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Shunryu Suzuki Stories - Suzuki Stories Index


Letters on Suzuki Index - with more on these letters

Tim Buckley - this story is also in Brief Memories

Dear Baker Roshi,

I see from the latest Wind Bell that you are still collecting Suzuki Roshi stories. Here’s one that I meant to give you after the first notice appeared in the last Wind Bell. I think of it as a sort of mondo that deals directly with suchness and attachment, but then...

One day at Tassajara I was with Suzuki Roshi in the rock‑garden that he was, at that time, still working on outside his cabin. (Did he ever stop?) In the slanting moon light the garden and its individual rocks seemed more beautiful than ever to me; magical.

“What a beautiful garden you've made!" I said to Roshi.

“Oh. If you like it so much, why don't you take it with you? You can have it."

“I don't think I could move it," I answered, perhaps intimidated by a particular gleam in his eye, "I'd never get it all back together again quite this way".

“Sure‑ you take it", he said, "put it up on the roof of that cabin over there", and turned to his puttering in a patch of succulents.

I'm in Cambridge now, finishing my A.B. after all.  Deciding finally exactly what I was going to do was fine, if temporary, antidote to a great deal of pain and confusion.  I feel as though my life is back in my hands again, and it feels pretty good.  I am exploring the idea of continuing on to a PhD. in comparative religion/social anthropology, meanwhile studying, among other things, a history of Buddhism with Dr. Masatoshi Nagatomi ‑‑ very interesting, disciplined course, and a wonderful man teaching it.

Jeff Broadbent is here this year, and good company.  Jay and Brenda Bragdon seem very well ‑‑ off to Europe for a vacation, so though Jay is pessimistic about the economy in speech, his actions seem entirely optimistic.  Quien sabe?

The new Wind Bell looks and reads well ‑‑ beautiful snowstorm pictures!

My love to Ginny, and to you

a deep bow,


what's new this year

There's a lot of old material that's as good as new if you haven't read it. -DC

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