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

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photo by Lisa Law

Les Kaye and Mary in cuke and elsewhere


Mary Kaye on Suzuki the thief

Mary is wife of Les Kaye, abbot of Kannondo. Mary and Les ran the Los Altos Haiku Zendo and lived there toward the end of Shunryu Suzuki's life. The following was told to me by Mary and Les in their kitchen.

Les: When Suzuki Roshi came to Los Altos to give his talks, after zazen and his talk and he'd always want to talk to my wife in the kitchen and she said oh he'd just ask how I was doing and we'd say hello and we were both into bonsai.

Mary: Once we were at Tassajara and I told him I had found a new seedling to make a bonsai with and it was planted in a small dish and we went outside and I showed it to him and he said, "Thank you," and took it off to his cabin.

And I do remember that once when we were at Tassajara he was sitting next to me at a meal in the dinning room and I was drinking a coca-cola and he just leaned over and took a big sip out of it.

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