February 16, 2016
Statement by Shunbo Zenkei Blanche Hartman on the Passing of Mitsu Suzuki

Suzuki Sensei was an inspiration to me, and to all of us. After coming to the U.S., Shunryu Suzuki Roshi gave Okusan a book on tea (Chado) and suggested that she study Chado, which she did. She came to understand that he was preparing her to be a teacher in her own right. Teaching tea was a way for her to enter a teacher-student relationship, and it was a good way for some people to enter Zen practice.

She also demonstrated to us how to care for a temple, how to make daikon pickles, how to keep flowers fresh on the altar, the natural beauty of a single flower, how to enter a relationship with birds, plants, altars, and how to care for tatami mats.

My memory is not sufficient to share all the subtle ways that she wove the attitude of Chado into her daily activity.

Okusan was an inspiration to me…to all of us.

With a deep, deep bow of gratitude,

Zenkei

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