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Richard Baker in the SFZC Wind Bells

1974 - 1979       

1963 - 1971  1972 - 1973  1974 - 1979  1983 - 1987  1988 - 1998  1999 - 2012

All Wind Bells Index
Richard Baker main page



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Wind Bell Staff: Advisor: Zentatsu Lewis Richmond; Editorial 
Assistants: Claude Dalenbcrg, Yvonne. Rand; Layout and Design: Peter Bailey; 
Composition: Haru; Calligraphy' Richard Levine; photography: Lucy Bennett, Robert S. 
Boni, Francis Checkley, Margo Moore, Lewis Richmond, Katherine Thanas,




Alan Watts funeral - P6-11  - PDF


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Seminar with Dr. Abe. In the last issue of the Wind Bell, we introduced 
Dr. Masao Abe, whose translations of Dogen in The Eastern Buddhist over the 
last few years have made accessible to English-speaking Buddhists the profound 
teaching of the founder of Japanese Soto Zen. This year's seminar was planned 
around Dr. Abe's busy teaching schedule in this country, including a stay at 
Carleton College in Minnesota and at other colleges in the East. Dr. Abe flew 
in from Syracuse on the evening of March 13, took a day to rest and prepare, 
and then began a series of eight consecutive evening meetings, attended by over 
fifty students and bakG-roshi. During the day, Dr. Abe met more informally 
with smaller groups of students and with individuals.

P15 - From article on Shunryu Suzuki Studies Center


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Il 11


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Shobo-an, 'True Dharma Temple-Hcrmitage,' was a small temple-residence in 
the town of Ohara, near Kyoto, located on a temple site of great antiquity. In 
1972, when it was being taken down to make room for a new larger temple, it 
was presented as a gift to Baker-roshi, disassembled and shipped to the United 
States. The work Was done by Kamiyama Komuten, a company specializing in 
sukiya and teahouse carpentry, headed by Master Carpenter Yoshihisa Mitsuji. 
Last September five craftsmen—a roofer, a wall-plasterer, and three carpenters 
including Mitsuji-san—campcd for three weeks in the foothills Of the Sierra 
Nevada, re-assembling Shobo-an on its new hilltop home in America, complete 
with copper-shingle roof and mud-and-plaster walls made of red dirt from thc 
construction site. 
Zen Center members joined in the work, helping with the hauling and carrying, 
and the preparing of mud for the walls. It was a r arc opportunity to be With and 
Observe Japanese carpenters at work. Every day they were up at dawn, working 
steadily with rarely a break until sundown, not hurrying or talking much. 
accomplishing complicated tasks in an amazingly short time (thc structural 
frame was put up in less than two days). Their way of workirg was more like 
ceremony Or ritual than carpentry as we usually think of it, and several actual 
ceremonies were performed at various stages in construction. For instance, 
before the foundation went in there was a ceremony to acknowledge the 
disturbing of the earth. 
From outside the building looks small by American standards, twenty by 
thirty feet, Including the engawa (veranda) around two sides. But the inside 
space is fully utilized to make six rooms, ranging in size from thrcc to six mats: 
a Buddha Hall, kitchen, sleeping room, tearoom, dining room, and study. 
Shobo-an is used by and his family and by Other Zen Center people 
for retreat, quiet study, and occasional meetings, in the tradition of the Buddhist 
mountain hermitage and home temple. It is good opportunity too for Zen 
Center priests to learn the unity of Buddhist life and temple architecture and 
care. We hope that building Shobo-an will help Zen Center develop its own skill 
and building craft.


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In the last issue Of the Wind Bell, we asked that you send in your personal 
recollections of Suzuki-rosbi, particularly incidents that were important in your 
life or stand out for you. We are grateful for the responses we did receive, but 
among the many, many students and friends of Suzuki-roshi. particularly those 
still active in Zen Center, there may still be more stories. Please try to think if 
you have anything to contribute; it is important that we collect these stories 
while they arc fresh in our minds. You may address your letters to Zenratsu 
in care Of the Zen Center Office.




