On Shunryu Suzuki

Since Eric mentioned Suzuki Roshi in the last letter of 4-17-07, I asked him what he remember of Suzuki and those days. – David Chadwick


Hi David,

I haven’t written in quite a while. The retreat at Wat Tham Doi Dton was the first retreat time I had done in about a year and I kind of “blame” Achaan, because I kept waiting for him, not realizing that he was deliberately putting me off. “Testing” or just being a jerk?

I came to ZC in March 1971. god that is a long time ago, no?

I heard  few of Suzuki Roshi’s lectures and sat my first couple sesshins with Suzuki Roshi and Katagiri. Had dokusan with Katagiri. I was sitting there at 8:30 at night, wiggling in pain, when Suzuki Roshi said, “someday you may be dying of cancer and there will be nothing you can do. DON”T MOVE!”

Little did I know. But I remember him talking about “things as it is” deliberately mixing plural and singular, and this teacher does too. That is the main similarity.

I never actually engaged Suzsuki roshi, but was rather intimidated and awed so never spoke with him. but I gather he gave out a lot of Metta (loving kindness).

This guy is obviously more severe. I have to say I don’t really like him.

But he does have a following, maybe among the masochist school of Buddhism, of which I was a strong adherent at one time, as you probably remember, David.



First published at www.cuke.com


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