Suzuki Roshi Transcripts

Friday, July 02, 1971

"Real Precepts Are Beyond Words"

City Center

[Today I would like to][1] ... lecture about precepts. I- When I say "precepts," the first thing you will think of is something like Ten Commandment or ten grave prohibitory precepts. But Zen precepts is not like that. The Zen precepts is- To study Zen precepts means to understand zazen. So it is- Another interpretation of zazen is precepts. Using words-word "precepts" we explain what is Zen actually.

The purpose of receiving precepts, observing precepts, is not just to remember what we should do or what we shouldn't do. And how MORE ...

Tuesday, July 06, 1971


San Francisco

I want to continue my talk about precepts-Buddhist precepts. And last time I talked about the indivisible three treasures, which is buddha, and dharma, and sangha. But we have three-we say "three treasures," but the three treasures could be understood by you in three ways. It is indivisible, three precepts, because it is one: buddha, and dharma, and sangha are actually one. It is not three. So we say indivisible three treasures.

The next one is, actually, since we have Shakyamuni Buddha who attained enlightenment, realizing the indivisible three treasures. And what he told was dharma, which was-as he realized what is the indivisible three treasures, he talked about it. That is dharma. MORE ...

Saturday, July 17, 1971


San Francisco

[In my last lectures][1] ... I explain about our precepts. As you must have found out, "the precepts," we say, but it is nothing so unusual-it is just about the things as they are and about what we are. And that is precepts. You may wonder why then is it necessary [laughs] to accept precepts. But this is very important point. I want you to understand. It is very very common understanding which you can accept quite easily.

You know, what I say-what I said was there are three-the three kind of precepts. One precept is-first one is indivisible three precepts.[2] Even MORE ...

Tuesday, July 20, 1971

Non-Mystical Understanding


I wanted to see you earlier, but I was too busy so I couldn't come.

Can you hear me? Can you hear me?

Student: Yes.

Oh. Okay.

Anyway, it is very good to see you and Tassajara, which has improved a lot since I left here. Tonight my-I didn't have any idea of giving talk, but I-as, you know, we have many guests and some of you may leave tomorrow, so I decided to talk a little bit-maybe I MORE ...

Wednesday, July 21, 1971

Question and Answer


We discussed already last night[1] about what is something which we can experience or which we can understand, and what is something which we cannot understand. I was trying to explain, you know, the difference [between] something which you can understand and something which you cannot understand, and how you, you know, have an approach to something which you cannot understand is by practice.

But it is necessary for us at the same time to have understanding of Buddhism. It is necessary to read, and it is necessary to listen to lecture, and it is necessary to think about MORE ...

Thursday, July 22, 1971



This evening I want to explain about san-pachi-nenju[1] which we practice. Can you hear me?

Student: No.

Suzuki-roshi: No. Okay. [Laughs, laughter.] San-pachi. San-pachi-nenju which we practiced this evening. Some of you must have joined the ceremony, and some of you must have seen it. But before I explain about san-pachi-nenju, I want to explain our-what is our practice and what will be each one of yours MORE ...

Saturday, July 24, 1971

Mountains and Rivers


This evening I want to talk about Buddhist practice. In one of the fascicle of Shobogenzo there-there is fascicle about virtue of mountain and river.[1] Virtue of mountain and river. This is very interesting and give us a great benefit to understand what is our practice. Virtue of mountain and river.

He [Dogen] says usual people think mountain is solid, mountain does not move and permanent; but river flows. That is usual understanding of mountain and river. Mountain and river. It is exactly the same as-people say Rinzai practice or Soto practice [laughs]. And the Soto practice is such-and-such; and Rinzai MORE ...

Sunday, July 25, 1971

Self-Centered Practice


Tonight I want to explain the outline of our practice. As a monk and as a layman, without understanding of what is practice, it is rather difficult to make actual progress in your practice. And what I will talk about tonight is a kind of universal practice for laymen and monks both, you know-which could be true for both laymen and priests.

We say, or you say [laughs] whatever you do, that is practice, our practice: to drink tea or to eat or to sleep, to walk, or to sit down. Whatever you do, that is practice, you know, we say. But how you, you know-with-with what kind of understanding you do things is very important point. Actually, whatever you do, if you MORE ...

Monday, July 26, 1971

Fuketsu's "One Particle Of Dust" (Blue Cliff Record #61)



Setting up the Dharma banner and establishing the Dharma teaching-such is the task of the teacher of profound attainment. Distinguishing a dragon from a snake, black from white-that is what the mature master must do. Now let us put aside for a moment how to wield the life-giving sword and the death-dealing blade, and how to administer blows with the stick: tell me, what does the one who lords it over the universe say? See the following.


MORE ...

Thursday, July 29, 1971

Ryaku Fusatsu Lecture

Zen Mountain Center

As you know, at Tassajara Ryaku Fusatsu-Ryaku Fusatsu[1] may be observed as we observe it at Eihei-ji. I want to talk about Ryaku Fusatsu tonight and maybe tomorrow night, if I have time. I want to continue the spirit of practice of Ryaku Fusatsu.

Ryaku Fusatsu is one of the most interesting practices at MORE ...

Friday, July 30, 1971


Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

This evening we observed-this evening is called Fusatsu. As I explained last night,[1] this ceremony actually started even before Buddha. And after Buddha, the ceremony more and more include more positive elements: just, you know, to observe-not only just to observe, to keep their life, human life, from evil spirits, observing some good, and acquiring some strength-and throughout [?] protecting themselves from the evil.

That also-to attain the perfection of human practice, Buddha started-observed this ceremony. The form is merely what we must do, and more and more exactly. But must be nearly the same. But meaning MORE ...


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

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