Audio loading...

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

AI Summary: 



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


First of all, I did all my research and study, and it's all in the lunge in my head. I'll come up with Zen stories that I know I've read, but God knows where, you know. I mean, I just, it's all in... In my book, I use the story that I believe is about Ikkyu, about attention, attention, attention. But I couldn't find the site. I mean, I have three books on Ikkyu, and I just, how would I find them? I'd have to read every damn page to find the story again. And I was just so sure in my mind that it was an illusionist, strict book called Zen Prayers, Poems, and Reflections, which is a Neolithic. I just could picture it in that book just like anything, it was just there, you know, and I knew exactly where it was, and it's not in that book. So it's all mixed up in my head, you know. Tell me what we're doing. I mean, I know generally we're supposed to be talking, but what are we talking about? You know, this is... I think it's a different chapter or something on this book on Suzuki Roshi, coming from the conference. It's actually going to be a published book, or just kind of a bound monograph?


It'll certainly be bound, but our hope is to get a publishing company interested in publishing it. And the chances are relatively good I think we can do that. Yeah, certainly. Especially because Suzuki Roshi is... There's a lot of focus on people in Mexico now and in the next year with David's book and Sendokai and things. And if we also, we can use a lot of the archival photographs that Zen Center has. I think it would be kind of nice to have those published also, so people can see them. Right. And so as to include you as part of that. And the idea was to ask you questions that seemed to be pertinent about Suzuki Roshi, your experience with him, your understanding of him. Neither of us have any clear, I don't think, any clear sense of how this interview is... any agenda about what you're supposed to be talking about particularly, or where it's going to go. Well, let's just take off and... And also, when it gets published, the questions can be edited out. We'll have to decide later on, but it can just be like a running monologue in the end by you.


Fine. Which you will... Yeah, kind of like the other ones that I already saw that you sent me. Of course, we can edit that. All right. Fine. And so as we go along here, if you feel like you're ready to go off on some point that's important for you, you can just make it into a monologue. Okay. If it seems like it's getting too wordy or something on my part, I might interrupt you. Fine. That's fine. So, are we recording now? Yes. Okay. So, if I'm going to be the one who kind of starts with a question, perhaps kind of a good place to start is, do you remember your first encounter with Suzuki Roshi, and what was it about Suzuki Roshi that got your attention? Well, yeah, I have a very vivid recollection of that because it was at the Berkeley Zendo in 67. I'd been going there for a while. This is Mel Weitzman. It was in his house at the time, a very small living room.


And the typical attendance would be eight or ten, maybe six or seven people. And I really didn't know that Suzuki Roshi was a part of the scene. I mean, I just went to this place. There was an ad in the paper, you know, Zen, so I went. It was Mel, and Mel was neat. And so I was there, and I was already sitting when I heard somebody come in. And I heard the rustle of robes. There were no robes. Mel didn't wear robes. He wasn't a monk then. And I didn't know 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 Bill, five or six feet, but behind me. And I could kind of hear all during Zazen his breathing, just a very subtle kind of sound, how he breathed. And I just had a sense of him. So my first sense of him was not through sight 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. And, you know, his physical presence was very striking. I think everybody who knew him sensed that one way or the other. If I had to be technical about it, I would say that there was a samadhi quality to his physical presence. You felt a kind of field of calm around him, which I felt with very few other people. I felt it with a few other Buddhist teachers that I've met, but it was not something that... And a lot of people I've told it about says, Oh, man, you're just projecting, it's just your imagination. It's not my imagination. Too many other people who knew Suzuki Roshi, when I bring it up, they say, Oh, yeah, of course, that's one of the main reasons I wanted to study with him, is just his presence, his physical presence. So, you know, it's something like...


I don't think of this stuff as mysterious. I'm too familiar with it. I mean, I think that's what people talk about when they talk about a halo or an aura. I think that somebody who's very developed in their meditation and in their spiritual life, there is a kind of palpable field that you can feel. And I just felt it. To me, it was just an ordinary part of who he was. So that was my first encounter with him, and I was very impressed. But, you know, I didn't come to Zen to study with Suzuki Roshi. I came to Zen to study Zen, and he just happened to be in the picture. So I wasn't coming because I'd heard about this dude in San Francisco, like some people. I just kind of fell into the scene and kind of heard about Tassajara, which was just getting started at that time. And that's how it went. So then I started coming over here for Sashins and things.


At what point did you feel like Suzuki Roshi was going to be your teacher? And you took him on as your teacher in a very definitive way. Was there some particular event that triggered that? There was a particular event, which is part of my little Dharma lore of myself. I was a draft resister at that time, and we all expected to go to prison. Draft resister means you turn back your draft cards. You publicly defy the legal system at that time. And I had left seminary where I had a safety firm and to kind of stick my head in the maw. That was my conscientious act at that time, to publicly renounce my protections and be ready to go to jail. But nobody was going to jail right away. And so we thought, well, we'll wait until they get around. We found out 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 their contribution to the anti-war effort. That was particularly true in this area. We didn't know that. So I, with some other people, we bought a farm up in Oregon, southern Oregon, like a lot of people in the 60s were doing. And we went up there and lived out in the woods, you know, on this farm. And I kept up my sitting. I was sitting in a hayloft every day for an hour. Where in Oregon? North of Grants Pass. It's actually a little town called Wolf Creek. I've been there. I've been to a commune there. Yeah, well, there are several. There are some that still exist. That was like Commune Central at that time. There was even Life Magazine articles about communes up there. And so it was the middle of the winter, and I was stuffing. And I kept up my practice, and I would sit three or four hours a day and kept my head shaved. And I really took on the identity of a monk. You know, that was my fantasy. That's how people saw me. I didn't do any drugs, you know, and I was the Buddhist guy. They wouldn't even let me into some of the communes because my hair was short,


