The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
Changes from 1st to 2nd Edition of Crooked Cucumber
Changes to CC for the 2nd edition (page numbers from 1st edition).
Text removed from the 1st edition is formatted with
Text added to the 2nd edition is formatted with bold.
Text added after the audiobook was made is formatted with bold.
Global changes –
Respectful use of titles eliminated except in indicating others use that form. “was referred to as Bozo-roshi…” or in quotes. There was just occasional use of titles anyway. Thus -san was eliminated from a few people like Suetsune who for some reason I got into the habit. And Miss was eliminated from Miss Ransom except at first and in SR quotes. It took some getting used to for me because I’ve always called her Miss Ransom, but it had to go. Otherwise she’s getting special treatment as a distinguished white lady whereas all Asian women are just Aiko etc.
Okesa changed to kesa except in writing that they say that.
McNeil changed to McNeill.
Philip Wilson changed to Phillip Wilson.
Wako changed to Kazemitsu.
Hyphens were eliminated from temple names. Rinso-in became Rinsoin. Either way is okay in romanization. None is smoother.
So-on became So’on which it should have been from the first.
Double hyphen -- became em dash — which was always intended
Most semicolons were changed to an em dash or a period. The ones indicating sequence separation remained and a few others.
Also by David Chadwick
Thank You and OK!: an American Zen Failure in Japan
Zen is Right Here: Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki (Ed.)
Zen is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki (Ed.)
A Brief History of Tassajara” from Native American Sweat Lodge to Pioneering Zen Monastery (Ed.)
To Find the Girl from Perth
Color Dreams for To Find the Girl from Perth (illustrations by Andrew Atkeison)
The, the Book
p. viii Chapter Thirteen Journeys 1963–
Before us the founder of the first Zen
Buddhist monastery in the West
ern Hemisphere, Shunryu Suzuki -roshi,
had concluded a lecture from his seat on the altar platform.
"Suzuki-roshi, I've been listening to your lectures for a couple of years," I said,
p. xii Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, a skillfully edited
compilation of his lectures published in 1970, has sold over a million copies
a dozen over thirty languages.
p. xiii From the time he was a new monk at age
thirteen, Suzuki's master, Gyokujun So-on Suzuki, called him
Cucumber. Crooked cucumbers were useless. Farmers would compost them. Children
would use them for batting practice. hebo kryuri,
Crooked Cucumber. As explained to me by his son, Hoitsu, hebo kyuri were the
useless tiny bent runt cucumbers at the end of the spiraling vine.
-sensei was the person on my mind.
p. xiv Hojo-san is what she always called her
Hojo is the abbot of a temple. San is a polite form of address.
Hojo is the abbot’s quarters. Hojo-san is the abbot of a temple.
p. xvi Hakusan Kojun Noiri was a colleague of Suzuki's, a strict and traditional priest, now old and revered.
Czarist Tzarist Russia
p. 4 village of
All the other boys at school had short-clipped hair
p. 6 They were vegetable-like
things, not exactly vegetables!
p. 9 He told us how on New Year's Eve temple members and neighbors would come
11 "throwing out Buddha, breaking Shakyamuni"
if they were
eta Burakumin (untouchables),
historical explanation of the disrespect for Buddhism helped him to understand
why he was treated badly by some of his
p. 13 His father, though very dear to him, seemed a little weak. He often complained about losing his temple, saying he never should have left. And he was too attached to his son, too sentimental. Toshi just couldn't see him as a teacher.
p. 15 "If you love your child, send
on a journey."
p. 17 seiza, sitting in a kneeling position on the shins with bottom on heels.
p. 19 Once
he knew how, he never
stopped went back. It became a lifelong
practice and teaching of his: "When the bell rings, get up!"
p. 20 He also received a set of black robes to go over his
Japanese kimono: a koromo,
the Chinese outer robe with long sleeves;
an okesa a kesa, a large
rectangular cloth with finely sewn sections in seven rows resembling rice
fields, which is the sacred robe of the monk; and a rakusu, a miniature and less formal okesa
kesa with straps, which is worn on the chest and over the shoulders like
had taken to calling him Crooked Cucumber, a
private razzing, taunting nickname for his
absent-minded, idealistic, quirky little disciple.
p. 22 meet
him on the dharma
p. 23 Shunryu reached down and caught a little goldfish and
noticed that there was a tiny
worm water flea attached to it. He
had learned about this worm creature in school. He held the fish
up, pointed to the worm water flea, and proudly said for all to
hear, "This is mijinko!"
So-on brought in a special dish—the rotten pickles back
from the dead!
So-on ate the pickles with them. Shunryu gathered his
courage and took the first bite, then the next. He found that he could do it if
he didn't think about it.
p. 24 This subtle and indirect way of communicating is what
-roshi later called "learning to listen to the other side of
p. 26 So-on
noticed Shunryu's resistance and told him that from that day, instead of bowing
three times to Buddha
at the end of in the services, they would
bow nine times.
p. 27 Enjoying himself, he forgot the time till he saw So-on
crossing a bridge
on a jinrikisha. Takakusa Sakamoto village,
immediately below Rinso-in So-on's nephew, Soko, had come and taken his uncle as his master. A youngster named Soko from So’on's hometown had come and taken So’on as his master.
p. 31 At the Rinzai temple, they studied a
different type of Zen,
p. 36 At school Shunryu's
favorite subject was English. He excelled at it. He'd always been interested in
, true to his crooked nickname. The cucumber is *kyuri
in Japanese, the barbarian gourd. He did so well in English that a doctor
named *Yoshikawa in Mori asked him to tutor his sons in English.
p. 37 He walked all the way, about forty miles, arriving that
night. Shunryu's youth was full of walking
. In that respect he had more ,
something he had in common with his ancestors than with modern people. Shunryu liked to tell a walking story about
his father. One Saturday while Shunryu was at Rinso-in,
one of the most dramatic and tragic events in modern Japanese history occurred.
switched on the light for the basement, then went to
storage room . He went in, closing the door behind him. Beneath the low
ceiling were shelves filled with tubs of tofu, barrels of pickles, boxes of
vegetables, fish, meat, and fruit. He picked a nice ripe melon by the wall at
the end. Then he froze :—footsteps
were coming down the stairs. There was no place to hide. A voice called out.
p. 41 Then a click
and another click, and Shunryu was holding a melon
in total darkness.
The hook had gone in through the eyelid and out
over the eyebrow.
So-on had sent him to be initiated as head monk under the
guidance of Dojun Kato
At Kenko-in there were only Dojun Kato
-roshi and a few novices, and Shunryu had to continue going to school during the day.
p. 43 The emperor was
an a developmentally disabled invalid and mentally feeble, Fifty years prior, Tokyo had been Edo, the capital of a feudal, closed Japan.
A little over fifty years prior, 1868, Edo had been renamed Tokyo when Emperor Meiji moved the capital there from Kyoto. Edo had been the de facto head of government though since 1603.
p. 44-45 A number of professors at Komazawa were taking a new
look at the teaching of
their the Soto sect and how it might be
presented to a wider audience. The president of Komazawa, Nukariya Kaiten, had
just published a book on Buddhism for laypeople which created some controversy
because of its simple explanation of Soto Zen and its popular appeal. Nukariya
had been to Europe and America and had also written the first popular book on
Zen in English, *The Religion of the Samurai. Also at Komazawa, Shunryu met a
professor of Pali named *Shundo Tachibana, who published *The Ethics of
Buddhism in English that year. The first book on Dogen's thought for the
general public, *Dogen Shamon (Dogen the Monk) by *Watsuji Tetsuro, was also
published in 1926 in Japan. had been to Europe and America and
had written the first popular book on Zen in English, The Religion of the Samurai, published
in 1913. In 1926 a book he wrote for laypeople, Shoshin Mondo (Questions and Answers about True Faith), was published. It created some
controversy because of its simple explanation of Soto Zen and its popular
appeal. Also at Komazawa, Shunryu met a professor of Pali named Shundo
Tachibana, whose English language The
Ethics of Buddhism was published that same year. Also published in
1926 in Japan, Dogen Shamon (Dogen the Monk), by Watsuji Tetsuro, the
first book on Dogen's thought for the general public.
p. 46 His
presence had further inspired Shunryu to take on this lowly
But if his Nukariya’s light was on, Shunryu would get flustered
and make an escape.
So I was
enlightened, you know!
p. 47 Shunryu kept up his early morning cleaning of the lavatory, but now with a more lighthearted approach.
for "a long, “for a long, long
time go round and round in the same area until you get tired of trying to
p. 48 On August 21, 1926, in a private ceremony at Rinso-in,
Shunryu Suzuki received shiho, dharma transmission, from So-on. He was
twenty-two. In shiho the disciple
receives his master's robe
“receives the master's robe” and his their place in the
Shunryu could now wear the brown robes instead of the monk's black, he would
not yet change colors. That would be presumptuous. And though he was now his
own man, he was still called Crooked Cucumber by So’on, who would continue to
be in charge of his life for many years to come.
This was a big event for his father Sogaku as well.
One last An important event in his life
and in the lives of all Japanese would transpire at the end of that year. On
December 25 the invalid emperor Emperor Taisho died, and
his son Hirohito eldest son, Crown Prince Hirohito, became
the new emperor.
p. 50 Shunryu
tactfully pointed out that she already had Kundo and another
living there, and they were both her English students. She said that the other
boy would leave soon and that she'd like Shunryu to consider taking his place.
On the first of August he moved
into the room with the
other boys, in, and soon there were only Kundo and Shunryu.
It had soon become clear to him why the
others didn't stay long.
p. 51 They both walked erect, energetically, Shunryu in his school uniform and she in her subdued dresses and heavy overcoat as winter set in.
p. 52 She was still his teacher, landlady, and employer, and he
treated her with a level of respect that satisfied her proper
She was the ninth child, hence Nona, born in Bedford, England, on October 5, 1887.
