Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


No markings at all on cassette - no side A or B markings.

Auto-Generated Transcript

studying it's all in the launch my head i'll come up with sand stories and i know i read but god knows where you know i mean i just it's on i checked in my book i use that the story that i believe is that about a acute attention attention attention
i couldn't find the site i mean i have three books on eq and i just how would i find them have to read it read to him page to find a story and i was so sure in my mind that it was it was an illusionist stricker book called zen prayers constantly infractions which is a negro i just can't picture in that book just like anything was just there you know and knew exactly where question it's not
so it's all mixed up in my head
they blue clip that like
tell me what we're doing
where we
a different chapter something of this book consists of kiyoshi guyana conferences it's actually gonna be unpublished book or just gonna come abound
suddenly the monograph it if i hope this you get it again and a half of a publishing company interested in publishing and the chances are relatively good thing we can do that yeah specially chicken circular sir
there's wanna focus on mixed now and next year it's working said the guy who's
and if we also how they can use over there are kind of photographs it said center has and he can of nice to have those published or so people can see him by show on it shows include you as part of it and it was staged ask your questions and i had seem to be pertinent about suzuki roshi in your experience with him
am i your understanding of him
neither must have any clear
i don't think any clear sense of paths interviews you know any agenda which is supposed to be talking about particular language and gonna just take off from and also do a way it's published it into any questions can be edited out with only have will have to decide later on when can just be like over running my monologue in the by you climb which you will get kind of like the other ones that i already saw she said okay
course can of that in time cover the frying and know and so as we go along here if if you feel like you re to go off at some point is important for you you can you hear you can just make it into a model of case it seems like it's going to roti or something a micro program
like interrupt you but
prime that's why
so are we recording them
okay so if i'm going to be the one who kind of starts with the question perhaps how a good place to start is so i you remember your first encounter suzuki roshi and represent about suzuki roshi that caught your attention well yeah i haven't very vivid recollection of van because it was at berkeley sandow and sixty
seven i've been going there for a while this is now weitzman he was in his house at the time a very small living room and a typical attendants would be eight or ten mamie six or seven people
and i really didn't know
the suzuki roshi was a part of the a seen i mean i just i went to this place there was an ad the paper you know zaentz i went and it was now and ah
now is neat and so i was there and i was already sitting when i heard somebody come in and ah
i heard the rustle of robes were no rubs you know what melding wear robes he wasn't a month and and i didn't know it until the end of the period that it was suzuki roshi what i did hear he was very close to me maybe as close as i am to build five or six fee but behind me and and i could i could kind of here ya
during zazen his breathing
just very subtle and of sound how he breathed in and just had a sense of him so my first sense of him was not through site but through sound and through a kind of feeling and then he gave a very brief talk and
you know that was my first encounter with his presence as a person
you know that is his physical presence was very striking
i think everybody who knew him a sense that one way or the other
if i had to be technical about it i would say that you know you could there was a samadhi quality to his physical presence you felt a kind of field of com around him wish i'd thought with very few other people i felt it with a few other in buddhist teachers and i've met that it was not something that it a lot of
people have told it about says oh man you're just projecting sister imagine a is not my imagination you too many other people who knew suzuki roshi when i bring it up they say oh yeah of course you know that's one of the main reasons i i wanted to study with him as just in his presence is pretty physical presence so you know it's something like i don't think of this
stuff is mysterious you i'm too familiar with it i mean that's i think that's what people talk about when they talk about a halo around or i think that somebody who's very developed in their meditation and in their spiritual right there is a kind of there is a kind of a palpable field that you can feel you know and i just felt it you know
and ah to me it was just an ordinary part of who he was so that was my first encounter with him and i was seen a very impressed but yeah i didn't come to xin to study with suki roshi i came to send to studies in and he just happened to be in the picture
so i wasn't coming because i'd heard about this do you know in san francisco like some people just kind of was failing to the scene and kind of heard about tassajara which was just getting started at that time
and that's how and so when i started coming over here for sessions and things are
and ah
what were pointed day there did you feel like to zero issues can be your teacher when you take you took on as your teachers and very definitive way what are some particular event that triggered that there was a particular event which is part of my
a little dime a law myself
i had left i was a draft resister at that time and we all expected to go to prison
you know draft resister means you turn back your draft card you publicly writ you know defy the legal system in that time and i left seminary i had a safety from and to kind of stick my head and them on that was my conscientious act of that time to publicly renounce my protection
nds and be ready to go to jail so but nobody was going to jail right away and so we thought well we'll wait until they get around we took me found out you only very recently with freedom of information that the justice department lawyers were secretly many of them quite sympathetic and they just arranged for these prosecutions not to go forward and that was a
that was their contribution to the anti war effort that was particularly true in this area we didn't know that so i am with some other people we bought a our our farm up in oregon seven organ like a lot of people in the sixties were doing and we went up there and lived out in the woods you know in the sky
am and i kept up my sitting i was sitting in a hayloft every day for outturn grants north of grant's pass it's actually a little town called wolf creek live in a video camera there yeah well there are several very some that still exist that was like commun essential at that time there was even life magazine articles about communes up there
and so is the middle of the winter and i was stuffing and i had kept them i used my practice and i would sit three or four hours a day and kept my head shade i really took on the identity of a monkey know that was my fantasy that's how people saw me i didn't do any drugs you know and i was i was the buddhist guy
he didn't even let me into some of the communists because my hair was short and they thought it was a narc
anyway i was i was stuffing paper into the stove in the middle of the winner it was dark and it was you know thousand miles away from here and the paper fell open
to a page that and suzuki roshi his picture on it it was a portland paper that had an article about tassajara you know at a time and i remember growing up the paper and st kind you know
no matter how five go i can't get away from you i and so that that was this a decisive moment where i felt that he was my teacher i realized i saw his picture in realize that in a sense he had he was he was with me you know when i came back at that point and took up residence here in this building
and no actually no i came know to berkeley back to berkeley but i sort of sign up to go to toss a higher than my life sixty eight by now sixty eight and i did go to tassajara in the in the fall of sixty eight
