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Peter Coyote came to the ZC in 75, after Shunryu Suzuki's death, but their paths crossed at times, like at the Human Be-in. - DC

Report on Peter's lay ordination ceremony

Excerpts about or mentioning Shunryu Suzuki


From Sleeping Where I Fall by Peter Coyote (Counterpoint), p.75, on The Human Be-in.

Although it had been surfacing in the media for a while, the big announcement of the counterculture's "arrival" took place earlier that year with a major event. The Human Be-In had occurred on a lovely day, January 14, 1967, and newspapers and magazines transmitted photos and stories of the mass celebration into America's most remote communities. The nation knew that something was going on "out there." Paisley banners and flags stenciled with marijuana leaves fluttered in the balmy winds that seemed to be blessing the fifty thousand people assembled before a single stage crowded with celebrities and Haight Independent Proprietors (HIPs). Jerry Rubin was representing the "political aspect" of the counterculture, while Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert represented expanded consciousness and bliss. There were also a few genuine seers and artists like poet Gary Snyder, back from ten years of studying Zen in Japan; his old crony, Allen Gins-berg; and Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, abbot of the nearby San Francisco Zen Center, solid as a rock, smiling and enjoying himself. Fifty thousand people took drugs, danced, painted their faces, dressed in outrageous costumes, crawled into the bushes and made love, fired up barbecues, pitched tents, and sold wares-crystals, tie-dyes, hash pipes, earrings, hair ties, and political tracts. Fifty thousand people played flutes, guitars, tambourines, tablas, bongos, congas, sitars, and saxophones, and sang, harmonized, and reveled in their number and variety, aware that they were an emergent social force.


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