Mitsu Suzuki died on January 9th, at age 101. Norman Fischer tells the story of how a Japanese schoolteacher born in 1914, made a home for herself in American Zen.
In the summer of 2010, I went with a group of close students and friends on pilgrimage to Japan. We spent a week at Rinso-in, the original temple of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of San Francisco Zen Center and of our Zen practice lineage in America. Author of the most widely read of all Zen books, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Suzuki Roshi was a beloved spiritual master. He was also Mitsu Suzuki’s husband. Her years with him, and all that they brought to her life, certainly fed the silent depths whose waters gave rise to the exquisite poems featured here.
I bow to my ballpoint pen
and throw it out—
From A White Tea Bowl: 100 Haiku from 100 Years of Life by Mitsu Suzuki. © 2014 by San Francisco Zen Center. Reprinted with permission of Rodmell Press.