January 26, 1966
Rev. S. Suzuki
In our scripture it is said that there are four kinds of horse – an excellent one and a not so good ones and bad horse. The best horse will run before it sees the shadow of the whip – that is the best one. And the second one will run just before the whip reach his skin – and that is the second one. The third one will run when it feels pain on his body – that is the third. The fourth one will run after the pain penetrates into his marrow of the bone – that is the worst one. When we hear this story perhaps everyone wants to be a good horse…the best horse; even if it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be second best. That is quite usual understanding of horse. But actually when we sit, you will understand whether we are the best horse or the not so good ones. Here we have some problem in understanding of zen. Zen is not the practice to be the best horse. If you think so, if you understand zen as a kind of practice to be a best horse you will have, if you have this kind of idea, you will have problem. Big problem. That is not the right understanding of zen. Actually, if you practice right zen, whether you are best horse or worst one is not…doesn’t matter. That is not the point.