When the former emperor of China, Pu Yi, and
Empress Wan Jung, fled the Japanese legation in Peking in 1925 and
escaped to Tientsin, Yoshida arranged for Miss Ransom to be companion and
English teacher to the former empress and subsequently to the former emperor as
She was also
the "Teacher of the
English Language and Foreign Etiquette under the Imperial Household."
Among her students was Jiro Jigoro Kano, the founder of modern
judo and president of the school attended by members of the royal family.
He came back later with a bag and told her, "I got
some very big daffodil bulbs, here they are."
Then he got scared and
sneaked away. He handed them to her and then quietly sneaked away.
p. 53 Then he burst out laughing in his hiding place, and she came at him with the bag of onions held high.
Christianity was said to be like Amida Buddhism, more faith oriented, relying on "other power" as opposed to the so-called "self power" of Zen.
in Tokyo had founded one of the first university universities
in Japan, Sophia in Tokyo, and some of them had a keen interest in
Rinzai Zen. Japanese Christians had known periods of persecution and favor,
but they never made as much progress as Christians in China and Korea. Miss
Ransom had no respect for Catholicism or Buddhism.
p. 54 Ransom had no respect for Catholicism or Buddhism. She had been born into a Quaker family.
p. 54-55 The
statue was in the tokonoma, an alcove in the sitting room, a
small attractive space with tatami
floors floor and smooth clay
walls between dark brown wooden posts. Extending half the length of the wall
opposite the entrance was an alcove called the tokonoma. The statue sat
in the tokonoma. The tokonoma is in some ways the center of a Japanese
home; it is not an altar, but a nook on the floor recessed area
for a flower arrangement in a treasured vase, possibly a special stone or an
antique, and a hanging scroll. The tokonoma is the family's aesthetic altar
homage to nature, art, and wisdom.
p. 55 It embarrassed him when she'd come home from school and slip off her shoes and put them right next to the Buddha statue.
morning, before he went to school, Shunryu quietly entered the sitting room
where Miss Ransom sat drinking her black tea and
The shoes were always straight, as they were in Japanese entryways, and he lined them up from the left so that they'd be as far from the Buddha statue as space would allow.
p. 56 Shunryu
would not deny the statue,
but and included it as part of his
practice and as a way to get through to Miss Ransom.
p. 57 The
nature of our existence is not something we can know or remember so easily.
is not a god or a being who can be easily described.
Buddha is not a god. You can't put your finger on what buddha is, but Buddhism does have various teachings.
p. 58 He taught
her how to
sit practice zazen. She made the acquaintance of
Buddhist professors at Komazawa who could speak some English and she set about
of the Buddha statue was momentous for Suzuki
, literally changing the course
of his life. He would later call it the turning point of his life.
59 The monks got to know the English lady, as did all the people in the
villages of Mori below Zoun-in and
Takakusa Sakamoto below
relationship was the first thing people would mention when
Shunryu-san's Shunryu’s name came up.
p. 60 One day Shunryu and several other monk
students went to the docks of Yokohama harbor to see off a priest named Daito
Suzuki, who was leaving for Los Angeles. There he would assist Hosen Isobe
the founder of Zenshuji, a founder at Zenshuji, a Soto Zen temple for
Japanese-Americans. Isobe had plans to start another temple in San Francisco,
and Daito would eventually take charge of Zenshuji.
On January 14, 1930, an important public ceremony for Shunryu at Zoun-in, called ten'e, “to turn the robe,” gave permission to wear the yellow or brown kesa and acknowledged Shunryu Suzuki's dharma transmission from So-on.
p. 61 The next day he left by train for the two head temples of the Soto school, Eiheiji and Sojiji, for zuise, ceremonies in which he was honorary abbot of each for a day.
was old but still in good health, and
his Shunryu’s dharma
brothers and fellow disciples of So’on,
At the late age of twenty-five, on April 10, 1930,
Shunryu graduated from Komazawa University, second in his class, in Buddhist
and Zen philosophy, with a minor in English.
His A graduate
thesis, written under his academic advisor and the school's president, Nukariya
Kaiten, focused on the relationship between master and disciple, as discussed
by Dogen in an essay of the Shobogenzo emphasizing submission to the master. (It is called the Raihai tokozui, a chapter in which Dogen also forcefully asserts the equality of women.)
It is called Raihai Tokuzui, bowing and acquiring the essence. It's a chapter in which Dogen also forcefully asserts the equality of women. When asked the topic of his thesis, Suzuki said it was
on bowing. In his thesis Shunryu leaned toward Nukariya's "religious
experience" point of view rather than Buddhism as philosophy.
the recommendation of Shundo Tachibana, a dean of the school, he received
government certification to be, as he translated it,
a "Teacher of
the English Language and Ethical Conduct for High School Boys," a
respected and almost professorial status, since high schools then were roughly
equivalent to today's junior colleges.
p. 62 He'd been building up his courage for this encounter. They sat facing each other. A moment of silence then Shunryu described his experience with Nona Ransom and what it had meant to him.
described told about seeing Daito Suzuki
off at Yokohama harbor.
"Here!" he yelled, smashing his fist on the
p. 63 But So’on, the man of many growls and few words, hadn't mentioned that there was more training to look forward to—at Eiheiji in Fukui Prefecture, one of two
daihozan daihonzan, "great root monasteries" of the Soto school (along with Sojiji).
p. 65 He learned precisely how to put on and put away his robes, how to roll up the futon on his tatami in the zendo, how to brush his teeth, how to clean the pots in the kitchen, how to eat in the zendo with oryoki, the wrapped, nested bowls that were the forerunner of the tea ceremony.
You had to walk and work
slowly efficiently and silently;
p. 66 Morning began with zazen. The outer
robe was not worn but was kept in its case on the tatami. Zazen ended with a
four-line verse proclaiming what a wondrous opportunity it was to wear the okesa
Then, with hands clasped
at the solar plexus, they walked
slowly off to morning service and the
recitation of sutras
p. 67 The abbot of Eiheiji and archbishop of the Soto school
was an old priest named Gempo Kitano
Kitano had been the head of Soto Zen in Korea
for a number of years and had been
one of the founders a founder
of Zenshuji , the Zen temple in Los Angeles.
was the supreme example of heart and will.
p. 69 Wherever you go you will find your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear
He Kishizawa was
sixty-five years old, thirty-nine years older than Shunryu and twelve years
p. 72 It was in such undistracted sitting in China that Dogen had dropped body and mind and later received the mind-seal, dharma transmission, from his teacher, Nyojo.
p. 73 She brought photos from her visits to Korea, where she
stayed at temples with Shunryu's monk friend Sugioka, who had become her
houseboy after Shunryu left.
p. 77 His mother Yone had been sickly for years.
p. 78 He didn't want to wear the more colorful robes for
ceremonies, and he especially didn't want to wear a fancy
respectfully called okesa, the outer robe that drapes over the others.
Kesa was originally a Sanskrit word meaning subdued
color, and for his
okesa kesa he preferred black, indigo, and
brown, as worn by the monks at Eiheiji.
In keeping with his philosophy, Shunryu wore a black robe
with a brown
p. 79 Tatsuzo Uchiyama
a priest who was to marry Aiko, thought Shunryu was a terribly sincere priest, My
Kishizawa-roshi used to say that we had to have a vow or aim to accomplish.
p. 80 Seison Suzuki, a
local potter in Mori,
liked to tell told a story about Shunryu, a
little girl, and a train ticket. He Shunryu lined up his
own geta, wooden platform sandals, at the bottom of the steps in the
entryway in the spot where So-on, and only So-on, left his.
p. 81 Even though Buddhist priests had been getting married
the previous century, 1872, it was still controversial.
So to Shunryu, both his father and his master were married. As the Japanese say, “Kaeru no ko wa kaeru. (The child of a frog is a frog).”
He wanted to take care of her but was bound by duty—as a
priest first, a family man last.
He would seldom speak of this wife. Her
name and the dates of the marriage are forgotten.
p. 83 When
he Shunryu was a boy, it had seemed
like some convenient logic and he had not felt encouraged, just confused.
He was getting a glimpse of
that the way is to have "a complete experience
p. 84 So-on's sudden death created a vacuum at Rinso-in. He had
appeared to be grooming
his nephew Soko to be abbot
So’on could have remained the abbot of Rinsoin absentia for years while at Eiheiji
P. 85 An old priest named
Ryoen Risan Daian
Ryojun was trying to take over Rinso-in. [Ryoen to Daian 3 more times on
that page, once on p. 86, once on p. 88]
Some of these backed Soko to be the abbot. But he
was still in
Komazawa, Teidai, the Imperial university,
p. 86 He was thirty, and
an unbroken a tradition of having abbots over fifty,
reputed to be unbroken until So’on had become abbot at forty-two.
Finally, a venerable elder of the Soto school, Shunko
-roshi, put his stamp of approval on Shunryu's three-year trial.
p. 88 Now that Shunryu had two temples, he resigned from his
considerable duties of guiding monks at Kasuisai and Daitoin
Daito-in. He had his hands full.
1493 1471, Rinso-in had a long history.
p. 89 Yasuko was nearly two and a half in 1938 and her father was almost like a stranger
p. 92 In 1940 Miss Ransom wrote to Shunryu Suzuki that she could no longer stay in Tientsin in northern China.
p. 95 He'd heard
about Rinsoin and the priest Suzuki
-san from students at his school.
; then they. They had to walk another half
hour to get to school.
p. 97 Since 1942 the
informal fraternity of Shunryu's students had called themselves the
Takakusayamakai—the High Grass Mountain Group, after the terraced and forested
mountain that rose above Rinso-in
, and Takakusa, the village below.
He didn't oppose the war publicly,
p. 99 Some communists were going to jail for not supporting the
effort, but no Buddhists took that strong a stand effort. A few
Nichiren Buddhists took that strong a stand, but in their case it was less
opposition to the war than their opposition to imperial Buddhism which put the
Emperor above Buddha.
