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.
Well written and apparently well researched. Roshi Suzuki's personality really comes through, adding a personal perspective onto the larger topic of Buddhism's rise in the US. Read morePublished 10 days ago by RiceMom
Inspiring, funny, wise and very human. I highly recommend it, especially if you are interested in the practice if meditation.Published 2 months 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 8 months ago by Songbird