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Stuart Lachs - Don't Forget

Stuart Lachs cuke page

The following is from Stuart's email of 1/28/03 and is a memory of from Tassajara's first practice period in 1967. That letter has more memories from then and some critical analysis of some traps we tend to fall into - including Suzuki. - DC

As just about every one was new and it was new for the Center to run Tassajara and the weather was very hot, and the buildings weren't all ready, things did get sloppy. They tried adjusting the schedule and changing this and that. It was like a shake down cruise. We did get sloppy and somewhat worn down. One night I think, in the zendo, Baker gave a talk scolding every one and telling people to straighten out and so on. I felt upset over his talk, as I did not like being scolded by him; I think some others felt that way too. When Baker finished he moved back to his regular place, Suzuki moved forward to say something. He sat quietly for a few moments, as did every one else. Then, in a soft voice, he said, "don't forget why you came here." End of talk! It hit me in the face. Rather than scolding or blaming or pushing, he gently held it up in front of us and then gently put it back in each one of our own hands. It was wonderful living Zen for me. That is my most important and moving memory of Tassajara and of Suzuki.


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