photo by Lisa Law

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


Jack Van Allen - excerpt from his interview

Jack's memorial page

When I first started doing serious casting about 1969, I went to Suzuki Roshi and said I'd like to make a bronze bell for Tassajara and he looked at me kinda funny and he said, "What does the bell sound like?" and I thought about it for a minute and I said, "Gee, I don't really know."

It felt like a koan, though I had no knowledge of koans.  I had just started sitting very intermittently around '67 at Sokoji.  Then I said, "What should it sound like?" and he said, "What will it sound like?"  And I said, "high or low?" and he said, "deep," with a deep voice.  I carried that around for the longest time and I could never get him to talk about it.  I'd ask him about it and he wouldn't say anything.  There was no response - well, he did laugh at one point.  But he'd gotten me engaged with... with... something.