Posts Tagged ‘Four Noble Truths’

August 3rd, 1969

Sunday, August 3rd, 1969

Suzuki-roshi in a gathering of Buddhist teachers include Master Hsuan Hua

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, August 3, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-08-03

As most of you know, this is Yoshimura Ryogen-sensei.[1]   Ryogen Yoshimura-sensei.  In Japanese way we say family name first, so Yoshimura Ryogen.  But—Yoshimura is family name.  Ryogen-sensei, or Yoshimura-sensei.  He was appointed—he arrived at San Francisco as our teacher, or as our friend, March 27?


Off-mike:  Yes.


March 27.  And mostly he was in—he has been in San Francisco.  I think he came here once?  Twice?


Off-mike:  Twice.


Twice.  So most of you know, I think, know him.  But as some of you may not know him, so I think it is better to introduce him to you.  Thank you very much.


Last night I talked about the teaching of selflessness and the teaching of suffering too—not completely, but briefly about what is our suffering.  May be better to explain about the selflessness more, because that is very important teaching which is directly related to the teaching of Zen.


We practice zazen so that we attain selflessness.  This is very, you know, important and very subtle thing, the matter of self.  We don’t know where is ourself, but it is very tenacious one, as you know [laughs].  Even though you think you are pretty well, but it is not so.  Why selflessness means, you know—why we say “selflessness” [is] because each one of us is not substantial being.  You think you are here, but there is no such thing as “you” exist here.  You are not ghost, but [laughs] at this moment, at this place, you exist here, but you don’t exist here so many times.  It is just, you know, just tentative being which is always changing.  We know that by here [possibly pointing], you know, but it is almost impossible to get rid of this idea of self or feeling of self.


October, 1968 4th talk

Tuesday, October 1st, 1968

Suzuki-roshi in the old Tassajara zendo with Kobun Chino-roshi and another priest

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Fall 1968

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-10-00 F

Yesterday I told you about Ājñāta-Kaundinya, one of the five earliest disciples[1] of Buddha.  As I told you, when Buddha gave up the practice of asceticism, they continued practicing asceticism at the Deer Park.  After Buddha attained enlightenment, he came to the Deer Park.  At that time he told them about the four noble truths, dāna-prajñā-pāramitā, and shīla-prajñā-pāramitā.  Instead of saying you will attain enlightenment if you practice shīla-pāramitā, he said you will have a good future life.  This means that, at that time, he applied some religious understanding of the common people of India when he taught his own teaching.  According to Buddhism, you practice precepts, not to have a good future life, but because we attain enlightenment in this life.  This is actually Buddha’s teaching.

I think it is better for us to study more about what Buddha taught here about the four noble truths and eight holy paths.  The four noble truths are suffering, the cause of suffering, the way to attain liberation from suffering, and nirvāna.  Accord­ing to Buddha’s teaching, this world is full of suffering.  But in the Mahāyāna teaching which developed from these four noble truths and eight holy paths, this world is the world where we find realization or nirvana within each self.  According to the Mahāyāna, this world is not the world of suffering, but according to the Hinayāna, or according to the teaching which Buddha told for the first time to the five disciples, this world is full of suffering.