|About the Book
About Suzuki Roshi
Interview with Stan White
irascible priest of the Taos Zendo.
interviewed by DC
ON THE SUMMER OF 1970--phone call in 93--DC
I remember Suzuki Roshi's San Do Kai lectures. He'd say that San means such and such and he'd go on for quite a while and when the lecture was over you'd scratch your head and say well I didn't quite understand it but maybe I will someday and go back to sitting. Anyway you felt good about it.
I was in the office I think that summer - I don't remember Ed Brown there but I remember Maggie Kress and Jack Weller. I always took care of the office in the summers when I was there.
I had very little contact with Suzuki Roshi. I was quite a younger student of his. But what little contact I had, I paid quite a bit of attention to. One of the first contacts I had with him was hearing a lecture, and in the lecture he said, You know, everybody here, you are my friend." I hadn't been at Zen Center very long, and that was very strange to hear from this little Japanese man who was a Zen master of course and I respected him for that, but I didn't know quite what he meant by friendship. Maybe I didn't quite know what friendship meant. So afterwards I met him in his office when we were bowing on the way out [maybe not after the lecture but the next day?] and I said, excuse me, if you have a moment, could you please speak with me, and he said certainly. So I said to him, you said you're my friend. What do you mean by that? He said, you know Stanley, I look at you and the little bit I know of you, I know you suffer. So do I. Therefore, we're friends. Of course, he said, when it comes to Zen, I've had a lot of experience. And you've had very little. And therefore I'm your teacher and your my student." And that really cleared that matter up. Immediately I had a relationship with him that I understood completely and that's how it went all the time he was alive.
Another time I was upset that I was smoking a lot, which I still do on occasion, and drinking coffee. He looked at me and said, it's quite alright if you smoke and maybe tea is better for you than coffee but you can drink coffee. But when it comes to smoking, we realize that you're a little emotionally disturbed. But please don't smoke around me, I don't like the smell of it. So I never smoked around him. And that put it succinctly right where it was at. He didn't give a big lecture or quote the Bible or whatever. It's all very easy when you're in contact with a man with that amount of clarity.
Another time at Tassajara he walked up to me and tapped me on the shoulder and out of the blue he said to me, Stanley - don't eat too much rich food," which I do like. Good medical advice - probably something he saw in me or something.
One time in dokusan, I was about fifty years old, and this was at Tassajara, and I said, Roshi, here I am at Tassajara, I'm not a boy anymore. I'm fifty years old. And what am I going to do with myself after this? What's gonna happen to me. He said, oh, don't worry Stanley, we're going to make you a member of the brotherhood. You'll be ordained." I was very delighted. So I immediately said, I'm ready. He said, "when we are ready." and I left there and he never spoke about it again.
Around that time at Christmas I had a rather heavy tragedy in my family - my mother was hurt in an automobile accident and I had to go to Boston and I really had had enough of Tassajara. I didn't want to get caught up in who's gonna be head dishwasher game and yet that seemed to be a lot of what was going on there. I know it's necessary to establish some kind of order in the place but I just wasn't functioning in that scene. So I quit Tassajara. [Stanley was there for years and was the fusu, treasurer a lot and always seemed to run the office in the summer.--DC] Around Christmas time after I got back from New England, I went to see Suzuki Roshi and he asked me how I was doing I said that I did pretty well there and frankly I've had enough. He asked me how I liked Tatsugami Roshi and I said I thought he was great and he said that's nice and we never mentioned the ordination part and then I went to Mexico.
Yoshimura got invited there and he was a friendly man and I spoke some Spanish and we went to Mexico City and he gave some lectures to some psychiatrists - we were invited by a patient, a very wealthy fellow, a psychiatrist down there who was a student of Eric Fromm who lived near Mexico City in Cuernavaca. Yoshimura Sensei gave a lecture there and at the University at a growth center called El Centro de Desaroyo de Tarango that was run by a psychiatrist by the name of Jorge Derbez. Everybody liked Ryogen's lecture. It went like this.
In India when you eat food you must eat with your right hand, because Indian people do not use eating utensils - they use their hands. When you do that the food goes down a little tube and comes out the other end and you must use your left hand for that - it's very important. They all spoke English. One of them was the Minister of Telecommunications, Carlos Nun~as. And Ryogen said it's kind of a waste of time and as a matter of fact your life is a waste of time. These were fairly self-important people. Then he showed them how to sit using me as a model - I don't have the best posture in the world. And afterwards they asked him if he'd stay and teach them Zen but he said he had to go back to his home temple and take it over at the request of his father. But you can have Stanley, he said. So I wound up in Mexico City for three years.
So at that time I did not have any contact with Suzuki Roshi. I would come up every six months and have a little contact with a few people and change my tourist papers at the border and buy a few things for the poor people down there and even work - I worked at a restaurant in Sausalito for ten days once. Then I heard Suzuki Roshi was ill, but I didn't know what it was and I thought, well he's always a little ill.
In fact at one time Suzuki Roshi and I drove up to see Kathy Cook when she had a nervous breakdown. She was at Russian River and it was a long day driving all the way up there from Tassajara and all the way back. It was quiet in the car and I didn't want to disturb him very much and on the way back he mentioned that we would like to have a farm. He said it would be a good place for American Zen students to put their ideals in the ground.
He asked me if I would like to stop at a restaurant but we took highway one and there wasn't one open so he said, let's eat at Sokoji, which was where he lived there with Okusan. He said she'll get us something to eat and I said, it's a little late to get her up don't you think? "Oh no no, Okusan will like that. It's fine." And she did, she made us a nice supper and I slept there and the next day we went to Tassajara and on the way down, he said to me you know Stanley, I'm sick and I'm going to die. And I said- this really set me back in my seat and I didn't ask the medical prognosis - this was a few years before he died. I said, really? I knew he coughed a lot. And I said, what will happen to Zen Center? And he said, don't worry, Katagiri Sensei will take over. I thought gee, wonderful man Suzuki Roshi and I'll miss him but at least we'll have a good teacher.
And I didn't pay too much attention after that and I didn't talk to anybody about it. And then I went to Mexico City and I came back one time change my papers and Suzuki Roshi was dying and I didn't want to bother him. I went to the ceremony where he made Dick Baker the uh - Mountain Seat Ceremony - and I could see Ed Brown and some other person on his arms and he was not walking - he was being carried into the zendo and this stick he was tapping the floor with. I wasn't in the big hall because there were just too many students who wanted to be there and I thought well, I felt teary actually which is not normal for me.
