Dogen Zenji wrote: “Since intimacy surrounds you, it is fully intimate; it is beyond intimate. You should clearly study this. Thus the person becomes the correct heir of Buddha ancestors. Right now is the very moment when you are intimate with yourself and intimate with others.” The word “intimate” will likely always be associated with Daido: “Be intimate with your life, with the Buddha, with each and every thing. To trust yourself,” he would emphasize, “is to be intimate with the Great Way.” Where Maezumi Roshi, his teacher’s, key word was perhaps “appreciate” . . . “let us appreciate”. . . Daido’s language pattern and life study seemed to key on “intimacy.”
I remember his tears—never spill-over, gush, silly tears, but the wet-eye, can’t-hide-them kind, when sangha was beginning to really shape at Mount Tremper. Sitting one Sunday aftenoon in the late 80’s at a Chinese restaurant after the morning sitting and dharma talk at the center, attended by what was then a record-breaking crowd of forty, he reported as the miso soup arrived, that a couple from out of town had told him they were going to move to the area, buy a house, reset their life, just to be close by. “It’s happening,” he said. I looked out the window at the stream running over the rocks. “More and more trouble,” I smiled, and when I looked back at him his eyes were wet. We both looked back at the stream, ate our soup, keeping a good quiet.
His dharma talks were from the beginning serious, warm, exciting to the heart—and the buildings and grounds and formation program over the early years would be met again and again by his astonishing insight and unflagging love. What might get lost to history, however, and I think also needs to be celebrated, was his capacity for craziness and joy. Indeed, as he would say. (And I would edit out of every other paragraph of his talks . . . )