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Kent B. Davis
March 2, 1974
Dear Baker Roshi,
Today I joined Zen Center of Los Angeles to become a student of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. This is significant for me in that I actually gave money to a religious organization, the first time I have ever done such a thing.
It occurs to me that I am grateful for the few brief contacts I have had with Suzuki Roshi while visiting Tassajara during the summers of '69, '70, '71 as a guest.
My first visit I was so overcome that I spent four days moving and rearranging a pile of large boulders which had been left by a bulldozer perhaps, into a more natural arrangement. It may have been you who came over to see what I was doing and informed me that the roshi was quite a rock gardener.
My next visit was in the early spring. Late in the afternoon after arriving, I was initiating a greenhorn friend into the rigor of the hot baths. I was putting on the act of drill instructor and my friend that of timid recruit. The only other person in the bath was a small man whose feet almost didn't touch bottom. He joined in the routine until we were all in the water laughing. Later we were all in the stream, which was full of very hungry, one‑inch long, new fish. Once every two seconds or one would take a bite somewhere on your body and you never knew where. Later that evening at lecture I recognized the speaker as being the man in the baths. Suzuki Roshi said that Zen students should be like feeding fish in their practice, nothing more, and he made his mouth and hand move like the mouths of the small fish feeding.
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