stories    
Brief Memories

photo by Lisa Law


Gary Snyder Main Page

from Interview with Gary Snyder
by Matt J (Jenske I think - dc)

Matt:    Could you talk a little about your personal experience with Zen Center? When you first came into contact with Suzuki Roshi, for example? Some of your first impressions of him?

Gary:   Well I went to Japan in 1956, May of 1956. I was studying at Daitokuji. First I was studying at Shokokuji and then Daitokuji. I had many friends in San Francisco who wrote me and I remember sometime during that year, probably, oh spring of '57 maybe, I think that's what it was, I got a letter saying that a new Zen priest has arrived at the Pine [sic: Bush] Street Soto Buddhist Church, who is opening it up to Caucasians. There had been a Zen church there before and they were going to go over and sit with him. Some of my friends were the very first people to ever sit with Suzuki Roshi ‑ Joanne Kyger and Bob Breckenridge were two of them. And Claude Dalenberg. So I got news of this, and I kept hearing about it. I got news from this evolving Zen practice center up in San Francisco as it was happening, and it was very lovely to hear about. I didn't actually get to meet Suzuki Roshi until I came back from Japan to live in California in 1969. Actually it was the winter of '68 but in the spring of '69 I had an apartment over near the old Bush Street Zen Center. I was on Pine Street after that, I had an apartment on Pine Street, and we had Suzuki Roshi over for lunch several times and chatted away in Japanese and in English. I used to go over and sit in the morning when I was living there with Suzuki and that group. And I knew Dick Baker already at that time, and I knew some of the other people who were around the Zen Center at that time as friends from before, as well as some new friends. So I was not right up on top of it, but, I was aware of it in talking to people who were involved with in it from the very beginning. And step by step, , I heard the news about each of the monks, all of the monks, as I still keep in touch with it, via Norman Fischer and David Schneider.

Interviews      Suzuki Basic Info      Suzuki Stories     Brief Memories

What's New