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

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photo by Lisa Law


Laura Shinko Kwong


Somewhere around 1969, at the San Francisco Zen Center, when I was there for some special event, I remember seeing Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche meet Suzuki-roshi for the first time. It left a deep impression on me. As Rinpoche approached Suzuki-roshi, he was unusually touched and tearful as he looked into Roshi's eyes. It was as if they had been together from lifetimes before, and now, auspiciously, had the good fortune to meet again. It was rare. A rush of memories, recognition, and then tears. At that moment, I was to learn that the True Way has no distinctions, no difference. And I hope I will keep that forever. When Suzuki-roshi died, it was a very hard time for many of us. After the service at the Zen Center, Trungpa Rinpoche began his talk by telling us intimately that not only did we lose a wonderful teacher, but we had lost a dear friend, and he sobbed and sobbed from his heart. Everyone broke into tears, long contained in zazen, in our efforts to stay calm so that we could carry on. So to this day, I was always grateful to Trungpa Rinpoche for showing us the rarity of human gratitude-that the heart speaks with no boundaries.

from Article by Laura Shinko Kwong written in Shambhala Sun May 1994

[This was the first time Laura saw them meet but it wasn't their first meeting. That was at Tassajara. Also, I think it was 1970.  - DC]

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