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The 2nd Contest

What is the question most frequently asked me, DC - host of this site, about Shunryu Suzuki?

This contest is over. See the entries below and see what you think, then go to the 

Answer to the contest

If I've forgotten your entry, please resend it to me and I'll include it on this list. Feel free to cheat and make something up. Here are the entries which are not listed in order of having received them or any other order except what I felt like. Are there any that I made up? --DC:

And Here Are the Noble Entries:
(Stay tuned for DC's answers to these lesser answered questions.)


Ross Blum

Hey David, my guess is, "What's the most important thing you learned from Suzuki roshi?"

If that ain't the one that'll get me the prize, I'd sure as hell like to have your answer for me at least. thanks pal.

May all beings be happy!


Matt Wein

What was Suzuki like?


Albert Rudolph

Subject: Norwegian? ? ? Are you serious? Norwegians can't read English?

Hey, I gotta question: was Suzuki "enlightened"? (You have to understand I am not a Zen practitioner.) And, what would the criteria for answering that be from your own perspective? (later-DC)


Mike Dowdy

Perhaps the question you get most often is: Was he enlightened?


Graham Best

"What was he like?" Duh...

Incidentally, David, I would like you to know that I put the word "Duh..." after my question not because guessing the question was easy, but rather as a feeble attempt to express how remarkably the question misses the point of a life spent practicing Zen, in my small opinion. Be well.


William Hursthouse

"Was he *really* that short?


David Schneider

The answer is, I would guess, that you are asked most often "How did you meet Suzuki Roshi?"

That is certainly what I was asked most about Issan.


Michael Gensatsu Osterwald-Lenum,

"Was he enlightened ?" is the most often posed question I would think.

"As much as you and I - even if we don't know it !" was perhaps your answer.


Chris Darmono

Was Suzuki Roshi enlightened?

Katsumoto: "Do you believe a man can change his destiny?"
Algren: "I believe a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed."
The Last Samurai


David Curry

The answer to the question is:

What is buddha nature?


Dennis Samson

"When's the 2nd edition of the bio coming out?



Was Suzuki-roshi enlightened?


maika yuri kusama

Did Shunryu like to eat cucumbers? Was he particularly fond of crisp crunchy pale green cucumber salad with rice vinegar and black sesame seeds on a rare but unusual hot day in San Francisco???

"During the day it is the Jewel of the sun; at night it is the pearl of the moon."


John Tarrant

Did he have a sex life?


Ben Garen

Is the most-asked question whether Shunryu Suzuki is related to D. T. Suzuki?


Glen Moulder

I'm thinking people probably ask if Suzuki-roshi was enlightened or if he's still alive.


gabby m.

I'm going to say they ask if you have ever seen him get mad?


Sean Connolly

Who was Roshi's favorite Beatle?


Sue Amosun
Equipment Damage Unit x 7610

Why called Crooked Cucumber?


Michael Husken

David, I'm reading your book as part of a local book club. I'm about half way through the book and find it fascinating. As far as the question most often asked, I could only guess it's "What was he like in person?"


Dan Poe

I would imagine that the question might be: "Was he enlightened?"


Andrew McMaster

I just saw the "contest" and had to try. I bet many people ask you if Suzuki Roshi was "enlightened."


Gene McGloin

I'd like to thank you for your efforts with the Crooked Cucumber web site, I very much enjoy reading the articles and interviews you post there. As for the contest, I'd like to take a guess that most folks ask you if he rode a Suzuki motorcycle or if his family operated that company.


Loring Palmer

DC---the question that folks ask the most ??? could it be, "Did Roshi ever take acid ?" And we still don't know for sure


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"How tall was he?"



Where are you when you die?



Does he eat any vegetables?



Does enlightenment come in different colors?



Do you think he was really enlightened?


falota cristi

Who is his dharma heir?


Bart Van Dijck

It is the gentle breeze of the summer wind
It is the tiger who stalks it's prey.

DC responded by asking what that message referred to.

Bart Van Dijck responded in turn:

Surfing the web to find something about the life of Shunryu Suzuki, I found the following site : < index.html>http: My mail was an answer for the contest on that page. I presume I was a bit too late? (My first idea was to send an empty email as an answer for the contest, but i guess that this would have confused you even more than my earlier mail..)

DC responded asking for more clarification.

Bart Van Dijck reresponded:

Hi again,

I was completely out of track! (silly me!) I thought that the question was : What is it ? (what is Zen...) That was an easy one! Guessing what the most frequently asked question about Shunryu Suzuki is, is a lot more difficult! The question that I would ask you about SZ.... : How did he cope with his weak moments? ( If he had any )

Greetings from Europe!


David Nen Pepperell
From: "Kill City"

what was he like?



"Was Shunryu Suzuki enlightened?"


Michael Katz

Was there any time when you think you saw Suzuki Roshi really profoundly loose it.


Patricia Sullivan

Why did he choose Richard Baker as his successor?


Ed Brown

Was he enlightened?


David McGrath

The question you are asked the most is "was Suzuki roshi enlightened?"


Roni J. Cohen

Most asked ques. might be: Was Suzuki enlightened?


Andy Wein

Was he married?


Clayton Chadwick

What did he teach you?


Elin Chadwick

What was he like?


Ray George

(forgot it, must contact him)


Denise Filarig

Did you learn anything from him?


Alberta Wong

What did he do during the war?


Harry Southern

Who is that?


Lilly Minster

Who the heck cares?


Rumas DeWitt

Is there a way to San Jose?


Cecile Hobart

Why did the chicken cross the road?


Millard Crowlings

Get out of here.


Oliver Stanich

Are you glorifying Shunryu Suzuki or at least a little preoccupied with him?


Krishna Shalagore

Rickshaw sir?


And here is the answer to the contest

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