Remembrance by Roshi, Kennett

Talk with Jiyu Kennett Roshi—On Samuel Lewis—8/27/77

(Not a quote, but as I remember the conversation.)

SABIRA: What do you remember about Samuel Lewis?

ROSHI: I only met him three times. The first two times he talked the whole time and I couldn't get in a word edge-wise. He wrote me many letters which I tried politely to answer. The third time we met we were on a platform together and he talked about how he wanted to give me Sumangalo’s chair because he knew and liked me so well.

SABIRA: So that was it? I had the fantasy that you two talked about Buddhism together.

ROSHI: In a sense we did, it was very Zen, I just listened silently. He always approached me from a Sufi point of view and I didn't want to get involved from a Buddhist point of view.

SABIRA: Samuel studied with several Buddhist teachers, and left us a lot of Buddhist material when he passed, he especially studied with Senzaki.

ROSHI: Yes. The reason I didn't answer your letters was because there really wasn't anything to write you.