Peter Levitt

Podcast with Peter 🔊

Peter wrote: Funny - I realized afterwards that I forgot to talk about how the sangha was formed as a reaction to 9/11 and so I gave the wrong date ie 2000 for our start rather than Oct 2001. Age and memory, the occasional dance partners.

September 2022- See Peter's letter on his new book, Yin Mountain: The Immortal Poetry of Three Daoist Women

Peter Levitt is a Zen teacher in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage who has published many books of poetry. He's worked with Kazuaki Tanahashi on translations of Dogen and more for years and with others on other translations. His website is and his Zen group is Salt Spring Zen Circle -

Books on Amazon

Peter Levitt sent us a copy of a Tozan poem Suzuki wrote out in kanji, translated, and gave to his disciple, Bill Kwong. Bill gave Peter, his long-time student, a copy.

Peter comes up in a 2010 cuke post

From Comments

4-02-11 - Peter Levitt writes: On Sunday I based my talk on some notes from a talk Suzuki Roshi gave on Sept 14, 1969. In this talk he says, "Yesterday [visitor] Yasunari Kobata was speaking about something about Japanese literature.' I am assuming he means Yasunari Kawabata, the great novelist who is the only Japanese novelist to receive the nobel prize in literature. Kawabata is my favourite Japanese author, and I think same for Kaz [Tanahashi], so I am very interested in this reference. Do you have any information (or memory) of the visit to which he refers? Are there any records indicating that Kawabata came to see SR, or that he gave a talk around mid september 1969. If so, I would love to know about it.

DC says: I don't know anything about this. Do you? If so please write me at < Thanks.

4-03-11 - Peter Levitt writes in response to his own question of yesterday:

Dear David and Kaz

I hope you both are well. I did a bit of research and found reference to a meeting on the same day Suzuki-roshi gave that talk in SF that indicates that Kawabata was in Japan that day, which probably means he was not visiting SR the day before in San Francisco. I'll check more on this, but it seems pretty tight as evidence. Oh, well.

What seems most likely is that somehow Suzuki-roshi heard or read Kawabata's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which had quite a bit about Japanese culture in it (I read it yesterday) and his discussion of the arc of Japanese literature/culture took off from there.

So, maybe "case solved" on this one. If not, I'll let you know.

all the best


September 2022 email from Peter about his latest book.

I am very happy to announce that after three years of diligent and truly joyous work, my new book, Yin Mountain: The Immortal Poetry of Three Daoist Women, translated from the Chinese of the Tang Dynasty more than 1200 years ago, is now available for preorder at a 30% discount from Shambhala Publications. That brings the price down to about $14 in the US and $17.50 in Canada. Not bad for what's been called ground breaking new work.

I have to admit, it's so wonderful to have such a great publisher who is going all out to make this book available to readers. Please take a look at the beautiful attached cover and the endorsements to see what the book is about.

Now, back to the discount: In order to receive the discount, please go to and use this code as written: YIN30 Just put it in the order form under Discount Code.

"This code is valid only on through January 13, 2023. Enter code in shopping cart. It cannot be combined with other offers."

I thank you for taking a look and possibly picking up a copy for yourself or a friend, or for sending this email to a friend, who may find the book to their liking. My co-translator Rebecca Nie and I loved creating this book, and we thank you for your consideration.

very best wishes to all


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