In the literary world, Shunryu Suzuki has always played second fiddle to D.T. Suzuki. With David Chadwick's biography of this extraordinary man, Shunryu Suzuki will take his rightful place as one of the progenitors of American Buddhism. Chadwick, a long-time student of Suzuki's, takes us back to Suzuki's childhood, his entry into monastic life at age 13, subsequent trials with his ornery master and in the notoriously strict Eiheiji Monastery, as well as life as a houseboy with a British tutor to the Chinese emperor, marital tragedies, and the political minefield of World War II while he served as abbot of his own temple. The overarching theme of Suzuki's teaching is practice--in a community setting--and when he takes over a temple of aging Japanese Americans in San Francisco, his practice begins to attract younger Americans. The second half of Crooked Cucumber relates the phenomenal growth of the San Francisco Zen Center and becomes a biography of the growing community and its members, inasmuch as the center was Suzuki's life. A monk who was thought to be as useless as a crooked cucumber, under the pen of Chadwick turns out to be a brilliant, witty, tireless patriarch of American Zen. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Even if you don't care much about Zen, this book is a pleasure to read.
Chadwick's style is clear, concise and compact; occasional quotations from Suzuki are well positioned and illustrated by real-life examples.
Anyone interested in zen, Japanese culture, or fine biography should appreciate this book.
Inspiring, funny, wise and very human. I highly recommend it, especially if you are interested in the practice if meditation.Published 17 days ago by christina m. LaGreca
I have read many books in my 71 years. Shunryu Suzuki was my teacher starting in 1967. I attended San Francisco Zen Center and also Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Songbird
A remarkable teacher, fascinating to read his history after reading Zen Mind Beginner's Mind. which I will read over and over.Published 10 months ago by Mary Major
There is something about David Chadwick , an ardent practitioner with an earthy sense of humour. This is a good read but I did like his other book 'Thank you and OK! Read morePublished 10 months ago by mai ni riain
This book is one you don't want to end.
Mr. Chadwick disappears into his subject in the perfect way, even when detailing conversations he had with his teacher, by... Read more
As a retired academic, I have read way too much in my life. As an obsessed wisdom-seeker, it's worse.
But to read the same book six times is ridiculous. Read more
Elegant, insightful and profound. Very well written and in the first person David Chadwick really touched on the essence of Roshi's satori. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mr. Pragmatic