it's kind of an amusing story means is one of those things that happen you know then on and you talk to me before about how i came within like mentor bust attitude you and your current the big soetoro your cash oh yeah well you know that was i have a theory that i've developed over many years that aren't they
one of the major ah
ah causal factors
along with with psychedelics that got people interested in eastern spirituality where all the series of books which primarily where d t suzuki spokes now and wants his books which are really marketed enlightenment as something quite special and unusual and really describe
in a way that's quite an economical i mean it's not describe that way in any buddhist literature
certainly there are scenes stories galore about people's breakthrough experiences and that became the in a sense of the the raw material for a d t suzuki his schtick
but any case you know i was like a lot of people i mean i read all that stuff i gobbled it up and it seemed to me at the time that i guess my attitude was well it has to be about something that there's too much anecdotal layering of you know anecdotal material that if these people cannot be
currently that's what i that's what i want to do and that's my whole thing so yeah i was basically a very gung ho
enlightenment on like a lot of people were i mean that was that that was the that was the thing that you know i mean people were people were around were into dramatic rapid transformational change and there was a tremendous amount of psychedelics in the background
of all of that in fact we had a boat one time down at tassajara about figuring out how many ships people at hand and it was amazing i mean we said five ten fifteen twenty twenty five fifty seventy five people were still raising their hands you know and some of the current leadership of some of the big buddhist centres i'm not going to any more specific than
that were in to throw triple digits
you know so we clearly that was the that was the amelia the tiny there was a big
featuring one of the tricycle issues about all of this and a lot of the big buddhist leaders you know jack kornfield lol you know owned up and fessed up to him important that was that was never a part of my experience the only time i ever tried drugs of any kind really was just search check it out three or four times and that was pretty much yet
i i already came with a lot of experiential validation i don't been doing a lot of meditation on my own going out in the forest and thanks so i didn't really i didn't really have some big psychedelic breakthrough that brought me here i was already i was already totally hooked you know so then so you came with this enlightenment attitude that was fun
the popular use culture of times and then you tell me what a story of asking us to secure a shame that
where was the unlikely to what you would you get enlightened if you followed i just said i'm here to be enlightened
and he said he seemed a little bored he said okay well he said if your practices good enlightenment will come
but even if it doesn't it's almost the same
now that was my essentially my co on that was my that was i worked on that for a long long time that's a very densely packed answer explicate first so first of all
first of all he didn't i mean he was very accommodating to my aspiration that was perfectly fine with him and his first statement was if your practice is good enlightenment will come k that is clear so he was not saying you know of enlightenment is an important or there is no such thing as enlightenment are we in soto don't strive for my none of this
sort of stereotypes they kind of go with what people say about send my beginner's mind and all that he just said if your practice practices good enlightenment will come
so that's the first half of the statement is a confirmation that that's a perfectly readable aspiration and it's reasonable to assume that that will happen he said but even if it doesn't if your practice is good at something he added that if your practices sincere or something it's almost the same so then there's this word almost
in their say it's almost the same there's not a denial of the experience but there's also an equivalent understanding that
the sincerity of your practice already his enlightenment in a certain sense in a certain sense it's almost the same but not quite the same and i think the unspoken a third part of that is so don't worry about it one way or the other just an important thing is to stay is to just practice sincerely he didn't say you will attain a
enlighten me he said enlightenment will come as though it's sort of a natural and rather
unremarkable artifact of sincere practice but not something to get particularly excited about it's just you know of course if you practice transformations of various kind will occur otherwise why do it but you know his he was tremendously it was almost as though when he kept talking about this point
that he was really speaking not just to ask because how many of us really had enlightenment experiences bit more to the entire tradition of buddhism and sodo and ruins and and basically was fundamental principle of his that no gain idea was just so central to the way that he taught it was almost as though he was preaching
to the entire entirety of of this and tradition and in particular the modern send in japan you know and really trying to emphasize that a tremendous importance of
a commitment to practice that was not conditional on anything
now that was and i've been studying his lectures a lot since then and realizing it wasn't like you talk about that occasionally it was like almost every lecture that was the point one way or the other you know now whether that was a spoon fed to us as americans or whether that was he would have said that to anybody i have a feeling that he would have said that anybody but anyway that was his first big teaching
for me and you know i have that really helped helped
get me off a kind of attainment track
i was on
and you know subsequent to that i didn't have many transforming experiences but i think he's attitude really helped me to integrate those pretty easily and and not get a big head about them
and so the distinction between what's the distinction between the expression
gain and no gaining idea
well that's the critical difference i mean there is game in in practice
but if you notice it and you've got a big problem i mean you know it's like humility is not something you can aspire to it's just a contradiction it's a paradox put an humble person is one who really has no idea at all of their accomplishments other people do but they don't you know but by definition a humble person has accomplishments otherwise there's no nothing to be humble about
are you know so definitely there is a kind of
progress in a sort of conventional sense but the minute you start to track it and it then it disappears in front of you and turns into a hindrance in a minute that he tried to attain attainment of reach for it and loss of vanishes yeah no gaining idea usually they can know getting ideas and as relating to
gold right well this smoking and idea package i wouldn't be surprised if there's some technical soto turn may be coil would now that he's trying to translate mean not very often these things he came up with an english were you know things out of the tradition that heat heat lying he was trying to find a colloquial way that would that would work
and that's i think one of his ah
real suzuki roshi isms is no gaining idea it's it's a it's it's a very subtle point because the critique of traditional soto that she would find for example in three pillars of zan are akin motions lineage really translates that back to no gain you know it's kind of a dead practice where nothing happens
and are the ones where things happen you know and there's a big sense of gain and dry for attainment in that former practice yosuke she never really criticize that kind of practice or rot i mean he he felt it was okay i guess he felt that you know whatever gets you going to whatever you do you have problems you know so he was not
terribly critical
thank you know particularly in the very early days before i came he talked a lot about the blue cliff record lectured on them lot of these lectures were not recorded notes were taken by various people baker grocery and others you know
but his lectures were very short of traditionally zan and i think he simplified it down as more people started to common except that look at records associated with rinzai minus one saying exactly what where'd he get the idea to lecture and urban design
