Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Saturday, May 02, 1970

Sesshin Lecture #1

On Breathing

San Francisco

Right now you-your feeling has changed from the feeling you had in your sitting. This is important. When you start a two-day sesshin you think, "I must sit two days continuously." But that is not the way you should practice [laughs]. If you, you know, think in that way, you may feel-you may be very much discouraged: "Oh my! I have to sit two days or seven days."

It is actually better to sit one period after one period: "Okay, I will sit one period." Then, after kinhin, you must say to yourself, "I must sit one more period." [Laughs, laughter.] And MORE ...

Sesshin Lecture #2

Helping Others

San Francisco

First of all, a sincere-our practice-sincere practice-our sincere practice is not, you know, practice just for himself. This is not so difficult to understand. Bodhisattva practice is not just to help himself, but to help others. We put more stress to help others. That is bodhisattva practice.

I think because you are not so considerate in your everyday life, you have that question: you know, why we have to practice zazen, or what is sincere practice? If you find out how difficult it is to help others, with bodhisattva mind, with mind of MORE ...

Sunday, May 03, 1970

Sesshin Lecture #3

Sincere Practice and Way-Seeking Mind

San Francisco

To have-to have sincere practice means to have sincere concern with people. So our practice is actually based on our humanity. So Dogen-zenji says to accomplish humanity is to raise-to hold up Buddhism and help people.

So what is the way to establish humanity? That is the way to establish humanity is tao or practice, he says. By practice we can establish humanity, and our practice is based on humanity, so human being practice true human nature is our zazen. And he says the way is not something which was established by Buddha or some MORE ...

Tuesday, May 05, 1970

Negative View, Positive Practice

City Center, San Francisco

Once a time of one thousand or two thousand is not so long time in comparison to our idea of time. It is just, you know, one thousand or hundred years of time, maybe, one month or less than one month.

We came to the point where we must study Buddhism from various direction, and here we are started to study Buddhist way from various angle. And this is not so easy task. I think that is why we must have Buddha or Dogen-zenji, because each one of our effort-by each one of our effort cannot be satisfy.

Our purpose of studying Buddhism-in Japan this kind of study started, maybe, from Meiji period-early part of Meiji period. Of MORE ...

Sunday, May 10, 1970

Zen Center and City Practice

City Center, San Francisco

This morning I want to reflect on our long, long practice, which we started maybe more than ten years ago. The purpose of Zen Center is, as you know, to provide a Zen meditation hall or whatever it is, you know: some place to practice zazen, and practice with some teacher, was the original intention of Zen Center. And with this purpose we organized non-profit organization. And now, here, when we, you know, acquired this building, we named this building Mahabodhisattva Zendo. It is-reflecting on our practice that was, you know, nothing but the bodhisattva way: to help others and to help ourselves.

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Sunday, May 17, 1970

How to Observe Precepts

San Francisco

This morning I want to talk about Zen-Zen precepts. As you know, precepts is not-real meaning of precepts is not just rules. It is rather our way of our life. When we, you know, organize our life, there you see something like rules, you know. Even though you are not intending to observe some particular rule, but there you see some rules.

As soon as you get up, you know, to wake you completely up, you wash your face, you know. That is our precepts-one of the precepts. And at a certain time you eat breakfast, when you become hungry. That is, you know-it looks like you are observing some rules to eat MORE ...

Sunday, May 24, 1970

Money and Labor

City Center, San Francisco

Good morning. Actually this morning I asked Yoshida-roshi[1] to give some talk to you, but as he-as she has just arrived from Japan, and she said she is not ready to speak yet, so I am going to speak [say] something.

I introduced her already to you, but some of you here may not know her, so I think I have to introduce Yoshida-roshi first. [Aside of 1-2 sentences in Japanese.] Yoshida-roshi. [She answers briefly in Japanese. Suzuki-roshi then whispers Domo arigato.]

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Wednesday, May 27, 1970

Sandokai Lecture #1


[This is the first in a series of lectures on the Sandokai

(Chin. Cantong qi or Tisan-tiung-chii), a poem by Sekito Kisen.

Historical details of the series are appended to the end of this lecture. Japanese transliteration in all lectures is by Kazuaki Tanahashi (1999). English translation in all lectures is by Suzuki-roshi.]

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Saturday, May 30, 1970

Sandokai Lecture #2


[The following lines of the Sandokai are discussed in this lecture:

Line 2 tozai mitsuni aifusu.

Line 3 Ninkon ni ridon ari,

Line 4 do ni namboku no so nashi.

Line 2 was handed down closely from west to east.

Line 3 People may discriminate the dull from the keen,

Line 4 but in the true way there is no Patriarch of North or South.]

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

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