And about a day later Peter Schneider came up to me and said to me, Stanley, he will see some of his students, if you would like to, I can arrange it. And I said of course I would like to if it's possible. So I went up to his room and there he was in bed with his skin that had discolored quite a bit and he was extremely weak and he gasshoed and I did the same. Then he looked right at me and he said not with a loud voice but firm, "Don't grieve for me. I know who I am, I know where I'm going. Don't worry about a thing." He's dying and he's teaching me. And he said, "I want you to trust people at Zen Center. I want you to trust Silas. I want you to trust Dick Baker and Claude and Bill Kwong." And that was that. I went back to Mexico City and he died about a week later. Basically that was my experience with Suzuki Roshi.
I came to Zen Center in about 1960. I was one of the Beatniks. I read books and played chess and had a couple of girlfriends who usually found us a place to live and if they didn't I did. Once they were gone someplace which was a relief because they were boisterous and I went to stay with Dan Moore. He joined the Muslims in England or something. Gail I knew - she asked me if she should marry him. I liked him but he was off the wall - he needed help to tie his shoes or he might tie them together. He was a nice guy - a rhapsodic poet. [He was there early on but he'd visit now and then and it was always fun when he did. I remember him coming to Zen Center once with a group of people and they had colorful robes on and the whole front hall smelled like marijuana. He had the Floating Lotus Opera and it was a gas. Quite a show.--DC] His favorite poet was Rambaud - he was in the sky - and he wrote like this: We have danced through azure skies to a height that the flying eagles never possessed.
I would stay in North Beach all night playing chess and sitting around and drinking coffee at what we called the Hot Dog Palace. On occasion smoking half a joint if we could get one. East a hamburger if we could panhandle the money. At seven or eight I'd walk to Dan's house in the Western addition where he lived with Gail - she was Dianne Varsey's sister. She was freezing all the time and would stand over the heating grate with her red hair almost to her ankles and Dan would be nude when he came back from zazen. And Dan would be nude when he came back from zazen. He had suppleness in his legs and would sit in lotus position and he'd immediately say, well Stanley, what poet would you love to hear? You want to hear dome Apolanaire? He read French beautifully. William Blake? Oh yes, up horizon wise host. And he's always say you must go to this Zen thing with me. Ah it's a cinch. Zazen - there is no Zen in America. I knew about Zen and I knew Jack Kerouac when he babbled about the diamond sutra which he'd quote when we got drunk together and park at the Buddha Bar in Chinatown. I'd read his books about Buddhism and I got the Zen Teachings of Huang Po and put it on the shelf and one day a friend I had a little respect for said, wow man, that's a cool book. And he gave me Zen Flesh Zen Bones.
So Dan kept asking me to come to zazen but I didn't and I was waiting for Suzanne and Shiva to get back so I could have my girlfriends and a different place to live. And he'd say, it's amazing what zazen it. He was a romantic poet. Ferlingetti published him - Dawn Visions was one of his books.
I had always suffered from polarization - up and down and I was down and Dan said you should come to zazen with me so i did it and he showed me how to sit - I couldn't sit in lotus like him and he told me to keep my mind in my stomach and watch my breathing. So I said okay I'll try it and I went there and my whole body was convulsing as I was doing this. And then we - well we didn't chant - Suzuki Roshi chanted for us - [?]we didn't chant at that time. BR when he came to Zen Center initiated that [That's not right.--DC]- He was immediately the leader his first day there. He was very important. [That's what I always say about Reb - that the day he arrived he was my senior.--DC]
Reb once made an extraordinary statement to me at Tassajara. He said, you know, I'm always first and I'll be in Japan before any of you guys and I'll be ordained and I will receive the highest accolades which happened and I like Reb a lot and I have a lot of respect for him. He was a first kind. Dan used to say that I would be the last sentient being. At any rate Suzuki Roshi chanted the sutra - I found that very unusual - I'd never heard all that funny language and then we bowed to the floor and I'd never done that before and I found that to be an extraordinary thing to do. Then we filed out through the office and bowed with him and he had these pretty silk robes on and he just struck me fine. We walked down the stairs and I was just plain gassed. The melancholy had lifted but I hadn't gone to some crazy height - just to some ethereal place so Dan looked at me and said what are you thinking and I said I don't know what to think of that but that's what I'm going to do the rest of my life -
I finally found something to do. Because the essential expression of the Beatniks was do nothing. Everything is a mess, a lot of us were war vets, the world is a shambles - it was a completely nihilistic trip. The poetry was nihilistic. One of my best friends was Bob Kaufman who wrote the strongest poem of that time which was the Abomnabust Manifesto. And Jack Kerouac's On the Road - the guy was just flying - I knew Neil Cassidy pretty well. And that's how I came to Zen Center.
Quarter of six was zazen and five thirty in the afternoon and I went everyday. One day my beard disappeared - Suzuki Roshi made a little comment - we should be clean in the zendo - I want the girls to wear longer skirts for modesty and I think people should bathe carefully so that their odor isn't offensive to the person next to them. Things like that. It was probably very offensive to him because he was always neat and clean. And he said, some of the people with long hair and beards may at least wash them or cut them off. Immediately I cut my beard. By that time Dan had left Gail and I was living with her, not as a couple, on Filmore Street in what used to be a newspaper and subsequently a whore house right in the middle of the black neighborhood. At O'Farrell. [I lived at that corner later.--DC] They'd made it into artist studios. [Filmore West was there.] Across the street was a black barber shop. There were some men sitting in there gossiping and I went in and said, I need a haircut. They looked amazed - white people didn't go in that place. But people knew me - I looked distinctive - and people called me Sebastian. So I got a haircut and by that time there was a crowd of black people standing out in front - you didn't call them black then - you called them spooks. And they were nice and I'd chat with the whores and they were all watching me get my hair cut and it was a nice haircut and I was proud of it. And I went to zazen with my haircut - I hadn't shaved or cut my hair in a couple or three years. [I remember seeing people come to zazen who'd cut their hair and I'd sometimes have to try and figure out who they were.] And that's how i went to zazen and I went everyday and I started eating in the Japanese restaurants and Claude would sometimes eat with me and then I found the Go Club and I'd go from zazen to go downstairs. And all these old Japanese men would play go with me. They'd played in interment camps during the war and they were all pretty good at it. And I got beaten every time practically.
