Posts Tagged ‘Sandokai’

June 3rd, 1970

Wednesday, June 3rd, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Wednesday, June 3, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-06-03


[Lecture starts 3/4 of the way through Side B of the original tape.]


[The following lines of the Sandōkai are discussed in this lecture:


Line   9        Mommon issai no kyō,

Line 10        ego to fuego to.

Line 11        Eshite sarani aiwataru.

Line 12        Shikara zare ba kurai ni yotte jūsu.


Line   9        The five sense gates and the five sense objects

Line 10        are interdependent and absolutely independent.

Line 11        Interrelated endlessly,

Line 12        yet each stays in its own position.]


Tape operator:  The beginning of the lecture, given on June third.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Last night [lecture?], I explained ri and ji.  And usual person stick to ji.  That is quite, you know, usual.  And characteristic of Buddhist—Buddha’s teaching is, you know, to go beyond things.  “Things” means the various being and various idea we have and we think.  Even though we say “truth,” truth usually means something we figure out, [something] we think.  That is truth.  But this truth as a—something which we can figure out or think about is also ji in Buddhism.  When we go beyond subjective and objective world, which is ji, we come to the understanding—oneness of everything, oneness of subjective—subjectivity and objectivity, oneness of inside and outside.


For an instance, if you sit zazen you are not thinking anything.  You are not watching anything.  Your focus is, you know, four feet—four, five feet ahead, but actually we are not watching anything.  Just focus is there, but we don’t watch anything.  Even though many ideas come, we do not think, you know.  It comes in and goes out, that’s all.  We do not entertain various idea, you know.  We do not serve [laughs] food or anything, you know.  If they come in, okay, and if they go out, okay [laughs].  That’s all [laughs].  That is zazen, you know.  When we, in that condition—in this kind of mind—when we have this kind of mind, our mind actually, you know, include everything.  Even though you do not try to include, you know, everything, actually everything is in your mind.


June 1st, 1970

Monday, June 1st, 1970
Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Monday, June 1, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-06-01


[The following lines of the Sandōkai are discussed in this lecture:


Line  5         Reigen myōni kōkettari.

Line  6                   Shiha anni ruchūsu.

Line  7         Ji wo shūsuru mo moto kore mayoi.

Line  8                   Ri ni kanō mo mata satori ni ara zu.


Line 5          The true source is pure and stainless.

Line 6                    The branch streams flow in the dark.

Line 7          Clutching at things is delusion.

Line 8                    To recognize the truth is not always
enlightenment either.]



[Suzuki-rōshi sneezes directly into the mike as it is being set up.  He and students laugh.]  I want to know the feedback.  [Laughs, laughter.]  Oh my.  [Laughs.]


After all, it’s better to follow one character after another like this.  [Points to the blackboard where the characters of the text are written.[1]]  This part is not so difficult.  Reigen—rei is—rei  is “something wonderful,” you know, “something beyond our description, beyond our words” is reiGen  is “source—source of the teaching.”  Reigen—”source of the teaching.”


The source of the teaching of Buddha, you know—Buddha—what Buddha talked about is the source of the teaching which is beyond our words in term of right or wrong.  And this is important, you know.  Rei-gen.  Whatever we can think about is not source, you know.  It is already something comes—come out from the source.  The source is something unknown.  Only buddha knows.  Or only when you practice zazen you have it.  Or even though you don’t practice it, or whether you realize it or not, you know, something which exist before our realization is source.  The source is not like something, you know, to, you know, to put on lettuce [laughs, laughter]—not that kind of thing, you know.  It is something which you cannot taste, you know, in term of tasty or not tasty.  That is real source.


May 30th, 1970

Saturday, May 30th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, May 30, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-30


[The following lines of the Sandōkai are discussed in this lecture:


Line 2          tōzai mitsuni aifusu.

Line 3          Ninkon ni ridon ari,

Line 4          dō ni namboku no so nashi.


Line 2          was handed down closely from west to east.

Line 3          People may discriminate the dull from the keen,

Line 4          but in the true way there is no Patriarch of North or South.]