Field of Flowers - by Sterling Bunnell

Mentions Baker-roshi - read it on his page


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From our vow to enter the wav Being, the uncreated body is 
From the vurious bodies o/ Buddha are born as the spring 
owe rs from this 
And on this flowering comes the source Of all 
being, crops and men 
This day. two thousand four Jeundred thirty-eieht vears ago, the baby 
Bndd/ta Was bom who was to make this vow, bringing fort/' the great Cdambard 
flower, whose fragrance pervades land. 
His teaching i' as tile rain und sun to these mountains. 
Offer light, sweet tea, incense, golden seal, lupine, lotus, shooting stars, 
wallflowers, shepherd's purse, poppies, curd baby-blue-eyes; we igave 
chanted the Heart Sutra and the Sandokai. 
Alav the Tathagara's fragrant teaching couiinue forever in these hills 
p alleys. 
We wish to exprcss our gratitude to K abun Chino-sengei, Bakefrroshi's friend 
and teacher for many years. for creatively guiding us in the development and 
articulation of Buddhist ccremonies in America. 
On Wednesdays March 20, 1974. fifty-three Zen Center members accepted the 
Bodhisattva precepts and received a rakusu in a Lay Initiation Ceremony led by 
Zentatsu-roshi. The participants. who bad been practicing at Zen Center for 
from three ro twelve years, and had sewed their Own raknsll last year with 
Joshin-san, each rcceivcd a Buddhist name from Zentazsu-rosh:,. 
The ceremony began as the Initiates sat a period of 7.azen i.•l the ZendO. Then. 
walking in procession and chanting mantra almost silently, the initiates went 
to various stations in tbc building to offer incense. and then entered the Buddha 
Hall, The ceremony the Buddha Han included: Invocation (reciting the Ten 
Names Of Buddha): Avowal (the acknowledgement of Karma); Purifying with 
Wisdom Water: Receiving the Precept* Receiving Buddha's Clothing (rakusu): 
Initiation Verses: Abbot's Statement and Incenge ()ffering. T be following 
excerpt is the part Of Receiving the Precepts. 


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Abbot: We have purified our mind and body. Now you may 
receive the path of the precepts of the Three Treasures. 
You are seated with Buddha and are really his child. 
Will you receive these precepts? 
Initiates; YES, 1 WILL 
Abbot Chants each line and Initiates repeat: 
You have returned to your Original nature free from attach- 
ments and limited ways. From now enlightenment is your 
teacher, Buddha is your teacher, all being is your teacher. 
Do not be fooled by other ways. This is the path of mercy 
for al! existence and things. DO you agree to follow this 
compassionate path of the Three Treasures Chat am now 
passing to you? 
NOW Will you receive the Thrcc Pure precepts? 
Abbot recites each precept ana Initiates repeat: 
Initia : 
Abiding in the Three Pure Precepts even after acquiring 
Buddhahood, will you continuously observe them? 
Now will you receive the Ten prohibitory Precepts? 



April 1974 Zentatsu Baker lecture - PDF







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The Fall 1974 and Spring 1975 practice periods were the fifteenth and six- 
teenth since the opening of the monastery in 1967. The Shuso (head monk) 
for the Fall period was Lewis Chikudo Richmond, and for the Spring was 
William Tetsugen Lane. As usual, Zentatsu spent the major part 
of his time from September to April at Zenshinji, leading the practice for 
over fifty students.



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Ten men and women received priest ordinations from Zentatsu 
on January 11, in a Ceremony at Hosshinji City temple. The ordinecs 
were Katherine Thanas, Layla Smith Bockhotst, Paul Rosenblum, Deborah 
Madison, Marc Alexander, Thomas Dorsey, Michael Jamvold, Ulysses Lowry, 
Linda Ruth Cutts, and Steven Allen. This group brings the total number of 
Ordained priests in active training in Zen Center to twenty-three. 
The ordinees ranged in age from mid-twenties to mid-forties, and had spent 
from four to eight years in training. However, first to prepare for priesthood 
is not the sole purpose of training. To be a priest is one of many possible modes 
of Buddhist life and depends on the person's life circumétances, intention, 
and need.



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In March and, April, Hojun Nagasaki-sensei was guest teacher in residence. 
Nagasaki-sensei is a professor of Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, and 
his specialties include early Indian Buddhism, Buddhist logic, and Pure Land 
Buddhism. He is himself a priest of the Pure Land School, and spent many 
years studying in India and making pilgrimages to the historical and holy places 
of Buddhism. His relationship with Zen Center goes back many years; he met 
daude Dalenberg in India in 1959 and was Saka-roshi's Japanese language 
teacher in Kyoto.



