Give Crooked Cucumber to a friend

About the Book           

About Suzuki Roshi    

Crooked Cucumber Excerpts

Transmission and Enlightenment

Crooked Cucumber main page

3-08-13 - Alexander Kantner wrote:

I am a graduate student at the Graduate Theological Union/Institute for Buddhist Studies (also a student of Alan Senauke). I am working on my thesis about lay teaching and practice in Suzuki-roshi's lineage.

I have been trying to track down the source for a quote that has do with Suzuki being asked if his decision to give Dharma transmission to Richard Baker implied that Baker was enlightened, and Suzuki responding, "No. It means his understanding is good and his commitment is complete." (Or something to that effect.) I thought that I had read this in Crooked Cucumber, but cannot seem to find it. Can you help me locate a source for this?

DC responded: Yes that's in Crooked Cucumber.
He told it to me so I can confirm it now independently.
I will find the page number too and the exact quote later if you want.

Here's what I sent. - dc

Chapter 17 - page 154 in the file I have - at the end of a section.

For almost a year Suzuki had been informing people of his decision to give Richard transmission in Japan, and little by little he got their feedback, much of it negative. He asked Silas what he thought, and Silas said that maybe Richard was too smart for the community. "Maybe the rest of you aren't smart enough," Suzuki answered. At a meeting at Tassajara, he finally said that the community was going to have to trust him on this one.


"Okay, Roshi, then what does transmission mean?" I asked Suzuki in his office at Sokoji on that day in 1969 when he had told Bob and me of his plan. "Does it mean that Richard Baker is perfectly enlightened, and that his mind is the same as the mind of Buddha? Is his understanding complete?"

 "Oh, no no no," Suzuki said. "Don't make too much of it. It means he has a good understanding. A good understanding and a complete commitment."

Crooked Cucumber Excerpts


Home | What Was New | Contest | Digressions | Links | Jacket Notes | Book Reviews | Reader's Comments
Author's Notes | Bibliography | Author Events | About the Author | Errata
Interviews | Suzuki Stories | Photos |  Suzuki Lectures  | Archives Project | Sangha News | Contact Me  

This site designed by
The Empty Wig

Original site designed by Sheryl B.