Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Saturday, May 21, 1966

Reverend Suzuki gave us a brief account of his trip to the east coast. He concluded by telling us that Mrs. Shalk will lead the weekly zazen group in Vermont until they have some leader...

Rev. Suzuki explained his plan of building a monastery, a spiritual center for the various Soto Zen groups in America. Both he and Dick felt that we might not get such an opportunity to buy equally advantageous land, and shouldn't miss this chance. Before we could build monastery, we would build a small building for sitting for fifty or so people.

Rev. Suzuki would like young priests to come from Japan to study with us on this land.

The land is in parcels of 160 acres, three parcels, available for sale in smaller portions. It is surrounded by Los Padres National Forest, and the landscape was more beautiful than Rev. Suzuki had hoped, with each turn in the road bringing a new view of high mountains and canyons.
[More talk about buying land near Tassajara.] It was asked how important isolation really was for a Zendo and Rev. Suzuki explained how one environment, no matter how carefully planned, is influenced by its surroundings. Someone might build a structure that would change the feeling we had created in the atmosphere.
Rev. Suzuki said that the building in the mountains is for the future, not yet for everyday use. Spiritually it is necessary. He found that in the east they want to have Zen Center like us. And there will be no deeper meaning, no larger scale. Just localized centers with no possibility of getting together. Some place is necessary to sit with people without idea of San Francisco or Monterey or Northampton Zen Center.

Rev. Suzuki agreed. We should not be narrow minded. No one in the northeast will be very interested in supporting Zen Center, but they will help with the land in the mountains. They will feel it is theirs, too.

Source: Board Meeting Notes
Excerpted by Peter Ford, June, 2020.


File name: 66-05-21-bn: untitled

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