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In setting up The Neighborhood Foundation, T.N.F., as a corporation, two 
boards were created: a mar.aging board that included bak&roshi and Yvonne 
Rand from Zen Center; Stewart Bland, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog; 
Gcorgc Wheelwright. former owner of Green Gulch Farm: Werner Hcbenstreit, 
Zen CenLer's insurance broker: Dorothy Er.skine. who introduced the "green 
belt" concept Of city planning to the United States; Mike Murphy, founder of 
Esalen Institute; and a larger advisory board of others with special skills and 
expertrse to act as resources.



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Using money privately loaned for the purpose, we remodeled inside and out, 
discovered two boarded windows in the wall framing that could be re-opened 
for more light and visibility, laid a rcd ceramic Lile floor, installed old-fashioned 
globe lights and tile-top Counters; repainted everything, and hung out a sign: 
Green Gulch Greengrocer.' 
First day of business was July 4, 1975—coincidentally the eighth anniversary 
of the opening of Tassajara as a Zen monastery. A formal dedication was held 
on July 26, probably the first grocery store in the West to be dedicated with 
a Buddhist ceremony. 
The top of one of the refrigeration cæses was turned into an altar, and above it 
a scroll Of Avalokitesvara was hung. bakd-roshi led a procession from Zen 
Center across the street, down the center aisle of the store to the altar, while 



P24 - that's me DC at the register, fresh in from Tassajara.




Zentatsu Baker sesshin lecture - Awakening the Will Body, P25-31 - PDF


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STAFF. Zentatsu Åak4-roshi, Advisor; Lewis Richmond, Editor; Paul Rosenblum, 
Production; Peter Bailey, Layout and Design; Haru, Composition; Richard Levine, 
Calligraphy; Lucy Bennett, Robert S. Boni, Bruce Fortin, Bob Max, Jerome 
Petersen, Lewis Richmond, Photography.

Back cover






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by Zentatsu båGk-roshi 
April, 1976, Zen Mountain Center

P7-9 - PDF


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Lecture by Zentatsu 
San Francisco, June, 1976


P10-17 - PDF


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The ceremony to enshrine the statue was very interesting for us. At the climax 
of the ceremony, the eyes of the statue are "opened" ; bak&-roshi actually 
painted them in with brush and sumi ink. By this ceremony, the statue is 
brought to lifc as the embodiment of the founder. Tenshin Reb Anderson and 
Kainei Ed Brown, representing the students, and Suzuki-sensei (Suzuki-roshi's 
wife), each stood beforc the statue and spoke informally as to a friend and 
very present teacher. 
Doing our daily bows in the Founder's Hall each morning, we recognize an 
Old familiar face. 


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The dominating activity of this last year has been construction. The largest 
project is the Wheelwright Center, now nearing completion, and we have also 
been improving the housing, particularly for families. Additions to the Abbot's 
house have made space for Zen Center guests and for Nakamura-sensei, teacher 
of tea ceremony and Noh chanting, to live and train Zen Center students in 
these Zen-related arts. 
California received less than half its normal rainfall last winter, and this has 
caused widespread drought conditions. At Green Gulch, "Pater began to run 
out in May, and by July planting had to be seriously curtailed. However, the 
springs and Wells held up better than expected, and some watering Was able to 
continue. The drought gave us an opportunity to find the limits of our water 
systems and make needed repairs. 
A newly cast Obonsho, or main temple bell, has arrived from Japan, decorated 
With intertwined dragons representing the Farm's temple name: Soryuzenji, 
Green Dragon Zen Temple. For our valley next to the ocean, this name recalls 
the dragon referred to in Zen poems, with his tail in the ocean and head in 
the heavens, stirring up the rain of the Dharma. 
The casting of the bell done by Kinjudo Co. The name of the temple, the 
Abbot's name, the name Of the donor, and a dedicatory poem by Baker-roshi 
appear on the face of the bell in calligraphed English letters. 