Soldiers and naval engineers took over the far
of Rinso-in and eventually even part of the family quarters as their residence.
p. 100 In addition to the Suzuki family, the students, soldiers, sailors, and Korean laborers, there were now more than sixty children living there, evacuated from Tokyo to escape the bombing and subsequent firestorms.
Some cities, such as nearby Shimizu, had been shelled by
ships. There was fear of that in Yaizu as well, but it
p. 102 ...he was a great admirer of the Chinese
and, especially the Manchurians, and a student of their history and poetry.
p. 103 He also regularly visited a leper colony and wrote a book
eta Burakumin, the Japanese untouchables—a subject
that was virtually taboo.
...the Japanese had a much more positive relationship with the Manchurians than with
the other Chinese.
p. 107 After a few days they went to Harbin, the
capital of largest city in Manchuria.
They had a high time seeing the sights and meeting various dignitaries, completely unaware that hideous biological experiments were being conducted in that very city by Japanese army doctors on captive soldiers and civilians – without anaesthetic.
p. 108 From there he could take care of the needs of the
Japanese from Shizuoka Prefecture and also build a training temple where he
could practice and teach the way he had learned from his
He could make a fresh start and the temple would be open to
Manchurians Chinese as well as Japanese.
Okinawa had fallen. Germany had been out of the war since
its surrender in
April May, and the Americans Allies
could now concentrate on the Pacific front.
p. 109 Shunryu asked for tickets going south along the coast: "That's where the boats are," he said.
p. 110 When they reached Sanroshin they were told to go to
Fort Mason at the harbor. the fort at Mason by the harbor. A boat from
there would be taking divisions of the Kanto army back to Japan for the defense
of the homeland.
On the night of July 15, having been away for two months, they arrived at Shizuoka station during an air raid. Since they had left, Shizukoka City, the capital of Shizuoka Prefecture, had suffered major bombing. Once again the duo escaped that wrath from the sky.
p. 111 The ultimate foolishness would be
to not to
p. 113 The shoji to the family area
were open and a number of soldiers and navy men sat in the large open
genkan (entryway) and wide hall. Some of them were smoking and even
chatting with each other, showing, as usual, no respect for anything or anyone.
The Koreans in the zendo listened on their own radio
it would be very hard for them or any person not well educated to understand
all the special, formal words the Emperor would use, but they would get the
essence. All Japan was still and waiting. The most unifying and
heart-tearing event in the history of Japan was about to take place. The
recording began with formalities and moved slowly to the subject. The
Emperor spoke in a formal, courtly Japanese, difficult to follow for all but
the classically educated.
said went on to say that Japan
had accepted the Potsdam Treaty.
Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come, by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable." The Emperor’s message was immediately followed by an announcement in language easy to understand that Japan would surrender, a term which the Emperor had not used.
As the last words of the
Emperor's voice recording
echoed through the halls of Rinso-in, Shunryu and his family wept openly.
p. 114 In Okinawa hundreds of women had
off cliffs rather than face the invaders.
p. 118 Masao Nishinakama was involved in negotiations with the Americans and was said to have pushed successfully to see that Japan was not required to pay unreasonable reparations to countries it had occupied and fought with.
Wherever you go, if If you have a flexible
attitude you can help people quite easily.
31, 1945, the temple was buzzing with enthusiastic
for the New Year.
p. 123 At the ceremony was a disciple of Kishizawa's named Hakusan Kojun Noiri.
p. 128 Shunryu met Mitsu at her school the next day and escorted her to a large home in Yaizu where a doctor named Ozawa lived with his family.
p. 126 They agreed it was a good idea and asked him to
please take care of it. Called Tokiwa Kindergarten, it was the oldest such
school in the prefecture. The priest who had founded it in
Zen'an Aoshima Zen'an, was now eighty and the abbot of a small
neighboring branch temple of Rinso-in.
p. 127 Soon after it opened
Zen’an died Zen'an’s
health began to fail and Shunryu needed to find a qualified principal.
p. 129 On January 1, 1950, she was installed in her
new position at the Tokiwa Kindergarten, and she did a great deal more than
just stand there.
Zen'an died later that month knowing that the school he’d founded was in good hands.
Her father was a councilman, worked at city hall, and her family was Buddhist,
p. 130 Shunryu told
not to worry., "Just sit there with your ears on your
p. 132 No sooner had they returned than Shunryu was back
in the creek working with the stones , his arm in a sling, with Chie scolding him and telling
him to come inside.
Gido was in his sixties and had a little temple near
Rinso-in, but spent most of his time at the Soto headquarters.
, where he
He was head of the international section—educational section
which included Soto Zen abroad.
p. 134 At home he occasionally spanked Hoitsu, almost never on
the head as they had done in his father's time
, but often enough so the boy
knew it was an option.
p. 140 Sugiyama
, who had assisted at Rinso-in since 1937,
said that the first time Otsubo had shown up at his temple, he heard someone
calling from outside. When he went out, Otsubo was on the ground rubbing his
head into the dirt saying, "Please be good to
me," a customary greeting delivered in an uncustomary manner.
p. 146 It is said that Zen is the
way beyond words and letters. Shunryu would
always hold even that
to be a half-truth after his experience with Kishizawa.
p. 151 Hoitsu had been ordained as a monk by his father and would soon go to Komazawa University.
p. 153 An Opening
1959 May 21, 1959
p. 154 Shunryu was going to Tokyo to meet with Gido, but first
he wanted to spend some time with his
oldest boy older son.
She said t There was no
thought about whether she wanted to or not, that Obaa-san had asked her and she
would do it.
p. 158 In
the spring of 1958 the work on the main building
ancestors', and sutra halls—and the bell tower
at Rinsoin with the founders', ancestors', and sutra halls, and work
on the bell tower, was finally completed.
appreciation for So-on had continually deepened over the decades. "When I
offer incense to my father, I feel sad," he later said, "but when I
offer incense to my master, tears stream down my cheeks."
His appreciation for So-on had continually deepened over the decades.
When I offer incense to my father, I feel sad, but when I offer incense to my master, tears stream down my cheeks.
p. 160 Many of Shunryu's fellow priests came to say farewell:
Gido, who had found his priest for America; Kishizawa's heirs Kojun Noiri
and Rempo Niwa;
his helper, Sugiyama from Zuioji; Sugiyama from Zuioji who had
frequently assisted him at Rinsoin; Kendo Okamoto from Zoun-in; and others,
none of whom would want to trade places with him.
p. 161 As the
western eastern sky turned pink in Yaizu on May 21, Shunryu stood by his pond in the chilly morning.
p. 165 Saturday, May 23, 1959,
p. 167 Entering through the small, high-ceilinged lobby,
went Kato led Suzuki up a stairway with a mahogany railing,
Kato and some of the members had cleaned it up in
preparation for Suzuki's arrival, but
he Kato still was not proud
of its appearance.
p. 170 Ananda said, "Excuse me, oh honorable one, but are
you not giving a talk today?" "
Oh, but But I just did,"
stick in hand he put his palms together, gasshoed, and
congregation softly said, "Arigato gozaimashita."
p. 171 He
asked Suzuki if this was a Zen temple and if he was a Zen master
. There was
that term again.
p. 172 His early students came to him following their fascination with Eastern culture and religion, many from the loose subculture of artists, nonconformists, and beatniks in the Bay Area, where interest in Asian thought was high.
Kato had been associated with the Academy from the mid-fifties, ever since the former director, Alan Watts, had asked him to join the faculty. Kato had been a key assistant to Watts with Watt's popular book, The Way of Zen.
p. 173 Tobase, Suzuki's predecessor at Sokoji, had taught calligraphy at the Academy and at Sokoji as well, and was well loved by his students, one of which was the artist Gordon Onslo Ford.
Watts criticized the old-fashioned Japanese
monastic way as "square Zen." He also put down "Beat Zen"
and made a case for what he dubbed "Zen Zen." Whalen called Beat Zen
a hallucination but wondered if there could be any Zen Zen without checking out
the "squares" in Japan.
Watts criticized the old-fashioned monastic way as square Zen. He also put down Beat Zen and made a case for what he dubbed Zen Zen. Whalen called Beat Zen and the Beat Generation a hallucination and wondered if there could be any Zen Zen without checking out the squares in Japan.
A few of the hip crowd, like Bill McNeill and Joanne Kyger, had joined the morning zazen.
Kato invited Suzuki to join his class on Zen Buddhism
p. 175 The little zazen that had been taught by Japanese priests in America had mostly been done in chairs,
p. 176 Betty picked up Della on her way in from Sausalito
and the two joined the few others at Sokoji. After zazen they were invited to
tea with Suzuki at a long wooden table in the kitchen
, just behind the
shrine room altar.
Like Bill McNeill, he had become enamored with the man,
simple lifestyle, and the experience of sitting zazen with him.
p. 177 Daiju Hosen Isobe had come to San
Francisco from Los Angeles in 1933. On Buddha's Enlightenment Day, December 8,
1934, he founded Sokoji. The name he gave the abandoned synagogue had a simple
meaning: Soko stood for San Francisco and the ji meant temple. Daito Suzuki
whom Shunryu Suzuki had seen off as a young man in Japan, moved from
Zenshuji in L.A. to become the third head priest of Sokoji, again on December
8, Buddha's Enlightenment Day, 1941—the day after Pearl Harbor. He was
abbot-in-absentia through the years of the Japanese internment and continued
after the war, until 1948. Through great effort he and others had managed to
keep the temple in the hands of the congregation. A Hindu temple had helped
them by taking over the deed during the war, although a Christian group used it
as a church. In 1948 Daito returned to L.A., where he became the abbot of
Zenshuji and Soto Zen bishop of North America until he died on July 9, 1959. At
that time Suzuki was asked by his friend Gido at Soto headquarters in Japan to
become the bishop and to move the North American Soto headquarters to San
Francisco. He refused.
p. 178 How he had wished back then that he could be the one starting a new life in
America. Now, thirty years later, he was.
