Archive for December, 1968

December 29th, 1968

Sunday, December 29th, 1968

Suzuki-roshi with students at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, December 29, 1968[1]

Next Tuesday we will have no lecture, so this may be—will be the last one for this—at the end of the year we clean up our house and we throw [out] old things which we do not use anymore.  And we renew our equipment, even things in the—furniture we renew it.  And after cleaning our room we—we put new, new ______ ___ ____ and which is distributed from temple like this.  We take off old mats and put new ones, like this.  This is—when in temple we have prayer for the—to control fire, this is what you call it ___ ______ ____ __ “taking care of fire,” it says in Japanese.

And this is—in temple at end of the year we have ceremony to read Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra—600 volumes of Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra.  But actually we cannot read 600 pages of sūtra, so the priest conducting the ceremony read one—one volume of the 600 sutras.  Then we have one volume, one of 600—[inaudible]—just to turn it instead of reading.  And so the most important volume will be recited by the priest who is conducting, and we—and you receive this kind of prayer card from the temple.  That is what we do.

And end of the year is the most busy days.  We have to clean up our rooms, and if you have some debts you should pay.  For someone to collect the money he lent, and for the most people it is time to pay the debt.  And then we—after cleaning up everything, spiritual and physical, we decorate New Year’s decoration so old times [?].  Those should be done before twelve o’clock.  And after twelve o’clock there is no need for you to pay—pay back the money you owed, so the man who—who wants to collect his money ___ __ __ ___ even after twelve o’clock, if he had chosen [inaudible].

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December 21, 1968

Saturday, December 21st, 1968

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

TRUE HAPPINESS AND RENEWAL OF PRACTICE AT YEAR’S END

Saturday, December 21, 1968

San Francisco

[No audio]

Everyone seeks for true happiness, but happiness cannot be true happiness if the happiness is not followed by perfect composure.  The—usually happiness does not stay long.  Happiness is mostly just very short time and it will be lost in next moment when you have it.  So, sometimes we will think rather not to have it because after happiness usually followed by sorrow and this is, I think, everyone experiences it in our everyday life.

Buddha, when he escaped—can you hear me?—when he escaped from his castle, he felt this kind of—he had this kind of happiness in his luxurious life in the castle, he at last forsake all of those, this kind of life, so we say he started his religious trip because of evanescence, because he felt evanescence of life.  That is why he started study of Buddhism.  I think we have to think about this point more.  I think everyone seeks for happiness, that is all right, but the point is what kind of—how to seek for happiness is the point.  But whether our way, whether the happiness we seek for is something which we can…it is something which is possible to have it.

Surely there is—we have to seek his teaching more carefully.  He taught us the Four Noble Truths and first of all he taught us this world is world of suffering.  When we seek for suffering—happiness—to say this world is world of suffering is very, you know—you may be very much disappointed with your teacher.  World of suffering.  This world anyway is world of suffering, he says.  And he continues.  Why we suffer is this world is world of fantasy, everything changes.  When everything changes we seek for some permanent thing, we want everything to be permanent.  Especially when we have something good or when we see something beautiful or we want it to be always in that way.  But actually everything changes.  So that is why we suffer.  So if we seek for happiness even though we seek for happiness it is not possible to have it because we are expecting something to be always constant when everything changes.  So naturally we must have suffering.  So far, according to this teaching, we are—there is no other way for us to live in the world of suffering—that is the only way to exist in this world.

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