Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Sunday, January 04, 1970

What is Our Practice?

San Francisco

In our zazen practice, we stop our thinking and we must be free from our emotional activity too. We don't say there is no emotional activity, but we should be free from it. We don't say we have no thinking mind, but we should not be-our activity, our life activity should not be limited by our thinking mind. In short, I think we can say [we trust ourselves completely, without thinking,][1] without feeling anything, we-without discriminating good and bad, without saying right or MORE ...

Sunday, January 11, 1970

Ordination Ceremony: Bill Kwong and Silas Hoadley

San Francisco

We have ordination ceremony for Bill Kwong and SilasHoadley after this lecture-immediately after this lecture. I wanted to talk about ordination ceremony, but I think it is pretty difficult to explain it, you know, because even-because you have no idea of, you know, Buddhist priesthood. And what you have in your mind is priest in America, you know, so [laughs] I have no word to communicate.

[Hum on tape for several minutes. Then Suzuki-roshi MORE ...

Sunday, January 18, 1970


San Francisco

In Japan now it is a season of typhoon. And recently, on the 16th, a typhoon arrived at San Francisco from Japan [laughs, laughter]. And now typhoon has left San Francisco to Tassajara [laughs, laughter]. Now it is the time when we have clear, blue sky again. Typhoon was so strong that I stayed in bed for two, three days [laughs, laughter]. I think you are also stayed in bed [laughs, laughter].

Each time some-at first, I came to America alone. And two years after, my wife came. And I had to share some difficulty we had-I had when I arrived San Francisco and culturally where I experienced MORE ...

Sunday, January 25, 1970

Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism

San Francisco

The difference between so-called-it Theravada Buddhism and Sarvastivadian or Hinayana and Mahayana is very important and directly, you know, concerned with our present problem. We are supposed [laughing] to be Mahayana Buddhist, but I think most of us are Hinayana, actually. There is not much Mahayana students. Almost all of us may be Hinayana or sectarian Buddhists because we study Buddhism as something which is already given to us, like Hinayana Buddhist thought Buddha already gave us-have given us-the wonderful teaching. So what we should do is to preserve his teaching as you like-as you put food in refrigerator [laughs]. That is Hinayana MORE ...

Saturday, January 31, 1970


San Francisco

Our-our effort in our practice is quite different effort you make in our usual life. This point should be very clear for you, or else, you know, you-your practice doesn't work.

And spiritual effort is, at the same time, is very poisonous for us. Spiritual attainment is very, you know-sometime like a-like-will result ecstasy or sometime will result arrogance. And in this kind of, you know, spiritual arrogance or ecstasy is worse than materialistic arrogance, you know. You can easily [be] fooled by people by talking about something spiritual-so-called-it "spiritual," you know. If you-"This is very spiritual thing." If you say so, that is already very powerful, you know. And there is MORE ...


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

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