And then I actually got a job. When I was an art student in the forties at the Art Students' League, I also worked at a very fine gallery called Nodler's on 57th Street - they'd moved out of 79th or something. They sold the Saint Sebastian that's in the Met now by Pierre de la Francesca. At that time it sold for a quarter million dollars and now it'd be a quarter billion. It's unavailable. I'd cut the mats for the pictures - for the prints and watercolors and all that - I learned from these Germans who were there - it was a frame shop and I learned a little bit about gilding. So I said I can get a job as a mat cutter. I went into one shop that was owned by a Japanese man up on Filmore near where Dick used to live and he said he didn't need anybody - he was very polite and I went to the next shop that was owned by a man by the name of Kopsbeck - he was a German American but he spoke Deutsch - very German and he said I'll give you a job but you can't cut mats - I'll give you the lowest job in the place - after the mat is cut you have to put the glass on - and you have to make sure there are no little things inside the glass - we called them fish and it's hard to do and put the backing on and the frame maker would make the frame and somebody else would cut the glass - I knew how but I didn't do it. So I had a job. He asked me how much money I wanted and I said, I don't know - thirty dollars a week - and he said that's not enough - you get forty-five. It wasn't a bad job - we had a guy there from Switzerland and I smoked like a chimney and he called me a glimstouter in the snautzer - a lighted stick in the nose. I lasted in that for a while but Kopsbeck was a hard man to work for - he had a terrible temper - especially if a customer complained about anything - he'd come back and roar and threaten to fire everybody. This Chinese kid worked there - we got friendly and he'd invite me down to Chinatown where he lived alone and we'd eat rice and he'd scrape the mold off the top of the rice we'd eat. He was a funny little guy - good man in the frame shop.
So finally one day I'm up at Zen Center and I see this kid with a hole in his sneakers - like deck shoes in those days - not many wore those things and now everybody seems to wear athletic shoes. At any rate I was kind of intrigued and I asked him what do you do and he said, I own a business - I import glass. I said, you don't own a business - you're kidding me. It was Silas Hoadley. So, we got friendly and about a week later he offered me a job to manage his business. He was going to take a trip around the world which he did and he left me in charge - that was 65 I think.
My first memory of you is at the Maybeck house when we were promoting Tassajara and you somehow promoted that we would have a day there - you knew the people in Marin and we had a nice time.
Anyway I worked at this job and did accounts receivable and all - Silas had hired some really strange people there - one was a their freak whose wife Silas had known - a sculptor who died and another was a guy really off the wall - I finally fired him - he was a friend of Silas's but he wouldn't work. He got mad at me and I gave him fifty dollars extra. These guys were pretty heavy dopers. When we were buying Tassajara Silas was very involved in the buying of it - he'd gone to Yale and had fancy rich friends - he worked very hard to get the original twenty thousand. He then wanted to sell the business. Downstairs was a guy named Joe Weiner - he had tattoos from a concentration camp - Auschwitz - and he'd somehow lived through this horror and we got friendly and he spoke with a thick accent and he imported locks. One day I told him the business was for sale so he bought it. He paid Silas and Silas gave a lot of that money to Zen Center [? gave some away to a guy to travel] I worked for a while with Joel and then when we had Tassajara I wanted to go there. I said I'm not really interested in being the manager of a business that imports glassware from Okinawa. [Joel once told me that when the Americans[?] came to liberate Auschwitz that they were feeding everyone and that the guy next to him tipped his bowl over so that almost all of it spilled out - that was his first meal and he said a lot of guys died from eating too much and that the guy had done it on purpose to save him from that fate.]
I went to the second part of the first training period - the one in August. Then I went back to work for Joel and in the spring time I had a hernia problem and I didn't want to work there so I went up to Dick Baker and asked his permission because he was now quite important - I knew him pretty well - I'd even met him in a book store at North Beach before he'd gone to Zen Center. It was the bookstore that recommended zazen to him[no-that was Mr. Fields at Fields Bookstore on Polk.--DC] - that second hand store next to City Lights - I used to go there and sleep between the stacks. Fred Roscoe [who owned Tassajara with the Becks] would give us more money than used books were with. So I went back to Tassajara the next winter and it was very difficult for me - basically the sitting and frankly, the students - I was a lot older than everybody there and the kids were talking a lot about the Vietnam War and I'd already been in two wars and how they wouldn't fight and that was foreign to me and when I mentioned that I'd been in war they kind of disliked me and I felt isolated and I was the only veteran there. Bob Watkins had only been there for the summer.
Paul Disco asked me if I could drive a truck and I said, hell, I've driven jeeps through Korea. I did the town trips which eventually led to me being in the office and did the books and Silas liked that cause I'd kept his books carefully and then Tatsugami Roshi came and I became fusu, the treasurer. I had a title and was in charge of the guests which I really loved because I'm kind of people oriented. The students I had a hard time with because everybody seemed to be bucking for something and I wanted to get rid of my suffering. I had a lot of problems and I wanted to get rid of them but I was just seeing them better and what they were. Besides the pain in my body during zazen I saw the pain in my relationships to people.
[You told me once a long time ago that you had a dokusan with Suzuki Roshi in which you repeated back to him something he'd said and that he said to you, when I say it it's true, when you say it it's false.] Must be someone else - I never said that. I do remember his lectures when he said, in the sky there's a moon and you would say there's one moon in the sky but if I say there's a double moon you would probably imitate me and say, okay, there's a double moon but then I will say there's a single moon. He made that point often which means to me, when you're rattling around in your conceptual mind, you haven't got the same understanding I have. But keep practicing and keep with it and you won't loose your suffering, your pain or your karma but you'll realize yourself. And in that kind of understanding you can have freedom. Suzuki Roshi used to say an amazing thing that I've repeated to a lot of people when they've come to me with their problems. He'd say in lectures, if you have a problem it's like riding a horse. To ride a horse is not so easy but you can learn to do it. But if you put a horse on top of a horse you cannot ride it." So don't put a problem on top of a problem. Basically the problem that we have is putting a problem on a problem. If you don't add to it, a problem is just a challenge. For example, you get out of bed and there's no milk for the coffee. You can stew and say there's no milk so I can't have coffee or you can go get some milk and have your coffee or you can say I won't have coffee today. And some of our problems on problems can be grave - in relationships or eating and these problems will show up in your body. And you can sit in zazen and feel that. Reb said that when he sat he felt a kink in his neck. He wasn't born with that - it was a problem he'd caused somehow. But he didn't make that a problem. He sat with it and looked at it. Suzuki Roshi made that pretty clear.
The SDK lectures were a little too much for me and probably still are. I chant it in Japanese and I can feel the vibration and hear the sound in a vast ocean of no sound and it's an interesting practice to chant these things. But the lectures he would explain chikudo and my eyelids would droop or I'd get sleeping or my body would hurt so much from sitting cross legged that I wouldn't pay too much attention and when I did it was more to how he was sitting, his demeanor and his presence. He looked quiet and comfortable talking up there, dressed with his nice robe on, he looked lovely and he wasn't slumped over. He did cough a lot but that had nothing to do with his presence. He was not a well man. My feeling is that during the war there was so much depravation that he was malnourished and I feel the same about Kobun.
