photo by Lisa Law

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


Elizabeth Tuomi (Okamura)

Elizabeth's memorial page

It was at the San Francisco Zen Center and I think it may have been the first time we heard him lecture.  We were goggle‑eyed and fascinated at this adorable creature bowing.  He kept talking about "detamination." Days later it occurred to me, Oh, determination, that's what he was talking about!

Suzuki Roshi's eyes were aqua-at least once. I was a fresh young Buddhist and I told Rebecca I want to tell him how much I liked his lecture so I went to the baths and met him and his eyes were blue and I was babbling and went around to the other side to see if it was the sun but it wasn't and I thought his eyes can't be blue, he's Japanese! and later I figured out it was because he was going to the baths and it was what was on his mind.

DC: Once, Liz told me, she was walking toward Suzuki and his eyes flashed – strongly, with a shocking intensity.

She said once he mentioned that if you listen closely, you can hear the tide turn.