Talk at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

May 20, 1968

From The American Buddhist, Vol. 12, No. 6, June 1968.


GRACE CATHEDRAL — Zen Buddhism had its debut at Grace Cathedral to a congregation of sixty people, predominately middle-aged women, gathered in the crypt to hear and sit in meditation with the Zen Master, Sunryo [sic] Suzuki Roshi.

“Zen is almost impossible to convey except through practice,” Roshi Suzuki told his congregation, ten of whom assumed the Zen meditative position throughout the 90 minute session.

“In our practice we try not to understand anything,” said the master
who was clad in a flowing two-toned brown robe of Zen sect.

“Although you may have some image in your mind, we try not to be concerned with it; in your practice of Zen, although you see nothing, yet you will see everything.”

The congregation was then given instruction in assuming the meditative position which 25 of them followed. A notable silence permeated the church basement punctuated only by the instruction from the diminutive, pleasantly smiling Zen Master, a number of cracking knee joints and the sound of a cable car bell in the distance. (Chronicle)


File name: 68-06-00-GC: Talk at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco (titled by pf) (Verbatim) See this page for a scan of the article and notes. Actual date found in Della Goertz' notebook.

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