Can you imagine 70 million people starving and being fire bombed and atom bombed - it was devastating what happened to them - and countless young men who wouldn't surrender dead all over those islands. I saw stacks of stinking bodies at Leitei[?]. But the second world war was a total war. After the war I was in Japan with the army of occupation for three months and I went AWOL for a great deal of that. The captain was furious but I got an honorable discharge. I told him it had been four years and I was a little psycho. We called that ward 8 which was for people who were shell shocked which I wasn't - I had a grenade explode near me once but I wasn't shell shocked. McArthur was a great general and he was an amazing administrator in Japan. But he had one failing - there's a book about him called the American Caesar. He was an imperious man. I saw him in Leitei. The campaign was over and we'd rooted the last Japanese soldier out of a tree. I also served under him in Korea and he was a great General. He knew military strategy as a means of saving lives. More Japanese and Americans would have died without him. He did a lot of good for Japan but he wanted to atom bomb China and that kind of ruined his career. The highest I ever rose was to squad leader.
Suzuki Roshi had presence. People yakity yak but people do notice presence. If you're strong where you are, people will respect you and not only respect you but they'll ask you to teach them how to do that and this is definitely what Suzuki Roshi had and I will guarantee that Bodhidharma was the same way - they got it through their practice. Tatsugami Roshi - same thing - presence - Kobun and Katagiri Sensei and Bill Kwong and Baker Roshi, god bless him - presence. Where do you think that power comes from that he is able to out of nowhere do the things he does. When he talks, people listen - like the add says. Presence is really important and that's what Suzuki Roshi had a lot of and because of that he was revered - there are a lot of people called reverend but they have no more presence than the man on the moon. They may have gone to school to learn how to do some things but they don't have presence. to the point that there was a really strange guy saying awful things about him
When I first met him I wasn't struck by his presence consciously. Unconsciously yes. I've been through a lot in my life and I didn't like to be insulted but he could say to me that I was a little emotionally disturbed and it was perfectly acceptable. It's the highest quality that a human being can attain - it's to know who you are like he said when he was getting ready to die. No fears. He was concerned for me. Some people have a lot of presence but not quite enough and people listen to them and get sidetracked by them into activity that they wouldn't normally do. It's not religious and it's not what their real self wants them to do. Adolph Hitler - that's a lot of presence. But Suzuki Roshi used his to teach Buddhist teaching. For that I call him revered. I realize pretty well that everybody is aiming at being realized and understanding who they are and being themselves or what they sutras call complete unbounded liberation. It's the only purpose in life whether you do something that's considered good or bad. Suzuki Roshi by what he did with his life, had gone beyond doing things for himself. Sure he ate and all that but basically he was concerned with these young people in America. He came here and he spent all the time that he had trying to make people understand how they can take a quick route to realization - intentionally practicing. That was his power. He had several hundred people in no time sitting cross-legged and from that several hundred Zen Center germinated so much. There are Zen Centers all over.
Trungpa had amazing presence - I could tell you about a lecture of his I heard[?]. These people help other people to understand what they understand - they are karmicaly religious men. Dick had presence but people didn't revere him.
I distinctly remember going to the meeting when we got Tassajara. That was right after Dick Baker became president of Zen Center.[?] Jean Ross was president before. They'd seen Tassajara and according to Dick he said it would make a good monastery. I had very little to do with it. I worked for Silas so he could do it. At that time we only had maybe twenty-five students. Maybe ten people came to the meeting - it was in the back of Sokoji in some room with only a long table and chairs. Dick went on and on and on and I haven't got the least idea of one word he said except he wanted us to get Tassajara and Suzuki Roshi was dozing off. He had that habit of when it got to be too much yakity yak he'd go to sleep. [He'd do that to me when there were two of us] (laughter) Finally Dick woke him by saying is there anyone here who's with me on this? I was the one who raised my hand - I don't know why - then everybody raised their hands - maybe I did it to get the meeting over - it went on for over an hour this yakity yak - I'm not very good at. I once said to Yvonne you must have a meeting to decide to go to meetings and she said of course we do. But who made it possible for us to get Tassajara? Not Dick Baker - he was helpful. But I don't remember Suzuki Roshi saying a word.
During zazen in those early sesshins I'd think of 700,000 questions and when I got to dokusan I was tongue-tied. And I'd say, I'm sorry I have nothing to say today and he would bow unless I was last and then he might offer me tea or a cookie. I did say to him once when I was kind of upset with Tassajara, I don't really care about this or that or any of these things - I know that it's promised in the Diamond Sutra that everybody is going to be liberated and there's no problem about that and I keep that in mind and he said that's very good. You have nothing to worry about if you keep that in mind." It says in the sutra that all things are caused to attain complete unbounded liberation. There's no other meaning to this life. Ryogen came to Tassajara and he was incredibly handsome and Kobun motioned to me not to stare when we were in the Zendo. After his talk he asked for questions and I asked him why the 25th and 24th chapters of the diamond sutra were combined - why did that happen (in the Chinese version). I was trying to impress him. He said that's a very good question - come to my room and we'll talk about it. He was a great scholar and a great teacher. So I went to see him and there was an ashtray and he made me tea and I said this is marvelous. And he said, that was quit a question you asked - concerning the 24th and 25th chapters of the Diamond Sutra, it doesn't make a bit of difference." And with that, he picks up a bug on the floor and squashes it and puts it in the ashtray. You talk about having the wind taken out of your bubble. I was outgabowzen - all blown up. He had the presence to take me up and drop me down. He knew what I was doing. And then we had tea and a nice talk. He was always cool and knew the right thing to bring him down to earth. Students didn't understand him. They thought he was snooty. Kobun is a mystic, he's an existential teacher. He does not know what he's doing - but what he does, makes people practice Zen. He has students who would crawl from here to Albuquerque to see him for five minutes. He comes here and he disappears into the woods and we never see him - but we practice. People involved with Kobun practice. Even if they go to the Tibetan group or Vipassana or whatever. When he sits in sesshin he just sits. I watch the way he eats, the way he does everything.
I went to zazen at Sokoji in the morning and afternoon and Saturday though it was a bit much for me. I went to Wednesday night lecture when he started to do that one. I learned the Sutra when Suzuki Roshi passed the sutra cards out one day. By that time Dick Baker was there. He was funny. One time Mel was sitting in the first seat down front where Dick sat and no one sat there but him and one time Dick came in late and Mel was sitting there and Dick tapped him on the shoulder and audibly in a soft voice said, pardon me but that's my seat. Mel looked at Suzuki Roshi and he motioned for Mel to move so he did. [I think I remember that.]