beats me but he did you know i don't really maybe david can tell you better than i can wear those influences came from the book lift record is associated with your inside but so that the sodo people certainly study it i mean absolutely you know it's there's probably duggan's probably brings up some of those stories and seeing some of the stories are in both collections
many who simply because it was in the minority in published in english that's possible that's supposed translation but he was using it to early transition keep in mind suzuki roshi is three favorite chinese zen masters were joe shoe
i'm going to use the japanese terms now joe shoe basso and a son goes are the big three and there's a lot of collins about them and in the hexagon roku so he just love talking about the particularly his son
this song was the great chance of the great cook and he loved talking about yes i youngest son's lineage never went anywhere at one generation and it was gone he was very very subtle and i think that his son and joshi both were teachers that i think suzuki roshi could relate to because they were very direct very subtle and didn't have
a strong flavor the wei lin g or rinzai himself an executor she identified with that and also that they're teaching was very pure
so there's a lot of lectures where he brings those people up and it was clear that he had tremendous admiration for either you know
but you know the soto type collections like the book of serenity and forget what it's called and japanese but you know tends to to have people more and it's how to lineage particularly and you know zika issue that sotto sotto suzuki roshi really like to talk about zen before it split first five generations
now that's the part that he will make us he's even says and in zen mind beginner's mind it is then went along got more and more impure and i think that car expect when he means impure he means that gain and gaining idea and you know that's part of a how i got in pure you know and so i think that he felt that the the early patriarchs were the ones that he could most relate to
the teach
he loved the story about a non gakuin the tile polishing the tile he wrote that story
he loved her
i'm trying to remember now some of the other stories you know but i can't we don't come to mind ready to mama

what was the miss raised the question was misunderstood bride students at that time
well that's an interesting question
i would probably a little presumptuous to try to speak for other people although i suppose i could speculate
maybe i just radiate out from my own misunderstandings and and and imagine that those were commonly held by other people
i think there was a tremendous there was a lot of projection and tremendous inflation out suzuki roshi as ah
like us like a a buddha are extremely unusual person people imagined that he had all sorts of powers that i don't think he has the ability to read their mind and when he was very intuitive and it's extraordinary how he would how attentively he would track a person's development and somehow
arrange to be there and say something there's a lot of stories like that that been in the window already or and david has so that i've heard about
where the one i love this is my dixon story which was published in an early window where he was
sweeping one day in the old page street building and saturday work period and
he started out the story by saying that he never felt that he was a very generous person mike of himself in a new person was there and didn't quite know what to do and mike handed him his broom and then he turned around and suzuki roshi somehow is there and suzuki roshi had a broom and handed mike his grow you know and it was a trump
honestly that that's very typical of the way that he was that that's what made you think that he was you know kind of superman but she wasn't he just watched people very closely much more than you might think and he cared about the students deeply i mean he would do anything he would die for students and brown story about the rock you know which is in
his book his latest book
about how zuko she'd made them take the name rock that they had in front of the office stick taken in front of eds
a room so that had would have something to stand on
that was just typical i mean it was it was those things really just knocked you over because they were so tremendously direct and sincere and and to the point of who you were in an interesting you say that in hearing that
i'm thinking about all the different
characteristics this is people have attributed to new she is com that you talked about and mean different things the one thing i've never heard anyone mention them about him his compassion
though the what you're talking about this attentiveness this to students lends itself to the whose compassionate but it brings to mind now that i've never heard anyone use that word delicious security well part of it is that suzuki roshi his compassion was real i mean his compassion a is it was not like being nice
i mean sometimes he was not nice i mean i'll give you a story that i don't know if anybody's written down but it was a story about somebody i was quite close to ah incense and and this is begins to get back to your question about the misunderstanding people had this was at tassajara and during after a lecture and one of this people there who was about to be ordained with me and up have not been dane
started to cry and said
suzuki roshi the score vows you know saving all beings i just i just i can't just can't do it i just can't do it it's just too much you know and he was really upset
and suzuki roshi said i will not be your friend
you know eh
i have to sort of reproduce the idea but you know it to him that was compassion that was compassionate action because he he was saying you know i'm not going to make you make it feel better for you i'm not going to sugar the cookie and make that problem easier for you that's what you're here for so i won't be your buddy and and sort of be
yeah nice you're about to be ordained year is gonna be a zen monk and yeah cry go ahead cry some more keep crying you know you think that i haven't had to go through that kind of thing you know i think that would secure as she was saying hey you're getting real this is good i won't be your friend cry some more you know
he wasn't happy about it he wanted comfort he wanted to eat good or dates well yeah he ended up not going through with it and you know and maybe that was the right decision maybe not but and that was an example of suzuki roshi is
compassion was very real in the sense that he's only real interests and i think he was kind of a very single minded if not fanatical person as you know he had a mission to bring what he conceived to be authentic dharma to their up to the west
and it's clear now when you look at the span of his whole life that that was really his destiny something that he really hadn't this mind for decades and so i think that
maybe the reason why people didn't talk about his compassion is because he wasn't
it gets back to that presence thing you know when you were with him
there was a tremendous sense of feeling complete or okay people felt
a very
so wouldn't say that people felt loved i mean that that's a kind of
he didn't feel that from him and you felt something different something which really is very much like the actual sense of buddhist compassion which is ultimately compassion is some kind of very clear minded sense of being there know that's compassion from a buddhist point of view not you know putting your arm around somebody in and
an insane it's okay that you can do that but ultimately you know if my buddhist point of view ultimately there comes a time when there's nothing you can do persons dine and what what can you do how can you be compassionate way if you're totally willing to be in that situation than that's compassion for a buddhist point of view and that was the way he was
so it may be that people don't think of the word compassion when they think about that but if you ask them how did they feel
ah around them i mean i've never heard anybody say that suzuki roshi was rude to them and was impatient with them or was
ah irrational or unreasonable although i think he could be all of those things at various times you know he certainly had his deep lionesses in somewhat somewhat some ways to blindness is no weak spots
good example
well to be diplomatic i think that his judgements about some of his disciples and their capabilities were not accurate

but he was also sick and know we didn't have much time so he was maybe not thinking so clearly you take it he projected onto the americans
