ZEN CENTER AND CITY PRACTICE
Sunday, May 10, 1970
City Center, San Francisco
Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-10
This morning I want to reflect on our long, long practice, which we started maybe more than ten years ago. The purpose of Zen Center is, as you know, to provide a Zen meditation hall or whatever it is, you know: some place to practice zazen, and practice with some teacher, was the original intention of Zen Center. And with this purpose we organized non-profit organization. And now, here, when we, you know, acquired this building, we named this building Mahābodhisattva Zendō. It is—reflecting on our practice that was, you know, nothing but the bodhisattva way: to help others and to help ourselves.
In the meantime we had Tassajara zendō because we needed some place where we can practice our way, putting everything aside and being completely involved in our practice—not—maybe not completely, but [laughs] more completely [laughs]—almost completely. For a human being this “almost” is always necessary [laughs], or else we cannot survive. “Almost” is, you know, actually the secret of practice.
But anyway, we can practice our way almost completely putting everything aside. That was the purpose of Tassajara zendō, and that we have that—this special zendō means at the same time to—we can understand actually what is Zen—Zen practice in more traditional way, or else, you know, or else we do not know what we are doing here—unless we know some background of our practice. In here, it is difficult to, you know, have—to have full understanding of our practice here and with—what we are doing here.
It is something like to know your family, you know. When we know your friend’s family, you will know your friend, you know, much better. Even though your—you know your friend—you think you know your friend, if you do not know the background of your friend, you—sometime it is difficult to understand your friend.