Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … Read More

Perfect Wisdom Sutra (ASV#19)

Here’s Allen recorded by Mellon Tytell in 1993, on the occasion of Carl Solomon‘s passing, at a memorial event at the St Mark’s Church, reading the Prajnaparamita Sutra (the Perfect Wisdom Sutra, the Heart Sutra), in the translation that he had adopted (and adapted) from Shunryu Suzuki (with the roshi‘s consent).

His accompanist here, the man standing next to him, is, of course, poet and Fug, Ed Sanders.
Allen chants the Sutra also in a noisy New York City nightclub, around the same time, in recordings made by Jill Abrams, (here and, continuing, here)
There’s … Read More