and they thought I was a narc. Anyway, I was stuffing paper into the stove in the middle of the winter. It was dark, and it was 1,000 miles away from here. And the paper fell open to a page that had Suzuki Roshi's picture on it. It was a Portland paper that had an article about Tassajara at that time. And I remember balling up the paper and saying, God, you know, no matter how far I go, I can't get away from you, can I? And so that was this decisive moment where I felt that he was my teacher. I saw his picture and realized that, in a sense, he was with me. And I came back at that point and took up residence here in this building. No, actually, no, I came back to Berkeley, but I sort of signed up to go to Tassajara with my wife. You were 67? 68 by now, 68. And I did go to Tassajara in the fall of 68.


So it's kind of an amusing story. I mean, it's just one of those things that happen. And then you talked to me before about how you came with an enlightenment or bust attitude. You were here for the Venki Satori or Gensho. Yeah, well, you know, that was... I have a theory that I've developed over many years that one of the major causal factors, along with psychedelics, that got people interested in Eastern spirituality were all the series of books, which primarily were D.T. Suzuki's books and Alan Watts's books, which really marketed enlightenment as something quite special and unusual and really described it in a way that's quite anti-canonical. I mean, it's not described that way in any Buddhist literature. Certainly there are Zen stories galore about people's breakthrough experiences, and that became, in a sense, the raw material for D.T. Suzuki's shtick.


But in any case, 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. There's too much anecdotal layering of anecdotal material. These people can't all be deluded, so there has to be something there. Consequently, that's what I want to do. That's my whole thing. So, yeah, I was basically a very gung-ho enlightenment hog, like a lot of people were. I mean, that was the thing then. People 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 trips people would have, and it was amazing. I mean, we said 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75.


People were still raising their hands. And some of the current leadership of some of the big Buddhist centers... I'm not going to be any more specific than that. We're into triple digits. And, you know, so we clearly... that was the milieu at the time. I think there was a big feature in one of the tricycle issues about all of this, and a lot of the big Buddhist leaders, you know, Jack Kornfield, all owned up and fessed up to how important that was. That was never a part of my experience. The only time I ever tried drugs of any kind really was just to sort of check it out three or four times, and that was pretty much it. I already came with a lot of experiential validation. I'd been doing a lot of meditation on my own, going out in the forest and things, so I didn't really have some big psychedelic breakthrough that brought me here. I was already totally hooked, you know. So you came with this enlightenment attitude that was part of the popular youth culture at the time.


And then you told me once a story you asked Suzuki Roshi about where was the enlightenment. 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, OK. Well, he said, if your practice is good, enlightenment will come. But even if it doesn't, it's almost the same. Now, that was essentially my koan. I worked on that for a long, long time. That's a very densely packed answer. Explicate first. Well, first of all, he was very accommodating to my aspiration, and that was perfectly fine with him. And his first statement was, if your practice is good, enlightenment will come. OK, that is clear. So he was not saying, you know, oh, enlightenment isn't important, or there is no such thing as enlightenment, or we in Soto don't strive for enlightenment.


None of the sort of stereotypes that kind of go with what people say about Zen mind, beginner's mind, and all of that. He just said, if your practice is good, enlightenment will come. So that's the first half of the statement, is a confirmation that that's a perfectly laudable aspiration, and it's reasonable to assume that that will happen. He said, but even if it doesn't, if your practice is good, I think that he added that, if your practice is sincere or something, it's almost the same. So then there's this word almost in there. You see, 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 is enlightenment in a certain sense. It's almost the same, but not quite the same. And I think the unspoken third part of that is, so don't worry about it one way or the other. The important thing is to just practice sincerely. He didn't say you will attain enlightenment.


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. Of course, if you practice, transformations of various kinds will occur. Otherwise, why do it? It was almost as though, when he kept talking about this point, that he was really speaking not just to us, because how many of us had really had enlightenment experiences, but more to the entire tradition of Buddhism and Soto and Rinzai Zen, and basically this fundamental principle of his of no gaining idea was just so central to the way that he taught. It was almost as though he was preaching to the entirety of the Zen tradition, and in particular the modern Zen in Japan, and really trying to emphasize the tremendous importance of a commitment to practice that was not conditional on anything.


And I've been studying his lectures a lot since then and realizing it wasn't like he talked about that occasionally. It was like almost every lecture, that was the point, one way or the other. Now, whether that was spoon-fed to us as Americans, or whether he would have said that to anybody, I have a feeling that he would have said that to anybody. But anyway, that was his first big teaching for me. That really helped get me off a kind of attainment track that I was on. Subsequent to that, I did have many transforming experiences, but I think his attitude really helped me to integrate those pretty easily and not get a big head about them. And so what's the distinction between the expression no gain and no gaining idea? Well, that's the critical difference. I mean, there is gain in practice, but if you notice it, then you've got a big problem.


