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

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photo by Lisa Law

 

Kobun Chino Roshi


 Oh David, all that we’ve experienced together, all the people at Zen Center and Sokoji and Tassajara and Los Altos and Taos, and Suzuki Roshi brought us all together. What a wonderful time. All those who lived with him everyday, from different backgrounds and traditions and intelligence and how reality fits in played a big part in who Suzuki Roshi was - I understand that.  And we all love him still.  And Rinsoin - SR was guiding young people to sit there long ago. Kishizawa is very important - he was Kishizawa Roshi's student.  Today many people don't know who Kichizawa is but he was a very very important person - Hashimoto, Kodo Sowaki, Suzuki - all those people studied with Kishizawa.

DC: I took those notes down ten years ago or so from a few things Kobun said to me – I don’t remember the setting - and I modify them a bit now remembering back.

I remember when Yasutani and Soen Nakagawa were visiting Tassajara in 1968 [see excerpt from Crooked Cucumber] Kobun said to me that Yasutani, even though he was Soto, was a good example of a great Rinzai Roshi and Suzuki of a great Soto Roshi. I asked what about Soen and he said, “Too much personality.”

Kobun and Vanya Palmers and I were at October Fest in Germany in 1999 and, after spending a couple of hours visiting with Vanya’s brother’s party in the wine tent where Kobun danced on a table with a fetching lass, the three of us went off and rode the three looped roller coaster.

I remember then Kobun telling me he wouldn’t let me interview him because, he said laughing, “You’re not going to put me on the Internet. No way!”

Here Kobun – I’ve got the last laugh.

More about Kobun Chino on the Internet and cuke.

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