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Monday, May 18, 2015

One hundred and eleven years ago today, Shunryu Suzuki was born.

Our mind should be free from traces of the past,  just like the flowers of spring.

High winds blew across the green hillside, driving rain into the storm doors of Shoganji, an obscure Japanese country temple, when on May 18, 1904, Yone Suzuki gave birth to a baby boy. Her husband, Sogaku, the priest of the temple, gave his first-born son the name Shunryu, using the written characters for Excellent and Emerging, a rather formal Buddhist name full of high expectations. It was the year of the dragon, the thirty-seventh year of the reign of Emperor Meiji.

 - Opening lines of Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

Note: Weather report for Chigasaki, a small area, which I understand to be or include the hill where the temple was located. On the 18th of May, for three four hour blocks there was rain and strong wind giving the opening line a 50 % chance of being correct. Thanks to Toshikazu Yasui for obtaining this information and sending it to Grahame Petchey seventeen years ago.

Read Crooked Cucumber Comes to America, a 3300 word story of his life. Enjoy. - dc

This is being posted with the full article on Sweeping Zen as well.