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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Norm Randolph

In the forms of practice you can see a person's state of mind. If they're doing it in a sloppy way or a pride-filled way, you can see where the person is. It's evident in the forms. If you see somebody who's really doing it it looks completely natural - like how Katagiri would bow - not forced or arrogant or pompous in any way. I'd watch him bow before lecture and it would seem to come out of the circumstances of the moment. It wasn't always that way with Zen people. Suzuki Roshi said that the forms of practice he'd use like the sights on a gun. By looking at how students bowed and did oryoki or wore their robes, he was able to see their state of mind. It was in a lecture called "Warm-hearted practice" delivered in March of ‘71 at Tassajara when he came down for Peter's shuso ceremony and I think he stayed and gave it the day before or after.

That's from a 1995 interview with Norm Randolph. He's a guest for today's podcast. I read that interview and then went to a phone chat with him. 

Norm's a teacher with Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis.