Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Monday, March 31, 1969

Roshi: right now--there is no need to sign [board minutes]. If something happens and there is a need, you have that feeling, then I will sign. Being here to help you establish American Zen--I am not forcing something. I am not sticking to the Japanese way. Most of the time I don't have a special idea about how things should be. If I have some feeling about how things should be and find I am right I will discuss it and ask you to discuss it. The advantage to my signing the minutes is that I would have to be more careful if I am signing my name to them. Claude has proposed my signing maybe because he is thinking of the future. Right now maybe too formal.

Roshi: [to Jean] you should be shuso because that was our plan. As I don’t know the circumstances at Tassajara and with Jean I stick to that idea. If you can give me some informations I may change my idea.

Roshi: it is all right to have no shuso for this training period.

Roshi: we need more [students for stick and service].
Roshi: better to have greeting 2nd period. No student should make the greeting….
Roshi: we can try it [women carry the stick].
Peter: doesn't work at Tassajara.
Roshi: ask the women if they want to do it.
Roshi: [about concert idea] if Lou Harrison is a sincere person we should join him.

Roshi: we should help him [Dick Baker] as a student studying in Japan. Whatever is necessary to study in Japan. If the expense is for other reasons I don't know. I want Dick for one or two years to devote himself to personal study. Then he can act as a kind of ambassador to Japan. We may ask him to help us. In that case we should help him-- with directly related expenses.

Roshi: Dick is not an employee. We sent him to Japan because of his potentiality. We think he will be a good priest/or Zen Buddhist. That is the main reason. Tassajara wants to support someone like him. Not because he will help Tassajara, because we want to help Zen in America--and he will help Zen in America. Of course in the future he will help to support Tassajara at the same time. Develop our way. Also he will help to develop Tassajara. Eventually he will understand it in that way. Right now we are involved in problems with Tassajara. Most important thing is Tassajara now. We are liable to lose this point.

Roshi: I want him [Dick Baker] to devote himself to his study. Not do Zen Center business as much as possible, right now.

Roshi: now he [Alan] is much better. Trouble, if we call it scholarship. In some cases we call it pay. If we give some scholarship, it means we acknowledge someone's practice.

Roshi: in the Japanese way you treat your whole life as a Zen student.

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


File name: 69-03-31-bn: untitled

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