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Willard McCarty

Dear Baker Roshi:

As you requested in the Wind Bell, I would like to contribute my small & brief encounter with Suzuki Roshi at Hillside Center in Portland in late 1971.

During his lecture at the sesshin, he seemed to be talking DIRECTLY to me, as if my recent activities & turmoil were as a facial expression to be plainly read. This realization increased my upset greatly. Then, later, during a break, I was wandering about in Hillside's Calligraphy Studio, alone, still upset & thinking about my half‑hearted zazen & calligraphy practices, when I became aware of someone in back of me. I turned around & saw Suzuki Roshi looking at me with great intensity. This lasted perhaps a few seconds but it seemed a very long time. Then he turned away and continued his walk.

Although at the time I could not tell much about what had happened, he had done something to me. That incident grew in significance as I noticed the improvement in the sincerity of my practices. It is a small thing to give you & not told so very clearly, but I cannot say how significant this small meeting & great turning point has been & still is.

I wish you the greatest success with your collection.


Willard McCarty

14 December 1973

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