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Crooked Cucumber Archives
on the life and teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
and those whose paths crossed his


2012 Do-it section with Goals - Supporters - Budget - Contributors - Posts - What DC's Doing and DONATE

An Appeal for Funding the Crooked Cucumber Archives
to Preserve the Legacy of Shunryu Suzuki

A Letter from David Chadwick 
Dear Friend,


david standing

On a  summer day in 1966, at the age of 21, I decided to check out one last meditation group before heading to India to seek a guru. I rang the bell of San 
Francisco Zen Center's 
temple on Bush Street and soon forgot my plans for India. I marvel now at how fortunate I was to have walked through that doorway, met Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and all the inspiring fellow students, friends, and teachers in the times that followed.

Two decades after Suzuki's death, I started to collect and organize the stories and lectures from which was born Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki. Twenty years since then, this effort continues - adding to and working with the archive of his life and teaching, collecting the memories of those who knew him and of that unique and amazing time.


Now at the beginning of my 67th year, I begin to wrap up my contribution to preserving the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki. My intention is to create a more complete, better organized, more easily accessed and shared presentation of the Crooked Cucumber Archives over the next 3 years, by the time I'm 70 .

I will:

- Overhaul and integrate the websites and for a clearer presentation of the material including talks, photos, audio, video, and links to complementary resources.

- Find and make available more Suzuki Roshi lectures, quotes, and teaching stories, as much as I can before our memories and lives have vanished.

- Create a companion volume to Crooked Cucumber and another book of vignettes to follow Zen is Right Here.

In order to accomplish all this I need your help. This project requires not only resolve and focus, but money as well. As of the new year I lost the serendipitous, rent-free living situation that had supported me for nearly a decade.  Now I need your support: for work space, tools to work with, technical and clerical assistance, website development, storage, transportation, and basic needs. 

If you're on my mailing list,  most likely you're someone who has been touched by Suzuki Roshi and by the results of this work over the years. I've asked for very little support in the past, but now I'm asking with forthrightness. Both one-time and recurring tax- deductible donations will help keep the work moving through a fund administered by John Tarrant and Michael Katz. Please be a part of this project.  Click here to help provide the financial support.  

For more on the people involved, tasks and goals, schedule of work, progress reports, supporters and statements of support, budget, and status of fundraising, go to
Dchad Howdy
(you can click here too)

Thanks and a deep bow
David Chadwick



David Chadwick and the Legacy of Shunryu Suzuki

by Michael Katz

Please join me in supporting the work of David Chadwick on the legacy of his teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. David recently lost his rent-free living and working situation, but he has been doing work of great value without name, description, or paycheck for many years.

David continues to seek out and interview every person Shunryu Suzuki knew or practiced with long after his books stopped supporting him.  He’s had occasional help from individuals and Zen centers in Suzuki’s lineage, but, basically, he runs on a frayed shoe-string.

Naturally suited to this task by his gift for forming connections with people, David follows his subjects and dharma friends wherever they go. He bridges all of the groups which practice Suzuki’s teaching, stays in touch with early sangha members, regularly visits them in old folks homes and hospices, ensures that none feel, or are, forgotten, recording and adding their latest recollections to the record.

More than an oral historian, David is unofficial guardian angel of Shunryu Suzuki’s lecture archive, bringing his indispensible long-term familiarity. David’s continuing devotion as chronicler, archivist, and storyteller reveals an ever-greater teacher. The record of Suzuki Roshi’s life and teaching is an inexhaustible source for any seeker.

David has put online the larger record of Suzuki Roshi’s life and teaching, completely free. His many layered website,, is full of treasure, and David has begun to overhaul the site to make it easier to use. Also, David will publish in book form the best new stories from the interviews as well as further notes to Crooked Cucumber.

Please help me support David’s activity. I know that the community of those interested in Shunryu Suzuki is large and generous enough to accomplish this. A few people can give thousands, some a few hundred, and many can give small recurring payments. We can make this work. As a start, let’s see David through the next three years' projected work that he describes in his own letter. Thank you for giving this matter your kind attention,

Michael Katz

 click here to donate.

