- Shunryu Suzuki Index  - WHAT'S NEW - table of contents
Suzuki Stories     Brief Memories of Shunryu Suzuki

Interview with David Padwa

to interview index     David Padwa cuke page

This interview transcript in progress.

Over the phone talked with David maybe in 2008. Made notes which I recorded in 2011 then transcribed in 2016 July in Germany and now am putting on cuke 2016 in August. - DC

David Padua:

I met Suzuki Roshi a couple of times at Page St. The only personal meeting was when he and Richard came to my place on 86th St. in New York.

DC: This was before Page Street, 66 or 67 when we were fundraising to buy Tassajara.

We went across the street to eat lobster. Suzuki Roshi returned the menu to Richard and said, "Lobster." The lady came out with a bib and a whole red lobster. It was a source of merriment, surprise to him. Here was the red monster.

I had recently sold a company to Xerox and was also going to Millbrook. They had a good library.

Richard (Alpert) had had seizures, was dealing on campus, giving money to Owsley. We went to Katmandu. Met Baga Ada? Just the two of us. I gave the car to Hariste, an Indian guide. Went to Japan in 66 and India for the first time. Took a summer holiday in Japan and then three weeks in India with Hariste. Went to Kashmir and Bombay. In Rishkesh met Naga of the extreme cult of Shavas. "Beat me," he said to Hariste. Hariste hit him and he said, "Come have tea." He’d been a car dealer. That was 66. Tartang had him in the Bay Area and let almost no one see him. Kept him jealously guarded.

I met Sonam Caze in New York. Wanted a break. I’d moved to Santa Fe in 72. Sonam sent Dujum here to Santa Fe. I had him all to myself for ten days. Said I want to continue. I bought an Ambassador, went to Lomas College, got robes and a shaved head. Ordained as upashta

Went to Kalinpong near Darjeeling on the old approach - Tibet near Bhutan border. Dudjum Rimpoche had a large house there. Had met him in 72 in Santa Fe. He stayed in my house with his wife and son. Through Sonam Caze Dujam. Cruised? Suzuki Roshi, New York, Europe, India went to Calipoi [same as Kalinpong]. Dudjum arranged it and I stayed in a cell. Dudjum saw people every morning, had lunch, a nap, said, You can see me in the afternoon. I’d walk from Zugo Palu to his house. Would ask him questions. One day saw CR Lama granted citizenship by Indera Ghandi. A number of books on yoga one book from (Chester) Carlson’s. I visited and asked him. Yes can I stay in touch?

I told Dick and Suzuki Roshi I can’t help you but Carlson can. I only went with Ram Das, had a break with Wall Street etc, and wanted to meet Tibetans. Bought vehicle. Richard Alpert was in trouble with drugs, dealing. I bought the Land Rover in England and asked Richard (Alpert). Tim (Leary) had gone the year before we went looking for a guru.

When practicing with Dudjum met a Lama in a sort of restaurant who asked What are you doing? Studying, zazen, [with] Dudjum. [Lama said] let me give you a piece of advice. Stop talking. Stop asking about everything. Ask him to meditate with you. I said to Dudjum, Can we meditate today? He raised his index finger, looked directly at me said, Ah  ever since that moment I never asked him a question about dharma again. We talked history, politics, etc. But not my mind. Dudjum came with wife and kid never wore maroon was never a monk. Ningma. He quizzed me about my sex life and all.