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Dainin Katagiri in Shunryu Suzuki lectures
every mention of his name in the transcripts

Dainin Katagiri cuke page   ---   Suzuki lectures

Student A: You spoke on-- of a large patience and a small patience [laughs] and elaborated on the large patience but not on the small patience. Could you make that all clear?


SR: Oooh. That is-- you know, Reverend Katagiri's name [Dainin] is big patience. [Laughing, laughter ongoing.] So maybe better for him to explain, you know, what it is. And small patience. Okay.



So sometime when we-- when I become lonely, I talk about transmission with Reverend Katagiri. “When American people will understand the meaning of transmission?” [Laughs.] It may be-- it will take pretty long time for you to understand the full meaning of transmission.




Zen Center is not a group of people setting themselves apart from society, each striving for his own personal enlightenment. All of us, including himself and Reverend Katagiri, are Americans, responsible to the society which supports us. The Bodhisattva’s vow is to seek for the enlightenment of all beings before oneself, and actually, to help others is to help oneself. Without this spirit, our practice is not true Zen.




This morning, Reverend Katagiri explained our monastic rules. And Dogen Zenji said, our practice-- we are like a water and milk. When we, each one of us practice-- are concentrated on this practice of Zen, we are not anymore each separated being.




We are now coping with the problem of causality. This-- I think Reverend Katagiri must have told you something about this, I think. But this problem is very big problem-- so big that it covers all the area of Buddhist philosophy.




So in our practice, it is necessary to put ourselves in right situation, and to put-- to arrange your surrounding in right order. This is maybe what Reverend Katagiri2 was talking about this morning. This is very very important point.




Katagiri Roshi: As long as there is something to be seen, you cannot get rid of the self which sees. As long as there is an intentional thought which directs and motivates (your vision) where you look. When you turn head and look completely free from any thought motivation, then you look free of self (little mind).


I exist now because you exist now.


Tony Artino notes [this part deleted from Suzuki lecture archive]




I am so grateful to introduce to you Kobun Chino, sensei. He was appointed to Zen Center to be a teacher of you. I hadn’t met him before. I was told about him but yesterday I met him for the first time and I felt as if we were old friends. I was so happy to see him. It was quite a long time since I saw you -- maybe three weeks, but I feel as if it is almost one year or so but actually it is just three weeks. In this three weeks this zendo, Haiku Zendo, made a big progress under the guidance of Katagiri Sensei. As Dogen Zenji said, “Don’t think what you have attained will be known by you.”




Baker: The Japanese congregation has been very reluctant to give him up.


Thompson: This is the Japanese congregation--


Baker: In San Francisco.


Thompson: -- in San Francisco? Yes.


Baker: But they've helped us a great deal, and we have two other priests-- both younger Zen priests-- one who's in charge in San Francisco named Katagiri Sensei, and a new, young, brilliant priest we brought from Japan, for Tassajara, who's in-- who's in Tassajara at the mountain center when Roshi is not there. And he's there all the time, and his name is Chino Sensei.


KPFA interview




Water has, you know, a boat. Reverend Katagiri's father-- teacher or master. I think he is-- must be a very good teacher because people in that village-- when-- I don't remember exactly what Reverend Katagiri said, but, anyway, at that temple, he get water by pipe-- by bamboo pipe from a spring pretty far away from the temple, you know. Bamboo pipe. And for that they have a wooden pail. And they sent that pail to get mended. And when they get it back to the temple the pail was still leaking. Still-- it was still leaking. And so Reverend Katagiri took it to the store or shop to make it perfect. And the old man who is working on it said, “Maybe water in the temple, in your temple, should be very different if that water-- from the water we have in the village. [Suzuki can't stop laughing, but nobody gets the joke so far.] I think if you see Reverend Katagiri-- the way he does it is very special, you know. The way he hit mokugyo, the way he recites sutra. His manner is anyway very gentle and precise and gives us good feeling-- special, I think, his teacher, in that way. So I think his father, his master should be like him, or must be like him. “So water you use is quite different, must be quite different, from the water we have in our village. That is why it leaks.”





Last night Reverend Katagiri was talking about how we should make our effort. When we say “to make some effort,” [it] means to make effort with some goal or with some aim.

But usually, you know, we treat things for- -- forgetting all about the true nature of things, and [we] abuse things for our own sake. Animals and vegetables are raised for benefit of human being [laughs]. This is very, you know, very shallow, very egoistic, ego-centered way of observing things, way of treating things. But mostly it-- it is quite usual for people to use things in that way or to treat even your friend in that way.


That is difference Reverend Katagiri was talking [about] last night: the difference between usual effort and our effort. Our effort is-- should be-- our right effort should be continued incessantly, without any gap. Carried on forever. That is what we mean [by] to make right effort.





Transcript of Shunryu Suzuki section of Zen Mt. Center, a KQED film


[Scenes inside Sokoji zendo with students sitting zazen and also views of Sokoji from the outside. Shunryu Suzuki bows as Dainin Katagiri hits a bell. Shunryu Suzuki walks around the zendo striking a few students’ shoulders with the kyosaku stick. Chanting begins and the mokugyo and bell are struck. City street scenes while chanting continues. Back inside the zendo. Richard Baker hits a bell. Then scene of Shunryu Suzuki with Dainin Katagiri and Richard Baker talking inside an office].




