Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Saturday, June 05, 1971

Sesshin Lecture #1

San Francisco

First of all, I want to explain, you know, I want you to understand what is our practice. You know, our practice we say, "just to sit." It is, you know, "just to sit," but I want to try to explain as much as possible what do we mean by "just to sit." Practice is usually, you know, practice to expect something: at least, if you practice, you know, some way, some practice, your practice will be improve. And if there is a goal of practice, you know, or if you practice aiming at something, you know, you will-your practice supposed to reach, you know, eventually, the goal of practice you expect. And actually, you know, if you MORE ...

Sunday, June 06, 1971

Okesa Ceremony

San Francisco

[The tape begins with Tenshin-sensei Reb Anderson reciting the verse attributed by Shakyamuni Buddha, quoted in the fascicle "Kesa-koduko," in Dogen-zenji's Shobogenzo. The translation may have been by Suzuki-roshi.]

Tenshin-sensei: I will read now a translation of the sutra we just chanted:

Listen carefully, Chiko Bisshu,[1] to the ten precious virtues intrinsic to the garment of the great field of blessedness. While common clothing encourages the growth of delusion, the Buddha's MORE ...

Monday, June 07, 1971

Sesshin Lecture #2

San Francisco

Shikantaza, zazen, is-our zazen is just to be ourselves. Just to be ourselves. We should not expect anything, you know, just to be ourselves. And continue this practice forever. That is our way, you know. Even, we say, even in, you know (what do you say?) [laughs], even in, you know [snaps fingers], [student: "Snap of the fingers?"] [laughs, laughter], you know, in snapping your fingers there are millions of kalpas-no, cetanas. [1] The unit of time. MORE ...

Wednesday, June 09, 1971

Sesshin Lecture, Day 5

San Francisco

[I thought there was another day of sesshin, but today is our last day.][1]

I think you, you know, have understood- (Can you hear me? Yeah? Not so well. Okay? Mmm?) You have understood what is zazen as your practice. But I didn't explain how you sit-I didn't give you instruction how you sit in detail, but I told you, you know, how I practice shikantaza-or zazen. Maybe that is my way, so I don't know how another teachers will, you know, sit, I don't MORE ...

Saturday, June 12, 1971

Zen Center Students

San Francisco

We say "Zen Center student," you know. Or, we say "Zen Center." But it is-tonight-today-I want to make this kind of idea clear, you know, as much as possible. Although, you know, I say, "You are Zen Center students," and although you say, "You are Zen Center students," you say, "I am Zen Center student." I don't know! [Laughs.] I am not so sure who you are. But to me, as long as you are here, you know, to me you are Zen Center students. [Laughs.] That's all. And if you go out from this building, I don't know who you are. [Laughs.]

Do you know who you are? [Laughs.] Is there any particular, you MORE ...

Saturday, June 19, 1971

Sewing and Wearing the Buddhist Robes and How It Relates to Our Practice

San Francisco Zendo

Last Sunday I told you that, whatever religion you belong to, it doesn't matter when you to come and sit with us. That is because our way of sitting, of practice, is for you to become yourself. Katagiri Roshi always says, "to settle oneself on oneself." To be yourself. When you become you, yourself, at that moment your practice includes everything. Whatever there is, it is a part of you. So you practice with Buddha, you practice with Bodhidharma and you practice with Jesus. You practice with everyone in the future or in past. That is our practice. But when you do not become yourself, it doesn't happen in that way.

MORE ...

Sunday, June 20, 1971

Sesshin Lecture

San Francisco

This sesshin-we call it "sewing sesshin"-sesshin and, actually, rakusu sewing-okesa-sewing sesshin. Our okesa is not just-just symbol of our teaching, but it is actually dharma itself. But unless you have proper understanding of it, the rakusu is something which you wear as a symbol of Buddhist. But that is not proper understanding.

The proper understanding of our zazen or rakusu is same, not different. Proper understanding of zazen is, at the same time, proper understanding of rakusu. So unless you have real MORE ...

Tuesday, June 22, 1971

Everyday Life

San Francisco

I don't know where to start, you know, my talk, but anyway what I want to discuss with you tonight is how to, you know, apply our practice in your-to your everyday life. That will be the point of my talk.

Whether you are a layman or priest, you know, we are all bodhisattvas, you know. We are taking bodhisattva vow and we are practicing bodhisattva way. And as you know, bodhisattva way is to help others as you help yourself, or to help others more-before you help yourself. That is, you know, bodhisattva way. We put so much emphasis on helping others. This point is very important when you MORE ...


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

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