Howard Campbell and Jeannie, Dan's sister, started the Berkeley Zendo and Howard went to Tassajara to be a caretaker that winter and Jeannie moved to Bush Street. Jeannie was strange. Howard was nuts. He threatened people with knives. He confronted the people who were already there. Mel went to Berkeley... [?]
Suzuki Roshi called the stomach a tummy. I had a hard time following a lot of his lectures and one day he said, You probably had a hard time understanding what I said, but some day you will." I thought, that's good enough. With Zen practice you begin to understand the process is enjoyable.
He blasted me one day. He'd said during his lecture that life was impossible. So I chirped up that I thought that was a very good comment but it actually was disturbing me a little bit. I said, if it's impossible, how can we do it? He said, "You do it every day." And the way he said it, it felt like a rifle shot through my windpipe to the backbone. I felt this shot - I've been shot - only in the war - never as a civilian - I've been pretty peaceful actually. I put my hand to my throat. It was strong.
One time at Bush Street, John Steiner was all upset about the war in Vietnam and you know a lot of young people didn't want the war and the government did want it and there was a lot of mess about that - and John was in a frenzy about the whole thing and he was asking a question and his eyes were popping out and he was really upset and he said what can I do?! And Suzuki Roshi said, Gasho! Gasho! Gasho! and he came down off of the raised area where he was standing speaking with his short straight flat stick and he started batting John till John was sinking to the floor and then he said, now get up, you know what you can do!" Oh! it was something! He could settle people's bullshit so easily. I'm not saying John didn't have a right to be upset but Suzuki Roshi unupset him. He taught a lot of people a lot by doing things like that.
Suzuki Roshi would go down into Japantown shopping sometimes with Okusan, very often alone, He'd be in his street robes and he had a little hat that looked a little bit like an overseas cap and it was made of silk and he'd put that on and go down the street. Once he told us he always bought the produce that was bruised and old.
Building the zendo in Los Altos at Marian Derby's - he was good with tools - one of the young ladies was having trouble with a saw, an American saw - he never said a word but he showed her how to use it - he used his hands and liked rock gardens and bamboo and he was always busy with his little plants he liked to take care of. I remember once we decided we had to tape his lectures and once the tape recorder was not functioning properly. He tried to fix it and finally got frustrated and said, where's my wife. And okusan with that Japanese ladies walk, shuffling across the floor like cross country skiing, she came across the floor and adjusted it. Someone else was taping it but they couldn't fix it either. It was giving feedback or something.
Once I was working on Ryogen's car and wanted to give it to Otohiro to fix[?] - Otohiro was living with him. I went up to Sokoji and Okusan said what are you doing here? and I said I came up to fix Ryogen's car and she said well come on in and have some lunch and there were all these little bowls and we were picking things out. I said, I just came from Tassajara and Suzuki Roshi's fine. And she looked at me very sardonic and she said, well he's not fine with me. I told Suzuki Roshi and he laughed.
I decided one day I would make a box because Suzuki Roshi had asked me to make a donation box for the office so I went to the Bay Area and in Berkeley there was a hardwood place - MacBeath's and I bought a long plank of beautiful maple and went back to Tassajara and never made the box - I'd cut it up into four pieces but that was as far as I got. And finally one day Claude saw that and he asked me for a piece and I said sure and then I gave a piece to Suzuki Roshi and asked him if he would do something with it and he made a beautiful calligraphy on it - just sitting there - one mind - it's in Boston - I went to see my mother and brought it and left it in my sister's storage.
One time we had a sesshin at Tassajara and I had a high feeling and I felt so ecstatic at the end of sesshin that I decided to buy some tea for Suzuki Roshi so I went to some Japanese store in Monterrey and I got the most expensive green tea and presented it to Suzuki Roshi and he said come on in and have some and I thought that was marvelous - I'm going to sit with Suzuki Roshi and have tea - cause I didn't have that much contact with him. And with that the bell rings for zazen and so I said, alas I can't come, I've got to go to zazen. He said okay - he had to go too. Suzuki Roshi if he was well always attended zazen - he was like Reb. The next training period one day I decided well this time I'll have the tea with him so I went down to Monterey and bought the same tea and I came to the door and I knocked and presented the tea and said, oh, same thing. I walked away feeling like Art Crumbs bent over guy. I felt so low. I had tea in the morning with the officers and that tea was there and I still wanted it so I pushed it over to the anja and said, use this tea and he growled and said, no, use this - it was bancha. He said, monks don't drink that tea. It was ocha - the twisted leaves.
I feel in order to learn Zen from a Zen teacher, it's good if they whack you. Tatsugami Roshi used to say I take a student and I squeeze and I squeeze and I squeeze and then I catch what's left. You have to be real strong to do that. American students are immature. We all want to be teachers. An awful lot do. The Japanese say go ahead - big deal - try it - see how it is. Kobun once said, these robes get very heavy. So they jump into teaching a yakity yakity yakity yak and read the sutras and talk a lot and get a lot of power cause the students are into Zen and don't want to leave the place and some of them get a little excited and do crazy things that look even scandalous but that's not so terrible - power is a very strange drug I guess.
Somebody said to Suzuki Roshi during a discussion period, You eat meat. And he said yes I do. And the person was accusing him. And they said, Buddha didn't eat any meat and Suzuki Roshi said yes he was a very pious man. He threw it right back on the guy.
One day after we'd learned the Heart Sutra he was up there getting ready to bow at the alter. There were a lot of memorial tablets for the Japanese people. They do that. He was adjusting a few of them. And suddenly the whole bunch came down like an avalanche. And Suzuki Roshi turned around with a little smile on his face and he points to his head with a glow of happy laughter as if to say yes, my mind wanders - it's no big deal. He could teach by whatever he did - by what he was.
I didn't go on hikes with him - I didn't like to be with him in crowds because everybody was always climbing all over him and I would think give the poor man a little space. There's a difficulty in being a respected leader with people wanting your presence all the time.
He was an amusing man. He could tell jokes that were the funniest thing I'd ever heard. He went to Monterey on a bus and I had to pick him up in the town trip truck and Ed Brown was with us. We were driving back and somewhere along the way we got out of the truck and we had a lot of sand in there to build a kitchen and he picked up some of that sand and ran it through his hand and looked over at Ed and said, cook this up for breakfast. What a wonderful sense of humor. He liked to laugh and his laugh was full.
