Hoitsu Suzuki

I have been around Hoitsu Roshi perhaps half a dozen times in my years at Zen Center. From the first I was struck by his real engagement with whatever was happening, and how expressive his face is. While he embodies much of the traditional formal Japanese zen teacher, he also has something of the kid about him still, which is very endearing, and feels like something to aspire to.

Some time ago, Zen Center hosted a seventieth birthday part for him, and I remember him reflecting that he was now older than his father had been when he died, so he was in unknown territory. He has been very diligent in flying over from Japan to attend Mountain Seat ceremonies; this time I could not help but wonder if it was the last time he would be able to make the journey – although his mother lived to be ninety-nine. So I took every opportunity to get pictures of him, and was upset that a number of my shots, including some of him on the front steps, and greeting other Japanese zen dignitaries, were ruined by having selected a wrong setting on my camera.

DSCF5893.jpgRoshi, with his wife Chitose at the top of the steps, greeting Akiba Roshi.

DSCF5568.jpg

DSCF5565.jpgDuring rehearsals on Friday afternoon. I told David that whisk lessons were standard.

DSCF5603.jpgRoshi enjoys a chance to drum. I have pictures from 2014 of him playing a variety of ceremonial instruments he had brought from Japan, and I have posted some of those on Patreon, along with some other pictures of him behind the scenes.

DSCF5938.jpgAt the angesho tea before the ceremony, looking most formal.

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