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Do not do evil things though they may be insignificant. Do not give up good things though they may be minor matters.— Chinese Maxim
Katagiri Roshi sdiuted a lot. Mainly he sdiuted Buddhism, but he also took very seriously his study of the English language. He used words that some of us didn’t even know and we were constantly scrambling home after his lectures to consult our dictionaries. Even words we recognized he often used in ways we didn’t understand and Webster was our only source of deciphering his meanings, which were always precisely according to the dictionary, though often different from contemporary American usage.His pronunciation was painful to figure out, something which required much concentration and for a time caused me terrific headaches. And his translations from Japanese were often literal though not following any rules of English grammar and thus were often interpreted differently than what he meant. I encountered this a lot in trying to edit transcriptions of his lecture. I got used to listening to him, so transcribing wasn’t difficult. But when I tried to edit, I always became conflicted about what he really meant and afraid to change his sentence structures for fear of misinterpreting what he was trying to say.His study helped him to show us his deep understanding of the Dharma and of this practice. He dug into his Japanese references and he translated originals for us, finding exactly the right English words to convey his understanding. Most of all his sincere devotion to the practice was evidenced in his actions and his demeanor.