I explained in last lecture about the title of this scripture, Sandōkai—what does it mean by San-dō-kai and Chikudo daisen no shin.  Tonight, maybe, it is necessary to explain about the background of this poem—why Sekitō-zenji—Sekitō Kisen-daioshō, wrote this poem.


As you know, under the Fifth Patriarch[1]  there were outstanding teacher who is called Jinshū,[2]  and when the Fifth Patriarch announced that he will give transmission to someone, and everyone thought that, of course, Jinshū will receive the transmission.  But actually Enō,[3]  the Sixth Patriarch—Enō who became the Sixth Patriarch—Enō who was pounding rice in the corner of the temple received the transmission.


But Jinshū was a great scholar.  So later Jinshū became—went to the northern country and became a great teacher.  And Jinshū’s school was called Northern—Hoku Zen—Northern School of Zen, Hoku Zen, Hoku Zen.[4]  And the Sixth Patriarch, who went to south, spread his teaching in southern countries, and his school was called Nan Zen, Southern—South Zen.[5]


Later, as you know, Jinshū’s school became—after Jinshū, his school became weaker and weaker.  But in north, the Sixth Patriarch’s school became, after the Sixth Patriarch, stronger and stronger.  But at Sekitō’s time, you know—Sekitō is the Eighth Patriarch, Enō is the Sixth Patriarch, and Seventh Patriarch is Seigen.[6]   And Seigen’s disciple is Sekitō.  Sekitō is the author of this poem.  In Sekitō’s time, Hōkō-shū or Northern Zen was still powerful.  But there were another disciple.  Of course, Sixth Patriarch had many, many disciples.  Maybe more than fifty.  We can count fifty, but there must be more disciples under the Sixth Patriarch.


May 27th, 1970

Wednesday, May 27th, 1970
Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Wednesday, May 27, 1970


 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-27

[This is the first in a series of lectures on the Sandōkai

(Chin. Cantong qi or Tisan-tiung-chii), a poem by Sekitō Kisen. Japanese transliteration in all lectures is by Kazuaki Tanahashi (1999).  English translation in all lectures is by Suzuki-rōshi.]



[The following line of the Sandōkai is discussed in this lecture:


Line 1      Chikudo daisen no shin


Line 1      The mind of the great sage of India]



I am so grateful to have chance to discuss about or to talk about Sandōkai.  This is one of the most important teaching for us.  And meaning is so deep, and the expression is so smooth, that it is, you know, pretty difficult to have some feeling, you know, when you read it.


Sekitō Musai-daishi[1]  (his posthumous name is Musai-daishi), and he is [dharma] grandson of the Sixth Patriarch[2]  [Enō] and son of Seigen,[3]  the Seventh Patriarch.  As you know, under the Sixth Patriarch there were many disciples, but the most important disciples are Nangaku[4]  and Seigen—Seigen and Nangaku.  And later, under Seigen, Tōzan[5]  appeared, and under Nangaku, Rinzai [6]  appeared.  And Rinzai and Sōtō is the most powerful schools under the Sixth Patriarch.


Sekitō’s, you know, way—Seigen’s way is more gentle in comparison to Nangaku’s way.  And Sekitō’s [Seigen’s] way may be, you know, elder brother’s way, you know, who is mostly gentle [laughs], you know.  Nangaku’s way is, you know, maybe like second boy or third boy’s way, who is rather naughty [laughs].  You know, in Japan, mostly, if someone is very gentle, you may be the first son [laughs], we say, you know.  And sometime the first boy is not so able [laughs].  We say “Soryo no jin roku.”[7]   You know, Soryo no—the first one, first boy is mostly very gentle.  And we, you know, understand in that way when we talk about Sōtō and Rinzai.  Tatsugami-rōshi[8] put emphasis on memmitsu no kafu.[9]   That is more Sōtō way.  Memmitsu is “very careful” and “very considerate” and “very,” anyway, “very careful” in doing things.  That is more Seigen’s way.