Give Crooked Cucumber to a friend

About the Book           

About Suzuki Roshi    

Readers' Comments
7/16/99--A letter from Jim Lowrey Re: Trungpa - an alcoholic?

Thank you for the wonderful book. It haunts me. I recommend it to everybody. I felt that I knew Roshi, because I was one of Trungpa Rinpoche's students when Roshi died and Rinpoche was inconsolable. He cried and cried and said that the world was in trouble if Roshi had to die. I got the feeling that in a better world he would have lived longer, but maybe he just meant that the world was worse off without him. As a deaf, dumb, and blind student of Trungpa for 30 years, I was curious why you referred to him as an alcoholic. You could have said drunk, heavy drinker, or something else that would have made the point without evoking disease, lack of control, or whatever else the term alcoholic conjures up in readers. In my view, Rinpoche was without disease or lack of any kind. It is the conventional world that is addicted to desire and that lacks control. Rinpoche was beyond our concepts of such things. Including our concepts of enlightenment. Thank you for letting me speak my personal prejudice. A couple of biographies of Rinpoche are in the works. I hope they are half as good as your work on Roshi. In the Dharma, Jim Lowrey

[Hi. Thanks for the message and the comments on Suzuki-roshi and Trungpa-rinpoche. Hmm. I didn't really think about the nuances about alcoholic and drunk or heavy drinker. The book was copyedited by a Trungpa student and others went over that part. But if you'd have seen it and said something to me it might read a little differently now. Actually, what I first said is that he was a profound and beloved teacher to many (or whatever I said there) who also happened to be an "alcoholic, chain-smoking, sex fiend." I just left that in till one of the aforementioned readers suggested other wording. I knew it wouldn't last. It just made me laugh. He wouldn't have minded--I drank with him on a few occasions and he always had a terrific sense of humor. I like to put wording in the text that I think no one will want me to keep just to see what the reaction of the pre-publication readers is. Maybe I can get the heavy drinker in instead of alcoholic in the next edition if they'll let me. Anyway, I'll post your letter and my answer under Readers' Comments--as soon as I get back to California and have time to go through everything. Take care.--DC]

Back to July Reader's Comments

Home | What Was New | Contest | Digressions | Links | Jacket Notes | Book Reviews | Reader's Comments
Author's Notes | Bibliography | Author Events | About the Author | Errata
Interviews | Suzuki Stories | Photos |  Suzuki Lectures  | Archives Project | Sangha News | Contact Me  

This site designed by
The Empty Wig

Original site designed by Sheryl B.