Dainin Katagiri

Dainin Katagiri in the Wind Bells

from Bob Shuman's spring 1970 Tassajara photos

R to L - Dainin Katagiri, ?, Sotan Tatsugami, Fran Keller, Shunryu Suzuki, Niels Holm?, Daigo Moriyama in the front hall of the SFZC City Center. 1970 or 71. Some ceremony.

Dainin Katagiri arrived in the US on October 3, 1963, assisted at Zenshuji in LA which he did not like, went to SF State some, and started helping Suzuki at the ZC in early 1964, maybe April.

Thank You and OK! focuses a great deal on Katagiri and his name appears in Crooked Cucumber over 100 times.

The Katagiri Project - Minnesota Zen Meditation Center

Ceaseless Effort, the Life of Dainin Katagiri - by Andrea Martin, a PDF.

Sweeping Zen on Katagiri

Katagiri Lineage Chart

11-13-15 - Post on cuke blog about Katagiri.

Wikipedia on Katagiri - some errors.

Natalie Goldberg on Katagiri from Writing Down the Bones

Interview with Tomoe Katagiri

Dainin Katagiri in Shunryu Suzuki lectures

Dainin Katagiri to Chris Pirsig for his birthday, 1976 and a 1978 postcard

Wendy Pirsig's account of 1979 sesshin with Katagiri she and husband Bob attended

Robert Pirsig's pamphlet on Zen in Minnesota including a piece by Pirsig on Katagiri

Eric Storlie sent this piece and wrote:

this is a fine example of the huge optimism we all had that we were going to change minnesota (if not the world) by bringing zen here.  notice how bob crafts his message to allay fears that the zennies will be another nutcase hippie group.  rather, we will bring wayward young people into line.

while in negotiations for the country land, bob, nancy, i, and others went down to eitzen and had a meeting in a church or city hall where we had to assure concerned locals that we would not be proselytizing, corrupting the children, and disturbing the peace. notice the strict schedule katagiri created from the get-go:  two zazens each morning, two each evening--all of which he attended.  and we felt guilty if we didn't!

Video with Katagiri from ZMC film (3 places in context or one video with just his parts) on cuke video and easier to watch on Youtube.

Robert Quagliata's stained glass of Katagiri's hands in gassho on swining door between kitchen and dining room at the SFZC City Center.

Shunryu Suzuki hands are the ones on the left

Dainin Katagiri in Tony Artino notes of Shunryu Suzuki lectures from 1966-7

Katagiri Roshi: As long as there is something to be seen, you cannot get rid of the self which sees if there is an intentional thought which directs and motivates where you look. When you turn head and look completely free from any thought motivation, then you look free of self.

I exist now because you exist now.


"As long as we remain in idealism– ideas– or dualism, we cannot experience, we cannot learn."

"The truth was not created by Buddha. It existed previous to and after his life...But we usually are not aware of it, so we need the Buddha’s teaching of it. If a person puts 20 cents in a scenic-view telescope, the range of the vision remains the same. The rational mind has limits that rationality cannot override."

"When we act, we can see what we do."

"It may be that he– a law-breaker– must be kept in jail for the safety of others in society. But since he is Buddha, he should be treated with consideration. ‘Guilty’ is not a good word, karma is better."


Katagiri: Walk step by step with your eyes on your feet, and not on some distant goal.


Say SomethingBooks by Dainin Katagiri