Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Tuesday, July 01, 1969

Rinzai and Soto

San Francisco


In-in America, between Rinzai Zen and Soto Zen there-there must be some clear understanding of-of the two, or relationship of the two. Dogen-zenji's, you know, problem of, or koan was, "If we have buddha-nature," you know, "why we should practice zazen?" That was his, you know-that is why he went to China. All-all-in all the scriptures say that everyone has buddha-nature. If so, why we should practice zazen?

And Soto more put emphasis on the statement that we have MORE ...

The Meaning of Practice


It is rather difficult for us to figure out why we started to practice zazen. It is rather difficult, and I think it may be same for you. But the more you think why you started zazen practice, the more you will find out how deep it is-the meaning you started zazen practice. And once you start our practice, even though your determination is not so strong, or you don't feel your determination is not so strong, but you will find out how strong the determination has been.

It is rather difficult, you know. You think-when you are here, you think sometimes or, you know, once in a while it may be better to give up [laughs]. But actually to give up our study or practice MORE ...

Thursday, July 03, 1969

Emptiness is Form


I have explained the poem about "Emptiness is form," or shochuhen.[1] Sho is reality and hen is "form" or "seeming" [?]. Shochuhen. And the next one is henchusho,[2] the opposite. And chu means, you know-chu or soku-means some activity in which-not activity-some-not relationship, but something in which everything appears-every event, you know, appears. What will it be [laughs]? Something in which, you know, appears. Maybe MORE ...

Tuesday, July 08, 1969

Question and Answer Session

San Francisco

Suzuki-roshi: Tonight I have nothing special which I want to talk [about]. Of course, there may be many things which I must talk [about], but I cannot think of anything right now. And I don't know what kind of thing is to be told. Maybe-so may be better to answer your question. If you have some question please ask me. And at first I will-I want you to make several questions, and I will try to answer for it. Do you have some questions? Hai.

Student A: Will you speak of purity and worship?

Suzuki-roshi: Purity? Uh-huh. And worship. Some other questions too?

MORE ...

Wednesday, July 09, 1969

Form and Emptiness II


In our previous lectures we have studied the relationship between-relationship between real and seeming, or emptiness and forms. [By] "real" we mean something beyond our thinking. This is, you know,-there is no way to-whatever, you know, we say about it, it is the expre- [partial word]-just suggestion, you know, not real or emptiness itself. It is something beyond our thinking mind, so we call it "emptiness."

It is not actually something which we can understand in term of good or bad, real or not real. And seeming and all-whatever it MORE ...

Friday, July 11, 1969

Eulogy for Trudy Dixon

Given During Her Funeral Ceremony

Soko-ji, San Francisco

Go, my disciple Sesshin Baiho [?].[1]

You have completed your practice for this life and acquired genuine warm heart and pure and undefiled buddha-mind, and joined our sangha. All that you have done in this life and in the past life became meaningful in the light of the buddha-mind, which was found so clearly within yourself, as your own.

MORE ...

Tuesday, July 15, 1969


San Francisco

Again, I have nothing in my mind [laughs, laughter]. I think I want you to hit my head, you know, like this, and try what kind of sound I make-my head make-makes. Would you hit my, you know, head like this? If possible, you know, hit my head with long, long talk, maybe one hour long. It will be a great help. Do you have some long, long stick to hit my bell? If you have some long stick-longer the better. Do you have some question? Long, long question [laughter]. No question? Some question? Hai.

Student A: [4-6 words unclear] on shikantaza?

Suzuki-roshi: Shikantaza? Oh. Practice of MORE ...

Sunday, July 20, 1969

Trip to the Moon

If you go to some library you will see many books. And those-in those books, we will find out our achievement, our human knowledge, which is almost impossible to study out. And now we are going to arrive to the moon.[1] And [laughs] actually I don't know anything about, you know, how they reach to the moon and what kind of feeling they may have when they arrive at the moon. To me it is not so interesting a thing.

When I reflect on myself, especially when I feel, on this occasion, I have to speak about the moon trip [laughs, laughter], I have no time to study about those things. So if I try to speak about it, it is nothing but to tell you how foolish I am, you know. MORE ...

Saturday, July 26, 1969

Blue Cliff Record #43


A monk asked Tozan-Zen Master Tozan[1]-can you hear me?-

"It is so hot," you know. "How is it possible to go somewhere where it is not hot?"[2]

Tozan asked to the monk: "Why don't you go," you know, "somewhere it is not so hot?"

And Tozan said-Tozan asked him-told him, "Why don't you go MORE ...

Monday, July 28, 1969

Question and Answer


[1]... mind. That is the purpose of counting. Not just count, you know.

Student A: But, like, in daily life, are we to count when we are walking, or would you just walk?

Suzuki-roshi: In daily life if you walk as a practice of Zen, you know, you, you know, you steady [steadily] walk step-by-step like you count your breathing. Hai.

Student B: Roshi, I found in the past three months at Tassajara that I've uncovered tremendous anger in myself from time to time-

Suzuki-roshi:: Uh-huh.

MORE ...


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

  • Interviews with Peter Schneider
  • Links

  • Suzuki Roshi 50th
  • San Francisco Zen Center
  • Home

    1962 (1)

    1963 (7)1964 (8)1965 (7)1966 (17)1967 (21)1968 (25)1969 (54)1970 (65)1971 (49)