It's like humility is not something you can aspire to. It's just a contradiction. It's a paradox. A humble person is one who really has no idea at all of their accomplishments. Other people do, but they don't. But by definition, a humble person has accomplishments, otherwise there's nothing to be humble about. So definitely there is a kind of progress in a sort of conventional sense, but the minute you start to track it, then it disappears in front of you and turns into a hindrance. Or the minute that you try to attain it or reach for it, it also vanishes. Yeah. So no gaining idea. Usually I think of no gaining ideas as relating to goal-oriented. Well, this no gaining idea, I wouldn't be surprised if there's some technical Soto term, maybe Carl would know, that he's trying to translate. I mean, very often these things he came up with in English were things out of the tradition that he'd learned, and he was trying to find a colloquial way that would work.


And that's, I think, one of his real Suzuki Roshi-isms, is no gaining idea. It's a very subtle point, because the critique of traditional Soto that you would find, for example, in Three Pillars of Zen or Akin Roshi's lineage, really translates that back to no gain. It's kind of a dead practice where nothing happens. And they're the ones where things happen. And there's a big sense of gain and drive for attainment in that form of practice. Suzuki Roshi never really criticized that kind of practice a lot. I mean, he felt it was okay. I guess he felt that whatever gets you going, whatever you do, you have problems. So he was not terribly critical. In fact, particularly in the very early days before I came, he talked a lot about the Blue Cliff Record, lectured on them. A lot of these lectures were not recorded. Notes were taken by various people, Baker Roshi and others. But his lectures were very traditionally Zen,


and I think he simplified it down as more people started to come. Except that the Blue Cliff Record is associated with Rinzai. That's what I'm saying, exactly. Where did he get the idea to lecture on a Rinzai book? Beats me, but he did. I don't really... Maybe David can tell you better than I can where those influences came from. The Blue Cliff Record is associated with Rinzai, but the Soto people certainly study it. I mean, absolutely. There's probably... Dogen probably brings up some of those stories. Some of the stories are in both collections. Maybe simply because it was already published in English. That's possible. That's possible. Keep in mind, Suzuki Roshi's three favorite Chinese Zen masters were Joshu... I'm going to use the Japanese terms now. Joshu, Baso, and Issan. Those are the big three. And there's a lot of koans about them in the Hekigan Roku. So he just loved talking about them, particularly Issan. Issan was the great tenzo, the great cook.


And he loved talking about Issan. You know, Issan's lineage never went anywhere. One generation and it was gone. He was very, very subtle. And I think that Issan and Joshu 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 way Linji or Rinzai himself... I think Suzuki Roshi identified with that. And also that their 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 them. But, you know, the Soto-type collections, like the Book of Serenity, I forget what it's called in Japanese, but it tends to have people more in the Cao Tung lineage, particularly, and, you know, Suzuki Roshi... What lineage? Soto, Cao Tung. Suzuki Roshi really liked to talk about Zen before it split, the first five generations. You know, that's the part that he... I mean, because he even says in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, that as Zen went along, it got more and more impure.


And I think that part's back. When he means impure, he means that gain and gaining idea, and, you know, that's part of how it got impure. And so I think that he felt that the early patriarchs were the ones that he could most relate to and that were most like what he was trying to teach. He loved the story about Nangaku and the tile, polishing the tile. He loved that story. He loved... I'm trying to remember now some of the other stories, you know, but they don't come to mind right at the moment. What were some of the ways that Suzuki Roshi was misunderstood by his students at that time? Well, that's an interesting question. I would be a little presumptuous to try to speak for other people, although I suppose I could speculate. Maybe I'll just radiate out from my own misunderstandings


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 of Suzuki Roshi as, you know, like a Buddha or extremely unusual person. People imagined that he had all sorts of powers that I don't think he had, the ability to read their mind. I mean, 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 are a lot of stories like that that have been in the wind bell already or that David has or that I've heard about. The one I love is Mike Dixon's story, which was published in an early wind bell, where he was sweeping one day in the old Page Street building in the 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. And 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 was there, and Suzuki Roshi had a broom and handed Mike his broom. You know, and it was a tremendously... That's very typical of the way that he was. 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 his students. And Ed Brown's story about the rock, you know, which is in his book, his latest book, about how Suzuki Roshi made them take the main rock that they had in front of the office and stick it in front of Ed's room so that Ed would have something to stand on, that was just typical. I mean, it was... Those things really just knocked you over because they were so tremendously direct and sincere


and to the point of who you were. It's interesting you say that. In hearing that, I've heard... I'm thinking about all the different characteristics that people have attributed to Suzuki Roshi, his calm that you talked about, many different things. The one thing I've never heard anyone mention about him is compassion, though what you're talking about, this attentiveness to students, lends itself to the idea that he was compassionate. But it brings to mind now that I've never heard anybody use that word in relationship to Suzuki Roshi. Well, part of it is that Suzuki Roshi's compassion was real. I mean, his compassion was not like being nice. I mean, sometimes he was not nice. 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 in Zen Center. And this begins to get back to your question about the misunderstandings people had. This was at Tassahara after a lecture, and one of the people there who was about to be ordained with me


ended up not being ordained, started to cry and said, Suzuki Roshi, these 4 vows, you know, saving all beings, I just can't do it, you know, 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, I have to sort of reproduce the idea, but, you know, to him that was compassion, that was compassionate action, you know, because he was saying, you know, I'm not going to 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 sort of be nice. You know, you're about to be ordained, you're going to 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, that kind of thing, you know. I think what Suzuki Roshi 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 didn't get ordained, it sounds like. Well, yeah, he ended up not going through with it, and, you know, maybe that was the right decision, maybe not. But that was an example of Suzuki Roshi's compassion was very real in the sense that his only real interest, and I think he was kind of a very single-minded, if not fanatical person, is, you know, he had a mission to bring what he conceived to be authentic Dharma 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 had in his 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 very... See, you wouldn't say that people felt loved.


