using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2013
FALL 2 0 1 3 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 65 spring air with sunlight flooding in the windows of my cabin. “What shall we do?” they asked. I said, “Please, let me speak with James before we decide anything.” James was an energetic, occasionally moody young man with a disarming smile. He was by far the youngest student at Tassajara, perhaps eighteen (or was it twenty-two?), and he’d come to Zen practice off the streets of San Francisco after being discovered by Issan Dorsey, one of Zen Center’s priests. Rumor was they had been lovers. Now James was following the schedule at Tassajara—Issan was not there—where he slipped easily into the role of mascot rather than hero, scapegoat, or lost child. Sitting down together in my cabin by the upper garden, I found James to be entirely forth- coming. It had been his birthday recently, and his mother had sent him a care package, only instead of the usual chocolate chip cookies, there were brownies laced with hashish, marijuana for smoking, and some LSD. What a mom! But what was she thinking, sending drugs to a Zen center? Why wasn’t she thinking? James said that the package had entirely way too many drugs for him to consume on his own, so naturally he had shared them with others—on their day off, of course. James also expressed his remorse and his deep wish to continue practicing at Tassajara. He loved being there, and he especially loved Suzuki Roshi. I told James that I would do my best, but I wish I’d known how to make his wish come true, known the story about David and Suzuki Roshi, known to consult with others outside of Tassa- jara. When I met with the officers, I told them I wanted James to stay, but they were insistent that he had broken the rules and had to leave. I argued that he would soon be back on the streets of San Francisco, and that he probably wouldn’t survive for long. The officers said that was up to him; that he had to leave. I finally agreed to go along with them. Heaven help me. James may have lived for a while at our City Center, but soon he was back on the streets, and after a year or so we heard he was dead. How painfully sad. Of course we don’t know what would have happened had he stayed at Tassajara, but an isolated canyon in the mountains does not have the temptations of the streets of San Fran- cisco, and today I remain heartbroken not to have kept him in that structured isolation, where we could have provided him with a big brother or mentor, where the spirit of Suzuki Roshi would have welcomed him: James, please stay, do your best, let this practice take care of you. Though you break the rules, come back to the Way. Zen practice is not like training your dog: Sit. Heel. Fetch. Some of us dogs have taken years to mature. What finally helps is hidden in the heart, waiting to be uncovered. Sometimes by a teacher. Sometimes through sorrow. My brother Dwite attended the first practice period at Tassajara that began in July of 1967, and when he left after a month, I didn’t know why. He went on to become first an Episcopal priest and then a Catholic layperson. Finally a few years back, we talked about it. He said that one of the students had been bugging him about his imperfect attendance in the zendo—he was remembering that it had been David Chadwick, of all people! He said he loved to sit and watch the creek, but he was being pestered relentlessly (so it seemed) to follow the schedule. David does not remember doing this, and my brother agrees it may well have been another student. Finally, Dwite went to tell Suzuki Roshi that he was leaving. Roshi effusively encouraged him to stay, saying, “Please don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about what the other students say. I need you to stay.” And then my brother said, “Roshi got up and hugged me.” He didn’t know what to make of it. “What did he mean, that he needed me to stay?” Roshi’s efforts could not dissuade my brother from leaving, as he was set on not having to weather the harassment any longer. “I just didn’t like it,” he said. “The Great Way,” Dogen says, “circulates freely everywhere. How could it depend on practice and realization?” On going or staying? On how well behaved you are? The meaning of life is to live. Suzuki Roshi said that the best instruction is person to person. When there are too many people for this, we have rules. What, finally, are the rules to live by? Woof! May the flower of your life force bloom. Freely and fully.