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Here are a few anecdotes relating to Suzuki and dating from the time we were practicing on Bush Street.

Every Saturday morning we would have an extended period of zazen including breakfast and a work period. Each Saturday we would sweep, dust and scrub the zendo in the same manner. I have never been known to be an especially helpful or considerate individual and this Saturday I was simply minding my own business, sweeping the floor of the zendo as I had done for years. There was a new student who had joined us that morning and I noticed that he was standing about apprehensively wondering just what he should be doing. I went to him and handed him my broom without a word. Immediately upon his having taken it I turned to find Suzuki, whose presence in the room I was previously unaware of, wordlessly offering me his broom with outstretched hand. It was a very significant event for me.

Another time I was at Sokoji in the afternoon on some business or other when Suzuki expressed a desire to see the cherry blossoms which were enjoying their bloom at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. I had never been alone with Suzuki before outside the temple and felt impressed that the two of us were going off somewhere together. All the way to the tea garden and back he said nothing, but just sat calmly looking out at the passing scene. I thought perhaps he would want to park and make a real visit of it, but as I drove up to the garden and the profusion of pink blossoms came into view, he simply gazed at them for a moment, then said, "very beautiful . . . let's go back now."

Once Suzuki and I went on a mission to some obscure yard in an industrial area of San Francisco, I think, to retrieve a shipment of some kind. In any case, we entered one of those small shack‑like yard offices where a small group of tough workmen were gathered discussing a football game in a boisterous and somewhat aggressive manner. Suzuki swaggered into this group and immediately started talking about the game in a gruff tone of voice which I had never heard him use before. The men seemed non‑plussed until it dawned on them that this was a small, bald‑headed, black‑robed Japanese person in their midst. I was so impressed with the whole scene that I can remember nothing else that transpired there.

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