Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Wednesday, May 7, 1969

Roshi: If Paul tries hard before he becomes an officer, his practice may be more sincere. Not involved in pride.
Roshi: emphasize that our situation is such that we need him to work. Make clear why we are asking him. I did not ask him to go to Tassajara--a misunderstanding.
Roshi: Re the Bakery--Alan said that he was testing the idea for Zen Center to start a bakery. Not proper for Alan to have a bakery in that way--without license. Not good. O.K. to do it but in the proper way. Office is the front gate to Zen Center. I worry about Alan being there above the office. He plays records--has visitors. I feel some kind of responsibility for Alan. I told him kitchen work is important. What I meant was that it is important practice not that if he didn’t cook we couldn’t eat. We must be careful not to make another Alan with Roovain.

Important to be very clear with Roovain.

General members-- sit for 3 months before applying for General membership.

Roshi: It is very difficult to understand new students. There are too many. I cannot be so kind to them. So their first feeling about Zen Center will not be so good. So definitely we must make this point clear. It is necessary that they understand why the 3 month waiting period.

Seeing students.

Roshi: It is necessary for Katagiri and Ryogen to have a chance to discuss things with the Board and officers.

Roshi: I want you to see people more--see new students more.
We priests must meet with each other about rituals. I want you to watch the students and to give us (the priests) information about them.

Roshi: why not have you help Ryogen or Katagiri when they give instructions--then afterward you and the priests can talk about the students.

I must concentrate more on the practicing members.

Roshi: we must have meetings to build up the setting. At Tassajara and San Francisco too. By setting I mean what kind of officers are necessary, what will be our way, how much we should accommodate our way to Rinzai or some other approach, how to run Tassajara. This kind of thing is not yet established. Better that it isn't. It is too early. We need broader view, deeper experience. By continuous meeting something will be resolved, come out. Since I am Soto Priest I have some idea of what I would like.

Roshi: up to now we had a Bishop who was taking care of such things. Now we are thinking of having a [an American] headquarters here--for keeping records. Head will have more freedom. Better that way--because it is very difficult for Japanese headquarters to understand American problems.

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


File name: 69-05-07-bn: untitled

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