Daisetz Suzuki and Steve Jobs Points and Lines
I came to the D.T (Daisetz Teitaro) Suzuki Museum in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture 1870-1966).
In order to broaden the knowledge of Japanese culture about gods abroad, he wrote a book about “Zen” in English. Out of the 100 books, he wrote 23 in English. During his lifetime, in 1963, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The important concept of Daisetz’s thought was the “awareness of spirituality.” This is a concept that is paired with the “body” and is to hone the excellent individuality and superhuman “power” of human beings. This is the basis of the “Zen” thought.
The book “Zen” that Daisetz brought to the Western world was forgotten in Japan and new religions like “Oumu” distorted the country after.
However, in the west, “Zen” wasn’t referred to as “Zen”, but rediscovered as “mindfulness.”
In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn (June 5th, 1944-), a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, systemized psychological techniques. “Zen” was generalized as “mindfulness” by focusing on “meditation of the mind” without religion.
In later years, Steve Jobs devoted himself to “Zen” when he met Kōbun Chino Otogawa (Niigata Prefecture 1938-2002), a Zen priest who succeeded the Western “Zen” that was popularized by Daisetz.
Kōbun Otogawa traveled to the US in 1967. He began as an assistant at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California. A few years later, in 1970, Jobs met Kōbun.
Kōbun didn’t shave his head, married twice and lived with his wives, and was loose with alcohol and money. Jobs was fascinated by Kobun due to his image being so far from that of a monk. The era was hippie culture. The past legacies were reset, and it was the arrival of a new era of freedom.
Actually, the hippie movement of the 70s and the conditions of the coronavirus is similar in that the past has been reset. “Zen” is “a tool for living in the now”. No past, no future, but capturing your breath and thinking of things that come to mind now.
I think the beginning of an unprecedented era would do well to know “Zen“.
This tool that broadened the world and is full of possibilities made me feel more inspired when I visited the D.T. Suzuki Museum.