I mean, that's a kind of... You didn't feel that from him. 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. You know, that's compassion from a Buddhist point of view, not, you know, putting your arm around somebody and saying it's okay. You can do that, but ultimately, you know, from a Buddhist point of view, ultimately, there comes a time when there's nothing you can do. A person's dying, and what can you do? How can you be compassionate? If you're totally willing to be in that situation, then that's compassion from 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 around them, I mean, I've never heard anybody say that Suzuki Roshi was rude to them or was impatient with them


or was irrational or unreasonable, although I think he could be all of those things at various times. You know, he certainly had his deep blindnesses in some ways. Deep, I'm sorry? Blindnesses, you know, weak spots. Um... Can you give an example? Well, to be diplomatic, I think that his judgments about some of his disciples and their capabilities were not accurate. But he was also sick, and we didn't have much time, so he was maybe not thinking so clearly. Do you think that he projected onto the Americans? Maybe not in a similar way. I mean, you talked about students' projections onto him. Do you think there was any projection at this point? Well, I think he probably had hopes that we probably couldn't fulfill. I mean, he was maybe a little unrealistic


about what we were capable of. And also, I think that he, as many Japanese people were, could be fooled by sincerity. So, for example, there was one time in a personal interview where I... He was trying to figure out where I was at, and so he said, well, so you've been here for a while, so what do you want to do? You want to be a musician or a priest? He kind of threw that in there. He was trying to figure out, and I said... So I was still in my gung-ho period at that time, and I sort of pounded the mat like this. I said, you know, I'm here. I'm going to be here. And when the session was over, I got up to do my bows. He got up, too, and he did bows, full bows to me while I did full bows to him. That was a big moment for him, you know, 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 what was disappointing for him is a lot of people who did stuff like that then, you know, petered out after about 6 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 that a lot more seriously than a lot of us did. You know what 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 people that 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, you know, he was patient and kind and all that, but at some deeper level that he disguised most of the time, this is like life and death for him, you know, to make something happen here and to be able to establish, you know, real Dharma in the West. And he'd 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, yeah, I think he projected things onto us


that were unrealistic, just as we projected things onto him that were unrealistic. You know, I think that he looked to a lot of people like he was perfect, you know, and he wasn't in a lot of different ways. Is that...? Yes, great. Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about how he trained you? You were a student of his and then you were ordained by him. What kind of training did he give you? Well, keep in mind, I was not somebody that 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 David and Ed Brown and David Chadwick and myself and Angie Runyon were the last four to be ordained. So 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 too, was to ignore me or to, in one way or another, deflect my hero worship of him. And he did this to other people too. I've heard stories that are a lot more tough than mine. I mean, like Dick Baker said that he wouldn't talk to him for like a month and Phil Wilson said that he wouldn't look at him. So 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, are you just after some pretty picture of a teacher or are you really after the Dharma kind of thing. So there were various ways in which he would sense that I was kind of honing in on him, and then he would arrange to walk away or not be there and stuff like that. So a lot of what he was working with me on was just I was super intense, but in some ways, looking back on it now, it was very immature kind of intenseness. It wasn't exactly real, and he was fine with that.


I mean, that's a natural stage of practice, and I was quite young. And I think he recognized it, and at the same time, it was his idea to ordain me. I did not ask to be ordained. It wasn't my idea. He walked over to me one day and he said, if you want to be ordained, we're going to do one pretty soon, you know. So it was his idea. I think he was collecting. He was collecting from among this vast group of people that was around him. He was collecting successors or potential successors. That was his game. I mean, you know. Again, I'm not sure at the time how deadly serious, I mean, we realized how deadly serious he was, how the high stakes were for him. He gave up his entire Japanese life and his big temple and his position and everything to hang out with all these raggedy people. I mean, to us, it was just neat that he was here. The other thing that I think, misunderstandings that I think a lot of us had is I thought that people like Suzuki Roshi were relatively common


because if you read Zen books, it would seem as though they're wandering all over the place. It took me many, many years after he died to realize that there aren't very many people in the world, in any generation, that are like him. A lot of people say that about their teacher, so that's just me saying it about my teacher. I'm not objective, but that's my opinion. I didn't meet a whole lot of Japanese priests from either Rinzai or Soto that were like him. So over time, I began to feel a sense of remorse that I didn't take my opportunity a bit more seriously at the time because to me it was just, oh yeah. That was like my reaction when I first met him in Berkeley. Oh yeah, it's a Zen master. It looks just like the stories. It's great. I wonder how many hundreds of others there are floating around. So 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 taking it for granted kind of thing at the time. I sure wish he'd lived longer so that I had, I mean, I probably had 8 zillion things that I would have wanted to ask him since he died, but it's too late. Which person on the list? Well, I'd have to stop and think of all the 8 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, which he didn't do. So he left me totally at sea, and something that I had a great deal of anger with him about for a certain period 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 he was too sick or whatever, but he just sort of didn't say anything. Of course, I didn't ask him directly.