Suzuki was asked by his friend Gido at Soto headquarters in Japan to become the bishop and to move the North American Soto headquarters to San Francisco. He refused.
p. 180 He'd hit
each student twice on the muscles between the shoulder blade and the
p. 182 Kato
liked to hear enjoyed Suzuki's English-language version of
classic Zen stories
p. 183 Suzuki
chanted quietly, Nakagawa strongly. After the service Kato blew out the candle
and tended to the altar.
At that moment he feared the harmony between the
priests was over.
Nakagawa asked to see a sutra book that was on the altar. He looked at it, then suddenly exploded, stamping his foot on the floor and shouting, "This is not Zen!" He tore the book in two and threw it on the floor. Kato froze with shock. He feared the harmony between the priests was over.
p. 184 She
was heavy and had a hard time sitting on a cushion on the floor, but she could
accept the difficult regimen when it came from Suzuki.
"The harder it is for you to sit, the deeper your realization," he
p. 187 Suzuki
had walked right over to the cage, opened the little door, and let the bird fly out.
p. 188 It was a tradition in China
and Japan to let birds go at temples as a symbol of liberation.
p. 195 After the war they had scrubbed the floors of the whites for a dollar
and a half an
p. 195-6 Suzuki thought the children might help solve these problems in the future.
The McNeill children were spending time with the Japanese-American children in the Sunday school. Some children from Suzuki's zazen group were joining the Sokoji Sunday school.
p. 197 Kato
always remarked how nothing ever bothered Suzuki
p. 198 People came prepared to
sit persevere from early morning till six in the evening, Saturday through Monday.
p. 199 At first she was uncomfortable, feeling in awe of Suzuki,
within with his undeniable presence.
not encouraged not to talk about what happened to them in dokusan.
p. 201 In Japan three is enough, but here in America we are so stubborn, it is better to do nine bows" -– echoes of a practice he received when he was young from his master Gyokujun So’on.
p. 202 McNeill, always so positive, did not look happy
. His wife, and children, who were , his wife, staying behind, were sad to see him go.
p. 204 Suzuki sat in a hard wooden chair in the kitchen, looking into the darkness toward the balcony over the auditorium, tears
running down his cheeks welling
in his eyes.
p. 205 But
now he was lost, having run into a wall
in his attempt to find the true way
in the land of Zen.
What they had encountered was more like an obstacle course—an impenetrable language barrier, endless reprimands that they couldn't understand, no way to read the ritual chants, hours of painful seiza, sitting on the shins, almost no emphasis on zazen, nothing at all that was relevant or nourishing.
Alan Watts was giving one of his freewheeling talks at
the Berkeley Buddhist Church on a Tuesday evening in May, piecing together Zen,
Taoism, psychoanalysis, and Christian mysticism into a fascinating mosaic.
Attending the lecture were Watts and Suzuki's colleague Wako Kato, a man named
Iru Price, and a formally dressed young couple, Grahame and Pauline Petchey.
Over refreshments, Price presented his card, listing numerous positions and
ordinations with Buddhist groups in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and America.
On a Tuesday evening in May, at the Berkeley Buddhist Church, Iru Price was giving a talk linking the ancient Buddhist scripture of the Pali Canon to the faith-oriented practice of Jodo Shinshu, the Japanese sect housed in the Buddhist Churches of America. Attending the lecture were Kazemitsu Kato and a formally dressed young couple, Grahame and Pauline Petchey. The Petcheys were pleased with all the thought-provoking nourishment they were discovering in the San Francisco Bay Area. They had recently heard Alan Watts give one of his freewheeling talks piecing together Zen, Taoism, psychoanalysis, and Christian mysticism into a fascinating mosaic. Over refreshments, Iru Price, who wore a toupee, presented his card, listing numerous positions and ordinations with Buddhist groups in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and America.
p. 207 His father had been in the
Guards, the elite corps that protects the royal family, surrounding them with
That first day He
followed Suzuki into the zendo where he made it through thirty minutes
sitting cross-legged, upright, and still as a palace guard.
Christmas Humphreys, founder of the London
"I'm a married
man, man!" Grahame
responded with shock. Married and employed. “Married and employed!”
p. 209 Grahame
went every morning, every evening,
every Sunday, to every lecture.
Richard and his friend had just come from a Japanese restaurant and were on their way to see a samurai movie.
p. 210 He decided to start
going to zazen immediately
"in order to stop the wandering of my
mind." in order to
stop the wandering of his mind.
p. 211 He moved into an apartment rented by Don Allen,
editor of the Beats he’d come to know the
prominent editor of The New American Poetry. He’d come to know Allen
back East while working at Grove Press.
p. 211-212 Not long after he came to
Zen Center Sokoji,
Richard met Virginia Brackett, a student at the Art Institute. In May 1962
Suzuki married performed a marriage ceremony
p. 213 Like Suzuki when he'd first arrived, Mitsu and Otohiro were amazed with the opulence and magnitude of the city—and shocked at the austerity of their living quarters.
Mitsu's new bed next
to his own.
Later She confided to a student that he did not invite her
to his bed for six months. She felt that this was because he had been so
affected by the attentions of other women.
p. 214 She did his laundry and bought him some long johns. He’d never seen long underwear.
p. 215 She would show the students how to wipe their feet before
on the tatami into the room.
p. 217 even
though he'd been there for only
two a few months.
First the treasurer had to explain what checks were
there was no such thing in Japan.
First thought, best thought.
Hense was never the same after his nervous breakdown. One day he dropped by Sokoji and bid his teacher of two-and-a-half
p. 220 "I'll name it," said Suzuki, and he went
upstairs. Twenty minutes later he came down with a piece of paper. The words
"Wind Bell" were written on it with a brush in black sumi ink, beside
a drawing of the same. Below the drawing was his translation of Dogen's poem
Bell." Wind Bell.
Soon his arms and torso were covered in
and he proudly held the first dripping copy.
p. 221 The second Wind Bell, in January 1962, reported on
a visit by Philip Kapleau to Sokoji. He had given a talk on an old Japanese
master named Bassui. Afterward he met with students and talked about his nine
years of study in Japan with Sogaku Harada
-roshi and Harada's heir,
Haku’un Yasutani -roshi, renegade Soto teachers who were using koans like
p. 222 Shunryu Suzuki was all decked out in red robes with a
okesa kesa and pointy hat.
He was being installed as the abbot of Sokoji in a Mountain Seat Ceremony, shinsanshiki.
p. 223 So-on Daiosho
p. 225 Yamada gave lectures on the great Indian sage Nagarjuna
the semi-legendary China’s first ancestor, Bodhidharma
bowing three times to the floor prostrations,
she sat on the cushion facing him.
p. 227 "It's just like the Catholic Church," he said.
Little did he realize how close he was to the truth. Soto Zen was full of
hierarchy and ceremony in
Japan, but considering Japan. Considering
the autonomy of individual temples and priests, and the growing role of the
membership in making decisions, maybe the Baptist Church would have provided a
Someday they would have their own Buddhist forms.
Buddhism to America isn't so simple. …”
Transmitting Buddhism to America isn't so simple. You can have your own way someday, but first learn mine. And don't be in too big a hurry. It's not like passing a football.
p. 228 1963-
p. 229 He saw his old friend Gido at Soto-shu headquarters, Shumucho
abbot of Eiheiji whom Suzuki had helped when he was abbot of Kasuisai, had
ordained her, not as his own disciple but as Suzuki's.
was the teacher of Suzuki's friend Elsie Mitchell, who founded the Cambridge
p. 230 Jean and Suzuki talked about the monks she'd met who
might be suitable to come to America. Her teacher at Eiheiji, Sotan Tatsugami
But one particular event
in 1963 deeply moved
Suzuki and his students.
July June of 1963 Quang Duc, a highly
respected senior Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burned himself to death
to protest the escalating war there. His death brought to light the horrors
of the conflict in Vietnam. persecution of
Buddhists by the US-supported South Vietnamese Roman Catholic government.
p. 231 No one could forget the image of the monk sitting
burning, falling over, and then righting himself while in flames to sit
straight, then falling a final time upright
unmoving in flames till his body collapsed. In October
Rosen Takashina, abbot of Eiheiji who’d ordained Jean at Eiheiji,
came to San Francisco as part of a worldwide tour for peace. There is a limit to physical pain, but there
is no limit to mental pain.
Let painful legs be painful [laughs]. That is how you practice zazen.
August rolled around and with it the In August there was a seven-day sesshin.
p. 232 Some people went with it: following the breath,
the breath, letting go, not fighting.
p. 236 My dear Tokujun, [Italicize whole letter]
p. 237 Grahame returned to San Francisco in mid-December. Suzuki appeared shocked to hear about his negative experiences there, not letting on that he'd been well informed by Pauline.
Priests don't arrive late! You're no priest! You have no
right to wear that okesa!" Grahame was mortified and started to take off
okesa kesa. "What are you doing?" said Suzuki.
"No one has the right to tell you to take off the okesa."
(He kept them tied to him so he wouldn't lose them. )
There were a hundred cases in the Blue Cliff Record, and one by one he was getting through them—reading from R.D.M. Shaw’s 1961 translation of the Hekigan Roku.
p. 239 Settle the self on the self - Dainin Katagiri
Yamada had wanted Katagiri to help
him with his
Japanese monk's training program
p. 240 He
immediately got involved with the project to
refurbish the zendo and enlarge the sitting area on the balcony, used on a
daily basis for latecomers and during sesshin for overflow.
p. 241 After the war he met his master, Daicho
Hayashi, got ordained, went to Eiheiji, and had an
awakening experience in tangaryo, which whetted his appetite for more zazen. At
Eiheiji he had served and been inspired by Eko Hashimoto
famous for his monastic discipline. Katagiri had a tiny temple,
Taizoin, on the coast near Eiheiji which had been his master's,
but he spent most of his time at Soto headquarters, or at Eiheiji, dealing with Westerners or guests.
p. 242 Suzuki learned quickly and seemed to do everything well
(in contrast to the
youthful Crooked Cucumber).
p. 244 Jodo Shin priests don't usually practice zazen.
p. 245 After she left they
could no longer contain themselves and laughed themselves
p. 246 Suzuki was sending his bull into the china shop. But first he had to be a monk.
can't practice in the zendo at Eiheiji if you're not a monk. Phillip and
his wife, J.J., sat in Suzuki's office.
