Chadwick Letter Requesting support for Crooked Cucumber Archives 2012 Fund Drive

Crooked Cucumber Archives
on the life and teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
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Support Statements

2012 Appeal for the Crooked Cucumber Archives from David Chadwick 

From the PZI Appeal for Funds

[This appeal raised about $2000 a month for that year, enough to keep us going]

On a summer day in 1966, at the age of 21, I decided to check out one last meditation group before heading to India to seek a guru. I rang the bell of San Francisco Zen Centerís temple on Bush Street and soon forgot my plans for India. I marvel now at how fortunate I was to have walked through that doorway, met Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and all the inspiring fellow students, friends, and teachers in the times that followed.

Two decades after Suzuki's death, I started to collect and organize the stories and lectures from which was born Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki. Twenty years since then, this effort continues - adding to and working with the archive of his life and teaching, collecting the memories of those who knew him and of that unique and amazing time.

Now at the beginning of my 67th year, I begin to wrap up my contribution to preserving the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki. My intention is to create a more complete, better organized, more easily accessed and shared presentation of the Crooked Cucumber Archives over the next 3 years.

I will:

* Find and make available in the digital and tangible archives significantly more material on Suzuki Roshi and company. This will be accomplished by working through the sizable backlog, seeking out buried lecture tapes and transcripts, extracting his words with new technology from noisy and garbled tapes, conducting more interviews with those whose lives intersected with his - as much as I can before our memories and lives have vanished.

* Overhaul the web presentation now on and, including links to complementary resources such as those on the SFZC and Berkeley ZC sites ófor a more useful presentation of and access to interviews, teaching stories, lectures, comments and commentary, photos, audio, and video.

* Create a companion volume to Crooked Cucumber and another book of vignettes to follow Zen Is Right Here.

*Continue to stay in touch with those of Suzukiís sangha, especially the isolated and lonely.

In order to accomplish all this, I ask for your help. I need money for work space, tools to work with, technical and clerical assistance, website development, storage, transportation, and basic needs. 

According to Michael Katz, who first came to Zen Center to work with the Suzuki lecture tapes, my Achilles Heel is not asking for what I need, so I will do so now.

Please click here to help provide the financial support. If you're on my mailing list, most likely youíre someone who has been touched by Suzuki Roshi and his students. The goal is to raise $4,000 a month for 3 years, 2500 for basic expenses and 1500 for other project expenses. It would be wonderful if the total expense of $144,000 is raised right away, but any one-time or recurring tax- deductible donations you make now will keep the work moving through a fund administered by John Tarrant and Michael Katz. Please be a part of this project.

For more on the people involved, tasks and goals, schedule of work, progress reports, supporters and statements of support, budget, and status of fundraising, go to

Thanks and a deep bow,

David Chadwick

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