I didn't have the sense to say, hey, son of a gun, you're dying. I just got ordained. 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 have said something. So eventually I realized, you know, why am I angry at him? Poor man was dying, and I didn't have the sense to ask him what was on my mind, so he didn't tell me. But that's one of the first things I would have asked him, is what did you really expect me to do? What was your idea? 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 that we'd sort of be stuck, and so we'd have to... I mean, in a sense, that was an example of, yeah, he wasn't all that friendly. He really didn't care how it was for us or our family or anything. He wanted to get some folks safely inside the robes


I think he felt that anybody who stayed with it long enough would get it. The thing about dharma is it's all around you, and the main thing you do with a student is just keep them going. Whatever they bring to you, whatever problem, there's always really one answer, which is, okay, good, keep going. Keep going, keep going. So I think he felt, you know, at the end, I'll just get as many people ordained as possible. That'll increase the chances that they'll stay, and something will turn up, they'll find another teacher or whatever. But I've got to 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, you know, why didn't you say anything? Why didn't you give me some dying instructions, give me some guidance? Because I was terribly confused and didn't have any sense of... For a lot of time, I ran on empty, thinking a lot of the things that I was doing, or I was imagining that was what he wanted me to do. Oh, well, Suzuki Roshi would have wanted me to do this, or wanted me to do that. It took me a long time to realize that what he really wanted me to do


was to think for my own damn self, and stop imagining what he would have wanted. And then I did, and then things got a lot better. But, you know, I'd love to talk to him about just all sorts of things about Dharma in the West. How do you make that translation? I mean, does it really necessary to be a priest? What kind of sense does that make? How do you create priests? I mean, just everything that I've ever thought of and written about in the last 25 years, I would have loved to have checked out with him, the book that I just wrote. 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. How important is Suzuki Roshi for you in these days? What place does he hold in your life these days? Well, I think he's still pretty central. I still basically use him as a kind of sounding board for myself in his example.


I imagine myself having dialogues with him. I dream about him. It's not infrequent for me to have teaching dreams where he will come and do something or say something. And that continues to happen somewhat less frequently than before. So clearly, from a psychological sense, he's very deeply embedded in my psyche because I dream about him. These are not just casual dreams. These are dreams in which he is basically interacting with some issue that I'm working with, and he comes in a dream. It isn't like he says, OK, Lou, this is how it's going to be. A lot of times he just comes and looks at me, and from that expression, I get a sense of whether he approves of what I'm doing or not. It's hard to explain. I mean, there's very definitely a sense of an ongoing relationship. So I was very deeply connected to him. I'd say it's probably the most important relationship in my life.


But I think I also have a much more realistic sense of who he really is and his strong and weak points. He's a human being and had a lot of weak points. I really get a sense that he was not this nice, friendly man exactly. That was kind of his cover story. Underneath that, he was very tough, fearless, kind of fanatical, willing to be rather inconsiderate of people's personal issues to accomplish the one thing that he came here to do, which was to somehow establish dharma, his dharma. And so, you know, I think there are a lot of areas where I think that if he were here today, he and I would roundly disagree. He would probably be very, very upset that I left Zen Center, that I took off my robes, that I didn't continue to be a priest, because that's the model that he knows, and that he sure kind of can move things forward, and I'm not doing that. But I would just stick to my guns and say,


yeah, that's what you think, but I'm who I am and I'm doing it my way. And we could argue about it forever, but I feel very solid about that. But the fact that I think of what I'm doing in relationship to his idea and the fact that I disagree with it, it shows you that I'm still actively kind of, you know, hitting off of where he is to figure out where I am. He's still a reference point, even though I think that I'd probably be a big disappointment to him in some way. I'm not sure, maybe not. It's hard for me to know. It's hard to have somebody of that stature influence you when you're in your early 20s, because you died when I was, let's see, 25. Oh, really? Yeah. So I'm 51 now. That's a long time back in one's maturity and development. Some of your last comments brought the question to mind


that a lot of people... How are we doing, Bill? You want to make a change? I think we're good. About three minutes before. Okay, well... Let's just change. Why don't you change it now? No, let's not lose... I'm an old teacher now, and I have an agenda to accomplish here. And, you know, you've either got to come with me and at a certain point buy in to the reality that this is a tough thing, this is not, like, comfortable, or else don't do it. And Suzuki Roshi lost him over that. And, you know, that's just the way it went. I wanted to ask this. One of the most common statements people... that I've heard people make about their encounter with Suzuki Roshi is the feeling of being accepted by him, very thorough, unconditional acceptance. From some of your comments you've made so far,


it seems that acceptance on his part might have been misunderstood or a little bit more complicated than just kind of a total presence and being with someone in an accepting way. Well, I mean, that was the ground. That was the beginning of the relationship. That was his basic approach to everything. I mean, that's how he trained himself his whole life. I mean, acceptance was his root. So, when you first encountered him, basically you were a Buddha. You know? If he started to take you seriously, then you weren't a Buddha anymore. You know? That was his whole thing about ignoring you and things like that. I mean, once you got past the point of... you understand that fundamentally everything is completely okay, then within that ground, then the training begins. And then you have to realize, you know... But, you know, delusion and acceptance and non-acceptance for him co-existed. I mean, that's 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 him. You never felt that acceptance vanish, but it was a container for the other things to occur. So, for example, one day we were out right here in the courtyard. This is a story I love to tell because it was an example. And I saw him out there. He was just wandering around. And I said, great, FaceTime with Suzuki Roshi. I got to get out there. I can, you know, one-on-one because I felt, you know, that. And I went out there, and I was standing there, and he saw me. I was going to cry. He was like on this side. I was on that side, you know. And then he... I started to sort of make a move for him, and he turned around. It was very clear that he was... it was a rejection. He was not going to talk to me. And then 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. And he sat down and put his arm around her, his back to me, and they chatted for a long time. And finally I got the message,


