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Buddhadharma : Fall 2012
56 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 2 The teacher was ready; the students came. Without a plan, Shunryu Suzuki arrived in San Francisco on May 23, 1959. The Zen garden of America had been fertilized by Nyogen Senzaki, Paul Reps, D.T. Suzuki, the Beats, Alan Watts, and the First Zen Institute of America in New York. Instant satori and the inscrutable orient were on people’s minds. Suzuki emphasized that practice is enlightenment. “I sit zazen at 5:30 in the morning. You are welcome to join me,” he’d say. He took one step after another, and was always there with and for his students, aware of the fragility of the situation. Three years later, almost to the day, he was installed as abbot of the Japanese American Sokoji Buddhist Church. In August his wife and younger son arrived, and articles of incorporation were filed for The Zen Center of San Francisco. Fifty years ago, he had decided to stay. Fueled by a growing interest in Asian ways and the hip- pie migration, the zazen group expanded and founded the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a pioneering Zen monastery PHOTOMINORUAOKI,COURTESYOFSFZC San Francisco Zen Center at Fifty Challenges, Achievements, Innovations FORUM ZOKETSU NORMAN FISCHER • ZENKEI BLANCHE HARTMAN • MYOGEN STEVE STÜCKY • MARY MORGAN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID CHADWICK