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Readers' Comments
8/10/99--a message from reader, Joan Tollifson: 

Dear david, i just finished cc, and found it deeply moving and so alive and rich. i will probably read it again. i laughed and cried many times. it's beautifully written. you bring suzuki roshi to life, and the book transmits his teaching in a touching and intimate way. it also captures a particular moment in history, and more than that, it captures a particularly amazing evolutionary process: how suzuki roshi was moved to bring zen to america, and how that transformed america, and how he slowly but surely allowed america to transform zen. this process of two very different worlds interpenetrating and transforming (together) into something new, which your book so beautifully documents, is something bigger than zen or america or japan. 

of course i found cc especially moving since i know many of the people in the book, and this is a story of their lives before i knew them, since i entered the world of zen center after suzuki roshi had died. i sat at sfzc in the early 80's, then moved over to berkeley, and became a student of mel's, and even (very briefly) a resident at bzc. i moved on from there to joko beck and then toni packer. i wrote a book (bare-bones meditation: waking up from the story of my life) which has some of my zen experiences in it, and allot of my springwater life (i lived there on staff for 5 years). currently i'm back in oakland, and recently i've been sitting occasionally at bzc and enjoying it very much. 

one interesting moment in your book, was the point at which you suddenly appear in the story. it's written in the 3rd person, and then suddenly in the middle, the author shows up! in the old days, that would never have been allowed! but i guess in the postmodern age, they can't stop you from popping in like that. i liked it. it was a sudden shock, like this had been an objective account up until then, and suddenly we're reminded that (like every objective account) it's actually subjective. so, i enjoyed the way you appeared. and disappeared. i haven't read your first book, but am now inspired to do so. maybe some day our paths will cross. i hope so. anyway, thank you for this most excellent book. wishing you all the best, joan tollifson

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