Scans 2013 - Early ZC Board Notes

The SFZC was just ZC, Zen Center, during Shunryu Suzuki's day

Scans Index --- Wind Bell Excerpts

May-June 2017 - Here are the notes presented in better form year by year
1962-3 - 1964 - 1965 - 1966 - 1969 - 1970

Posting PDFs of these Early ZC board and business meeting notes with comments one a day starting 11-05-13. - dc

62-11-03 - scrapbook album being kept. Surprised to see "Roshi Suzuki."

62-12-08 - Interesting type: Sogoki for Sokoji. Love the budget figures.


63-10-05 - These are called business meetings. Anyway, they were with the board notes. I guess there was a board in 63. Might not have had much to meet about or do. As can be seen by these notes, there weren't many big decisions being made. Interesting the peace purpose for the visit of Archbishop Takashina, the head of the Soto Zen sect in Japan. If I remember correctly, he died in American on that trip. Also the mentions of Rev. MacDonough (not MacDonald) of Middlebar Monastery in Stockton. He was Dan Welch's first teacher. Dan met Suzuki when MacDonough asked Dan to visit Sokoji and pay his respects back in 62 or so. Takashina did go to Middlebar on that trip I think and if I recall right MacDonough said he got transmission from him then. I remember driving Suzuki Roshi to a meeting of Japanese Soto priests at Rev. Ueno's temple in Monterrey and meeting MacDonough there, the only Caucasian. He had priest's robes on. I don't think he spoke any Japanese. More on this later maybe if I get around to it. Write his name in the cuke search box and read more about him in what comes up.

63-11-02 - It says Archbishop Takashina didn't visit Middlebar but Middlebar publications say he did and I don't think he had more than one trip to the US. Note the Susuki typo. Typical. The Shishogi is the Shushogi and it's not one of Dogen's chants. It was published in 1890. "The Shushogi is mainly comprised of extracts taken directly from the Shobogenzo." - That from Global Soto Zen dot net which has more on it at that link. Here's one of the translations on the Internet: Shushogi translation on Stanford site.

63-12-07 - The new temple they're talking about is for the Japanese congregation which moved there around the corner in 1972. Here it is. Here's their Facebook page. Here's the Wikipedia page for Sokoji. Here's the cuke page for Sokoji. I've got a folder on Sokoji, the building, with materials copied from the San Francisco Library which should get on cuke at some point. The Dr. Kato who was mentioned is the priest who was in charge of Sokoji when Shunryu Suzuki arrived. He's still involved with Zenshuji in LA. Here's his cuke interview. Bishop Umada should be Bishop Yamada.

63-01-05 - I love reading these minutes. I remember how when I interviewed students from back in these days, they tended to miss these simple intimate times. Suzuki Roshi expressed a bit of that himself at times saying "Zen Center is getting to big," or something like that. The Dr. Burns mentioned is Douglass Burns who spoke there a number of times - on Theravadan Buddhism as I recall. I see he's mentioned in three Suzuki lectures. More on him later.

63-03-07 - Shunryu Suzuki soon going to Japan for three months. He names four students to give zazen instruction; Betty Warren, Bill Kwong, Grahame Petchey, and Richard Baker. Dr Wako Kato (Kazemitsu Kato) will give lectures in his absence.

Dr. Douglass Burns and his Neo Dharma Group are mentioned again and into the nineties on web

Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology by Dr. Douglass Burns

Burns in Religion in America Directory and mentioned in this article on Eric Fromm

63-05-04 - Ah - we see that sometime between the last meeting and this, the ZC got listings in the phone book under Zen Center, Soto Zen Mission, and Reverend Suzuki. This clears up the conflicting reports of it was and wasn't in the phone book.

63-07-06 - Not much to say about this meeting.

63-08-03 - Discussion of Soto Zen meeting stressing zazen for all, support for Vietnamese Buddhists, MacDonough's Middlebar Monastery. Trudy still spelling Suzuki as Susuki.

63-09-07 - Letter of support for Vietnamese Buddhists sent to US government. Grahame Petchey leaving on Pan American for Japan and Eiheiji Sept. 14 at 10am to return Dec. 15th.

64-01-11 - First mention of Dave Haselwood. Maybe should go back and do the same for others.

First mention of four and nine days being days of no zazen - except Sundays. When I arrived in 66 that rule no longer applied. It comes from the Soto Zen monastic practice of having a reduced schedule on days with a four or nine in them - the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th, and 29th. Don't know the history or extent of this practice which allowed monks time to do their laundry and so forth. We have more of an idea of personal space etc here so to us it is a day off but it wasn't billed as that by our Japanese teachers. At Tassajara we'd have one zazen instead of two in the mornings and evenings and no work period. We could go on hikes and miss lunch.