How to do it
There are many ways to donate. 
-You may click here (or above) to donate or set up a recurring payment using PayPal. 
-You may send a check to the Crooked Cucumber
Archives Fund, administered by Michael Katz and John Tarrant, at
Crooked Cucumber Archives
PO Box  151471 (new box #)
San Rafael, CA 94915
-You may contact the treasurer John Rauck directly at or phone him at 415-883-9463


All donations are tax deductible through Pacific Zen Institute which is a 501C3 tax exempt organization.


do not say
(you can click this image too)
This appeal was designed by Rachel Boughton and sponsored by Pacific Zen Institute
Read On!
Note from Michael Katz
From John Tarrant
From Jack Kornfield

How to Donate

suzuki face
When we do something we should do it completely, with our whole body and mind. Like a good bonfire, you should burn yourself completely so you will have no trace of yourself in what you did. This is the goal of our practice. -Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, 1966


by John Tarrant Director  

Pacific Zen Institute 


Because Suzuki Roshi shaped the coming of Buddhism to America.


Because all the Buddhist lineages in the West were touched by Suzuki Roshi's work.


Because David Chadwick is himself a living treasure-a passionate historian who has worked tirelessly to collect anecdotes, writings, and interviews and everything Suzuki Roshi.


Because David Chadwick is one of those people who knows and stays in contact with vast numbers of people, in his case, everyone to do with Suzuki Roshi and his world, and has made this his life's work.


Because David Chadwick's work makes people happy by showing us how to live beyond selfish concerns: David takes up any necessary task with both humility and glee. He is as inspiring with a broom in his hand, or looking after the sick, as he is preserving Suzuki archive materials and writing notable books.

 david at desk

Because at this unique moment in time we have a chance to make a contribution to something wonderful.


Please send your contribution today.  Do it now, as Suzuki Roshi was fond of saying.


With deep appreciation and affection,


John Tarrant, Roshi


Sweet Pleasure in the Teachings
by Jack Kornfield, Founder
Spirit Rock Center
It is a sweet pleasure to write this letter in support of David Chadwick. David's work, both as an author and an archivist, has for over 20 years shaped the way we understand the genesis of American Buddhism. His humor and compassion and personal honesty touch my heart. His meticulous documenting of the life and times of Suzuki
Roshi helps us all to appreciate the profound beauty of Suzuki Roshi's work, and his Dharma which is both simple and deep.
suzuki rice 
Suzuki Roshi's teachings show how to practice clarity and kindness in human life. They encourage us to help each other and make it easier for all of us to be Bodhisttavas. Suzuki's work as David shows, is a treasure, an invaluable part of the modern Buddhist Canon, and the talks are as alive today as when they were first given. I heartily encourage you to support David's dedication and work to preserve these teachings for generations ahead.


With Metta,
Jack Kornfield 
Spirit Rock Center




Crooked Cucumber Archives Project | PO Box 151521 | San Rafael | CA | 94915

Please send the link to this page to anyone you think would be interested in seeing this appeal to continue our work to preserve the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki.
(I almost never forward anything).- thanks, DC

November 2012 Fundraising Drive Notes

11-14-12 - November is fundraising month for the Crooked Cucumber Archives (CCA) but so far have only been able to get around to writing notes like this. Getting a new Netbook set up has been imperitive since the old one barely got started last time (turned off all sleep functions and it's been full on during this transition. There are time consuming compatibility issues with programs I'm used to and Windows 7. Moving storage from Santa Rosa to San Rafael is taking time but is going to be a big plus to have it all nearby and spread out where things can be found. And then keeping the daily posts going here and keeping up with volunteers and communications. Not complaining, just explaining. - dc

11-08-12 - November is cuke survival month. We want to continue. Please Donate

Must force myself to take time and energy from getting cuke tasks done with the lecture work and oral history in order to have the funds to keep going.

Still, got archives moved yesterday from packed Santa Rosa space to more spacious storage in San Rafael where they will be near and neatly arranged - taken out of their can and spread out. There's more moving and organizing to do but this is a great start.

11-07-12 - Post election November is cuke survival month.
We want to continue. Please Donate. More to come on this. Thanks. - dc 2012 Do-it section with Goals - Supporters - Budget - Contributors - Posts and DONATE