"Avant-garde musician John Cage; Catholic mystic Thomas Merton; Beat writers Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac; psychotherapists Carl Jung and Erich Fromm; Zen teachers Robert Aitken and Philip Kapleau, philosophers Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger: 20th century giants all, and all have one thing in common — they were deeply influenced by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a gentle scholar-practitioner from Japan."
A Zen Life is a documentary film about Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. He was an early popularizer of Zen in English speaking countries, mostly America. He met many interesting and famous people, and plays a part of the cultural history in America.
It's hard to portray in depth a life, with episodic quotes and interviews. This movie gives a kind of broad impressionistic summary of Suzuki's life. I had a million thoughts during the movie. I'm always interested in biography, the arc of a life. I thought it was interesting that his deep experiences were similar to mine, I once felt that I was the wind and the trees. I didn't see that as enlightenment, just a deep meditative experience. I found it interesting he adopted a mixed child in a time in Japan when these children would be shunned, but he had an American wife, Beatrice Erskine Lane.