Also noted that George Hagiwara threw a party for Grahame Petchey when he returned from doing a practice period at Eiheiji in Japan. I saw George as the most prestigious member of the Japanese congregation and the zazen group's best friend. Until the Japanese internment in the early 40s, his family home was in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, his father the founding gardener sent over by Emperor Meiji.


64-03-07 - I've no time to look at this now. Notes if any later. Two days later - Katagiri is there. Will stay with [Ira] Price, Jodo Shin Shu priest as I recall. Umada = Yamada; Susuki = Suzuki. 64-03-21 and 22 meeting notes are included. Suzuki announces Katagiri is definitely staying on as his assistant.

64-04-11 - East Wind Printers to do Wind Bells from then on.



64-08-01 - As for the number of Buddhists at the time, I tend to agree with the article in the paper which said there were 4000 in San Francisco. This was doubted by some at the meeting but think of all the Asians and non-affiliated. I'd guess more than 4k.

64-09-12 - "Rev. Suzuki suggested as another way of raising money the possibility of Z.C. sponsoring a movie benefit, but he also felt that the primary concern of ZC was not to raise more money but to study more Buddhism. That was where our time and effort should go."

"Notice by Reverend Suzuki of his forthcoming trip to Boston to visit Elsie Mitchell in Cambridge."


64-11-07 - Chick Reeder is at the meeting. In response to a query for something from Chick for cuke, he responded with this which is posted in cuke interviews. Mike Dixon does the minutes and makes mistakes in the spelling of his own name more than once.


65-01-16 - "Also with respect to the Wind Bell, Dick suggested that we publish Reverend Suzuki's lectures contained therein as a book." This is the earliest reference I know of to creating a book. Prior to reading this, the first was Marian Derby telling Suzuki she'd like to record his lectures to make a book. The first known transcript from Los Altos recordings is July 8, 1965.

65-02-06 - Discussion at the end Dick Baker suggests students contribute $1 a month toward the new temple. Claude Dalenberg asks what role the Zen Center would play in the new temple and Shunryu Suzuki says it might be best to have a separate building then Dick suggests they start a building fund for the ZC and the motion carried.

65-03-06 - Lots of Suzuki comments, the last one being he wants more ads to bring people in. Shocking.

65-04-10 - Hmm. Jean Ross was interviewed on KCBS program Viewpoint on April 9th. Wonder if that's available. Discussion about preserving Suzuki's lectures, recording them. Turns out there's a tape recorder on the premises.

65-07-03 - A professor from Japan to speak on Zen and science.

65-08-21 - Richard Gove is Rob Gove unless his name was Richard. The Toni Hansen is Toni Johansen. Still talking about buying a building.

65-09-11 - Elsie Mitchell's check for Katagiri's family might be because she was grateful to him for his assistance to her in recording the Sounds of Eiheiji six years before. Discussion of advertising locally and nationally that I think never happened.

65-10-02 - Rev. Suzuki report on trip to Mass. where Schalks (not Shalk-gotta fix this here and there) propose to build Buddhist temple. Felt that Soto school should have center there. Need to be more effective drum and bell. Bill Kwong to study kinds and prices with him. Claude Dalenberg and Dick Baker to look for real estate possibilities. Gatha by Suzuki in Middle Way report on funeral service for Hazel Paget.

65-11-20 - I was wrong. Advertising did happen. $20 a month to Prof. Masunaga for Shobogenzo translation. Also Prof. Masunaga will send a lecture each month. Wonder where they are.

65-12-18 - Love the budget figures being discussed. And here's an early mention of Zen Macrobiotics: "Rev. Katagiri brought up the inadvisability of the so-called Zen diet which has nothing to do with Zen. Members of meeting agreed but did not come to a decision on how to handle the matter." Notice that Gordon Geist is at the meeting. More on him later.65-05-15 - More discussion of tape recording Suzuki's lectures.

66-02-26 - Only 85 books missing from the library. Quite a list of members present to elect the new president whom some would later call the Steve Jobs of ZC.

66-04-02 - 25 to 30 sitting every morning. Up to 70 expected for sesshin. The sixties is getting into swing. One thousand Wind Bells being mailed out. First taping of Suzuki lectures runs into problems. The first one we have in July 26th - but there are still those missing Los Altos tapes that I feel bad I haven't followed up some leads on. Interesting first mention of Tassajara. Richard Baker has talked to the owner and plans to drive down there with "Reverend Suzuki. Rev. Katagiri."

