Archive for November, 1965

November 18 1965

Thursday, November 18th, 1965

November 18, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lectures

When you get up early in the morning by alarm, I think you don’t feel so well.  It is not so easy to come and sit even though….even after you started sitting at first, you have to encourage yourself to sit well.  This kind of…those are the waves of our mind—just waves and in pure zazen there should not be any waves in our mind.  But while you are sitting those waves will more and more become smaller and your effort change into some subtle feeling.  We say ‘pulling out the weed’.  We make it nourishment of the plant.  We pull the weed and bury the weed near the plant to make it nourishment of the plant.  So even though you have some difficulty in your practice….even though you have some waves while you are sitting, those weeds itself will help you.  So we should not be bothered by the weeds you have in your mind.  We should be rather grateful to the weeds you have in your mind because eventually will enrich your practice.

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November 11, 1965

Thursday, November 11th, 1965

Suzuki-roshi

Suzuki-roshi

November 11, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lectures

Beginner’s Mind

People say to study zen is difficult but there is some misunderstanding why it is difficult.  It is not difficult because to sit in cross legged position is hard or to attain enlightenment is hard, but it is hard to keep our mind pure and to keep our practice pure in original way.  Zen become more and more impure and after zen school established in China it is development of zen but at the same time it is…it become impure.  But I don’t want to talk about Chinese zen or history of zen this morning.  But why I say I want to talk about why it is difficult is because just you came here this morning, getting up early is very valuable experience for you.  Just you wanted to come is very valuable.  We say ‘sho shin’.  Sho shin means beginner’s mind.  If we can keep beginner’s mind always that is the goal of our practice.  We recited Prajna Paramita Sutra this morning only once.  I think we recited very well, but what will happen to us if we recite it twice, three times, four times and more?  Then we will easily lose our attitude in reciting – original attitude in reciting- the sutra.  Same thing will happen to us.  For awhile we will keep our beginner’s mind in your  (blank space in transcript).  If we continue to practice one year, two years, three years or more we will have some  (blank on transcript) and we will lose the limitless meaning of the original mind.

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November 4, 1965

Thursday, November 4th, 1965

November 4, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lectures

When we practice our mind always follow our breathing.  When we inhale, the air we take come inner world and when we exhale the air we exhale come to outer world.  Inner world is limitless and outer world is also limitless.  So our throat is like a swinging door.  The air come in, comes out (like this…demonstrating a swinging door).  So called ‘I’ is just swinging door which moves when we take inhaling and exhaling.  And it moves….it just moves, you know…that’s all what we do.  So when we practice zazen there’s nothing.  No ‘I’ or no mind or no body, just a swinging door.  We say ‘inner world’ or ‘outer world’ but this is one whole world.  This is our practice.  So when we practice zazen that which exists is the movement of the breathing but we are aware of the movement of the…our breathing.  We should not be absent-minded.  We should be always aware of the movement but to be aware of the movement does not mean to be aware of our self-nature.  It is universal, or Buddha nature.

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November 1, 1965, 2nd Talk

Monday, November 1st, 1965
SR0115

Suzuki-roshi - Zazen in the old Tassajara zendo

ONE-DAY EVENING SESSHIN LECTURE

Shunryū Suzuki

November 1965 (Wind Bell, Jan.–Feb. 1966)

Almost all of you have not practiced Zen so long, but I think you have made great progress. This result is more than we expected. As I always say, for the beginner the most important point is posture. While you are working hard on your posture you will study many things besides your physical training. Physical training always follows mental training, even though you do not try to train your mentality. To put your mind in the right way is one interpretation of Zen. Or to resume your right mind is called Zen. Samapati means to resort to the right state of mind. Another interpretation is to put our mind in the right place. Physical training will result from the right orientation of your mind. If you are determined to overcome your pain your mind will follow your pain. But if your determination is not strong enough your mind will be in agitation. Zen is not struggling. When you practice Zen your mind should be calm-even though you fight with your pain your mind should always be calm. It means your mind follows your pain like water, as water always follows the lower place. If your determination is strong enough, your mind becomes calm: following your physical condition and finding out many things. As long as you are struggling with your physical condition your mind will not find anything; your mind is shut; your mind is occupied so it will not be anything. When your mind is calm enough, even in your pain, you will find out many things. When your mind is in this state it is called a “well-oriented” mind. To put your mind in the right way is Zen. When your mind is calm you will find various tastes in … [missing words]

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November 1 1965

Monday, November 1st, 1965

ONE-DAY SESSHIN LECTURES

Shunryū Suzuki

November 1965 (Wind Bell, Jan.–Feb. 1966)

Early Afternoon Lecture:

Buddhism is very philosophical, and sometimes intellectual and logical. It is necessary to be logical and philosophical to believe in the teaching completely. If it is not logical and philosophical, you cannot believe in it. Our teaching should not be doubtful. Although intellectual and philosophical understanding of the teaching is not enough, it should be at least be logical and philosophical.

Sometimes a student of Buddhism will become proud of the lofty, profound philosophical teaching. This is wrong. The philosophy is for the believer himself, not for others. Because it is difficult for us to believe in the teaching, we should enter it from an intellectual approach. However, there is no need to be proud of the profundity of it. It is just for the student, not for others. If it is possible to believe in Buddha’s teaching without philosophical understanding it may be all the better. For most of us it is quite difficult to believe in it without intellectual understanding. So philosophy is just for ourselves.

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