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The Obonsho has been temporarily hung in a woodcn frame until we Can build 
a proper bell tower. On July 31 a dedication ceremony was held and the 
Obonsho was struck for the first time by Baker-roshi. In Japan, every Buddhist 
temple has a bell; in one sense the temple is the bell. The sound Of the Green 
Dragon Obonsho is not so loud, but it is deep and penetrating; the sound is 
practically the same from a few feet or one hundred yards. 
The bell is struck at wake-up time in the morning, and at noon and sunset by 
thc sun. 
The inscription reads: 
A wakened 
By this Japanese bell 
The sky-headed sea-tailed 
Green Gulch dragon 
Stirs the fine mists and rains 
Of right Dharma 
For East and West 
Farming and greeting guests 
The pre-voice of this old bell 
Is not hindered by the Wind. 
27 •


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Charlotte Selver—originator and teacher of Sensory Awareness in this country 
—and Charles Brooks, her co-worker and husband, have had a long and close 
relationship with Zen Center. Some of Suzuki-roshi'sfirst students (including 
Baker-roshi; were also their students, and they and Suzuki•roshifelt a mutual 
admiration and respect for each other's teaching and spoke of the connectedness 
Of practice in Sensory Awareness and Zen. Each year since 967 they have led 
benefit workshops at Tassajara during the summer guest season. These Work- 
shops have been a source of growth for the students and guests, as well as a 
major financial contribution to Zen Center. 
From October to June, 1975-76, Charlotte and Charles lived at Green Gulch 
Farm, working with a group of their long-term students, using the new Wheel- 
wright Center. The students combined their mornings Of Sensory wareness 
work with lunch and work i" the fields and kitchen with the Zen students in 
the afternoon, and many of them also attended zazen regularly. Charloite and 
Charles Will continue to use Green Gulch and the Wheelwright Center for their 
workshops and long-rime study groups. 
A book recently published about Charlotte and Charles' work: Sensory 
Awareness, by Charles V. W. Brooks (Viking Press, New York, 1974), is 
highly recommended to those who would like to know more about the 
basis and understanding Of their work. 



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The following is an excerpt from a talk given by Baker-roshi in 1973 to a group 
of Sensory Awareness students.

P37-39 - PDF



Winter 78-79


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At the end Of thc Spring 1978 practice period there was a disastrous fire at Tassajara 
that burned down the Zendo, library, food storage area, and ofTtce. After success- 
fully keeping the huge August forest fire out or Tassajara, to lose 'he oldest, most 
central, and important building at Tassaiara could have been very discouraging; 
everyone met it with acceptance and hard work. 
The occurred during the Mondo (question and answer) ceremony between the 
students and Baker-roshi on the last day Of the practice period. From the back of the 
Zendo a student, Waiting to ask the next question, said, "There seems to be a tire 
back here!" Roshi looked up and saw some vague evidence of a fire. He immediately 
looked down for a moment just to return everyone to his or her individual compo• 
sure, and then he looked up again and — the very next moment — the whole back of 
the Zendo entry was orange with fire. Everyone moved calmly and directly out of the 
Zendo, but at the end of the twenty 0T thirty seconds it took for everyone 10 leave, a 
few of the last pcoplc Out had their hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes singed by the heat. 
It was immediately apparent that the fire could not be controlled at all with extin- 
guishers. However, the flooding rains of the Winter and Spring had washed out all 
the water lines from the reservoir down to Tassajara, so hoses had been run through 
the trees from the reservoir to maintain a waterflow during the storms. This hookup, 
though, left no pressure in the standpipe system which we had specifically installed 
years before to meet such fire emergencies. Also, Our main large fire engine had 
broken down a few weeks bcforc and we had immediately ordered a new Onc which 
was delivered a few days after thc fire. Lacking either Of these systems, the fire crew, 
well trained from its experience Of the forest fire in the previous August, was able to 
get the floating pump down into the stream and hooked up in less than five minutes 
With strong pressure for onc hmsc, and pretty good pressure for two hoses. But in 
much less than five minutcs the fire had spread in an enormous rush through rhe 
Hoor and ceiling Of the library, then on into the older Zendo-office building _ The 
100-year-old wood burned like dry pine needles. 
The fire seems to have started in a propane gas refrigerator that was in the basement 
storage area that was next to the Zendo. We had had some gouble with the pilot light 
Of the refrigerator shortly before, but it had been repaired and a refrigeration expert 
had come in to check it. The pilot light for the gas refrigerator was the only name in 
the area. 'rhe fire burned very strongly from the draft created in the stone staircase 
coming up from the food storage area. Thclirc wall between the kitchen and library 
held long enough 10 give us time to save the kitchen. 
The extreme heat prevented anyone from re-entenng the Zendo to rescue anything. 
As a result we lost the large drum (taiko), the wooden drum (mokugyo), and large bowl 
bell (keisu), altogether•vorth about The large bronze bowl hell melted away, 
leaving no trace. Saddest Of all, the 1700-year-old stone Gandhara Buddha shattered 
and cracked in the heat. Unfortunately it is impossible to get insurance for fire in a 
remote mountain area like Tassajara. 
TO save the kitchen, it rook several hours and continual work inside and outside with 
hoses and buckets, and With people on the roof chopping away burning shingles and