From Mar 1, 1942 ([can't read this well, top cut off in copying:] -- monastery[?] or something and at that point he formally became Roshi, though only for ceremonies apparently. Some politics.) to Mar 31, 1947. Roshi - Zen Teacher (Official Director) Shike (Daho), Tokeiin Temple of no. 10th Monastery (Zenrin?of Soto sect - high. Like Chino Sensei's duty at Tassajara & Katagiri Sensei's duty in SF. Just monks. Resigned because busy and zenrin[?] stopt[?].






pinch hitter, November 1969,

Evening Lecture

City Center, San Francisco


[Katagiri spoke before Suzuki.]


1Earlier, Katagiri Suzuki referred to himself as a “pinch hitter” for Suzuki until the latter arrived.




There were one-- one more things-- one more thing which I wanted to tell you, but I forgot. [Laughs, laughter.] Maybe better to forget. [Laughs, laughter.] And this will be-- tomorrow perhaps Katagiri Sensei will continue this lecture. [Laughs, laughter.] So he may tell you, you know, what it was. I thought it was something which is very, you know, difficult, you know, to tell you. Or which is something which-- it was something which I don't want to tell you. [Laughs, laughter.]




Now I should like to introduce Katagiri roshi, who came to help us. Of course one of our teachers, expressing our teacher -- great teacher in your practice in north U.S.





What is self is a big problem, you know. Unless we don’t understand what is self, unless we don’t reflect on our self, whether our everyday life is self-centered or a life of selflessness, we cannot, you know, have right practice: the practice to settle oneself, you know, on self. That is, you know, [Dainin] Katagiri Sensei's [laughs] word: “to settle oneself on the self.” You cannot understand what does it mean.





Now, as Katagiri Sensei told you last night, you know, you awaken, you know, from the dream. By “dream,” you know, he means, you know, our usual everyday life, which is involved in gaining idea. And when you expect things, you know, in various selfish way, that is actually the dream you have. But after awakening from the dream, you know, what you mean [need?] is another to come back, you know, to actual life, which include your dream, you know.

I didn't know actually, you know, what we should do with our old okesa after, you know, Yoshida Roshi show us which-- how should be right traditional okesa, you know. I didn’t know what to do. But, you know, when I took out [Oka Roshi's book on the precepts], I didn’t know idea of solving this problem, you know, by Oka Roshi's help. But when I, you know-- I wanted to know what will be the interpretation of precepts not to act [do] unchaste act, you know. So I wanted to know about it. But what I found out is that, you know, preface [by Kishizawa Zenji], you know, I haven't read that part. It was just, I thought, it is just introduction [laughs]. But, you know, when I need it, you know, it appears in front of me like that. You may say that is just by chance, but I don't feel in that way [laughs]. If you say things happen just by chance, you know, all the things happen just by chance [laughs]. When we don't know, we say, “Things happen by chance.”


Katagiri Sensei and I, you know, discussed very hard about that point-- what should we do? [Laughs.] We had no answer for that. It is not things-- not that kind of thing we can ask Yoshida Roshi or someone else [about]. We should solve this problem just between us, who are responsible for this.


You think, you know, things happens, you know, in this way in America, at Zen Center, you know, but it is not just by chance. It is, you know, result of many years of many peoples' hard work, sincere work. It is not just, you know, way of propagating Buddhism. To us there is no idea of Buddhism. What is the truth will be always our, you know-- main point is what will be the truth.


As Katagiri Sensei said, you know, last night, breathing should be upright to the sky. And we should sit on black cushion without moving, so that we can, you know, grow to the sky. That is, you know, how you practice zazen, how I practice zazen, how Katagiri Sensei practice zazen-- as a priest, as a layman, you know. There is no difference in its-- in the virtue, whether you are layman or a priest, if we know what is the purpose of practice and how we should grow-- what will be our way of life as a Buddhist, you know. Only difference is, you know, we put more emphasis on the truth. Usual people do not respect truth so much, you know-- little bit different [laughs].


But, you know, eventually you will find out which is more important, as you have already found out. We cannot be fooled by anything so easily, you know, and we shouldn't fool anyone. We must “settle ourselves on ourselves,” as Katagiri Sensei says, you know. Excuse me [laughs]. “To settle one's self on one's self,” you know, that is very important point. How you do it is to be yourself on each moment. Whatever you do, you must do it, you know. You shouldn't expect someone's help. You shouldn't be spoiled by some shelter, you know. You should protect yourself, and you should grow upright to the sky. That's all, you know. That's all, but little bit different, you know. Maybe we are crazy [laughs, laughter]. According to them we are crazy, but we think they are crazy [laughs]. It's okay [laughs]. We will find out pretty soon which is crazy [laughter].


Okay. Thank you.





Last Sunday I told you that, whatever religion you belong to, it doesn't matter when you to come and sit with us. That is because our way of sitting, of practice, is for you to become yourself. Katagiri Roshi always says, “to settle oneself on oneself.” To be yourself. When you become you, yourself, at that moment your practice includes everything. Whatever there is, it is a part of you. So you practice with Buddha, you practice with Bodhidharma and you practice with Jesus. You practice with everyone in the future or in past. That is our practice. But when you do not become yourself, it doesn't happen in that way.