maybe a similar way we talked with project students projections onto him you think there was an economic
well i think he had probably had hopes
that we probably couldn't fulfill i think he was it may be on little unrealistic about what we're capable of and also i think that he has many japanese people were could be fooled by sincerity
so for example
there was one time in in a personal interview where
i he was trying to figure out where i was at in so he said well so your been here for a while and
so what do you want to do you want to be you know musician or pre staring and kind of through that in there he was trying to figure out and i said so i was telling my gung-ho period that time and i sort of pounded the man like decisive i'm here you know i'm going to be here and when the session was over i go
up to do my bows he got up to and he did bowsed it's go back to me ride it for best and that was that was a big moment for him you to see that to see that level of sincerity from a japanese standpoint that's like a big thing you know a lot bigger for him than it was for me i mean you know i think it was disappointing for him as a lot of people who did stuff like that than you know
petered out after about six months and that happened over and over again and i think that in that sense the cultural norms that he was looking for i mean he took out a lot more seriously and lot of us did you want i'm saying and so i think in that sense there was a mismatch in his expectations and i think a lot of he had a lot of disappointments in in people that he
he put a lot of
i don't think a lot of us realized how really incredibly deadly serious he was about all this stuff you know and ah you know he was patient and kind and all that but it's some deeper level that he disguised most to the time this is like life and death for him you know to make something happen here and to be able to to establish you know
real dharma in the west and he was he given up everything for all of us and in particular those few of us who he felt he could count on you know and so in that sense he i think he i think he projected things on to us they were unrealistic just as we projected things onto him abraham realistic and i think that he he he looked you up
when he was it can write a different ways that is brett and quito builder about the how we trained you
you're a student affairs than you were a day how our worker training couldn't give you won't keep in mind i was not somebody who had spent a great deal of time with him i came fairly late i was in a sense the most junior of all the people that he personally ordained because the ordination ceremony happened shortly before his death so day
david and ed brown and david chadwick and myself and angie runyon where the last four to be ordained
most of my direct contact with him would have been either in personal interview or just being around and one of the ways he worked with me which i've heard other people talk about to was to ignore me or two in one way or another deflect my
a hero worship of him
and he would he did a show people to i've heard stories that a lot more tough than mine i mean it
digg baker said that he wouldn't talk to him for like a month and phil wilson said that he would look at you know so this is a feeling he this is a fairly common training technique to kind of cut through the bullshit side of the student being in awe of the teacher and kind of testing to see you know how are you are you just after some pretty picture of a teacher or you really are
after the diamond can i think so
they were various ways in which he would sense that i was kind of honing in on and you know and then he would arrange to walk away not be there and stuff like that so a lot of what he was working with me i was just i was you know super intense but in some ways looking back on it now it was very mature kind of and tenseness it was
exactly real and he was fine with that and mean that's a natural stage of a practice and i was quite young and he i think he recognized it and at the same time and he was his idea to ordain me i didn't i didn't i do not ask to be ordained it wasn't mit he walked over to me one day and he said if you want to be ordain we're going to do one pretty soon you know so
so it was his idea i think he was correcting he was collecting from among us they ask you the people that was around him he was collecting successors were potential successors that was his that was his game i mean you know and i again i i just i'm not sure at the time how deadly serious me how we realized how deadly serious
he was put at how that the high stakes were for him he was gave up his entire japanese life and his big temple and his position and everything to hang out with all these raggedy people you know and mean to us he was just need you know that he was here and
do anything that i think misunderstandings that i think a lot of us had his i thought that people like suzuki roshi were relatively common because if you read sandbox it would seem as though they're wanting all over the place to be on many many years after he died to realize that diversity people in the world in any generation that are like
can you know and that maybe i need a lot of people say that about their teacher so that's just me saying about my teacher i'm not objective but that's my opinion you know i didn't meet a whole lot of japanese priests from either inside or so target that were like him and so over time i began to feel a sense of
remorse that i didn't take my opportunity bit more seriously at the time you know because to me was just all yeah that was like my reaction when i first met him in berkeley oh yes a and master it looks looks just like the stories you know scrape i wonder how many hundreds of others there are floating around you know so it didn't we didn't have a sense of
the seriousness of it for him
or the uniqueness of the opportunity so there was a kind of misunderstanding there was a kind of you know i'm taking it for granted kind of thing at the time
i sure wish she'd lived longer so that i had i mean i probably had a zillion things that i would have wanted to ask him since he died but it's too late
might have to stop and think of all the a zillion you know which would be first on the list
i think for me personally i probably would have asked him why he didn't give me more instruction when he was dying about what he wanted me to do when she didn't do he left me totally at sea and something that i had a great deal of anger with him about for a certain pay
of time i went to see him when he was dying and i was hoping i could get some specific sense of direction and he just maybe was too sick or what everybody just sarah didn't say anything of course i didn't ask him directly i didn't have the sense to say hey of count you're dying i just got her again i have no idea what's going on i'm totally
confused and grief stricken and all of that what have you got to tell me what am i supposed to do i didn't have the maturity or the focus to say that if i'd asked him i'm sure he would send something you know so eventually i realized you know why am i angry him yeah
for me i was dying and i didn't have the sense to ask him what was on my mind so you didn't tell me but you know that's one of the first things i i would have asked him is what what did you what what did you really expect me to do what was your idea you know i had a real sense for many years afterwards that he knew he was dying
and wanted to trap as many of us as he could under robes so they'd we'd sort of be stuck and so we have the bit me a sense it you know that was an example of yeah he wasn't all that friendly yeah i mean he really didn't care how it was for us or our family or anything he wanted he wanted to get some get some folks safely inside the robes so they would
they would i think he felt that anybody who stay with it long enough would get it but the thing about dharma is it's all around you and if you end the main thing you do with student students just keep them going wherever they bring to you whatever problem you know there's always really want to answer which is okay good keep going keep going keep guy so i think he felt dead
no at the end i'll just get as many people ordained is possible that will increase the chances that they'll stay and something will turn up they'll find in every teacher or whatever but i gotta i gotta get as many of these people going as possible that's the best that i can do and
