Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Friday, January 21, 1966

Sesshin Lecture: Shusogi: Sections 11-17

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Tape operator: Sesshin lecture in January 20th-21st, I think, one o'clock.

Suzuki-roshi: The next chapter[1] which we will learn is about precepts. And this is pretty difficult one, so before we study how to recite it, and I want to explain it beforehand.

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Friday, February 18, 1966

KPFA Radio Interview with Elsa Knight Thompson

KPFA/KPFB Studio, Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, CA

Elsa Knight Thompson:[1] ... by telling us something more about our guest, Suzuki-roshi.

Richard Baker: Shunryu Suzuki-roshi came to America about six years ago, and he was only going to stay for a year or two and [2 words]. Many Americans came to meditate with him. He kept postponing leaving and finally there was such a large group meditating with him in San Francisco [1 word] no more room and there wasn't an opportunity to study with him as well as if we had MORE ...

Sunday, March 13, 1966

Sesshin Lecture: Genjo Koan, Paragraphs 1-3

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Good morning. This lecture is for advanced student in his practice, but I think this lecture will help you even though you haven't advanced practice. And at least some day you will understand this lecture. This is the gist of Dogen's teaching, and various offshoot are the 95 fascicle of-fascicles of his work. This is basic teaching-basic teaching of Dogen.

And we have finished the first paragraph, anyway:[1]

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Sesshin Lecture: Shusogi, Section 1

Lecture B[1]

Soko-ji, San Francisco

Tape operator: Recorded March-March 13, 1966, Soko-ji Zen Temple, a lecture by Reverend Suzuki on the Shoshoji [sic]. Huh?

Second voice: Shushogi.

Tape operator: Is it? A lecture on the Shushogi. [Laughter.]

Suzuki-roshi: We started to recite MORE ...

Saturday, March 26, 1966

The Way-Seeking Mind

When we feel the evanescence of life, or when we have problems for ourselves, and direct feeling of the problems-of the fact you have to face-is how you arise the way-seeking mind.

Usually when we set ourselves to studying something, we put our everyday problems aside, concentrating our attention for a time on something of particular interest. That is how we study generally. On Sunday you may go to church, but to you going to church and your everyday life are two completely different activities. Eventually, however, you will feel some contradiction in your everyday life, and some uneasiness, feeling you have nothing to rely on. It is this feeling which gives rise to the way-seeking mind.

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Wednesday, May 25, 1966

Sesshin Lecture: Genjo Koan, Paragraphs 1-2

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco[1]

The secret of all the teaching of Buddhism is how to live on each moment. Moment after moment we have to obtain the absolute freedom. And moment after moment, we exist in interdependency to past and future and other existence. So in short, to practice-if you practice zazen, concentrating yourself on your breathing moment after moment, that is how to keep precepts, how to have the actual understanding of Buddhist teaching, and how to help others, and how MORE ...

Thursday, May 26, 1966

Sesshin Lecture: Genjo Koan, Paragraphs 5-13

Thursday, May 26, 1966[1]

Sunday Morning

Page 2:[2]

Firewood turns into ash, and it does not turn into firewood again. But do not suppose that the ash is after and the firewood before. We must understand that firewood is at the stage of firewood, and there must-and there we find-there we find its before and after. And yet with this past and future, its present is MORE ...

Wednesday, June 01, 1966

Evening Lecture, Summer 1966

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Buddhism has many annual layers like a big tree. It is our tradition to respect those efforts which our patriarchs have made for more than 2000 years. There has been a great effort, we have made a great effort to develop Buddha's way. This is a very important point for Buddhism as a religion. Without appreciation for the efforts of our patriarchs it is difficult to have a religious feeling in Buddhism.

This temple was founded in 1934. At that time there were not many priests in America and the founder made a great effort to MORE ...

Afternoon Lecture, Summer 1966

Most of you are beginners, so it may be rather difficult for you to understand why we practice zazen or meditation in this way. We always say "just to sit." And if you do, you will find out that Zen practice-just to sit-is not easy. Just to sit may be the most difficult thing. To work on something is not difficult; how to not work on anything is rather difficult. When we have the idea of "self," we want some reason why we work on something. But if you do not have the idea of self, you can remain silent and calm whether or not you work on something. You will not lose your composure. So to remain silent and calm is a kind of test we receive. If you can do it, it means you have no idea of self. If your life is based on MORE ...

Sunday, June 19, 1966

Genjo Koan: Paragraphs 1-11

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Suzuki-roshi: Someone has my-my paper.[1]

Student: [4-6 words unclear.] Wednesday night-[6-8 words]-Wednesday night.

Suzuki-roshi: Wednesday?

Student: Yeah. Finish the whole thing.

Suzuki-roshi: Hmm?

Student: Wednesday night we finish the whole thing.

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Genjo Koan: Paragraphs 7-9

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco[1]

[Now it is specifically taught in Buddhism that life does not become death.] [2] For this reason, life [is] called "no-life." It is specifically taught in Buddhism that death does not become life. Therefore, death is called "no-death."

Life is a period of itself; death is a period of itself. They are like winter and spring. We do not call winter the MORE ...


Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco[1]

Last time I explained the ten prohibitory precepts:

Do not kill.

Do not steal.

Do not be immoral.

Do not lie.

Do not sell intoxicating liquor.

Do not speak of other's shortcomings.

Do not praise yourself or blame others.

Do not grudge giving to charities material or spiritual.

MORE ...

Genjo Koan: Paragraphs 11-13

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco[1]

When the truth-

-the last paragraph in Page 2.[2]

When the truth does not fill our body and mind, we think that-we think that we have enough. When the truth fill our body and mind, we know that something is missing. For an example, when we view the world from a boat on the ocean, it looks circular and nothing else. But the ocean is neither round nor square, and its MORE ...

Monday, August 15, 1966

Genjo Koan

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Suzuki-roshi: The second paragraph [of the Genjo Koan]:

That we move ourselves and understand all things is ignorance. That things advance and understand themselves is enlightenment. It is Buddha who understand ignorance. It is people who are ignorant of ignor- [partial word]-enlightenment. Further, there are those who are enlightened about enlightenment, and those who are ignorant of ignorance. [Recording stops.][1]

Tape operator: Uh, what would you like me to say into the MORE ...

Lunch Lecture

[mic noise}-cannot appreciate our teaching in its true sense. When you listen to the teaching, our teaching, we should accept it, but if you have some prejudice, you cannot accept the teaching. So do

sound problem

Intellectual Understanding

For us to think everything out or else we-we find it pretty difficult to have firm conviction in our understanding and practice Zen. Originally Zen is not some practice based on some particular intellectual teaching or understanding. But Buddhism is one of the religions which is highly intellectualized. So for us, especially for us who are much intellectualized, even though each one of us is not so highly intellectualized, but you read and what you hear is based on some highly intellectualized thought.

So what we talk about, what we read is based on some intellectual-intellectual, deep understanding of-of our life and MORE ...

Sesshin: Lecture

The first day of the sesshin is almost finished. In the first day, I wanted you to establish a good posture. It is rather-it was not appropriate to give you some-something to work on intellectually, but as you have been physically worked so hard, so for change I'll give you some intellectual problems in Buddhism.

We are now coping with the problem of causality. This-I think [2 words] must have told you something about this, I think. But this problem is very big problem. So big that it covers all the area of Buddhist philosophy. The one of the philosophy which suggest us MORE ...


Verbatim transcripts of lectures by Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi, 1962-1971

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