Archive for December, 1961

December 1961

Friday, December 1st, 1961

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TEACHER AND DISCIPLE

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

December 1961 and February 1962


Emptiness does not mean annihilation; it means selfless original enlightenment which gives rise to everything.  Once selfless original enlightenment takes place, very subjective and objective existence resumes its own nature (buddha-nature) and becomes valuable jewels to us all.

In Mahāyāna Buddhism every teaching is based on the idea of emptiness, but most schools emphasize its expression in some particular sutra-the Lotus Sūtra, the Avatamsaka-sūtra, the Mahāvairochana-sūtra, and others.  In Zen we do not emphasize the teaching until after we practice, and between practice and enlightenment there must not be any gap in our effort.  Only in this way it is possible to attain the perfect enlightenment from which every teaching comes out.  For us it is not teaching, practice, enlightenment; but enlightenment, practice, and the study of the teachings.  At this time every sutra has its value according to the temperament and circumstances of the disciples.

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