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A comment in April Readers' Comments on Thank You and OK! and Dainin Katagiri
4/11/2000 - from Alan Mcallister: 
Subject: Katagiri and Thank You and OK!

I just finished reading your first book which I greatly enjoyed.

I was briefly associated with the mission in Los Altos in 1967? while I was a student at Stanford. Katagiri had, I believe, only recently arrived, and he was the main teacher there while I attended. I occasionally went to the Bush center in San Francisco. I had a great fondness for Katagiri. I remember arguing with him about LSD and western mysticism. He was very patient. I drifted away from Zen and practicing zazen, but always thought that some day I would link up with Katagiri again and become a student of his. I vaguely recall (perhaps it was just a dream) that I did connect with him by phone while he was in Minnesota. About a year ago I picked up his last book and was quite saddened to learn that he had died. I doubt that I would have ever gotten around to carrying out my plan to be his student again (I am 53 and very tied down with jobs and family), but I nevertheless experienced a deep sense of loss. Your book has filled in a lot of the holes in terms of what happened to him. I am now reading your book on Suzuki. I never had much to do with him, but nevertheless am enjoying reading the book.

I transcribed several lectures that Katagiri gave in Los Altos. I wonder if anyone would be interested in them? [I answered this immediately - suggesting he contact the Minnesota Zen Center. He's going to transcribe his notes on to disk first. Always looking to retrieve old notes, tapes, memories of these old days.-DC]

Your books are a great boon to people like me who had great difficulty buying into the "specialness" of Zen and everything associated with it. You present yourself and others as very human, very ordinary (in a good sense). Your characters, whether real or imagined, are ones that I can relate to!

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