I got my ex girlfriend from North Beach to come up for lecture - she couldn't practice Zen - she was an absolute alcoholic and a drug addict and not exactly a prostitute but that's the way we used to get rooms for the night. And she was very attractive. She'd get some person interested in her then I'd show up and we'd sleep in hotels and apartments. I'd be waiting in the lobby and she'd show up with some guy and she'd say this is my friend Stanley and we'd go up and we'd have a nice time and she'd loose her shoes a lot and we'd have a bath and go to sleep. She was Danish. So I got her to go to a lecture and afterwards I said, what'd you think of it and she said, well he's a very lovely little monk and he smiled nice and he had a good sense of humor.
He never talked about enlightenment to me. He taught that when your ego was flapping in the wind that he could see it and tell you right away and make you see it. The ego is always expressing itself unconsciously. He hit on it in a way that you did not feel insulted but learned about the self. Your gaining idea he called it.
I don't think anyone would deny that Dick Baker has a very large ego. I like the man. I don't know what it's like to live and be like Mussolini. But look what he does with it - he doesn't do what Mussolini did - make people drink castor oil cause they weren't good enough fascists. What he does with it is he built now a Crestone. Without Suzuki Roshi he wouldn't have done any of these things. He might be a billionaire. When we were at Bush Street, he had a habit of coming with a briefcase - he had a job at the University. I used to go over to his house and have dinner with him and Ginny and then they had Sally and that was nice. So he'd bring the briefcase and he very often he would stand out in the hall and not go through the office and bow. One time Suzuki Roshi comes out of the office furious! He looked like a bantam and he was waving his stick and he started to punch the shit out of Dick, this big tall American guy and he pushed him down to the floor and he said, You gasho! And with all his ego he didn't run away. He stuck with Suzuki Roshi. He stuck with him to the point that he had Suzuki Roshi brocade okesa's for ceremony. He's Suzuki Roshi's dharma boy. I visit Dick at Crestone whether he's there or not. He sticks there a lot. He's a big presence.
You'd bow with him not to him. He showed me how to bow. You know lots of people's legs aren't so good, especially their knees and it's very difficult to go down. He said to me, I don't want you to go down with your hands in gasho. I want you to go down quietly using your hands to lower yourself. It's not good to make a lot of noise banging down and disturbing everybody. I want you to hit your forehead and come up slowly because you're lifting Buddha.
He taught me how to sit. I've been hit a lot of my life and I have scoliosis, a curved spine, which makes it difficult to sit up straight. Soon after I'd come, he put his hand here and his finger here - for the tape I'll explain it [only person I saw think of this] he put his hand in the small of my back - I was slumped over somewhat - and he put his finger below my lower lip - lightly like a feather was doing it - making my head go back a little bit - and to correct the curvature he moved my shoulders. He didn't tell me what to do when he I sat and I never asked him. I've tried all sorts of things in zazen. To just sit, to breathe, to practice emptiness with form in it. When I breathe out to hear or see nothing and when I breathe in to feel everything. If you breathe out it's empty space. I've watched a lot of people die - you breath out and you don't breath in [?opposite sometimes] - and it's opposite when you're born. When you breathe out you hold it for a less than a second and there's a consciousness that you've breathed out and there's nothing happening and when you breathe in your entire karma is right in front of you and if you stop judging it you're just sitting there with your karma. I used to hate my karma but now it's okay - it's my life. Recently Kobun said, between your sexual organs and your asshole you have what is it called __? I want you to sit there." I did so and I jumped leagues ahead. Of all the Japanese teachers I've had Suzuki Roshi had the most experience.
He told about the joke they played putting the moldy pickle on the master's plate and the master ate it and said, a moldy pickle, very good.
Suzuki Roshi banged into a board when he was a child and there was a nail that punctured his eye and it woke him up. He said it was a very enlightening experience. You hit a rock with your foot and it wakes you up to walking.
Before I knew him he'd go and do takuhatsu. He'd go around the neighborhood begging and the Japanese told him that in America that's not considered so good so he stopped doing it.
Dou Lun was a very strict man. He had a tiny zendo near Bush Street. He'd ride the bus and you'd see this powerful looking man get on the bus and people would just move aside. I went to his place in Chinatown. He had some people from Washington University translating the Surangama Sutra. I'd see him on the street in his monk's habit.
Suzuki Roshi said in dokusan, Stanley, you're like a rock, a big rock on the path. People don't know what you do but if they're tired they'll sit on you and that provides nice rest for them. Don't paint the rock. It was a powerful teaching.
He taught you don't have to understand now. Later you'll get it.
I sat at Bodhi mandala in Jemez Springs and that charging kind of militant behavior - like Phillip Kapleau - helps people to wake up to their real self.
I stay at the Korean zendo in Boston when I go there. I sit with them but I go out for a donut and coffee when they chant because it's strange to me. They do 108 bows and I do about twenty of them. I pay them twenty dollars a day. I hear the master there talk. He's got a center in Saint Petersburg and he's all over America. I went to hear him at the Harvard Divinity School. There were several hundred people. Every seat was taken. People with 190 IQs asked him questions and he'd bam! go right at them. Why do you carry that stick? To hit you with!
Suzuki Roshi taught practice - conscious realization. He taught that to practice to understand is the path.
I used to hang out with the New World Liberation Front. They were into terrorist acts and would try to throw a stick of dynamite at PG & E and I helped. Jacque Roget was a good friend of mine there. And Dick wanted to raise the rents for the people across the street and Elena Afronte would have to quit going to school and so I wrote him a letter saying if you don't stop being a slum landlord we'll blow the place up - if you don't watch your manners. So we talked for a couple of hours and I looked at my watch and said, you go to service for godsake. I was really angry. He told a big meeting I was nuts. I was a member of the People's Information Relay and that's how we got around it - we were just relaying information. I had a press card.
I was at the Be-in at Golden Gate Park and their were lots and lots of people - hippies - there weren't any Beatniks any more - they were old hat - and I looked up on the stage and there was Suzuki Roshi and Janis Joplin and Tim Leary and Alan Ginsberg and some guy flew threw the air in a parachute [Owsley - the LSD manufacturer] and there was a heavy set man on the stage who called himself Buddha. Suzuki Roshi never said a word. He just sat there. The Hells Angles were the police.