As the day of Phillip's departure drew near, he noticed that Suzuki was not
radiant self, but was seemed
p. 248 Before
Grahame left, Suzuki gave him the names of six venerable old Soto Zen priests
to look up in Japan. Fujimoto was on the list, as were Katagiri's
Hashimoto, the widely revered " hHomeless" Kodo Sawaki
at Antaiji in Kyoto, and Shodo Uemoto, the abbot of Koshoji, Dogen's original temple
near Kyoto in Uji. They were all priests in the Nishiari Bokusan/Oka Sotan
p. 249 Koshin Ogui, the Jodo Shin priest, had continued to sit zazen at Sokoji and developed a unique relationship with Suzuki.
p. 250 Katagiri's wife, Tomoe
-san, had finally come over
with their little boy, Yasuhiko, and they were poor as temple mice.
On Memorial Day there was a Buddhist
service for all Bay Area Japanese-Americans at the cemetery in Colma,
south of San Francisco.
At 3:45 In the early dark on a summer morning in 1965,
a grey Volkswagen bug sat running beneath the streetlight in front of Sokoji. For over a
year Suzuki had been Suzuki was now making
periodic visits to three satellite zendos—Mill Valley over the Golden Gate
Bridge to the north, Berkeley across the Bay Bridge to the east, and especially
Los Altos, south on the peninsula.
p. 253 Arriving in Los Altos
just before 5:00 am ,still in darkness, Toni and Suzuki walked into a
comfortable suburban living room lined with people sitting silently on cushions
facing the walls.
p. 254 Once
Toni and Tony took the Suzukis to Yosemite—one of the Suzukis' rare
Suzuki Shunryu stood up through the sunroof of the
Volkswagen as they drove toward the mountains, his sleeves fluttering in the
p. 256 Back in
1963 1962, just before Suzuki's
Mountain Seat Ceremony, Richard had had a terrible bicycle accident in which
his forearms were severely injured.
p. 258 At the American Academy of Asian Studies, he met D. T.
Wako Kazemitsu Kato, Gary Snyder, and a whole raft of
Asian scholars, poets, and philosophers of the Beat generation.
Claude appreciated the Japanese-American congregation,
p. 259 Mel Weitsman had been a regular at
Phillip Wilson had told him about Suzuki in 1964.
the Art Institute Phillip Wilson told Mel Weitsman about sitting with Suzuki
and suggested he come, but it was the lion-maned founding director of the
Floating Lotus Magic Opera, Daniel Moore, who escorted Mel there in 1964 for
morning zazen after a musical all-nighter. Mel was an artist
and a flutist
in his mid-thirties who drove a cab to get by.
As Suzuki walked back to the altar, Mel's life
took a different changed
p. 261 Bob
said that he had sat for a year with the Rinzai teacher Joshu Sasaki
in L.A. He had just completed a sesshin in Mill Valley with Hakuun
Yasutani -roshi, at which Taizan Maezumi-sensei translated. Yasutani
was the Soto priest who used koans in the Rinzai fashion and who emphasized
pushing oneself hard in sesshin to have an awakening experience, whether
concentrating on a koan or just sitting zazen. Yasutani was giving sesshins
on the West Coast and had attracted a following
p. 263 Sesshins usually last a maximum of seven days, but Grahame sat at Antaiji for almost the entire forty-nine days,
p. 264 After a few miles that road turns to dirt and twists into
wooded mountainsides, ascending to about five thousand feet at Chew's
Ridge before going back down to
fifteen over sixteen hundred. At
the end of this fifteen fourteen-mile dirt road lies Tassajara
1860s late 1800s Tassajara had been the most remote and
pristine resort in Monterey County.
p. 265 The
right place had come along at
the right a time when there was enough
Different people had mentioned this old resort to Suzuki and Richard a few times through the years. Fred Roscoe, briefly a Tassajara co-owner with the Becks, had mentioned it to Richard more than once at his Discovery Bookstore in North Beach. San Francisco historian Margot Patterson Doss told Suzuki it was the only place he should consider for a retreat.
But after passing through breathtaking views on the more than an hour-long drive
couples, the Becks and the Roscoes, owned Tassajara. Bob and Anna Beck were in
the process of buying the Roscoes' share and weren't willing to part with
Tassajara yet. Bob Beck showed Richard a 180-acre parcel of undeveloped land nearby called the Horse Pasture, which he would sell to the Zen Center for a retreat. Suzuki hiked in to the Horse Pasture with Richard. It was beautiful, but it was Tassajara that caught his fancy. Suzuki
Tassajara was awfully expensive though. Bob and Anna Beck had owned it for six years. Bob showed Suzuki and Richard a 180-acre parcel of undeveloped land nearby called the Horse Pasture which they reached by hiking in on a trail off the road. It was beautiful, but it was Tassajara that caught Suzuki’s fancy. He
astounded at impressed with his commitment to getting
this land and his obvious skill at going about it
The Kwongs held a fund-raising party
; a benefit art
sale was planned.
Spending a whole afternoon on a cushion at the low table in his office, at the request of his student, Mike Dixon, Suzuki drew an enso, a sumi circle, for a poster announcing a benefit art show, drawing one incomplete circular stroke after another, going through sheet after sheet of rice paper, till he got a stroke that satisfied him. He didn't do a voluminous amount of calligraphy, as is common among Japanese priests, but this simple enso would come to greet countless gazes.
Among those who lent their enthusiastic support early on
were a number of philosophers and writers who knew Buddhism well, including
Alan Watts, Gary Snyder, Huston Smith, Nancy Wilson Ross, Paul Wienpahl, Allen
Ginsberg, Joseph Campbell, and Michael Murphy
from nearby of Esalen
p. 267 But
his closeness to Suzuki as a student and his dominance in the fund-raising and
planning for Tassajara tended to overshadow other people and
some resentment and jealousy among the older students.
It was infuriating to others to hear Richard say things like this, but he’d do it in front of Suzuki and Suzuki would not contradict him.
p. 268 "These
sincere Americans have made up my mind," he told his friend
To Grahame, who had
attempted attended three painful practice
periods there as a novice monk, visiting was a pleasant alternative.
Next they met with the abbot and head of the whole Soto
sect, the elderly Taizen Kumazawa
p. 269 "How about the name Zenshinji?" (Zen
heart/mind temple Mind Temple), Suzuki asked.
p. 270 He considered Kosho Uchiyama, whom Grahame was studying with, and Rempo Niwa, Kojun Noiri, and Yuho Yokoi—
all the latter three Kishizawa's heirs.
"In terms of Japan, he's just a typical country priest," Yokoi said when asked what he thought after Suzuki had visited him at Komazawa University. But Yokoi was impressed with how much Suzuki had evolved in America, and said it must be due to his interaction with his students.
In Japan people often grow up sitting seiza quite a bit. Phillip contended that it molded their tendons and bones. He'd sit two hours at a stretch in Tatsugami's chanting classes till his legs were on fire. On his first day there they made him sit like that for eleven hours in an office, the most painful experience of his life--worse than football he said.
p. 272 Suzuki's American
students also met his old friends—godfather Amano, Seison Suzuki, the
potter, and those in his High Grass Mountain Group who had survived.
Claude was surprised
there weren't any priest disciples—only Hoitsu, his son. There was a constant
stream of visitors, but they were colleagues, friends, teachers from the
kindergartens he'd started, lay students, members, villagers.
p. 274 He wondered why
there were no real students or monks who could fulfill this role.
More and more
it seemed as if Suzuki was just an ordinary Soto Zen priest. There must be
twenty thousand of them.
had not studied with Suzuki, but was the disciple and son of his old dharma brother Kendo Okamoto.
This was done in accordance with an old agreement between Suzuki and Kendo Okamoto and it assured that Shoko would inherit the temple in Suzuki’s lineage.
"Don't you have any
monk students disciples who studied with you?"
p. 275 And
Hoitsu wasn't attracted to the whole American thing.
If his father hadn't
given up his temple, he told Phillip, he could still be at Eiheiji. “If my father hadn't given up his
temple,” he told Phillip, “I could still be at Eiheiji.”
cleaned up the grave and offered incense to his master, Gyokujun So-on, to his
father, Butsumon Sogaku, to his mother, Yone, to his second wife, Chie, to
So-on's lover, Yoshi, and with great sadness to his daughter Omi
, who had
hung herself two years before.
He also talked to Phillip about going to the East Coast to assist a zazen group in Vermont that he had close ties to. Suzuki had made several trips to the East Coast in recent years – New York, Massachusetts, Vermont—and had a number of students and supporters from there.
p. 276 When
Suzuki returned to San Francisco
in on November 6, 1966,
the San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen
had dubbed them
winter spring of 1966 I came to San
As a result
of these experiences I decided
to leave the drugs I should soon leave
behind, find a guru, and learn to meditate.
p. 277 More
than anything, it was in small, seemingly insignificant, nonverbal exchanges
that Suzuki established contact with students and guided us along our invisible
We were almost entirely on our own. When Suzuki returned from Japan, To
Suzuki’s surprise, now almost everyone was addressing him as Suzuki-roshi.
