- Shunryu Suzuki Index  - WHAT'S NEW - table of contents

Marian Derby Mountain Wisberg
2 cards to DC

Marian's cuke page

A card sent to DC by Marian in 1994 after Thank You and OK! came out.


Sorry David, as Frances explained to you, I’m not keeping up old Zen friendships out of respect to my husband’s feelings. Frances is an exception because she is a friend with connections to Big Sur. Please don’t write or phone. Congratulations on first book. Good luck on next one.


Postmarked 94, Since then I’ve gotten a lot of letters from her.

That was from Marian Wisberg, author of the Zen Environment, founder of Los Altos Zendo in response to notice read in paper for sitting group contacted ZC in early sixties and SR came often. Transcriber and recorder of ZMBM lectures also she and I were close when Tatsugami came to Tass pretty soon Marian stayed in her cabin, wouldn’t talk, stayed in her room down in the upper barn and I would bring her food sometimes and visit. Finally Bill Smith came and took her out. She went to Big Sur and was sort of a hermit there and she got together with Jack. That’s in response to a note I wrote her. I have a copy of that note saying, Hi. I’ve written Thank You and Ok and I’m working on a book on Suzuki and I’d love to talk to you about your memories of Suzuki and that sort of thing. I could even drive up to Crescent City but she wrote that card back. Since then she’s written a lot.    Somebody transcribed a bunch of stuff I got from Marian and I’ve got that all now on cuke.

Christmas 2010.

Dear Family and Friends, (this is printed out)

Jack and I divided our shared tasks into two general catagories. His are mainly outside and mine inside. The task of decorating our Christmas tree and writing our Christmas letters is my pleasure and challenge. This year I’m finding it more difficult to keep up with the demands of our fast paced technological life. I’m always behind. I don’t think it’s just my age. We’re all victims of the acceleration of time that seems as if it’s rapidly approaching warp speed. This morning when I vowed to make a swift start on composing this years Christmas letter I remembered that somewhere in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, a collection of talks given over forty years ago by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki. He discussed the relationship between god and creativity. I wondered if it had a message appropriate to this year’s holiday season. It does. I’d like to share it with you. Quote:

According to Christianity every existence in nature is something which was created for or given to us by god. That is the perfect idea of giving. But if you think that god created men and that you are somehow separate from god you are liable to think you have the ability to create something not given by him. For instance, we create airplanes and highways and when we repeat I create, I create, I create, soon we forget about god. This is the danger of human culture.

This is a good time to give thanks to this great mystery who answers heartfelt calls from all faiths.

May 2011 be a banner year for you.


And on the back she says,

Dear David, I hope you are enjoying your life as Jack and I grow older we really begin to appreciate it in all of its manifestations. Our relationship to each other is our biggest challenge but also our most enlightening opportunity. We feel blessed to have time to devote to our creative passions, his art work and my writing. Jack bonsai tree’s becoming more beautiful each year as he explores new and improved techniques.

Snail Zen is progressing at its plodding pace. I have twelve to sixteen chapters finished and since it is becoming more closely connected with Roshi’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. I also feel indebted to your masterful work, Crooked Cucumber. You made a great contribution to the world of Zen.

Take good care of yourself.


[I assume the original is still in the archive in Marin County, CA. - dc]

posted 9-02-16