We had a fundraiser called a Zenafit. The first was at the Avalon Ballroom that Chet Helms arranged for us. And Janis Joplin sang and she could sing before all that booze ruined her Suzuki Roshi clapped and they asked him to stand up and he raised his hands over his head and grinned at the audience and everybody loved him. There was a rock concert at the Long Shoreman's Hall. And Kelly and Ellen - they called it the Family Dog cause she had a dog - she lived in a tree in Santa Cruz and she got in with Kelly who was a great artist who did the psychedelic Posters and he gave me a nice leather jacket - I liked him a lot, sweet guy - and they gave me 100 tickets to sell for the concert. We couldn't sell them all so we gave a lot away at North Beach. There was Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead and the Charlatans. This wasn't for Zen Center - this was the first rock and roll dance in the sixties. Jim Gurley had Big Brother. Janis Joplin used to sing for tips at the Coffee and Confusion in North Beach and everybody hated her like poison because she was worse than my girlfriend - she'd go to your house and cry to get dope from you - it was her main adventure in life - but she could sing just like Betsy Smith. I lived with Pat Cassidy at the time who was the first person I knew of who grew grass in any quantity. He had a studio in a building to a mansion at Laguna and California. It was a garage to a mansion. I lived in the tower cause he thought I would guard the place. It was a watertank. Janis came there with Ray Doss and they had LSD and I sold tons of dope for them and I turned Wavy Gravy on. Pat had a hole in the roof so he could have a fire and do forging. Mike MacCracky was crazy. (more on him back then - three fifth over first side second tape.) We'd mix the liquid LSD with bicarbonate of soda and get high capping it. I never asked Suzuki Roshi about LSD.
Tommy Dorsey showed up one day at Sokoji absolutely whacko on heroin this was in 65 or 66 before Tassajara and before he was a student. I used to see him in North Beach and he was the weirdest thing in the world - he looked like a crab going down the street - all bent over. There were a lot of characters in North Beach. So Tommy was so blasted that I invited him in and he flopped his head on the table and fell asleep. And then a long time later he came to Zen Center and he was reasonably together and he introduced me to a beautiful kid of 18 and the kid said I want to talk to you so I said come on up. He said he was studying ballet and his father was against it because he was a homosexual. And I went and talked to his father and said he's a homosexual and it may be a sadness to you but he may be a talented dancer and you should accept it and he said, okay. I never saw the kid again. The next time I saw Tommy was at Tassajara and I didn't recognize him. He was standing up straight and he came up to me and said hi. I said who are you and he reminded me.
Trungpa came to Tassajara - it wasn't during guest season but I was in charge of guests - Trungpa was crippled so I helped him to the dining room at Tassajara and I went and got Suzuki Roshi and I sat there near them and they talked for quite a while and then I helped Trungpa back to his cabin and then I went to see Suzuki Roshi and he gave me a box of powdered incense to give to Trungpa and his young Scottish wife was there and I presented her with the incense and we went to bow - very clumsily - and we banged heads and all the incense fell on the floor. Trungpa came out from the back of the room - it was the second pine and we all got down on the floor and started sweeping up the incense and I told him it was a gift of Suzuki Roshi and he looked at me and said would you like to have a drink and I don't generally drink whiskey but we had some scotch and he said have another and we stayed up all night drinking and smoking. In the morning the bell rang for zazen and I went. We drank a great deal. That very night after drinking all that he gave a lecture and he'd been drinking but it was crystal clear. I once heard the Dali Lama and he had the same kind of clarity. Later Suzuki Roshi said to me, he's a Buddhist.
I heard Trungpa speak in the city - he was drunk and late and clear as always and afterwards people and I got in a line to see him and I had a box of incense from Zen Center to give him and there were two people before me and one of them had a funny hat on and Trungpa took the hat off and threw it out into the audience and the next couple was two young ladies and they bowed down and kissed his feet and he kicked them and then I gave him the incense and he said let's shake hands.
His feet were small and so was he.
When Katagiri Sensei came to America he smoked and he was alone and his wife couldn't get an entry visa because she had tuberculosis and he was very lonely and he smoked and Suzuki Roshi told him to stop and he did. I was there with Kobun and Suzuki Roshi and Katagiri Sensei in the kitchen at Bush Street and Suzuki Roshi said, Stanley, you can smoke. So I lit one up and Katagiri Sensei said, give one to Kobun, he smokes so I started to do that and Suzuki Roshi pushed his hand in front of Kobun's face and said, Kobun Chino does not smoke.
When Katagiri Sensei first came to Zen Center his English was terrible but he knew how to sit. And I went to a Japanese Obon ceremony for the Japanese and Katagiri Sensei just sat there and would hit a bell now and then but mainly he just sat.
Tape Two Side Two
Tatsugami Roshi would start off with this weird voice when he gave teisho starting up pretty low and going down lower then he'd go up higher. And Katagiri Sensei hated translating it. He said "when cho cho train is on the track no need for Zen master, but when cho cho train is off the track I put it back on." And then he made a cho cho train sound.
At first Suzuki Roshi's English was halting and he used a lot of child's English. He said we should put our attention down in our tummies. He said he knew a woman in Manchuria [in Japan--she'd taught the last Emperor in China] who was his English teacher. They said they could use him in America because he knew English. He came to serve the Japanese community but people would come to him who had read Kerouac and whoever and he'd say I sit at six in the morning - that's what I do. The first person was somebody who wound up in the movie business. McLean? [Bill McNeil] Graham Petchey and Phil Wilson. [Bill Kwong said Paul Anderson was before him.] Betty, Della and Jean and Pat Herreshoff were there and they were very religious. Alan Watts reccomended Suzuki Roshi to people.
Bob Kruger: I had heard once that Suzuki Roshi's first wife was murdered by a deranged monk and I asked Katagiri Sensei in dokusan and he laughed and said yeah that's true and he laughed some more. [He might have been laughing that that was your question.]
Bob: Katagiri Sensei was so into Dogen. Kobun isn't so much. Was Kobun?
Stan: They all are.
He was really fierce with Francis Thompson and she brought all her frustrations to him one day and knocked her over with the stick. [she was saying I'm tired of Tassajara, I hate Zen, I want to have fun, I don't want to sit and on and on - I could hear it coming from his cabin and he responded to her in the deepest strongest voice full of anger, Well leave then! Leave! Go! Go!" and he hit her repeatedly on the shoulder and he kept saying that]
In a shosan ceremony once she held up a leaf and said this is a leaf is so and so all from a scientific point of view and it was very interesting and Suzuki Roshi's answer to her was, you do not understand that leaf," and she was crushed. She was educated and an artist and he just wouldn't stand for her intellectual mind and her feeling of inadequacy. She's changed a great deal. Her long black hair is all white.
Katagiri Sensei sat every period and taught us diligence and patience.
Suzuki Roshi would go down the row of people sitting in the zendo and he'd hit everyone with his short stick and it wouldn't hurt but it would sting.
