KPFA RADIO INTERVIEW WITH ELSA KNIGHT THOMPSON
Friday, February 18, 1966
KPFA/KPFB Studio, Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, CA
Elsa Knight Thompson: … by telling us something more about our guest, Suzuki-rōshi.
Richard Baker: Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi came to America about six years ago, and he was only going to stay for a year or two and [2 words]. Many Americans came to meditate with him. He kept postponing leaving, and finally there was such a large group meditating with him in San Francisco we had no more room, and there wasn’t an opportunity to study with him as well as if we had a place in the mountains. And we found Tassajara Hot Springs, which is a beautiful, old, historical hot springs and historical sight in the San Lucia Mountains.
Thompson: Now, we’re—we’re still talking about Suzuki-rōshi. Didn’t he have a congregation in Japan prior to coming to this country?
Baker: Yes, he—as I understand, now I—
Thompson: We can ask him at what—prior to coming to the United States—
Suzuki-rōshi: Oh, I was appointed by our headquarters to Soko-ji Temple. And when—while I was there, I sit every morning, and many Caucasians started to join my practice. That is why I started sitting with them—with Caucasian. Mostly—