Response to the brochure had been enormous. Money
poured in from all over the country. As Suzuki had hoped, at the last moment
the Becks agreed to sell Tassajara Springs, for twice the price of the
undeveloped Horse Pasture, three hundred thousand dollars. The board quickly
authorized Richard to put the twenty-two thousand dollars that had been raised
for the Horse Pasture toward purchasing Tassajara, which was ready to move
into. The first payment was made in December. But now there was another payment
of twice that amount due in a few months. A second brochure was sent to eighty
thousand people. A few months earlier, Zen Center had been known only to a
small, esoteric group of Buddhists, scholars, and artists. Now, for better or
for worse, it was on the map.
So many people had helped. There were a number of benefits and a "zenefit,"
where the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Quicksilver
Messenger Service played at Chet Helms's Avalon Ballroom. Ali Akbar Khan gave a
concert. Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks offered a body/mind awareness
workshop. Alan Watts gave a talk. Gary Snyder and many other poets, artists,
and musicians donated time, readings, performances, and works. Suzuki showed up
at the zenefit and waved to the crowd, who cheered him.
Response to the brochure had been enormous. Money poured in from all over the country. So many people had helped. There were a number of benefits and a Zenefit, where the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Quicksilver Messenger Service played at Chet Helms's Avalon Ballroom. Ali Akbar Khan gave a concert. Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks offered a body/mind awareness workshop. Alan Watts gave a talk. Gary Snyder and many other poets, artists, and musicians donated time, readings, performances, and works. Suzuki showed up at the Zenefit and waved to the crowd, who cheered him.
The twenty-two thousand dollars was raised, and, as Suzuki had hoped, at the last moment Bob Beck and Richard Baker came to an agreement on a price for Tassajara - $300,000 – twice the price for the Horse pasture but less than Bob thought they could sell it for to others. "But we wanted the Zens to have it," he said. And he and his family would be welcome there and they'd be with people they had come to admire, people who would take good care of their beloved springs, so exhausting for them to manage with so few people.
The board quickly authorized Richard to put the money that had been raised for the Horse Pasture toward purchasing Tassajara, which was ready to move into. The first payment was made in December. It was great news, exciting news, and then frightening news – for now there was another payment of twice that amount due in a few months. A second brochure would be sent to eighty thousand people. A few months earlier, Zen Center had been known only to a small, esoteric group of Buddhists, scholars, and artists. Now, it was on the map.
Many people were giving all their spare time to fund-raising, helping out in the office, going down to Tassajara to get it ready.
Richard was taking Suzuki to the East Coast to give talks,
to visit Zen groups and friends like Elsie Mitchell of the Cambridge Buddhist
Association, and to meet potential donors.
Amidst all this activity Suzuki still focused on being at zazen and keeping the
temple clean, never losing sight of the purpose for the whole exciting venture.
Spending a whole afternoon on a cushion at the low table in his office,
Suzuki drew a sumi circle for the cover of the second brochure, drawing one
incomplete circular stroke after another till he got the one he wanted..
Suzuki further appealed to Grahame by writing out a quote from the brochure, turning its intent toward Grahame:
The establishment of a Zen
monastery in the wilderness area near Carmel Valley is an important event in
the history of religion in America. You are urged to join this oldest of
ventures—the establishment of a community for the cultivation of the spirit.
Only your support will make it possible. Paul
Lee, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz
The establishment of a Zen monastery in the wilderness area near Carmel Valley is an important event in the history of religion in America. You are urged to join this oldest of ventures—the establishment of a community for the cultivation of the spirit. Only your support will make it possible.
Paul Lee, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz
Waco Kazemitsu Kato also came up from L.A. , as did Maezumi.
p. 282 The practice period would run for two months. In order to allow more people to participate, it was divided into two parts. Many of us would be there for the whole summer, but some could only spare a month so there were those who attended only the first part and those who came just for the second. Taizan Maezumi would assist Suzuki in leading the practice for the first month.
Kobun Chino Otogawa had arrived from Japan
For the first time, for an American, Suzuki did a priest ordination that wasn't private and extremely brief.
p. 283 He conferred with others, of course
, like Claude, Silas, Bill, Jean, and Mel.
Suzuki had talked about precepts a little in lectures, but on that day he gave them in public for the first time since the lay ordination of fifteen people in 1962. Suzuki had talked about precepts in lectures, and precepts were given in weddings and funerals, but on that day he gave them in public for an ordination for the first time since the lay ordination of fifteen people in 1962.
minutes later, when When Shunryu Suzuki walked in during
the third round of the han, students were to be on their zafus,
with a few in chairs, seated erect, chins in, eyes half-open.
Kobun, and Richard sat facing out; everyone else sat facing the
century-old walls built of mountain stone. following
their breaths, counting
their breaths, just sitting, looking, with no props and no beliefs,
some sleepy, some with chattering minds, some with legs already aching.
p. 286 Then he walked out, followed by his attendant Louise, Kobun, and Richard.
Four-and-nine days were almost days off
; then there were with only two zazen periods, one periods—one in the morning and one in the evening.
At eleven in In the morning Suzuki was in
his baggy black monk's work clothes, using an iron bar to shift a big stone
p. 288 Once he said,
"A tiger catches a
mouse small fish with all its attention
p. 292 Suzuki told an old Chinese folk tale about the difference between heaven and hell. In hell everyone has very short arms. They sit around tables full of sumptuous food, trying to eat with very long chopsticks, but they can't get the food in their mouths because the chopsticks are too long and their arms too short. They try in agony to feed themselves, to no avail. In heaven everyone also has short arms and long chopsticks, but everyone is feeding each other across the table and having a lovely time.
p. 293 Others had
resisted the authority of government in civil disobedience or had broken the
by taking psychedelics laws against cannabis.
p. 294 There was a
morning tea called chosan, held in Suzuki
-roshi's cabin after
seiza on the tatami in silence while Suzuki's attendant made tea.
p. 295 I kept my eyes down
, and my occasional winces must have seemed more the result of my headache than what anyone was saying.
p. 297 "Don't tell me," he said, averting his eyes.
How do you like zazen? How do you like brown rice?
p. 298 Ed had
worked in the Tassajara kitchen
during the previous summer, before
Zen Center had purchased the resort,
Bob Halpern A student
who’d been a strict vegetarian for two years drove him into Carmel ,
making a special effort to sit up straight and not to talk for the first few
miles, but then he started asking Suzuki about Buddhism and vegetarianism.
Suzuki promptly went to sleep.
Walking past the Carmel
to Bob, "Let's eat, I'm hungry."
Bob The student started looking for a restaurant where they could
get a vegetarian meal. "Let's eat here," said Suzuki, going into a
little hamburger joint while Bob the student mumbled, "But,
but…" Bob The student studied the menu
p. 300 "I don't like mine," Suzuki said, "let's trade." With that he picked up
Bob’s the student's sandwich and replaced it with the double-meat hamburger. "Um good. This is good. I like grilled cheese."
The student surrendered.
At the height of the energy, sweat, and excitement, Suzuki and
Bob I were watching the cabin slowly creak over the bridge. No one was enjoying it more than Suzuki. He turned to Bob me. "I love work trips," he said, wiping his brow. "I hate food trips, but I love work trips."
I Bob went to Suzuki's cabin unannounced after dinner one night and was invited in. Never known for moderation, I he was, at this time in his life, alternating between periods of austerity and indulgence. I felt guilty. I Bob told him I he couldn't stop snacking in the kitchen. Sometimes I'd he’d sneak into the kitchen at night, eat leftover guest desserts, and drink their half-and-half. While we were working But then I asked him a question about Zen.
p. 302 Maybe I am a very smoky kerosene lamp
[kerosene lamps were used to light the zendo]. When I start to talk about something, it is already a smoky kerosene lamp.
p. 303 He
jumped leaped off his cushion and stormed down to the zendo floor and began hitting the student with his short teacher's staff while shouting more.
p. 304 Students were excited to learn suddenly that
Soen Nakagawa -roshi and Yasutani -roshi were among eight teachers coming to visit.
They brought some of the ashes of Nyogen Senzaki, who had
died in L.A. in 1958
, to be scattered at Tassajara.
All eight teachers used koans with their students. Yasutani especially was
and were critical of Suzuki's less aggressive style of Soto Zen, calling considering it sleepy and unproductive.
p. 305 Nakagawa gave a dynamic lecture, strutting back and forth across the altar platform. The talks went on and on, but no one minded—it was such a treat.
There were questions and answers. Richard Baker said this is an excellent opportunity to ask these great teachers a question. Les Kaye's hand went up. He I asked what was the best way to establish Buddhism in America , and everyone had an answer: Yasutani, Nakagawa (both translated by Maezumi), Shimano . One by one the visiting teachers gave eloquent and dramatic answers--Yasutani, Nakagawa, Shimano, Maezumi, and then it was Suzuki's turn. "I have nothing to say," he said, getting up and going out the side door. Everyone roared in delight, and it was over.
It was because I felt a separateness. Now when I hear it I feel complete." (
Yasutani was Soto but he used koans, like the Rinzai.)
In a ceremony with all students present, Suzuki received a portion of Senzaki's
ashes from Nakagawa and placed them on the Tassajara altar. The only rain of
the summer fell that morning, and a double rainbow met people as they walked
out of the zendo into the early morning light. Two weeks later Suzuki, Kobun,
and some students went up to the ridge and cast Senzaki's ashes to the wind.
On the last morning of the teachers' visit, everyone sat zazen. Bob was
carrying the stick and sporting a down-turned samurai scowl to let his old
teachers, Maezumi and Yasutani, know that he hadn't gotten soft, and that Soto
Zen wasn't sleepy. He stopped before a dozing student, placed the wide stick on
her shoulder, and gave her a whack on each side. They bowed together and he
went on. Walking slowly down the maroon linoleum aisle, he lifted his gaze to
see in the kerosene lamplight the historic cast of dharma transmitters on the
platform: Suzuki, Yasutani, Nakagawa, Shimano, Maezumi, Aitken (from Hawaii), Richard, Kobun. Every one of them was nodding, sound asleep.
