SUZUKI-RŌSHI’S 65th BIRTHDAY
Sunday Morning, May 18, 1969
Soko-ji, San Francisco
I don’t know what to say. I am already 65 years old. Today I became 65. And I am—in one way, I am very—I feel very good to become older. And on the other hand, I regret, you know, for my past practice. Not regret—I am not so regret—regretful, but reason why I am not so regretful is we have now pretty sincere students here in America. That is big encouragement for me. Why I am regretful is—on the other hand, why I am regretful is because I am not so good teacher for you, because of my past practice. I try to be sincere, but I find now that I was not sincere enough [laughs]. That is my feeling. So I don’t know what to say [laughs].
But let us, anyway, have more sincere practice. Even though you think you are sincere, [you] may not be sincere enough. That will—that will be how you feel when you become old.
You know Jōshū, famous Zen master Jōshū—he joined—or he attained enlightenment when he was eighteen, and he was practicing hard until he was sixty. And after sixty he started new practice, making trip to visit various famous Zen masters. And he never sit in perfect chair like this. His chair was always broken—he sit always on broken chair, mending, you know, the chair by piece of wood and rope, like this [probably gesturing].