66-05-21 - More talk about buying land near Tassajara. They say it would take three and a half hours to drive there - four at the least back then - and over a day to walk from Big Sur - nope, I made it in nine hours. Suzuki asks about where Yasutani can hold a sesshin.

66-06-18 - Nothing special to report on this meeting but I love reading them - the names, the details, foreshadowing of incompatibility between the two groups, the misspellings.

I realize that there's so much history and interesting info in cuke that could be better organized and presented. Will try to get on that with help.

66-08-13 - Amelia Newell's name comes up - interesting. See page for this on 60s Communes. Hmm - Suzuki's in Japan and this "Tasugami" might be Tatsugami who came to Tassajara as a guest teacher in 1969 for three practice periods. Interesting (to me) talk about taping lectures.  This is about the time I showed up at ZC.

66-09-14 - Love to read this stuff. They're just talking about buying land near Tassajara. We forget that until the last minute, the fundraising was for money to buy the Horse Pasture, 160 acres near Tassajara that had no road leading into it, no structures, had little flat land, no sizable creek. After we'd raised the money for the 20k down payment (as I recall) Bob Beck said he and his wife Anna were prepared to sell Tassajara itself. Richard Baker let the board know, they approved immediately, and all of a sudden we had Tassajara and 280k more to come up with, a large payment due in March. What a bold move. I was a spectator. Good going gang!

66-09-17 - About buying the Horse Pasture near Tassajara. Thoughts of asking Red Skelton for a donation. Morley Baer who does photo workshops at Tassajara has offered photos for fundraising brochure. Art sale (mislabled exibition) might be at Cody's (misspelled like many words) in Berkeley. Chet Helms has offered the Avalon Ballroom. Alan Watts letter on what to call Suzuki and a vote on the matter. Wonder where that letter went.

Note filed with the 1966 meeting notes

68-12-19 - They're discussing the future of the building - none of it pans out. Before the coming year is up they'll be at Page St. and the Japanese American congregation will later move to a new building. Talk of developing a school. Comments on this and more by Suzuki. John Sunier Tassajara movie mentioned. Have sent him a friend request on Facebook.

Don't have any meeting notes from 66-09-17 to this one. Don't know if I accidentally skipped them but doubt that. I think they just weren't there in the ZC archive room. Or maybe they were and I missed them. Maybe Yvonne Rand has them. Anyway, I won't do anything about it. These are enough. Someone else later - after the world ends can deal with it.

By Laws of the San Francisco Zen Center 1968

69-01-25 - These Mt. Yogis referred to are Dr. Ajari, Neville Warwick and students. And DeRopp and his students want to visit. That's Robert DeRopp who wrote Drugs and the Mind and who had a community near Genjoji. Ah - Huey Johnson's name (misspelled) meeting with Yvonne. He was head of the Nature Conservancy and suggested ZC to George Wheelwright who owned Green Gulch. Suzuki commenting on Jean Ross as Shuso and women students. They're talking about adding a 2nd zazen period in the morning. I forgot it was added that late. With proposed by-laws changes.

69-03-31 - Talk about Abbot Shunryu Suzuki signing Board resolutions or not and talk about Jean Ross being shuso soon, whether to leave Sokoji or not, Richard Baker in Japan with Suzuki comments.

69-05-07 - Lots of interesting discussion. Suzuki comes in toward the end.

69-05-07 - Resolutions - one resolution that didn't happen was to buy a Volkswagen Bus for Tassajara. What were they thinking of? The road is too steep and grueling for a VW bus repeated use.

69-05-21 - Talk about housing which will change in half a year when they move to Page Street.

Listed as novice priests: Mel Weitsman, Dick Baker, Phillip Wilson, Jean Ross, Claude Dalenberg - in no particular order. Grahame Petchey not included because he wasn't part of the scene anymore.

Suzuki disciples

69-07-15-16 [link removed - see below]- Long, should be broken up into multiple PDFs, poor quality - that's the way it was when I copied it twenty years ago. Lots of important stuff. July 24th board meeting included in this group accidentally. Note on that reads "We resolve to buy the building at 300 Page Street." Mention of Marian Derby giving her house to the ZC [It was used to help buy building]. Talk about supporting Dick (Richard Baker) to go to the East Coast to do fundraising. Doesn't mention he's in Japan. Mention of him doing a program at Esalen Inst.. Nobody knows quite what. Comments by Suzuki. By laws talk. On page 8 Suzuki says he's told the Japanese congregation at Sokoji he's resigning - that's dated July 15th. Discussions of moving so they don't know about 300 Page St. yet mentioned on page 2 because the July 24th board meeting is thrown in there. Yvonne mentions using the Brooks land at Muir Beach - no connection to Green Gulch. That's where Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks lived. She left it to Norman Fischer when the SFZC wouldn't accept it with conditions, one being that Norman and Kathy live there. Talk of a fund so that Suzuki can travel and study as a student. Silas read a letter from Erica Nimeh about doing that [Never heard of her]. Talk with Suzuki about tangaryo initiation. Yvonne mentions Nature Conservancy land they want caretaker for. That's where Bill Lane and __ went and how well they did impressed Huey Johnson and he's the one who suggested to George Wheelwright that he turn over Green Gulch to ZC. Page 14 numbered 3 obviously part of July 24th meeting discussing new building practice.

