Sunday, May 24, 2009

Suzuki Roshi Video as Teaching

Thanks to James on the Zen Community for posting another Suzuki Roshi video. His posting was the first I had ever heard of Roshi speaking, and what a gift. This beautiful sense of oneness with birds and sounds Roshi expresses. And then this video I found posted on Youtube, which is sort of a collage, but which gives some family history about Suzuki, and also gives a flavor of how he taught in an uncleaned up, personal way. I love how he says "you know" over and over after nearly every sentence. It's something you'd never get in his books, or in quotes of him in others' teachings. And the sort of subdued but very full laugh, and mischievous smile ... I very much appreciate these little glimpses into Suzuki's ways of being and presenting the dharma. Anything that makes a person more human and alive is worth the effort to pay attention to, so I offer this video, and the suggestion for those of you who didn't study personally with Roshi to check out others on Youtube. This video is the first of several that offer insights into Suzuki's time in the U.S. and the development of San Francisco Zen Center. To me, this is a teaching in not elevating the teacher too high above yourself, and not abstracting the teacher in such a way that you fail to see the person behind the words and actions.

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