On the last morning of the teachers' visit, everyone sat zazen. Bob was carrying the stick and sporting a down-turned samurai scowl to let his old teachers, Maezumi and Yasutani, know that he hadn't gotten soft, and that Soto Zen wasn't sleepy. He stopped before a dozing student, placed the wide stick on her shoulder, and gave her a whack on each side. They bowed together and he went on. Walking slowly down the maroon linoleum aisle, he lifted his gaze to see in the kerosene lamplight the historic cast of dharma transmitters on the platform—Suzuki, Yasutani, Nakagawa, Shimano, Maezumi, Aitken (from Hawaii), Richard, Kobun. Every one of them was nodding, dozing on their cushions.
The day before, a group of us had gone up the road with Nakagawa and Shimano to the ridge and spread a pinch of Senzaki's ashes. Before leaving, Soen Nakagawa decided that half of the ashes he brought from Japan should be on the west coast and half on the east coast with Shimano. In a ceremony with all students present, Suzuki received a portion of Senzaki's ashes and placed them on the Tassajara altar. The only rain of the summer fell that morning, and a double rainbow met people as they walked out of the zendo into the early morning light. Two full moons later Suzuki, Kobun, and students went up to the ridge and cast Nyogen Senzaki's ashes to the wind.
p. 309 Allen Ginsberg had
come to be recognized as the poet laureate of the
He was delighted with this first experience of zazen and
a little miffed at Snyder for not introducing him and Kerouac to zazen years
before, when they visited Snyder's Marin-an, Horse
Pasture Grove Hermitage in Marin County, one of the first zendos in the West.
p. 310 A young woman handed him a god's eye, a multicolored,
hexagonal religious symbol on a stick,
allegedly American Indian in
origin. After a while He passed it on, and someone else gave him a
He sat there with the flower and enjoyed the flower
children, the music, and the idealistic speeches.
He was there when
Owsley, the manufacturer of Clear Light Acid, parachuted in. After
a while Suzuki excused himself and was taken home.
In Kyoto he visited Ruth Fuller Sasaki's temple and sat
zazen with his old buddy Gary Snyder for six weeks at Sesso Oda
-roshi's temple in the Daitokuji complex.
An enthusiastic new arrival told Suzuki
he wanted to move into the temple to be closer to him.
p. 316 Ironically, in Japan Buddhism had never been pacifist, and
Buddhists Buddhist sects had supported the government's wars as
had all organizations, religious or secular.
In the early fifties Suzuki had told his
young neighbor Yamamura that he longed to go to America to teach about peace and internationalism. But his American students were already politically conscious, some of them active, and he was clearly sympathetic with the peace movement.
In 1960 Suzuki had enthusiastically supported the decision
of a student named Barton Stone to join a yearlong peace march from San
Francisco to Moscow. In 1964, in response to a letter from Barton, Suzuki
twice in prison, where he was serving a year for trying to
obstruct nuclear testing in the Pacific.
p. 323 He took with him the completed manuscript for
Mind, Beginner's Mind, which he had further edited and gone over with
p. 324 One day after zazen at Bill Kwong's
Mill Valley zendo, Betty Warren visited Trudy. On Mondays Suzuki visited Trudy at her home after giving a talk to Bill’s zazen group. One day after such a visit he One Monday after giving a talk to Bill Kwong's Mill Valley zazen group, Suzuki visited Trudy at her home. He returned to the car with Bob
Go, my disciple. You have completed your practice for this life and acquired a genuine warm heart, a pure and undefiled buddha mind, and joined our sangha. All that you have done in this life and in your past lives became meaningful in the … - [entire quote changed to italics]
p. 326 He said that the Issei, the first-generation
Japanese-Americans, had a Meiji
Buddhist approach. They admired the
progress of the West, yet clung to a type of Shinto nationalistic Buddhism
focused on making offerings to the spirits of ancestors.
p. 327 He wanted to send a letter of resignation
didn't know what to say.
p. 329 Marian Derby and Chester Carlson, a founder
of Xerox and the single largest donor toward the purchase of Tassajara,
provided the down payment, and the Bank of Tokyo offered generous financing.
Starting with the first month, all payments were met by modest
residents’ rents and members' dues.
p. 330 The room was covered with tatami, except for
an aisle of the original
reddish magenta tile around the edge.
Over a hundred students now resided in the
neighborhood of Page and Laguna, and people drove in from around the Bay Area
for zazen and
There were four zazen periods a day, three
two meals in the dining room.
p. 331 Whom he had also reluctantly allowed
In Japan the title "roshi" was a formality, but good teachers were known by reputation or personal experience.
p. 333 Suzuki: Maybe so. It doesn't make much sense
p. 335 There was a rule for students against
skinny-dipping at the Narrows, which
most students many ignored
unless in larger mixed groups.
p. 336 After eating, almost everyone but Suzuki jumped in the cold mountain water.
Suzuki saw some good places to sit on the opposite bank
in the direct sun and decided to go there
via the deep pool where his
students were enjoying themselves.
p. 337 Whatever their problems in zazen—pain, confusion,
sleepiness, frightening or seductive images—the students were to join Suzuki in
counting their exhalations from one to ten, over and over. "We're not
advanced enough students for koans or shikantaza,
[Dogen's term for just sitting ].
He used the
"Can't live with her, can't live without her."
p. 338 Suzuki knew that
when he talked too much about enlightenment, people tended to get fixed ideas
about what the word meant, and
got get obsessed with it as a
p. 339 Zen Center seemed to be short on enlightenment, indeed, a little sleepy compared to practice with the other teachers with their vigorous styles.
p. 340 Sotan Tatsugami
had kept Jean, Grahame, and Phillip under his wing at Eiheiji, had come to lead
the spring practice period at Tassajara. Now the last of the winter's
heavy snowfall was melting away on the ridge.
p. 341 Because during the practice period Tatsugami had spent so much time teaching chanting and ceremony, there was a great deal of catch-up work to do on the buildings during that guest season.
There was a brief chant at the prompt of a
small bell, then a pause that would magnify the sounds of the creek, frogs,
crickets, and guests walking by
on the road outside.
He was lecturing on the Sandokai (The Unity of One and Many)
p. 345 Not always so. In Japanese it's two words,
three words in English
. This is the secret of our teaching.
p. 347 To look for that,
you we must take the
board off your our shoulder.
p. 348 Suzuki
-roshi always made clear that the first
principle is beyond discrimination or knowing in the ordinary sense, in the way
that relative truth is known.
p. 349 The next day Grahame and Suzuki talked about
[Miss removed 10 times, sometimes replaced with Nona.]
p. 350 Ransom wrote to her former houseboy, English student, translator, and mentor of Buddhism.
p. 352 It was nice to have a little book of
Roshi's Suzuki’s lectures that could be sent to friends and family.
Okusan was irritated at the picture on the back cover, a black-and-white close-up of Suzuki's head and shoulders, a picture taken at Tassajara by Robert Boni shortly before he shaved his head and face
he said, "I read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind to see what the
understanding of my
disciples students is."
is the final stage of ordination, in which a priest receives the master's
blessing to be an independent teacher in the lineage started by Shakyamuni
Buddha. Richard called it the passing on of signless states of mind. At that time no one
at Zen Center knew of any Westerner who had received transmission in the
Japanese Zen tradition.
p. 354 Suzuki
had also talked about his way as transmission Zen
"transmission Zen" since he
arrived, and he insisted on the importance of the master-disciple relationship.
I told him I had no interest in going to Texas to start a group. I felt
completely unworthy and couldn't imagine I ever would be qualified to do that.
I wondered if
many any students were ready for that.
p. 355 It irritated Richard when, as soon as Kobun
arrived, Suzuki's students treated him with such immense respect, much more than afforded to Suzuki’s senior students
and asked him questions about the dharma.
Richard would point out that many of Suzuki's students had been studying
longer than Kobun.
From Richard's ordination in 1967 to the fall
of 1970, Suzuki had ordained nine students as priests. He ordained a young
couple in the summer of 1968, before they went to Japan to study in monasteries—Ron and Joyce Browning. Mel Weitsman, the head of the Berkeley Zen
Center, was ordained in 1969. Bill Kwong and Silas Hoadley received their robes
early in 1970. Silas had given up his importing business and was involved
full-time with Zen Center. Peter Schneider and Dan Welch took their vows
together in 1970. Paul Discoe the builder and Reb Anderson came later that
year. Reb was the newest of the bunch, exceedingly concentrated and devoted to
had also ordained a young couple early in 1970, before they went to Japan to
study in monasteries—Ron and Joyce Browning. And on New Year's Day of 1971 he was
going to ordain a longtime IBM employee named Les Kaye at the Los Altos zendo.
p. 356 By now the six
ordained before Richard were gone or on the periphery of Zen Center.
p. 357 By the summer of 1970, six priests had
been head monks at Tassajara—Richard Baker,
Phillip Wilson, Claude Dalenberg, Jean Ross, Silas
Hoadley, and Mel Weitsman.
Soon Peter, Bill, and Dan would follow.
p. 358 Zen practice is to get to our
p. 359 In Kyoto, Richard practiced a year at Antaiji
, with with
abbot Kosho Uchiyama, then sat at Daitokuji with
Nanrei Sohaku Kobori, a Rinzai teacher.
p. 360 According to Uchiyama’s disciple and translator
Ssome of the Japanese students who went to the
English discussion as well said it was only then, when they heard Suzuki speak
in English, that they realized why he had so many students.
p. 361 For instance,
receiving transmission, there is a ceremony in Japan called ten'e, wherein a
priest receives recognition of transmission from the Soto school. In this ceremony in
Japan, following recognition of transmission from the Soto school, there is
zuise wherein the priest is "abbot for a day" of
both Eiheiji and Sojiji and carries an ox-hair whisk.
p. 364 On March 12 Suzuki flew to Portland to visit a group of Reed College students associated with Zen Center.
p. 365 Back at Page Street, Reb knew things were really bad when
Suzuki took off his robe and just let it drop to the floor, something he had
never done in front of Reb, who was always watching
and copying his
p. 366 Dianne went over to Suzuki
-roshi's bed and, after
inquiring about how he felt, reminded him that he'd seen her scar for a dime.
p. 367 This surprised the doctor, because gallbladder cancer is
p. 371 Someday
soon he would go and not return, except to occasionally visit his wife and son,
to whom he would leave his temple in Japan.