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Fighting the fire, bwket brigad" 'he 
beams. We did save the kitchen and limited the fire to the Zendo-office-library com- 
plex. Everyone worked together very hard and calmly. 
While the fire was still burning a phone call came in on the field phone from Our 
Stitchery in San Francisco, asking whether Tassajara wanted the meditation cushions 
replaced in black, or in bluc denim which would not show the dirt as much if the 
students had to sit outside now that the Zendo Was gone. Everyone was encouraged 
and amused by Alaya's promptness. As soon as the fire was safely contained wc sat 
down to the Mexican meal that bad been prepared carlicr in the afternoon before 
the fire by Wenceslao Aguirrc and Rocio Hernandez. Except for this evening meal, 
safely stored in the ovens, all the food storage had burned up. Late that night the 
town-trip truck drove to an all-night market in Monterey. people at the market 
were a little surprised to sell, at that hour, $325 worth Of Cheerios, Wheaties, Grape 
Nuts Flakes, sugar, milk, peanut butter, and bread. This food, all We could find at 
that hour that required no cooking, provided the breakfast and lunch for the 
next day. 
The morning after the fire Baker-roshi and the students finished the Mondo cere- 
mony, and held the closing practice period ceremony. 
Then Came the big push. For two weeks as many as 125 students and volunteers 
worked ten-hour days to clean up after the fire, building a new food storage area, 
installing a new walk-in refrigerator, and building a fifty-foot by seventy-foot tem- 
porary Zendn in the upper garden. Luckily we were able to begin the guest season on 
schedule, May I. (Photographs, showing work during the Spring interim period Start 


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Another important area of activity in Zen Center has been the work of Coopers 
Lybrand and Zen Center's financial officers. In the Spring Of 197b. Coopers & 
Lybrand, one of the largest international accounting firms. designed an accounting 
syslem for Zen Center to assist us in keeping track Of our finances, Their help was 
made possible by an extremely generous contribution designated specifically for this 
purpose. The donor wanted to help make Zen Center's finances more manageable 
and presentable in a format more accessible to us and to others. The donor also 
wanted to help free the Abbot from the many financial pressures of Zen Center. 
Larry Barrett, a management consultant from Coopers Lybrand, worked several 
months with the Zen Center Treasurer and the heads of the practice centers and the: 
work centers. The resulting proposals were reviewed extensively by the 
Zen Center Finance Committee, and Coopers & Lybrand partners*oy Bouque and 
Carmine Guerro. Finally, a 138-page accounting manual set out a system of 
report formats, a chart Of accounts With fund accounting, and purchasing and receiv 
ing procedures_ With this system wc can much more easily recognize limits, establish 
priorities, and clarify policy decisions. This is one Of the most important ac- 
complishrnents in Zen Center since we began trying to support ourselves.




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Sit Down, Sit Still, Sit Long 
Lecture by Zentatsu Baa-roshi

P43-46 - PDF


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STAFF. Adz-visor: Zentatsu Editors: William Lane, Yvonne Rand; 
Layout and Design: Peter Bailey; Comfiosiiion: Robert Sihlcy; Photography 
Harold Baker, Robert S. Boni, Clay Calhoun, Ted Howell, William Lane, 
Ulysses Lowry, Vanya Palmers, Kim Potochnik, Gib Robinson, Mark Simon, 
Kazuaki Tanahashi, Dan Welch; Art.' Stanley White: Calligraphy.' Rick Levine.

Back cover

1974 - 1979

1963 - 1971  1972 - 1973  1974 - 1979  1983 - 1987  1988 - 1998  1999 - 2012

All Wind Bells Index
Richard Baker main page