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Friday, January 8, 2021

Mel Weitsman's name use instances in Suzuki lecture archive

Every time "Mel" comes up in Shunryu Suzuki lecture archive recently updated version on shunryusuzuki.com - these excerpts are just copied and pasted unedited by dc

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City Center transcript originally transcribed by Brian Fikes and checked by Mel Weitsman. Entered onto disk by Jose Escobar, 1997. ---------------- from 67-09-00-A

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Roshi: “My idea is exactly the same [about branch zendos]. My hope that they become separate groups when they are strong enough, have more teachers.” Expenses etc. should be discussed each time. I want to help people who want to sit.


Roshi: Mel, as a Zen Center member helping people in Berkeley area to sit, not in terms of helping Berkeley Zen Center. The Board is not responsible for the affiliate zendos. I hope that the time will come when we must help them when they organize themselves to be branch of Zen Center. If possible count the kind of activity of helping now as Zen Center.

Best to have zendos become branches, formally, get closer to Zen Center - Roshi. But, now the zendos are separate, Board has no responsibility, and only members are personally affiliated, must become practicing members usually of Zen Center and participate, to train later at Tassajara.
_______________

Source: Board Meeting Notes - December 19, 1968

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Student B [Mel Weitsman]: The other day when I was doing the mokugyo, there was this small spider that crawled across the top of the mokugyo. And there was nothing I could do [laughs, laughter]. I went a little bit off to the side, you know, but he went right into it. It was too powerful for him to escape, you know. And the next--

SR: You didn't kill it.

Mel Weitsman: Something did [laughs, laughter].

SR: By mistake. Happened in that way.

Mel Weitsman: Yeah, but I couldn't stop.

SR: But you hit some other place.

Mel Weitsman: Some other place, but he still went right into it.

SR: Yeah. You know, it can't be helped. Buddha killed him [laughs, laughter]. He may be very happy. Mokugyo [as an aside to someone]. Yeah, you know, to live in this world is not so easy.

Mel Weitsman: No.

SR: Not at all easy, you know. When you see children playing, you know, by the stream or, you know, on the bridge, you will be really scared, you know. And I think-- I always thought, “Oh, how can I survive,” you know, “in this way? How could I survive without, you know, “making any accident? On the freeway, many cars is going zoom, zoom, zoom.” Something happens, that's all. You know, it is very-- It is-- If you think, you know, about it, if you stop and see and think, you know, you will be terrified [laughs].
---------------------------- from 
70-05-27

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Although it is, you know-- things are interrelated, you know, or because things are closely interrelated, you know, everyone, every being, each being can be a boss, you know [laughs]. Because, you know-- each one of us can be a boss because we are so closely related. You know, if you say “Suzuki,” you know-- ”I-- I'm very much closely related to you, so I can be president of, you know, Zen Center.” So if you s- [partial word-- ”say”?]-- I say “Mel,” Mel already is not just Mel [laughs], you know. He is one of the Zen Center students, and to see Mel is to see Zen Center. If you see Mel, people understand what is Zen Center [laughs]. So, you know-- but if you think, “Oh, he is Mel” [laughs], then your understanding is not good enough. You don't know who is Mel. So if you have-- if you have good understanding of things, that, you know-- things will-- by things you will understand whole world. 

------------------------------------ from 70-06-03

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Look what discussion Mell gets started here:

Student A [Mel Weitsman]: Roshi, when you say “independency,” I'm confused with whether you mean “independence” or “interdependency.”

SR: “Interdependency.” Oh, no. “Independency.” Excuse me. Interdependency is more dependency, you know [laughs].

Mel Weitsman: “Independence” is--

SR: Independent-- you know, idea of independency and dependency.

Student B: Roshi, in English we have no word “independency.” We have the word “independence”--

SR: Oh! “Independence.” “Independence.” Excuse me. “Independence” means [laughs] to me, you know, it is not fit, you know, so well. “Independence” means, you know, may be noun, but more-- what I mean is, you know, noun, but maybe same thing.

Student C: We have a noun “dependency” so we can have “independency.”

Students in background: Right. Yeah.

Student C: We have the other. “Dependency” is a good English word.

SR: Mmm-mm. And you have no in--

Student C: No “independency.” [Laughs, laughter.]

Student B: Now we have an “independency”!

Student D: You limp on one foot.

SR: One foot. [Laughs.] “Independent” is so strong, you know. So there is no need to have [laughs] so delicate word. [Strikes the table with his stick.] If you are independent [strikes table again], that's all. [Laughs, laughter.] You don't care anything. [Laughs, laughter.] “Shut up!” [Laughs, laughter.] That is not what we mean. So, you know, independent, you know-- when you are independent, you know, it is very, you know, vulnerable and weak situation-- dangerous, at least.

Student E: Isn't this idea that people get of their own independence a delusion that they get? They don't realize that-- [2-3 words inaudible].

SR: Yeah. Delusion, yeah, actually so. When, you know, when they think, you know, “I am independent,” it is not true, you know. You are dependent on everything.

------------------------------- from 70-06-25

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;Suzuki uses Mel's name here as an example and Mel thinks he's being called on then he and Suzuki both in term respond reflexively for a sec.]

SR: After you receive ordination, you know, strictly speaking, you know, we should use his n- [partial word: name]-- his Buddhist name like Sojun, you know. We'll do it, you know. “He is Sojun!” [Laughs.] Uh-huh.

Mel: Hai.

SR: Hai. [Laughs, laughter.] Ohh-- 

------------------- from 70-07-08

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In the second recitation of the Prajna Paramita Sutra, we dedicate for the-- to the arhats and many various sages in the-- in the world. And what we pray is-- what we pray is-- this is the translation Mel [Weitsman] and I did. “What we pray is that the wisdom-- that the wisdom-- and Three Wisdom-- and the Six Unrestruct- -- Unrestricted Ways of the arhats.”

Three Wisdom-- we explain the Three Wisdom. “And the Six Unrestrict-- -- Unrestr- -- Unrestricted Ways of the arhats may be always with us in our unceas--- unceasing effort to renew Buddha's way to save all sentient beings from the world of suffering and confusion.” “World of suffering and confusion” means the mappo. “And to keep Buddha's way always new to our-- always-- our al- -- world always.” That is the spirit of Dogen.

-------------------------- from 70-07-12 

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SR: Uh huh. But I was very lucky you know, to live this much, until I have good confidence in you. Okay. Hai. [Laughs.] Just in time [referring to a drink brought to him?]. Thank you.

Mel: Can we visit you?

SR: Mmm?

[Gap in tape.]

--------------------------- from 71-10-09 - Shunryu Suzuki announcing that he has terminal cancer to disciples in the city  

RIP Mel Weitsman who died yesterday.  Mel's cuke page