and I left, you know. I had a very clear sense that he... he picked up on that sense of, you might say, selfishness. What he would call... I was reading a lecture recently. This is an example of when you don't commit adultery. I mean, his teacher interpreted that as whenever you really want something, you desire something that's kind of out of kilter, it 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... he was training me at that moment. You know, he was saying, oh, yeah, you know, you think that I'm somehow special or, you know, spending time with me is 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? You don't even know what you want, you know, kind of thing. It was interesting. 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 the moment without even thinking about it, probably. It was just... I mean, he was not... I think this crooked cucumber thing, I think he was kind of, in a conventional sense, unusual, sort of spacey, absent-minded, not... not 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. He 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 broom, you know. I mean, you could make a big story about the broom and say, oh, he's psychic, you know. He picked up on the fact that, you know, and he could see what was coming. I don't think it was that way. He was just, you know, he just arranged to be there because that's what he was good at, you know. He kind of arranged to be in situations.


And so, it's why it's, you know, it's hard after all this time. You know, it's not like he has these wonderful things that he would say or he would shout or scream or do dramatic things. It was all subtle, you know. And if you weren't alert, you didn't even see it happening. It would just go right by you, you know. I feel like he did do rather dramatic things, like with both the tongue, the stick, and the wax stick. Yeah, he did that that one time. But, you know, I actually think that that was a failing on his part. I think he just kind of lost it that time. I don't think that was particularly skillful. I was there. I just thought he, uh... David has talked to lots and lots of people, including me, about that incident. It's Russia, everybody has a different idea. But I saw him really kind of, kind of freak out about the war question. I think that he, David's uncovered that, you know, he had to, the World War II situation was very, very, very difficult for him. And I think it kind of all surfaced.


In fact, David said that he actually told somebody that that was what was going on, is that his feelings about what he had to go through in World War II kind of all came up at once, and he just kind of freaked out. So I just think he flat lost it, got angry, and it wasn't like Zen Master stuff. But, you know, I was very impressed by it, because I was in my, you know, quartz mode at that time. I thought, this is great stuff. It took me a long time to realize. And 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 lot of people, trying to figure out, should I really concentrate on ending the war, or should I concentrate on Zen study, you know? And that incident, which I actually instigated, because it was my question that got it all started, and that was a turning point for me, because I felt, well, you know, either the guy is kind of a nutcase and goes around hitting people, or else he's really the real thing, and he really knows something that I don't know about a deeper way to stop war. So that was one of the main reasons I kind of, you know, shifted his way


at a critical time in my life. And I was a professional anti-war activist at that time. That's what I did. I counseled people and was paid for it, 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... That incident was one of the things that... So it's an example of even when the teacher is not so skillful, it can be useful for people, you know. The person sitting next to you, you asked the question. Well, no, it was a lot more complicated than that. I asked the question, and then it sort of went around the room, like 15 minutes of people asking stuff. The main person who was kind of making his life miserable was Ron Browning, who kept saying stuff like, Well, Suzuki Roshi, you know, I mean, what people are doing at this particular march is... You know, he was going on and on in a very discursive, kind of very quick way, which I'm sure Suzuki Roshi couldn't follow the English, you know. But it basically... What he got was, you know, something happening in the top 2 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, Suzuki Roshi, what's 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 sense is what really angered him was that question. Like, somehow he was supposed to know? Like, we're all brain-dead, and the great master is supposed to give us a magic answer, and then we'll all go do it? I mean, if that's why... I mean, his attitude was, If that's why you're here, then, you know, forget it. You're wasting my time. You know, you have no idea what you're doing here, why you're even sitting Zazen or anything, you know? You're just kids kind of, you know, asking Daddy to make it better or something, you know? This is serious stuff. I've been through a war. Millions of people died, 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 war? Go stop a war. You know, stand in front of a tank. Don't ask me about it. I'm just sort of giving you my take on what I look back now and feel was part of what was going on.


I think that part of it made sense to me, you know? That part of it made sense to me. I mean, there was a kind of naivete about all that sort of thing at the time, you know? None of us had ever been in a war. The war was happening 10,000 miles away. In your... I think of you as being in Suzuki Roshi's lineage in a very powerful way, important way. And how... What about Suzuki Roshi, Suzuki Roshi's teachings, his practice, that is really central, that you would like to pass on to the other generation as it passes through you? Well, my conviction, and really my work, the thing that 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 picking up the mantle and actualizing the mandate to be creative, to change it. I mean, he said many times, you know, 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'm institutionally independent. I'm not walking around with robes or a 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 is to kind of be creative in doing that and to do things out on the edge of what is... So in the mandala of his different disciples,


the place that I feel I'm holding down is somebody who's kind of on the outside of the institution experimenting rather radically with ways to make the principles of Dharma really take root in Western society. What's the thread that brings it back to Suzuki Roshi as opposed to some generic idea of Dharma? Well, because Suzuki Roshi's... 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, you know, he... This whole thing of acceptance, I mean... You know, it 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 or the fact that we were all quite immature or misguided didn't seem to bother him at all. On the contrary, he was kind of fascinated by the raw energy of it and the fact that there was a lot of potential and 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 a practice for experts. 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 are always starting from the empty ground and that even Buddhism doesn't exist in that space was central to the way that he behaved. And that's the thread I'm picking up on, you know, to validate my own adventures in trying to, you know, cultivate Dharma in different and unusual ways.


