Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Mel Weitsman

                 Mel Weitsman had been abbot of the Berkeley Zendo when Blanche Hartman first went there. He, too, was a former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. When I asked him about Shunryu Suzuki, he told me this story:
                 “Every morning we’d do the robe chant, where you put your robe on top of your head after zazen. Of course, nobody had robes then,” he chuckled, “and it was all in Japanese. So I asked, ‘What’s that chant we do in the morning after zazen?’ And Katagiri was there, and Katagiri was looking through the drawers for a translation and Suzuki Roshi”—Mel made a patting motion with his hand—“‘Stop,’ he said. ‘It means love.’” Mel smiled. “‘It means love. That’s all.’”

[Mel Weitsman - Cypress Trees in the Garden: 24-28, 39, 468]
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