so that's one of the things i would definitely ask is why didn't she didn't you say anything and why didn't you get me some dying instructions get me some kind because i was terribly confused and didn't have any sense of you know for a lot of time i ran on empty thinking a lot of the things that i was doing it when i was imagining that was what he wanted me to do
you know i will suzuki roshi would have wanted me to do this he wanted me to do that you know to be a long time to realize that what he really wanted me to do was to think from my own damn self you now stop imagining what he would have and then i did and then things got a lot better you know so but you know i'd love to talk to him about just all sorts of things about
diamond in the west how do you make that translation i mean how do you does it really necessary to be a priest what out what kind of sense does that make how to you create priests i mean i just you know everything that i've ever thought of and written about
in the last two twenty five years i would have loved to have checked out with him you know the book that i just wrote
you know i'd love to know what he thought about it so you know there's a real sense of regret that you don't have a chance to go back home
importance actually for you these days
how to work what places he holding your life these days
well i think he's still pretty central i'd still i still basically use him as a kind of sounding board for myself and his example i imagine i imagine myself having dialogues with my dream about him it's not infrequent for me to have a teaching dreams where he will come and
do something or say something
and that continues to happen somewhat less frequently than before so clearly you know from a psychological sense he's very deeply embedded in my psyche because i dream about him you know on these are not just casual dreams these are dreams that in which he is basically interacting with some issue that i'm working with and he comes in a dream and
it isn't like he says okay with this is how it's gonna be it's a lot of times he just comes it looks at me and from that expression i get a sense of whether he approves or what i'm doing or not
i it's hard to explain i mean there's very definitely a sense of of of an urban ongoing relationships i was very deeply
connected to him you know i'd say it's probably the most important relationship in my rife but i think i also have a much more realistic sense you know
who he really is and is strong and weak points and and he's a human being and had a lot of weak the weak points in i really get a sense that he was not this nice friendly man exactly that was kind of his cover story you know underneath that he was very tough fearless kind of fanatical willing to be rather
or inconsiderate of people's personal issues to accomplish the one thing that he came here to do which was to somehow established dharma and his diamond
and so you know i think that are a lot of areas where i think that if he were here today he and i would would would roundly disagree
he would probably be very very upset that i left and center and and i took off my robes that i didn't continue to be a priest because that's the model that he knows
move things forward and i'm not doing that but i would just ride stick to my guns and say yeah that's what you think but i am who i am and i'm doing it my way you know and we could argue about it for everybody now i feel very solid about them but the fact that i i think of what i'm doing in relationship to his idea and the fact i disagree with it shows you that
i'm still i'm still actively kind of you know
putting off where he is to fight for you our i mean he's still a reference point even though you know i i think that i'm in i'm i probably be a big disappointment to him in some way i'm not sure maybe not in time for me to know
it's hard to have somebody of that stature influence you when you're in your early twenties you know because he die when i was would she or twenty five yeah
so i'm fifty one now you know that's a long time back in once you know maturity and development
your less these are your last comments on
well the question to mind as a lot of people
how are we doing bill you want to make a change
that three minutes okay well as change a bunch of change it now and it's not like what's not was listening
i'm an old teacher now and i have an agenda to accomplish year and you know you've either got to come with me and a certain point by in to the reality that this is a tough thing this is not like comfortable or else don't do it
and secure as she lost him over that
and you know that's just the way it went
for another were to ask this really wanted to comment or statements people i heard if you make about and encounter population is the feeling of being accepted by mercenary thorough unconditional acceptance
for my to your comment you made so far it seems that i might have been kind of and i couldn't acceptance of his part might have been misunderstood a little bit more complicated than just kind of a total presence in being with someone accepting re well i mean that was the ground that was the begin
king of the relationship was his basic approach to everything i mean that's how he trained himself his whole riot for me he acceptance was his route so when you first encountered him basically you were a buddha you know
if you started to take you seriously then you weren't a buddha anymore
you know and for a one that was this whole thing about ignoring you and things like that i mean once you've got past the point of you understand that fundamentally everything that's completely okay then within that ground been the training begins and then you have to realize you know you know delusion and xl
nancy non-acceptance for him coexisted mean that the whole point of the non-dual reality that he lived in is that both things were simultaneous you know it was not like he would suddenly accept you and then the next day you felt rejected by me never felt that acceptance vanish but it was a container for the everything's to occur so for example
one day were outright here in the courtyard and this is a story i love to tell because it was example and i saw him out there he was just wandering around i said great face time with suzuki roshi i gotta get out there i can no one on one because it felt know and i went out there and i was standing there and he saw me cry he was like on
this sign i was on that side you know and then he i started to serve make a move for him and he turned around was very clear that he was it was a rejection he was not going to talk to me and he went over to this woman who'd come off the street she was a crazy person you know and she was waiting to be taken over to the crisis clinic or something when he
sat down and put his arm around her is back to me and they chatted for a long time and finally i got the message and i laughed you know
i had a very clear sense that he he picked up on that sense of you might say selfishness but he would call i was reading lecture recently this is an example of when you don't commit adultery and mean his teacher interpreted that is whenever you really want something you desire
or something that's kind of out of kilter doesn't have to be sexual you know it's like any kind of desire that kind of rises up and you just want it for yourself you know just because you just want that thing that's like you know so that's what he was training me at that moment you know he was saying oh yeah you know you think that good i'm
somehow special are you spending time with knees what you should be doing you know forget it grow up you know there's a real person here you know who actually needs me you don't need me what do you need don't even know what you want you know kind of thing and was it was interesting
and and so
you know he was basically that was an ad hoc teaching session you know he just kind of created something for me in the spirit of mom without even thinking about it probably was just i mean he was not
i think this crew crooked cucumber thing i think he was kind of in a conventional sense unusual sort of stacey absent-minded not not turn
articulately intellectual you know
but he had a great intuition for
what was going on how to make things happen in a situation you know was like an artist in that respect
he would just kind of see what was coming up and who was around what was going on and he would sort of create things like the bro you know when you could make a big story about the room it's a always psychic you know he he picked up on the fact that you know that and he could he could see was coming i don't think it was that way he was just you know he just arranged to be there because
cause that's what he was good at you know he kind of arrange to be in situation and so
it's why it's you know it's it's hard after all this time you know it's not like he has these wonderful things that he would say he would shout or scream or do dramatic things it was all subtle you know and if you weren't alert didn't even see it happening just go right by
you know
yeah he did that at one time being i actually think that that that was a a failing on his part and the cake is kind of got lost at that time i don't think that was particularly skillful i was there i just thought here david is talked to lots and lots of people including me about that incident serratia my everybody has a different idea but i saw
im really kind of kind of freak out about the war question i think that he
david's uncovered did you know he had to hit that the world war two situation was very very very difficult for him and i think it can all certificate vikings david said that he actually told somebody with that was what was going on is that instead of his feelings about what he had to go through more work you'd kind of all came up at once and he just kind of freak out
so i just think you flat lost it got angry and it wasn't like zen master step but you know i was very impressed by nice because i was i was in my you know quite smell that that time i got this is great this is great stuff it took me a long time to realize it was very important for me because one of the things that i was very keen on was the war i wanted to end the war you know and i really was like a
a lot of people were trying to figure out should i really concentrating and he knew or should i concentrate on zen study you know and that incident which i actually instigate because it was my question got it all started and that was a turning point for me because i felt well you know either the guys kind of a nutcase and goes around hitting people or else he's he's really the real thing
ing and he really know something that i don't know about a deeper way to stop war so that was one of the main reasons i kind of shifted his way at a critical time in my life and say i was i was a professional antiwar activists at that time that's what i did i counsel people and was paid for it to about you know
being conscientious objectors and stuff so that was my profession at the time and you know that was one of the reasons i bet that incident was one of the things that so that's an example of even when the teacher is not so skilful it can be it can be useful for people
sitting next to you ask the question whether it was a lot more complicated than that i asked the question and then it sort of went around the room like fifteen minutes of people asking stuff the main person who was kind of making his life miserable was wrong browning
who kept saying stuff like well suzuki roshi you know me what people are doing that this particular marches and you know he was going on and on and it in a very discursive kind of very quick way which i'm sure it's secure as she couldn't follow the english now but it basically when he got was you know something happening in the top two centimeters of the head
and you know not very grounded in anything real
and what really got him off was when the person somebody else said well zero she wants the right thing to do and then he leaped up and he just he thought that was a very very stupid question and i think my own senses what really angered him was that question like somehow he was supposed to know like were all brain dead and the great masters
to give us a magic answer name all go do it i mean that's why i mean his energy was it that's why you're here than you know forget it you're wasting my time you know you have no idea what you're doing here why even sitting zazen or anything you know system he just kids kind of you know asking daddy to make it better or something you know this is serious
guy you know that was kind of the feeling and you know i lived through this shit you guys haven't seen anything you want to stop a wargo stop a war you know stand in front of a tank don't ask me about it now that i'm just sort of giving you my my my take on what i look back now and feel was part of what was going on and i think that part of it makes
sense to me you know get part of it made sense to me i mean there was a kind of naivete about all that sort of thing the time you know none of us had ever been in the war the war was happening ten thousand miles away
in your year i stink of us being in particular she's like the engine bay carefully put away and now
when what about suzuki roshi mean
the gracious teachings his practice that is really central that you were like to to re pass on to another generation passes through you
well my conviction and really my work the thing that i'm i'm trying to centrally work on is to make the dharma real in terms of its integration into western society
i really think part of what i feel i'm doing as one of his disciples is a take picking up the mantle and and after rising the mandate to be creative to change it
to me he said many times you know i i'm not you i'm japanese
you have to understand it thoroughly and then you have to make it your own and i feel like i'm on the outer fringes of that task i mean i i'm institutionally independent i'm not walking around with robes are shaved head but i still consider myself a disciple and in some invisible way a priest in the sense that
my central activity in life is to somehow contribute to making that happen and i feel that my particular strong points instead of talents to is to kind of be creative in doing that and into do things out on the edge of of what is
so in the in in the mazzulla of his different disciples the place that i feel i'm holding down as somebody who's kind of on the outside of the institution experimenting rather radically with
ways to
the make the principles of geimer
the take really take root in in western society what's the worst a thread that brings it back to circular she's opposed to some generic idea of dharma
well because suzuki roshi is
because i think that's the way he was too you know i think that he
he was extraordinarily open minded from the very beginning about how to do that i mean he is whole thing of acceptance i mean he i was very weird for his japanese congregation to see the kinds of people that he hung out with you know but you know the exterior form of that and
fact that we were all quite a mature or misguided didn't seem to bother him at on the contrary he was kind of
fascinated by the raw energy of it and the fact that there was a lot of potential in the fact that we didn't have a lot of assumptions and presuppositions this goes back to beginner's mind which is again one of his main touchstones of his teaching
beginner's mind is not a beginner's practice it's a very very advanced practice it's the practice for x you know for experts can't they know a person who's a beginner doesn't have to practice beginner's mind beginner's mind is a practice for people who think they know something so you know the whole notion that in a sense you all are always starting from the empty ground
and then even buddhism doesn't exist in that space is was central to the way that he behaved and that's the thread i'm picking up on you know to to validate my own
adventures in trying to you know cultivate dharma in different unusual ways i mean i'm i'm teaching again i i colinas ando you know and we sit in i talk and i am teaching in a variety of ways and that really is is the the way that i bring it back to suzuki roshi is that i i feel
that his way of understanding was that
you have some
embedded sense from long practice about what you're trying to do but the form of it the way that is something that you work out you know and he says that explicitly many times in his lectures and you know i was reading recently said well you're going to need different precepts and a mac the precepts we have may not be quite right for you
well yes fairly radical thing most buddhist teachers would just simply say these are the precepts you know it's study them so that sense he was not a traditionalist
he was quite open to innovation and i think zen center itself was an enormous innovation i mean nobody practiced like this in japan or china you know kind of a lay person community of way mom type people and to this day i mean the way people do things here is is not just here but elsewhere
to is like your group or mean you know that doesn't that sort of thing didn't exist you know thirty years ago so