I mean, I'm teaching again. I'm co-leading the Zen Do, you know, and we sit and I talk, and I am teaching in a variety of ways. And that really is the way that I bring it back to Suzuki Roshi, is that 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 of it, is something that you work out, you know. And he says that explicitly many times in his lectures. You know, I was reading recently. He said, well, you're going to need different precepts in America. The precepts we have may not be quite right for you. Well, I mean, that's a fairly radical thing. Most Buddhist teachers would just simply say, these are the precepts, you know, let's study them. So in 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 layperson community of lay monk-type people. And to this day, I mean, the way people do things here is, and not just here but elsewhere too, is, you know, like your group. I mean, you know, that sort of thing didn't exist, you know, 30 years ago. So, you know, I don't think it's unique to Suzuki Roshi. I think the Dharma is coming from many, many different teaching streams, but I feel like, I feel well supported by him in what I'm doing. I really do. Maybe I ask in a slightly different way. I mean, what you said was simply enough in itself, and I should just not press the point. But if, I imagine what might happen someday, if you get Dharma transmission, and then in your turn you were going to give Dharma transmission to someone else, then you were going to carry that lineage that goes back to Suzuki Roshi. In that context, is there something very core that harkens back to Suzuki Roshi


that is very important for that next, that passing on, that responsibility that you someday might be called on to do? Well, the issue of Dharma transmission is a complicated one for me. I mean, I was all set to do it, had all the silk scrolls ready, and then it didn't happen. I refused to go through with it. And one of the positions I'm currently taking is to reject or remove myself from any sense of outside credentials. So, since you bring up the point, one of the things I'm experimenting with is, is there 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 transmission from anybody. It was one of my experiments, since I'm going down that path,


and I've been down it for a long time, to see how far I can get without it. It's a test, you know. Other people maybe aren't in a situation where it's so easy for them to perform that experiment, but since I happen to be in it, I feel like, well, maybe somebody should try this out. And I think that Suzuki Roshi would probably say, it's absurd, it's a waste of time, you know, you need some kind of ceremony or something to sort of make this work. But I think everything needs to be tested. And I would argue with him, I would say, well, fine, there's a bunch of other people 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 going to fail, and it's too bad, but, you know, give it a shot if you feel like you have to do it. But you follow what I'm saying. Very well, very well. And I'll ask you the question that you asked me some weeks ago or so. Can you imagine in 20 years that you'll produce another person like you, that's somehow under your tutelage or practicing with you,


in your role as a teacher, that you'll be responsible for someone who could fill your shoes? Well, I've thought about that. I'm just in the beginning stages of redefining myself in a way that's visibly some kind of a teacher. So I have yet to really encounter that question. 20 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, that's not my thing to do. I think there's other ways to transmit Dharma besides just sort of from person to person. You can also transmit it to a culture or to a society or to create channels in which the Dharma can flow. And it may be that that's my role and that it's for other people who have a more conventional setup to do what 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 mulling over the notion of transmission for a long time, and I don't believe, as many Zen people don't, that it's necessarily at all tied with priesthood and that it necessarily functions in a sort of prescribed manner like you read about in the books. I think that it actually... You know, I've written an article about this where I think that ultimately transmission is something that is very intimate and fundamentally private. And it may be that the most powerful and important transmissions in Buddhism are ones that nobody in human history has ever heard about. I just got a message recently from the person I talked about earlier,


you know, that was asking about you, and he said that in the Tibetan tradition there are a lot of extra-institutional lines of teaching and lineages that just sort of happen out in the mountains and out and about. And the people inside the Tibetan tradition know about it, and you can go find teachers that are in that. 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 the Dharma kind of has 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 the sort of thing that I do, you know, somebody who has a kind of an interest in... I mean, fundamentally I see myself as a composer, an artist and a musician, and that's what I'm good at, and so I kind of do Dharma that way too. I mean, you know, my musician friends, most of them are performers. They perform other people's music.


But some of them are composers, and to them music means something that they make up. They pull music out of a hat that doesn't exist. I've been so used to that, because it's what I've done all my life, that it doesn't surprise me or bother me to do it that way with Dharma. 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 high school now. There's nobody to send me to the counselor and get demerits because I'm not doing it. So I feel like I'm being fairly responsible about that, but the answer to your question might be no. It may be that I'm not going to be somebody who transmits the Dharma, you know, one-on-one. I took this tangent. I was trying actually to get back to Suzuki Roshi and see if I could find some thread that you would kind of bite on, but you did a great job not biting. Whatever. Bill, do you have anything you want to ask Liv? Kind of more historical questions.


I was wondering, did he talk about his teachers very much? Suzuki Shizuo Ion, or Gokujin, and so on. Teaching through observation and instruction that he absorbed. I mean, he was not trained in a big monastery for the most part. He was trained while growing up in the household and small temple of these teachers. And so I have 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. This is where I take issue with institutional transmission.


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 24 hours a day. You know how they smell. You know how they cough. You know how they go to the toilet. You know what I'm saying? It's like really, really intimate. And a lot of the transmissions that people do fall far short of that standard, let's put it that way. And that's okay, but it's not... I mean, I'm really interested in that original kind because it creates a kind of embodied dharma that you sort of get through your pores of your skin. And I feel in that sense I really have received a kind of transmission from Suzuki Roshi because I feel like he's inside of me. I can't get rid of him. I tried. When I took off my robes and left, I was pretty angry and upset, and I really tried as an experiment


to see if I could get rid of it all. And I couldn't. I realized that I had 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 dharma as a vow and that it was a potent structure that was ineradicable in my psyche. At that point, I realized, well, I like that. That's good. But I didn't know that it had taken hold that deeply. I didn't know for quite a while. I had to find out. And in that sense, I think that Suzuki Roshi was successful in trapping me. 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. I forget what the original question was. What did you ask me? Talking about his teachers. Yeah, so I think that 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...


