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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Some Advice

Wrote this for a professional reader who's going to be reading quotes from Shunryu Suzuki. The reader was born and raised in Tokyo and speaks English like he was born and raised in the US - with Japanese parents so there's a hint of that. - DC

Suzuki had a natural, relaxed way of talking. There was no hint of the more usual way Japanese priests gave lectures which had more drama, sense of importance, oratorical. Suzuki was low key. Soft spoken. Made people feel comfortable. One of the most common things to hear about him is that he was normal. Didn't put himself above them. Frequently laughing. It would be awfully hard to convey his sense of humor and lightness. Not lofty. Down to earth. Not like a wise person speaking down to those with inferior understanding, he spoke straight across. Always respectful of others. But he held his own. Always two sides. There's "Sometimes I'm the teacher and you're the student, and sometimes you're the teacher and I'm the student." Then there's (to a student who quoted Suzuki back to him to make a point): "When I said it it was true. When you said it it was false."