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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

A little fix on some Excerpts from Crooked Cucumber

I got an email with a request for a clarification of something in Crooked Cucumber that didn't make sense to me. I asked , "Where'd you see that?" The questioner sent me a link to a 2016 piece in Lions Roar with excerpts from the book. I don't think I knew about that but there's my name. So I'm setting the record straight here.

News flash: Rod at Lions Roar fixed this right away this morning. Impressive. Thanks Rod.

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

The excerpts from the book continue without anything separating the different excerpts. That doesn't seem to matter much except in one place where a quote from one of his lectures appears to be part of the preceding story.

Here's the way it looked in Lion's Roar:

The others were listening attentively. I kept my eyes down, and my occasional winces must have seemed more the result of my headache than what anyone was saying. The poor fellow wasn’t getting what he wanted, but he tried again. “Yes, but Roshi, can’t you keep the rules and the spirit too?”

“Of course,” said Suzuki brightly. “That’s the best way.”

“Don’t kill” is a dead precept. “Excuse me” is an actual working precept.

Suzuki was lecturing on the precepts. When he got to the third one, he said:


The class studying this assumed that the line beginning with "Don't kill" was part of the prior story and the quote marks confused them. Did Suzuki say it? Did someone else?

Now let's look at how it is in the book as depicted in a file in my computer:

I wrote Lion's Roar and suggested they change the layout so that the end of the story and the Suzuki lecture excerpt don't run together. We do fixes, corrections, stuff like that all the time on and There's a link to the article above. 

And thanks Lion's Roar for printing it. Good selection. - DC