Jean Ross - Surpassing the Clouds -Unedited version of article written for Wind Bell 97-2 p46 by DC.
from a draft for Crooked Cucumber
In September Jean Ross showed up one morning. She saw her good friends and fellow-students of Orientalism at the Academy, Betty and Della, after she got back from Europe and they seemed to be getting a lot out of all that meditating so she thought she’d try it too. Betty and Della were already pillars in the zendo and from then on Jean joined them three times a week when she wasn’t working as a nurse. She took the bus over from Berkeley for Wednesday night sitting and lecture, for the Saturday sitting, breakfast and work period when they’d clean the whole place up and sew and stuff new zafu and zabuton, and for the Sunday lecture which preceded Suzuki’s lecture to the Japanese congregation. Jean fit right in with Suzuki temperamentally. She was an independent sharp-eyed Minnesotan with no time for nonsense. She found in him a man who was doing something that worked. She had a straightforward style of her own that was open to his. She felt she learned from Suzuki just by being in the same room with him. “Or else I wouldn’t waste my time coming here.” She was large and had a heck of a time sitting on a cushion on the floor, but she stuck with it and moved as little as possible. The “don’t move” seldom spoken rule of the zendo irritated her but she could accept it coming from Suzuki. To her Bill McNeil was the spark plug of the group and a drawing card of his own with somewhat of a following. Jean had a constancy that started to impress Suzuki - he didn’t have to see a student everyday to know if they were taking something away with them and bringing it back.Jean Ross in the Wind Bells
Photos - Betty Warren - Photo section - archive