Breaking this scan up now into




More work to do on above three links. - dc

69-09-01 - Mainly talk about the new building, 300 Page St., preparing to move in there, who will do so. Anne Armstrong wants to come to Tassajara as a student last week of September. OK if she doesn't do any readings. Anne was a well-known psychic a number of students including Richard Baker saw. See Anne Armstrong cuke interview.

69-09-17 - Report on letter from Kobun Chino to Shunryu Suzuki. Talk about member dues, supportg new priests, about the new building at Page St. where they haven't moved yet. Suzuki on sitting in the new building and Sokoji, the temple they'll be moving from. Suzuki on one day sesshin and oryoki and how many zazen periods to have in new building.

69-09-09 - Nice and short. Nothing special.

69-11-01,2-  Long meeting, long notes. Lots of talk about SFZC students giving talks outside, bringing in more Japanese priests, outside lecturers and teachers, inviting Katagiri to stay. Marian Derby and Dick Baker talk about publishing (Zen Mind) Beginner's Mind book showing no disagreement, getting close to decision. Baker is in the states for a brief time from Japan where he was living. ZMBM published the following spring. Here's that discussion extracted to put in ZMBM section. Much more. Lots from Baker. Suzuki here and there. Getting ready to move into the Page Street building.

69-11-01,2B - Just the prior board meeting notes written up better

69-12-trustees- Only these handwritten notes and doodles.


70-01-02 - Suzuki comments on how to use upstairs and downstairs rooms at new building (which is not what happened) and on oryoki (which was not to be used as much as the thought it would be outside of Tassajara). I see my name mentioned about something I don't recall. $50 donations to Peggy (Jiyu) Kennet's group and Blue Mt. Meditation Center (had no idea about this). Super low amounts to charge for coming summer's Tassajara guest season and for people's stipends. Other details.

70-02-15- Yoshida Roshi (not Yoshida) coming - female priest from Japan who taught us how to sew okesa and rakusu, the vestments signifying ordination.  She had studied with Hashimoto who Katagiri studied with. It was that lineage, not Suzuki's that this sewing came from.

70-02-16 - Statements by Sotan Tatsugami and Shunryu Suzuki on establishing Buddhism in the West.

70-04-4,5 - Donnie Crockin (Don Deangelo) bread shop out of City Center. Ed Brown's cook book - Tass. Bread Book? discussion - if he latter, don't have the Shambhala contract yet but it came out that year. Room and board for City Center $90 a month, dorm charge $2.50 a night.

70-05-20,21 -  - Ralph Silver and crew go to Tassajara to film segment for film, Sunseed (now on in film section). Rohmer's film didn't happen. Wonder if they have any footage? Beck's cabin didn't happen. Don't think Santa Barbara house happened. Dana Fraser didn't go to Tassajara to translate for Tatsugami. Other little stuff did happen.

70-07-22,23 - Couples don't need to use same name, just need permission from Suzuki or Katagiri to live together. $5,000 for building improvements City Center. New days they allocate 20 or 30 times that much for a study. Dan Welch to be next board meeting chair. [These days Dan is back in Santa Fe planning on opening a small independent zendo].

71-12-17  - The first meeting after Shunryu Suzuki died. Baker and Katagiri are now being called roshi. Don't think Shunryu Suzuki's picture is used on altars in zendos as planned at this meeting. Maybe it was for a while. Katagiri did preside over the 1972 winter-spring practice period as he had the prior fall-winter one but none after that.

These are the last board and meeting notes in this series. It's the only one for 1971 and there were clearly some missing from earlier years. Made copies about twenty years ago in the records storage room at the City Center of the SFZC. These are the only ones that were found there.

SFZC Page St. Rokuchiji (officers) meeting minutes 1971

Thanks to Warren Lynn for scanning these early ZC board and meeting notes and thanks to Peter Ford for preparing them for the web sizewise and with OCR.

Going through archive backlog scanning material to post, work with, and present in other form on cuke later from anywhere.  
Scans of Shunryu Suzuki lecture notes or transcripts will be posted elsewhere.

Thanks to Warren Lynn for scanning Wind bells X and after 73