But none of that was to happen.
Soon Tatsugami would get the letter withdrawing the invitation, which surely
would break his tough heart.
The wife did fine at a nunnery, but her husband
forcibly sedated and shipped out of Eiheiji did not do well at Eiheiji,
and Hoitsu had to go there to pick him up and bring him back to Rinsoin.
But Others went later, and in time
the exchange did begin to become more fruitful, mainly with those who
established lives primarily outside of Zen temples.
p. 373 Then he laughed. Nobody had the faintest idea what he was
He was talking about Trungpa.
and Suzuki met at Tassajara in
June the spring of 1970, and they
immediately made a strong connection.
p. 374 After that
he Suzuki asked Trungpa to come
to Page Street and lecture, which Trungpa did.
After that he asked Trungpa to come to Page Street and
when he was in the city, which Trungpa did.
Suzuki's relationship with Trungpa disturbed some people,
maybe because Trungpa, in addition to being a brilliant, inspiring speaker and
the beloved teacher of many disciples, was also an outrageously heavy drinker
who slept with
some many of his female students.
Later a A number of
Suzuki's students started studying with Trungpa.
p 375 That is not the point, you know. This kind of big spirit, without clinging to some special religion or form of practice, is necessary for human beings.
Everything you do is right, nothing you do is wrong,
yet you must still make ceaseless effort.
First thought, best thought. —Chogyam Trungpa and Shunryu Suzuki
In his first talk Suzuki
-roshi said, "Our
practice is just to sit."
p. 376 Buddha's whole teaching is just for you, something you can taste. Not something to believe in but to discover, to experience.
p. 377-8 Summer 1971, Tassajara: Hojo and I stay in Tassajara during the month of August. Dharma talk evening after evening. There's blood and sweat. Hojo and I write haiku together. [This paragraph follows haiku in book.]
we look for tea-room flowers
from Temple Dusk by Mitsu Suzuki
p. 379 But she would show Maggie his perspiration-soaked
robelike undershirt, wring it out and say hyperbolically,
"Look, he's sweating blood. He must rest more," as if Maggie might be
able to control him. Once at morning tea Suzuki
was discussing the menu with senior students. At the request of the head cook,
he agreed to demonstrate how he made udon, thick Japanese noodles. Before long
he had a whole batch of people mixing rice flour and water and rolling dough
while cooling breezes came through the screened windows.
Some people worked the flour into dough on the long sycamore worktable, others
kneaded away on bread boards on the tile floor, while Suzuki kept adding more
flour. Okusan came into this chaos, and they snapped at each other in Japanese
till he pushed her out of the kitchen, laughing and undaunted. More people
joined in—some preparing lunch, one making bread for guests, another washing
pots in the corner, another passing around cups of tea and coffee. Suzuki kept
adding more flour and water to give the new arrivals work to do.
at morning tea Suzuki was discussing the menu with senior students. He turned to Janet Sturgeon and said, “I heard you used to make udon noodles for Tatsugami Roshi.”
“Yes. I learned to make them by hand,” she said. “And all the officers came one by one for the noodle dinners with him on four and nine days.”
"I want to see what they’re like,” Suzuki said. “Can you make them for me?"
Early afternoon Janet was in kitchen making noodles. Suzuki dropped by. He watched a little then got out his own bowl, flour, and eggs. He seemed to her just like a kid stirring up the dough. At one point he picked up a huge wad of dough and threw it on a bread board on the floor. Then he took off his zoris and walked around on it, looking at Janet as he was doing it with an ecstatic expression on his face.
Okusan came in and wanted him to leave, but he wouldn’t. She tried to take over his task but he didn’t let her, so she started making her own. For a while the three of them were making noodles together. Then others noticed and joined in. Some people worked the flour into dough on the long sycamore worktable, others kneaded away on bread boards on the tile floor. Suzuki kept adding more flour--while cooling breezes came through the screened windows.
The dinner crew arrived. The head cook adjusted the dinner menu. In the big new kitchen there was room for all. As the noodling continued, vegetables were cut, pots were washed, cups of tea were passed around. Suzuki kept adding more flour and water.
"Who's running Tassajara?" asked one of the officers sticking his head in. "We have a guest season going on."
"You go run it!" laughed Suzuki.
some hours, a
As the dough was being rolled out thin and cut into strips, Okusan returned,
fuming. Suzuki waved goodbye, all smiles, as she dragged him out the door. What
had started as a meal for a dozen older students the Suzukis and a few
students, ended up as dinner for sixty people, with seconds and thirds--two
nights in a row.
p. 380 Suzuki nodded
, not saying much.
Several A number of
Zen Center's major generous donors at the time of toward
the purchase of Tassajara had come through Watts and his East Coast
connections. Though he loved rituals, Watts had scorned discipline , zazen,
and the institutions that reminded him of the stuffiness of British boarding
p. 381 Suzuki
sat with him and Jano that night on the back porch of
a century-old the three quarters of a
century-old end stone room overlooking the creek.
had regained his composure and was standing tall with a toga, goatee,
and a staff. One
day, while walking in the vegetable garden at Tassajara, Suzuki noticed a
student who was sitting on a stone looking at a sunflower growing nearby. He
went over and sat by her.
Before Watts left, Suzuki gave him and Jano a tour of Tassajara. Walking in the vegetable garden, they noticed a student who was sitting on a stone looking at a large sunflower.__________
are you doing?" "Meditating
with the sunflower," she said. "It rotates with the sun." Suzuki
sat with her for a long time.
"What are you doing?" Watts asked.
"Looking at the sunflower," she said. "It rotates with the sun."
Watts said, oh that is an ancient meditation technique and gave it an erudite name. She motioned for them to join her.
night in his lecture Suzuki referred to
his their garden visit.
p. 382 ???
stick to naturalness too much. When you stick to it, it is not natural any
mean like you can't ride a horse on a horse?" I asked, referring to
another proverb that Suzuki
sometimes had mentioned,
p. 386 After leaving Tassajara that day, Suzuki
asked Yvonne to pull the car over when they reached the ridge.
p. 390 Mel had driven in from Berkeley and Bill Kwong came in from
Valley Tassajara where he was shuso, head monk. Also present were Silas,
Reb, Lew, and Angie, all of whom lived in the building. Claude came from his
home in San Francisco. Claude came from his home in San Francisco. Also
present were Silas, Reb, Lew, and Angie, all of whom lived in the building.
p. 392 "Thank
you," Suzuki said, going on to make a point about their roles as priests
and about the priest's responsibility within the larger
Wherever you go you will find
your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see
and the ears to hear.
When I am sick, I may be the moon-faced buddha [laughs]. When I am healthy, I am the sun-faced buddha. Whether I am ill or healthy, still, you know, I am practicing zazen. There is no difference. So you shouldn't worry about my health. Even though I am in bed, I am buddha. So don't worry about me.
p. 394 There
was Taizan Maezumi, the teacher of the L.A. Zen Center, who'd known
Suzuki since 1959, and
Bishop Togen Sumi from Zenshuji in L.A.
Eido Shimano, Soen Nakagawa's disciple and the teacher at the Zen Studies
Society in New York, dropped by to pay his respects one day—as did Stephen Gaskin, and Gary Snyder with poet Nanao Sakaki.
Halpern visited. He had been studying with
the Tibetan teacher, Trungpa, Chogyam Trungpa
Instead of a note, he had drawn a picture of Trungpa's altar,
which had a Buddha in the center, Trungpa's Tibetan guru on the left, and
-roshi on the right.
p. 395 But there were others.
He was thinking of giving transmission to six to twelve disciples. She and Claude agreed; and after
they told Suzuki how they felt, he gave up and didn't mention it again—not even
She and Claude agreed and told Suzuki how they felt. He gave up and didn't mention it again—not even to Richard.
p. 396 Richard Baker returned with Virginia and their daughter Sally. As soon as they arrived
He Suzuki was thin, soft, and open to her.
She could finally forgive him for the death of her mother and saw his accomplishments in America not only as atonement for, but as partially motivated by her mother’s death.
He too had cancer and trouble with his bowels
and though. Though he wasn't dying or sick like his old friend, it was
difficult for him to stay.
p. 401 Many of the key figures in Suzuki's life in
America were there: Kazemitsu and Emi Kato,
Reverend Koshin Ogui,
George Hagiwara, and many from the Japanese congregation of Sokoji.
p. 402 The rumble of the deep
drum echoed in the halls
There he was, his reddish-brown
kesa draping over a yellow koromo.
p. 404 Twenty or so of us sat on the tatami in his sitting room.
"Daijobu. Daijobu" (It’s all right. It’s all right).
p. 407 A hospital bed was put in a second-floor
room overlooking the courtyard. There Suzuki could have a sense of the rhythm
of the building and some time in the sunlight. The buddha hall was
Okusan would wash his face, and he'd have a glass of
—. He said that was his service.
His skin was dark, almost the color of the
okesa kesa robe.
p. 409 Otohiro breathed loudly and slowly, and his
father's breath slowed down till they were
both breathing together at
the same slow rate.
p. 412 December 4, 1998
His photo is on altars and bureaus all over America and beyond, but there is no cult of Shunryu Suzuki.
p. 413 Suzuki
-roshi had wanted to start a Buddhist farm, and the year after he died the San
Francisco Zen Center acquired one, just north of San Francisco. One day in April of 1995, I sat in the guesthouse of Green Gulch
Farm in Marin County with Taizan Maezumi -roshi, founder of the Los
Angeles Zen Center.
In the fall of 1993 she returned to live with her daughter Harumi in Shizuoka City, not far from Rinsoin.