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 particularly from his first teacher and probably from everybody that he studied with. Did you feel he changed much over time, over the years that you knew him? Did you see him shift his either teaching style or approach or 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


or gaining some people and really, you know, trying to develop a small group of people that he could kind of pass it all along to. I think he began to feel his mortality. And in that sense, I think he got a lot more kind of focused on hurrying up the whole process, not being quite so patient. So in that sense, he changed. But 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. It was just striking about, well, one day he's alive, the next day he's dying, what difference does it make? And he really was just exactly the same. It was uncanny, kind of weird, you know, that 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, the fundamental sense, nothing could change him. But I think strategically, he got a little more desperate


and a little more concerned about, you know, his lifespan and everything. David's talked a few times about Sugiroshi not, or encouraging students not to get involved in trips, you know, a drug trip or whatever trip they happen to be on. But he also didn't seem to interfere with students. You know, the whole macrobiotic wars, all sorts of sort of, not conflict, but trips that students were on. But he didn't intervene. Is that a right sense? He didn't put his foot down and say, okay, no more macrobiotic. No, he never did that. It's hard for me to know at this point what to attribute his vast degree of acceptance. I mean, sometimes I feel like he just thought we were all children. He had the same kind of acceptance as a kindergarten teacher to our behaviors. You know, just we weren't, you know, for five-year-olds, you don't. You know, they're cognitively not ready to do certain things.


You know, so you just kind of, it's 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, because we know he was very tough and strict and kind of an angry fellow in Japan and why he would be so different here. I don't think it was just that he sort of magically changed his personality. I think he actually perceived us as 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 much more, you know, strict, try to be much more strict. But I think he made it pretty clear that he was concerned that if he was at all strict, we would all leave, that we were too fragile. So it's hard for me to know whether his acceptance was due to some vast supernatural dharma ability and how much of it was just that he didn't think we were ready for much more than that. And also the third thing was, you know, he didn't understand what we were up to. I mean, you know, he was,


he came into a subculture of a culture. It's hard enough to understand the culture, but then to understand the subculture of the culture, you know. So I think he just kind of, you know, whatever sort of thing. I think it was really that as much as anything. But, you know, he did toward the end start to put his foot down 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 putting his foot down, and a lot of people backed off real fast from that, you know. So he was starting to, toward the end of his life, feel like, I've got to get some of this stuff under control, you know, because this is just not going to work, you know. So that's a somewhat more, less, you know, laudatory or praiseworthy answer than a lot of people might give. But I think it's honest. I think that a lot of it was just,


you know, he wasn't quite sure how much we could take at any one time. I think that's enough. Okay. It was really great. You said a lot of wonderful things that I haven't heard from other people say, so I think it's very important to have your voice included in this. Just as an example, I'm curious to know what was, what might have... What you just said now, for example, about, you know, you saw us as being children. That's a hypothesis on my part. I don't have any proof of that. And this thing about, you know, the acceptance being maybe, you know, earlier you said the same thing, you know, that acceptance was the first step. That was the basis. But once people got that under their skin, that then you could relate to people very differently. I've never heard that articulated before. So that was very important. A whole series of things you articulated, which maybe some of your fellow students from that time


would just, you know, all agree or maybe not agree, I don't know. But for me, some of the things you said were somewhat new and unique and I think it's a very valuable contribution. Okay, well, good. We'll use whatever part of it you would like to use. I'm sure you'll have to pair it down. Probably to keep it in balance with the other speakers. Yeah, you want to... People spoke more than 10 minutes, actually. I think it can be... It doesn't have to be as short as that. But it can be added down. At times, it's a little wordy. You go on in a written form. Some of the things you said, not that it was a problem with the way you spoke, but it could probably be condensed to a third as many words, is my guess. We do want to plug your book, you know. In the glossary, the references, anyone who mentions a book is in the bibliography. Is that coming out soon? February. February, okay. What's the title? Work as a Spiritual Practice. And who's the publisher?


Broadway Books. Broadway, okay. David's book and mine are coming out in the same week. Oh, that's right. Yeah. Is this through the ninth? Yeah. Mine is like the twelfth or something. Actually, is there anything that you feel that you would like to say that we haven't asked or touched upon that somehow in this topic of Suzuki Roshi and how he's remembered? Anything that... Well, I would just like to say that I do not want him to become a saint in the sense of that he exists in the past as some kind of inspiration. I think that I would like him to be much more present, particularly here in his own lineage. I'd like people to study his talks. I'd like people to 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 than my sense is that he's been. So in my own little zendo, I've taken a vow that I'm just going to, for the next several years, 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 a disciple of a teacher should do, is that's... Rather than studying the Hekigan Roku or Dogan or something like that, which is like a thousand years ago, he was right here. He was teaching to us in our situation. So I feel that we should all make a renewed effort to bring him alive. There's a lot of recordings and written things and books coming out and stuff. So I'm a big fan of that 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 would just like to... And I do. I plug it every time I can. I think that all of us should be doing what we can to do that. That's what I mean by a saint in the sense that he's like Dogan or something. So that's one thing. Okay? Great. Thank you so much for both doing this and also willing to come and drive all this way to do it. Oh well, you know. Thank you so much. I used to drive in here every week for years. It's fun to see the building again. It looks very much the same. It doesn't change much. Not a whole lot. Thank you so much. I used to drive in here