Monday, September 8, 2008
A Zen Life
After a brief summary of major historical events during his life of almost a century, we introduce DT SUZUKI's life story. Intersperced with this is lively discussion about the contribution he made to the spread of Zen philosophy, and to helping Westerners understand the Japanese way of thinking and being.
D.T. Suzuki had an excellent grasp of written and spoken English, combined with an exhaustive knowledge of Eastern and Western religions and philosophies. He was highly successful at getting Westerners to appreciate the Japanese mentality, and Japanese to understand Western logic. The effect he had on Western psychoanalysis, philosophy, religious thinking, and the arts was profound. His numerous writings in English and Japanese serve as an inspiration even today.
Dr. Suzuki first lived in the United States from 1897 to 1908. In 1911 he married an American, Beatrice Lane, who helped him with his work until her death in 1939. After the War he traveled and taught extensively in the United States and Europe. Of note is a series of very popular open lectures he gave at Columbia University. Many renowned Western philosophers, artists, and psychologists were affected by his writings and friendship, including Carl Jung and Erich Fromm, Christmas Humphries, Father Thomas Merton, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Dr. Albert Stunkard, Alan Watts, Richard De Martino, Robert Aitken, John Cage, Alan Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder.