Archive for July, 1965

July 30 1965 3rd Talk

Friday, July 30th, 1965

SR0004

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SUMMER SESSHIN LECTURE: 6:00 PM

Friday, Thursday, July 30, 1965

Lecture D

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30 3rd Talk

Suzuki-rōshi: Do you have some question?

Student A: Sensei, D. T. Suzuki wrote that “Zen was religion of the will,” is what he said.  What do you think about that?

Suzuki-rōshi: Religion?

Student A: Of the will, he said.

Suzuki-rōshi: Oh.  I—I haven’t read it.  What does he say?

Student A: Oh.  He just said—I just remember this sentence.  He said Zen is the religion of the will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will?

Student A: Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: I don’t understand.

Student: Willpower.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will?

Several Students: Willpower.  Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.  Yeah, I know [laughs, laughter] what is.  Wheel.  No?

Student: No.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will.

Student: Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will.

Student: Yeah.

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.  [Laughs, laughter.]

Student: “I will do it.”

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah.

Student: “I will.”  Willpower.

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah.  It is—he may say [laughs] religion of will.  But willpower is not only power we have, you know.  Will, and emotion or feeling, and moral—morality.  Willpower may be the driving power, but in contrast with European religion, they say emotion is deepest.  They think it is—emotion is deepest, and willpower is not so deep.  And intellect is most superficial [laughs].

But Zen is not just willpower—religion of just willpower.  Sōtō is more—more, you know, maybe emotional.  And religious feeling is something like emotional, but just emotional power—emotion [is] blind.  The willpower is also sometime [laughs] blind.  So that is why we want rational power.  But rational power will correct the mistake of—will blind [blend?] or help blend willpower and feeling or emotional power.  I don’t exactly figure out why he said so, but because in practice we want big willpower.  Zen is religion of practice, so he must have said Zen is religion of will.  But I don’t think Zen is just will, religion of will.  [It is a] religion of whole mind.  Some more question?

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July 30 1965 2nd Talk

Friday, July 30th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

1 PM SESSHIN LECTURE

Friday, July 30, 1965

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30 2nd Talk

Tape Operator: This is the beginning of the 1 pm lecture, Friday.

Suzuki-rōshi: If you have a question, please give me.  I want to answer about what I told you during sesshin.

Student A: Sensei?  I’d like to refer to a question someone else asked a couple of mornings ago, about helping other people.  At that time you said that unless a person were enlightened, it wouldn’t do much good to help other people.  It seems to me that that would mean that probably most people in this room should not do anything for anyone else.  I doubt we’re all enlightened in this room, and since I have been thinking of [it], I wonder if you could expand on this idea?

Suzuki-rōshi: Oh.  “Enlightened” means, maybe, many things.  And in the word “enlightenment” is very wide.  So “enlightenment” does not mean to attain perfection, you know.  Bodhisattva—for bodhisattva—bodhisattva’s way is to help others, even before he save himself.  That is bodhisattva’s way.  So the point is how to help others, you know.  Enlightenment—enlightenment, or bodhisattva’s mind—I have to go back to my talk about bodhisattva or bodhisattva-mind.

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July 30 1965

Friday, July 30th, 1965

SRC0044

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

9 AM SESSHIN LECTURE

Friday, July 30, 1965

Lecture B

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30

Tape operator: The sentence about “your mind”[1] was in the meditation before breakfast, and beginning here is the instruction at nine o’clock Friday morning.

Suzuki-rōshi: I have to give the conclusion to my talk for this sesshin.  The science or philosophy is like a dissection.  It is possible to analyze what we did after we did something [1 word].  But it is already dead corpse [laughs]—dead corpse of our practice.  So even though you analyze what you have done, it will not work.  It will not help you so much.  It is nearly the same as to count your lost child’s age [laughs].  So we cannot help counting our lost boy’s age.  It is our nature, but actually it will not help us so much.

So the most important thing is to understand our true mind or inmost nature in our practice.  How we understand our actual mind is the most important point—should be the most important point.  That is why Zen emphasize to live on each moment.

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July 30 1965 (words during zazen)

Friday, July 30th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

5:45 AM SESSHIN LECTURE

DURING MEDITATION BEFORE BREAKFAST[1]

Friday, July 30, 1965

Lecture A

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Don’t be bothered by your mind.

_____________________________________________________________________

Source:  City Center original tape.  Verbatim transcript by Bill Redican and Judith Randall (6/13/01).

[1]  From the introductory comment by the tape operator in SR-65-07-30-B.

July 29 1965 3rd Talk

Thursday, July 29th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SUMMER SESSHIN LECTURE: 6:30 PM

Thursday, July 29, 1965

Lecture C

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-29 3rd Talk

Tape Operator: The Wednesday—or, no not Wednesday—Thursday night, 6 p—6:15 lecture.  Starting.

Suzuki-rōshi: Do you have some question—some more question?

Student A: Reverend Suzuki, would you please talk about what the Buddhists think about killing or about—maybe there’s a precept or a doctrine—

Suzuki-rōshi: About killing?

Student A: About killing.

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.

Student A: Because it’s hard to understand, with all the killing that is happening in the world, why [2-3 words] stop.

Suzuki-rōshi: About killing.  What do you think it is “not to kill”?

Student A: It’s not to kill.

Suzuki-rōshi: Mm-hmm.  Not to kill.  What do—do we mean, you think?

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July 29 1965 2nd Talk

Thursday, July 29th, 1965

SR0047

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SUMMER SESSHIN LECTURE:  1 PM

Thursday, July 29, 1965

Lecture B

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-29 2nd Talk

[Are there any][1] questions so far I talked?

Student A: Why—why do we put our hands like this?  And then—is—is that the best—is that—why?  [Laughter.]

Suzuki-rōshi: This is called “cosmic mudrā.”

Student A: Called what?

Suzuki-rōshi: Cosmic mudrā. One of the mudrā—Buddha’s mudrā. There are many and many mudrās.  This is good question, I think.  Have you some other question?  I will, you know—I will talk about it.

Student B: Once you know buddha-nature—does it—does it—do you always know it, or do you, like, you can forget you have it and have to remember it—that you have buddha-nature?

Suzuki-rōshi: You do not, you know, understand what I said exactly.  Yeah, I will explain it just now—then [?].  Some other question?

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July 29 1965

Thursday, July 29th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SESSHIN LECTURE: 9 AM

Thursday Morning, July 29, 1965

Lecture A

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-29

Tape operator: Nine o’clock instruction, Thursday morning.

Suzuki-rōshi: Purpose of practice is to have direct experience of buddha-nature.  That is purpose of our practice.  So whatever you do, it is—it should be the direct experience of buddha-nature.

We say—in fifth precept we say, “Don’t—don’t—don’t be attached”—not “attached,” but—”don’t be—don’t violate even the precepts which is not here.”  [Laughs.]  It is rather difficult to understand.  In—in Japanese it is not so difficult, but in English it is rather difficult to understand.  It means, anyway—we say when you sit, you say I have something—something occurred in your mind which is not so good.  Some image come.  Something covered your wisdom or buddha-nature.  When you say so, you have the idea of clearness, you know, because you have—you think you have to clear up your mind from all images; you have to keep your mind clear from various images which will come to you, or which you have already—you have—which you have already should be cleared up.  This—so far you understand it, but Dōgen-zenji says:

Don’t—don’t even try to clear up your mind, even though you have something here.  Don’t want to be pure.  If you want to be pure, it means you have attached in—to pureness—purity.  That is also not so good.  Don’t attach to purity or impurity.

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July 28 1965 2nd Talk

Wednesday, July 28th, 1965

SR0277

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SUMMER 7-DAY SESSHIN LECTURE: 6 PM

Wednesday, July 28, 1965

Lecture D

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-28 2nd Talk

Tape operator: This is Reverend Suzuki’s six o’clock lecture on Wednesday.

Suzuki-rōshi: I cannot think of anything to talk [about] for this evening.  So if you have some question please ask me, and I will talk about your question as an answer, and—and then we will have discussion.  Do you have some—will you give me some subject to talk about?

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July 28 1965

Wednesday, July 28th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SUMMER 7-DAY SESSHIN LECTURE: 1 PM

Wednesday, July 28, 1965

Lecture C

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-28

[1] Bodhisattva-mind, which is rather dualistic, but if you understand bodhisattva-mind in dualistic way, it is not right understanding.  When you try to understand bodhisattva way by thinking or philosophical way, it is dualistic.  Each school has its system of teaching, but Zen has no system of philosophy.  Although we have—Sōtō school have—has Shōbōgenzō, that is not possible to understand [in] just [a] philosophical way.  That is why when some scholar write something about Shōbōgenzō, he sub- [partial word]—he will submit what he wrote to some Zen master, you know.  He does not announce, or he does not print before a Zen master check-up.  This is—this point is pretty strict with our—in our schools because just philosophical understanding is not good enough as a work of Sōtō school. So we—we are pretty strict with this point.

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July 27 1965 2nd Talk

Tuesday, July 27th, 1965

SR0002

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

6 PM SESSHIN LECTURE

Tuesday, July 27, 1965

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-27 2nd Talk

In our way of Zen, we emphasize the way-seeking mind—way-seeking mind.  This is, in another word, bodhisattva-mind or way-seeking mind.  In Zen, people say “way it is” or “to observe everything as it is.”  But “the way as it is” or “to observe things as they are” will not be the same what you mean by that.  I don’t know what—how do you understand “to observe everything as it is.”  I find out there are big misunderstanding in your understanding of “way it is” or “to observe things as it is.”

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