so i don't think it's unique to suzuki roshi i think the diamond is is is is coming from many many different teaching streams but i feel like i feel well supported by him and what i'm doing i really do
asked when yeah skin slightly different way are you interested was the enough in itself the machine
cresta going
he affirmed
if you're going to show you i imagined might happen some days you get government transmission and then your turn you were going to get damage to fishing somebody else and you're going to carry a lineage perspective security or in that context what is what is is something very core that you that harkens back to secure oshie that is very important
or you get next passing on it
responsibility that you someday might be call them to do well the issue diamond transmission is a complicated one for me i mean i was all set to do it at all the silk scrolls ready and then it didn't happen i refused to go through with it
are one of the positions i'm currently taking his is
reject to remove myself from any sense of outside credentials
since you bring up the point being one of the things i'm experimenting with this is is there a a way to authentically transmit the dharma in a way that works without some kind of institutional credential so i'm not sure i ever will accept dharma a transmission from anybody who was one of my one of the my experiments since i'm going down that path and it went down it for a long time
to see how far i can get without it it's a test you know other people maybe i'm in a situation where it's so easy for them to perform that experiment but since i happened to be in and i feel like well maybe somebody should try this out and i think that suzuki roshi would probably say it's subsidiaries a waste of time you know you need some kind of of
ceremony or something to sort of make this work but i think everything needs to be tested and i would argue with a might say well fine as the bunch of other people are already doing that but you know my destiny was not to go that way so let me play this out and he would probably say all right i think you're your
a fail and too bad but you know give it a shot if you feel like you have to do it you follow what i'm saying that right well and then ask you that you
the question that you asked me said some week or so
can you imagine in twenty years that you will produce another person like is somehow under your tutelage you're practicing with you or your role as a teacher that you get day you'll be responsible for
someone who you feel your shoes well i thought about that i'm just in the beginning stages of reedy of we find myself in a way that visibly some kind of teach yourself
i have yet to really encounter that question and we have to start twenty years would have to start counting from now you know if i was lucky it also may be the case that that's not my mission and saw my that's not my my thing to do that the think is other ways to transmit dharma it's besides to sort of from person to person you can
also transmitted to a culture to a society or or to create channels in which the dharma can slow and it may be that that's my a row and it is for other people who have a more conventional a set up to do what you
you're talking about so one of the things that i may have sacrificed in the direction i've gone is the ability to do that it's not at all clear to me that you can do that in the absence of some kind of more traditional form but you know i've been i've been mulling over the notion of transfer
the i don't believe as many zen people doubt that it's necessarily at all tied with priesthood
and that it necessarily
functions in a sort of prescribed manner like you we read about the books i think that it actually and i've been i've read an article about this where i think that ultimately transmission is something that
no he's very intimate and fundamentally private and it may be that the most powerful and important transmissions in buddhism i wondered that nobody in human history has ever heard about i was just got a message recently from the person i talked about earlier you know that was asking about you and he
he said that in the to tradition there are a lot of extra institutional wines at teaching and lineages that just sort of happen out in the mountains and out and about and people inside the to bend tradition know about it and you can go find teachers that are and then it's totally outside the toku system and the monasteries and everything and some of these people aren't monks or priests or anything but it
just the dharma kind of is moot moved over the centuries in a lot of different ways through people and i can imagine myself possibly transmitting the dharma like that but it would probably have to be somebody that was interested in doing this sort of thing that i do
you know somebody who has a kind of a have an interest in me fundamentally i see myself as a as a composer and artist and musician and that's what i'm good at and so i kind of do dharma that way to i mean you know my musician friends most of them are performers they perform other people's music
but some some of them are composers into them music means something that they make up gay pool music out of a half that doesn't exist and that's kind of i've been so used to that because it's what i've done all my life that it doesn't surprise me your bottom me to do it that way with diamond i mean i'm quite comfortable
pulling things out of the hat and nobody is around to shut me down and say you can't do that i'm outside of a high school now you know there's no there's nobody to send me to the counselor and say i get demerits because i'm not doing it so you know i'm i feel like i feel like i'm being fairly responsible about that but
they make the answer your question might be know it may be that i'm not going to be somebody who transmits the dharma you know one on one
i took his tangent was trying to track it was trying to get back to security see if i can find some thread that he would kind of right down to the picture not writing
whatever but then they'll even level
i was wondering if he did he talk about as teachers
and so all he did he used to tell stories about his teachers he would just say my teacher you know he always david i think it's gone through the exercise that trying to figure out which athletes teachers it will be referring to through context
it's very clear that since he started his formal discipleship when he was a boy and that you know there was a tremendous amount of direct teaching through observation instruction that he absorbed me he was not trained in a big monastery for the most part he was
trained well growing up in the household and small temple of these teachers and so i have as a conviction looking back on the things that he said that pretty much everything he knows about how to teach he got directly that's what transmission really is it's transmission is this is right
take issue with institutional translation i think suzuki roshi is one of the last examples of the real transmission which basically means knowing somebody like they're your wife or husband so well because you live with them twenty four hours a day you know how they snow you know how they cough you know how they go to the toilet on i'm saying it's like really
really intimate
and a lot of the transmissions that people do you know fall far short of that standard what's put it that way and that's okay but it's not mean i'm really interested in that original high
it creates a kind of embodied donna
but that you sort of get through your pores of your skin you know and i feel in that sense i really have received kind of transmission from suzuki roshi because i i feel like he's inside of me i can't get rid of them i tried you know when i left i took off my robes and laughed i was pretty angry and upset and i really tried as an experiment to
see if i could get rid of at all
and i couldn't hear it was a i realized that i have been infected fatally by the dharma and that i could not get rid of what i had done that i had actually taken on the diamond as a vow and then it was a a potent structure that was ineradicable in my psyche it that with at that point i realized
well i like that that's good but i didn't know that it had taken all that deeply i didn't know for quite a while i had to find out and in that sense you know i think that suzuki roshi was successful in trapping me you know that's what he wanted to do he wanted to trap me inside the dharma so that i would be a vehicle and he was
successful in that respect so
