During recent years Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki has done
a great deal of lecturing at Columbia University.
First he was in the Department of Religion, then
somewhere else. Finally he settled down on the
seventh floor of Philosophy Hall. The room had
windows on two sides, a large table in the middle
with ash trays. There were chairs around the
table and next to the walls. These were always
filled with people listening, and there were
generally a few people standing near the door.
The two or three people who took the class for credit
sat in chairs around the table. The time was four
to seven. During this period most people now
and then took a little nap. Suzuki never spoke
loudly. When the weather was good the windows
were open, and the airplanes leaving La Guardia
flew directly overhead from time to time, drowning
out whatever he had to say. He never repeated
what had been said during the passage of the airplane.
Three lectures I remember in particular.
While he was giving them I couldn’t for the life of me
figure out what he was saying. It was a week or
so later, while I was walking in the woods looking
for mushrooms, that it all dawned on me.