Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Friday, February 05, 1971

Sesshin Lecture #1

San Francisco

Purpose of sesshin is to be completely one with our practice. That is purpose of sesshin. Sesshin. Sesshin means- We use two Chinese characters for setsu. Setsu means to treat or, you know, like you treat your guests or like a teacher [student?] treat his teacher, is setsu. Another setsu is "to control" or "to arrange things in order." Anyway, it means to have proper function of mind.

When we say "control," something which is controlled is our five senses and will, or mind, Small Mind, Monkey Mind which should be MORE ...

Sunday, February 07, 1971

Sesshin Lecture #3

San Francisco

This morning I said you must find yourself in each being. That is actually what Tozan [Ryokai]-zenji said: Don't try to seek yourself. Don't try to figure out who is you. "You" found out in that way is far away from real you. He is not anymore you. But if I go my own way, wherever I go, I see myself. You know, if you, you know, take your own step, it means bodhisattva way. Wherever you go, you will see yourself. You will meet with yourself. And, he says, the image you see in the water when you want to figure out who is you is not you, but actually just what you see in the water MORE ...

Tuesday, February 09, 1971

Sesshin Lecture #5

San Francisco

I think, as Yoshimura-sensei[1] told you the other night, Zen masters has some humorous [laughs], you know, element in their life. And, you know, even after death [laughs], or even more, we, you know, know how humorous [laughs] they were if you know them. Humor is, you know- Only when he has real, you know-he has some understanding more than real, you know, then he could be humorous, you know. So humor is more real than [laughs] reality, you know. Reality is not so real. But if you see [laughs, laughter] comic, you know, you know, that is more real than [laughs] usual pictures, you know.

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Friday, February 12, 1971

Sesshin Lecture, 7th Day: Page Street Apples

San Francisco

This is the seventh day of the sesshin, and you came already too far. So you cannot, you know, give up [laughs, laughter]. So only way is to stay here. And I feel I had a very good crop [laughs]. You may feel you are not yet ripened. But even though you are still ripening, but if you stay in our storehouse anyway, it will be a good apples [laughs]-Page Street apples, ready to be served [laughs, laughter]. So I have nothing to worry [about], and I don't think you have any more worry about your MORE ...

Sesshin Lecture, 7th Day: Closing Words

San Francisco

The Sixth Patriarch[1] said: "To dwell on emptiness and to keep calm mind is not zazen," he said. Or he said, you know: "Just to sit in squatting-sitting position is not Zen." But we say, you know, you-you have to just sit [laughs]. If you don't understand what is our practice and stick to those words, you will be confused. But if you understand what is real Zen, it is quite usual warning, you know-a kind of warning for us.

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Saturday, February 13, 1971

Calmness of Mind

San Francisco

Good morning.

We have been practicing sesshin, so I feel I didn't see some of you for a long, long time. We actually-"sesshin" means, you know, to, in one sense, to calm down, to have more calmness of mind in our activity and in our practice. But what does it mean, by "calmness of your mind." It's maybe pretty difficult for you to understand.

The calmness of mind is, you know, for instance, you may think if you seclude yourself in some remoted mountain or seclude MORE ...

Saturday, February 20, 1971

Buddha's Practice


Buddha's practice goes first. Our practice goes.

We say, "our practice," but it is actually Buddha's practice. We should know this point. This is the key point of our practice.

I don't know how many people want to practice zazen, but as long as their practice [is] involving personal practice, it is not true practice. If we practice selfish personal practice, it means that we are accumulating our karma more and more instead of releasing our previous karma.

Because of many bad choice--things you accumulated in previous life--you are right here and practicing under [Sotan Ryosen] Tatsugami-roshi. In spite of his difficult situation, MORE ...

Tuesday, February 23, 1971

Actual Feeling of True Practice


It is more than six months [laughs] since- Is it working?

Student: Yes.

-since I came to Tassajara, and I was very much impressed, you know, of your practice at this time. And I am now thinking about, you know-not thinking about-but actual feeling I have now, you know, and some, you know, prospect for the future-future life of Tassajara. I feel something right, and I want to talk, you know, a little bit about my feeling and my hope.

I don't know if you have actual feeling of true practice. I don't know, because, you know, why I say so is because I didn't know [laughs], you know, when I was practicing zazen. Even though I MORE ...

Saturday, February 27, 1971

Maps and Trips

San Francisco

The purpose of our practice is, of course, to maybe to have full enlightenment. Why we cannot have enlightenment is because of our, you know, delusion or mumyo,[1] we say. Or-because we are not-we don't have clear picture of this world, or we do not have eyes to see, you know, clearly, to see clearly, or to have clear understanding of this world. That is, you know, so-called-it called mumyo. Mumyo is delusion. Mu is "no." Myo is "clear." "No clear light."

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

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