i forget what the original question was what did you ask me to those bit
yeah so i think that he had he had that from his own teachers and i think that that really affected the way that he taught all of us i think that that's that getting back to one of my first answers i think that that accounts for the way in which a lot of his teaching was on the spot made up opportunistic it wasn't formal
it wasn't like you sit down and he says i will now convey to you you know the secrets of my dharma you know secret number one blah blah blah i mean you know it just didn't go that way the secrets were there but it was very much in the context of activity you know all the time and i think he must have gotten that from particular from his first teacher and probably from every
body that he studied with
did you feel a changed over time
the years if you do it did you see him shift is even teaching style or culture
his relationship with students

well i don't know i think that in the last couple or three years he got a lot more interested in priests are regaining some people and really trying to
two developer a small group people that he could kind of pass it all along so i think it began to feel his mortality
and in that sense i think you've got a lot more kind of focused on hurrying up the whole process not been quite so patient to that sense he changed but it is in one of the things that was so striking to me when he was diagnosed with a fatal illness was the fact that he didn't change at all
i was just striking about well one days alive and next day he's dying what differences that make and he really was just exactly the same
this uncanny kind of weird you know
did he
he clearly had prepared his whole life for that moment and so when it came he was ready and he just continued
the way that he always did so in that sense in fundamental sense you know nothing could change him but i think strategically you got more little more desperate and were more concerned about his lifespan or anything
a turns out there
you not encouraging students not to get involved with trips no drug trip
whatever trip
interfere with
the whole macrobiotic wars
all sorts of
a comfort trips that's around but he didn't intervene that it was that you visit the right sets you can put his foot down it's okay no more macro know he never did that it's hard for me to know at this point to what to what to attribute his vast degree of acceptance i mean sometimes i feel like he just thought we were all children he
and the same kind of acceptance is a kindergarten teacher to our behaviors you know just we weren't a five year old you don't
he has you know the cognitively not ready to do certain things you just kind of its charming that they run around and they play with toys and they have stuffed animals and things like that you know i mean in some sense i think he does he know he was very tough and strict and kind of an angry fellow in japan and why he would be so different and i don't think it was just that he sort of man
magically changed his personality i think he actually perceived us it's really not entirely grown up and so in that sense he just let it all happen the way you would with children and kind of looking around to see who was starting to grow up and then when he saw some people that looked like they were starting to grow up he would be what he would be much more strict try to be my
much more strict but i think he he made it pretty clear that he was concerned that if he was at all strict we would all lead that we were too fragile so it's hard for me to know whether his acceptance was due to some das supernatural diamond ability and how much of it was just they didn't think we were ready for much more than that and also the third thing was you know
he didn't understand will what to you i mean you know he was he came into a a subculture of a culture
they can understand the sub culture of the culture so i think he just kind of
yeah whatever sort of thing i think it was really mad as much just thinking
but you know he did it toward the end start to put his foot down and in ways that were kind of unpleasant for example he started to demand after some real difficult marriages that he saw that his next set of anybody who wasn't married when they became priests would have to stay that way for ten years or something that was put
a squat down a lot of people backed off real fast and that you know so he was starting to toward the end of his life feel like i gotta get some of this stuff under control because it's just not gonna work
you know so that's a somewhat more or less you know laudatory or praiseworthy answer than a lot of people might get but i think it's honest i think that iran of it was just you know
he wasn't quite sure how much we can take in any one time
here to
no gang was really going you say i'm a wonderful things that i haven't heard from the kind of people say so i think it's very good have your voice included in this just as an example i'm curious to know what what was well might have much as she said now for example ah he says his three children
that's his hypothesis and my part i don't have any proof of that and their status thing about you know the acceptance being may be
will use of same thing in it separates the first step you accept those are the basis for once people got that under the skin that that the way to prevent differently i never heard that articulated before yeah so that that was very important in a whole series of things you can articulate which
maybe some of your fellow students with that time will just wrong
agree you gotta agree i don't know but what can be some things you said some new and unique and i think it's very valuable contribution mccain a good way we use whatever part of it you you would like to use i'm sure you'll have to pare it down i mean lot of them probably keeping a balance with the other speakers yeah you want to pay people spoke on
i think it can be and it doesn't have to be assured that
we can be edited down and at times listen worry we were on
written for me something you said for it's been like that i was probably be useful when you spoke can probably will be condensed to a third as many words i guess we just want to plug your book
a glossary of the references anyone who mentions and office is in the bibliographic design and said coming answer february
a third title work as a spiritual practice
it was the culture broadway books
david spoke in line are coming out the same week the threat this is through the night yeah mine is like the twelfth or problem
because i'm an investment is anything that you feel than you would like to say we have an urge to touch the earth somehow and in this topic suzuki roshi house remember in hell
well i would just like to say that i
do not want him to become a saint in a sense of that he exists in the past is some kind of inspiration
i think that
i would like and him to be much more present particularly here in his own lineage i'm like people to study his talks i'd like people to ah
i feel that studying his way of teaching the particulars of his teaching is an important part of their training i'd like people to feel i'd like him to be much more present in the lineage that the institution is carrying them than my sensitive is that he's been you know so in my own rosendo my take
can about that i'm just gonna for the next
several years i'm just every time i talk i'm going to bring a paragraph out of his lectures read it and talk about it i feel like that's one of the things that disciple of a teacher should do is that's rather than studying the hexagon roku or dogan or something like that which is like a thousand years ago i mean he was right here he was teaching to us in our situation so i for
feel that
we should all make a renewed effort to bring himalayan there's a lot of recordings and written things and you know books coming out and stuff so on a big fan of that and i and i feel that particularly those who are his ordained disciples who are part of that generation have a responsibility to do that
because they knew him personally and i i i would just like and i do i plug it every time i can i think that that chair it all of us should be doing what we can to do that that's how i mean ryan a saint in the sense that you know he's like yoga or something
so i mean that's that's one thing
okay okay i could about doing this and also going to come drive on his way to do with well you know so i used to drive in here every week for years it's going to see the building again looks very much the same change kind of a lot