Reed College and SFZC
Lots of folks from Reed College got into Zen, Buddhism, Eastern stuff. Recently we posted Rick Levine's tape conversation with Charles Leong on Rick's cuke page and notified David Schneider, It all centered around Reed College and the San Francisco Zen Center and people associated with or who these two institutions or who were important influences on SFZC folks. Having just started a page for the SF Art Institute and SFZC connections, we now do one for Reed and the SFZC. Below are the emails we've received on this - DC
On 9/7/2013 12:25 AM, Richard Levine wrote:
Just off the top of my head:
On 9/7/2013 3:47 AM, Tensho David Schneider wrote:
Dear Rick and David
what about the guy who put that oral history together John Sheehy?
Gay Walker? (Librarian at Reed, but up to date)
On 7 Sep, 2013, at 5:50 PM, David Chadwick wrote:
Which of these people are ZC or ZC related?
Tensho responded: ZC-related as in "sat there" ? - maybe only Louise.
ZC-related as in "read about it, know people, know stories, been influenced in various ways visible and invisible" ? - Probably all of them.
over and out.
Ed Garlan was professor of philosophy at Reed. He visited tassajara, met S-R. I wrote a short obituary on him, published in Wind Bell early/mid 1970's.
Teresa Palmer ("Terry") lived at Portland Zen Center (PZC) with us all; Reed student; resided at Page Street c.1970; became an M.D.
Sam Schrager lived with Lenny Brackett (Virginia Baker's brother) at Reed. Was at Tassajara summer '69 (did sesshin) as well as interim December 17, '69 till Jan 3, '70. I know the dates because we were there at the same time.
Sam helped arrange Kobun Chino's visit to Reed in January of '70. His question to S-R at Shosan ceremony ff'ing sesshin summer '69: "Every question I have sees itself and finds its own answer". S-R answered to the effect: "yes, good".
Now professor of folklore at Evergreen College.
Deborah Greene, Reed student, lived at PZC, did practice period at Tassajara roughly '70 or '71. I think Debby became an entomologist.
Bonnie Stockman, Reed student, I remember hitching into Tassajara with her, I think it was summer '72, though coulda been summer '69.
Michael McPherson, Reed student, close student of Lloyd Reynolds, did sesshin at Green Gulch, early on. Michael did the sign over the Laguna St zendo entrance
saying "Zen Center". Also the ones at Green Gulch, saying "Zen Center/Green Gulch Farm/Wheelwright Center". Published a hand-written version of Gary Snyder's
"Cold Mountain Poems" in about 1969. It's just now been re-issued with updating comments by Gary and a CD of a recent lecture Gary gave at UCB on translation.
yrs, rnl (Rick)
Rick and I talked about the Reed/ZC list this afternoon, and I started thinking about all the folks from Reed who ended up in various other sanghas (ZCLA and Katagiri's Minnesota group come immediately to mind) but that's beyond your scope. Clear to all of us, what a strong thread there is going through the two institutions. Incidentally, when Rick and I were interviewed for an oral history of Reed, probably the first question put to us had to do with Zen at Reed. Rick has the published interview in case you are interested to see that, and it mentions Suzuk's trip to Portland, 1970 it might have been, to lead an all-day sitting. He had to step back, though, as he was feeling sick (the first we suspected he was ill) and Reb took over. I remember because Reb told us--how un-Zen like!--that he wanted to be anywhere than right here with his teacher being ill. I remember giving Roshi a back massage during work period. I knew little, and he had to instruct me.
Richard came up January of '69 and gave a talk, also in Roshi's stead, and then gave zazen instruction to seems like several hundred folks in the largest public space at Reed. We were told beforehand that we needed to bring a pillow with us, not the soft head kind, but hard. I went to a department store and got my first zafu, so to speak. That was my first instruction. You probably know about the two zen houses, one in '70 at "the Cosmos," just up the street from Reed. Len Brackett was a mainstay, plus Sam Schraeger who came to TJ summer of '68. Then in '71 another place across town, with many of the characters Rick mentions: Jim, Layla, Debbie, others, Rick and I. We did a Saturday morning schedule, zazen, meal, samu. David Schneider comes in somewhere. David, where? One of the most memorable events was Baba Ram Dass's dinner with us prior to a talk he gave at Reed.
More than you asked for, I know, but once you get us going . . .
Best, Patrick [McMahon]
One more name, perhaps tangential: Seth Ullman, influential drama teacher to some of us, who came down to TJ summer of '69, I think to see what his students were up to. I remember how out of context it seemed, talking with him as he lolled in the creek. We were, I think, a little ahead of our instructors, or at least a puzzle, most of them coming from such a Western intellectual tradition background, Zen a somewhat suspect, anti-intellectual force. Lloyd Reynolds was one of the few that could bridge the East-West divide. He infuriated me in my first class with him, art history, in which he said, "Don't think." When I later heard, think not thinking, I was just as furious.