I was the junko, carrying the kyosaku, and you had to bow in order to get hit and he bowed and I thought wow! am I going to hit Suzuki Roshi? I was the strongest hitter of all and I looked over at Yoshimura and he nodded to me and so I decided I'd hit him like everyone else and I went pow! and he gasshoed. [He asked me to hit him and I thought it was cruel - he had about an inch between his shoulder blades and his neck.]
We called Graham the Crane and he had a stiff upper lip - he could endure. I studied tea ceremony with his wife Pauline.
[What do you remember about Okusan?] Agh. She was frightened of my dog once. She didn't like the dog. I brought him to Zen Center and she didn't like him.
I knew Trudy and Mike before they came to Zen Center. She was an unhappy person and a difficult person to relate to. She came from a rich ranch family in Wyoming. She was a tough gal. She stuck that cancer out till she withered away to a pound. [Trudy was the saint of Zen Center and everyone revered her and I remember after her death Stan saying, I never liked her.] Everybody was making out like she was a very warm and easy person and she was very cold and difficult to know. She practiced hard and came to Tassajara with cancer and sat lying down. [She almost died there.]
I like Jerome.
Harriet Chino didn't get along with anyone. I saw her kick Tatsugami Roshi out of her house.
Suzuki Roshi was nationally, racially and religiously blind.
My family was very wealthy on all sides. I went to fine private schools that taught things like Roman and Greek. When I got out of the army in WWII (my father never worked except for being in the navy.) My Uncle was rich and got a bank to hire me to be the bank president and he forced them to do it. So we had a meeting and I sat there with lawyers and bankers and they said they'd do it and I sat there almost numb because I really didn't want to do that and my uncle and his lawyer and I went to lunch and I told them I wouldn't do it and I said I was going to art school to be a portrait painter. My father was very imperious. He and my mother had an arranged marriage and he had another lover and my father took me to the smoking room and said I could refuse the job but I'd get no family money and we shook on it. But my sister takes care of me now and I get about eight grand a year and my phone bills paid and a car if I need it or spending money if I go to Europe. She didn't know I had a lot of children and when she found out about the last child she said she wouldn't support my children and I said that's fine.
I'd like to do cartoons for you. [Yes, please.]
I don't envision being a formal Zen teacher. To me Suzuki Roshi, Katagiri Sensei, Kobun, Ryogen, Tatsugami Roshi all had the same mind - they had the same training. Bankei heard that the answer was bright virtue and he asked his teacher and his mother and he spent years trying to get it and he visited lots of teachers and tested himself and he got it and he lectured for many years on unborn mind. I think Suzuki Roshi had the same experience and Katagiri Sensei. But they had lots of teachers and practice. I don't. But I can do weddings and dance with pretty girls and drink a half a pint. Suzuki Roshi came here to do ceremonies and people came to him and he intuitively knew how to respond without planning it. He told me he had no idea of what would happen.
Rob Gove told me he met Suzuki Roshi and Suzuki Roshi told him to come sit and he did. Suzuki Roshi knew what to do - it was as easy as that. There are people who came to Zen Center and sat for one period and it affected their whole lives. BR will have a hundred and sixty people sit with him in Germany - that's from Suzuki Roshi. And then they'll go on and practice and they'll carry on Suzuki Roshi's way.
I've been here for five years and I won't count the people on one hand who have been in this cabin.
Rick Fields comes by now and then and we talk. I like his books. He's a good writer and a good reporter. He has some liver problem and it's really rare. He plays terrible go and is a Harvard graduate. I spend a lot of time alone in here.
[This is my first interview and now I see this is going to be an inspiring job. ]
Suzuki Roshi turned me on and made my life enjoyable. For that I really hope that his teaching spreads and that your book gets to people. You're a mass communicator. You get to people. You network. You're not a complex writer like Ezra Pound. It's a wonderful thing to do.
Suzuki Roshi's inimitable way was very lovable.
[How dainty you are with your cup.] That's one thing you never forget from being raised in a rich family. Suzuki Roshi once said to me, You have an awful lot of manners.
[Do you read Suzuki Roshi lectures in the Wind Bells?] Not often. All I have to do is look at his picture and it will last me for a day.
I'd drive Suzuki Roshi to Los Altos and he'd sleep on the way down and on the way back once I got stuck in traffic and he woke up and said, "Oh a baseball game."
One time in SF it was my birthday and I didn't tell anyone but I felt a little lonely and Suzuki Roshi came up to me during zazen and tapped on my shoulder and said, excuse me Stanley, would you drive me to Los Altos? It was nice - he just picked up on it.
Suzuki Roshi gave a group ordination to everybody with a rakusu. They were all brown or gold[?] [what about the strips?] but everybody got one. He ordained Phillip and Graham before they went to Japan. That was a big moment for us - two of his top students going to Japan. And he ordained Jean Ross.
Suzuki Roshi once told me about ordination. It was before Tassajara and all that. He said, your first ordination means you will promise me you will practice and I will accept your promise. Your second ordination means that the other students accept your practice. The third one is the transmission at it means that you have the same mind that I do and to use it wisely. [accepted by your teacher?] It comes from Dogen's very Confusionist practice. He formalized everything because that's the way he wanted it. And Suzuki Roshi put some of the Confusionist stuff in and Tatsugami Roshi a lot more of it.
Suzuki Roshi once told me, "I'm a very impatient man. I also am impatient to see a lot of people on the path." And maybe what you and Rick Fields do can help.
EL Hazelwood said that Ananda looked like a Burgermeister. He's into Reform - Dutch Reform.
Jean was strong. She was a nurse.
I'm copying the Sisteen Madonna by Raphael - I'm cutting out a lot of it. He had to put the Pope in there. This is Pope Leo and I'm not putting him in. And I'm not putting the child angels in - the puti. In the background I'm putting in the mountain behind us and will call it El Salto Madonna and I want to give it to the hospital here. [Stan goes to the hospital every day and visits the patients and works out three hours a day.]
I'm going to Plumb Village - I'd like to meet Thich Nat Hahn - I think he's a saint.
I went to a conference in Europe with the Dali Lama and Brother David and Fritsoff Capra and BR had just left. He appreciated you and used your talents.
Yeah - I learned a lot from him and he gave me some great opportunities.
People were stealing bread and food from the kitchen and Tatsugami Roshi said to get locks as you know and I was the fusu so I got a bunch of locks keyed a lot for wholesale from Joel at the warehouse - he imported locks. And Ed Brown passed some keys out and the next day the locks were in the creek. [Ed did it.] Peter was so upset and he gave a lecture in the zendo and he cried and said he'd learned a lot. So we stopped using locks and Ed said the stealing stopped.
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