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About This Website

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Dainin Katagiri Roshi was one of the prominent Zen masters who brought Soto Zen Buddhism from Japan to America. Audio recordings of his talks from 1979 to 1989 are made available by Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. But since Katagiri Roshi was a non-native speaker, and the original recordings (on cassette tape!) vary in quality, and the MP3 audio files are over-compressed – he can be difficult to understand. So on this website I carefully transcribe these talks, with the intention of staying as true as possible to Katagiri Roshi’s words, while smoothing out the grammar to make them easier to understand. You can read the transcripts on their own, or follow along while listening to the recordings, which are referenced at the top of each talk.

The talks are a treasure trove of dharma material, most of which is not found in the five books that have been compiled from Katagiri Roshi’s teachings. The talks also convey his energy, enthusiasm, and particularly, his sense of humor. But really, more and more, I think the thing may be that these talks are rather dense: they are brimming over with vital information, which flies by. These talks demand careful listening and serious reflection.

Each talk requires many hours to carefully transcribe. That said, there may still be inaccuracies. This is a work-in-progress.

I am transcribing these talks as a way of studying them myself. I’ve already found a lot here that is personally meaningful, even revolutionary. I hope you find something useful or inspiring here as well.

– Kikan Michael Howard

For more information about Katagiri Roshi, visit The Katagiri Project Home Page.

For updates, you can follow Katagiri Transcripts on Facebook.

If you have comments or questions, you can email me.

Next: Talk Summaries