Posts Tagged ‘Zazen’

January 16th, 1971

Saturday, January 16th, 1971
Suzuki-roshi and Katagiri-roshi in the old zendo at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi and Katagiri-roshi

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Saturday, January 16, 1971

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-01-16

 

Something valuable [laughs]—not jewel or not candy, but something which is very valuable.  You recite right now, you know, a verse on unsurpassable, you know, teaching.  What is actually—how to, you know, receive this kind of treasure is, you know, to have well-oriented mind.  I have been talking about self for maybe three lectures—what is self and what is your surrounding, what kind of thing you see, how you accept things, and purpose of zazen.

 

Purpose of zazen, why we practice zazen is to be a boss of everything.  That is why you practice zazen.  If you practice zazen, you will be a boss of your surrounding—wherever you are, you are boss [laughs].  But if I say so, it will create some misunderstanding:  you are boss, you know, you are boss of everyone or everything.  And you is, you know, also, in your mind, you are boss of everything, you know.  When you understand in that way, you know, you are enslaved by idea of you and, you know, your friend, or everyone—all the people surrounding you.  You are, you know, you know, you exist in your mind as a kind of idea, and also people exist in your mind as a member of [laughs] delusion [laughs].  I say “delusion” because when those idea is not well-supported by your practice, then that is delusion, you know.  When you are enslaved by the idea of “you or others,” then that is delusion.  When real, you know, power of practice is supporting those idea, at that time, you know, I say you are “you” who is practicing our way is boss of everything, boss of you yourself, you know.

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January 10th, 1971

Sunday, January 10th, 1971

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

RIGHT CONCENTRATION

Sunday, January 10, 1971

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-01-10

 

[1]  were given about our practice referring to Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva?  What is, you know, who is Avalokiteshvara?  I don’t mean a man or a woman [laughs].  He is, by the way—he’s supposed to be a man who take sometime figure of a woman, you know.  In disguise of a woman he help people.  That is Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.  Sometime, you know, he has one thousand hands—one thousand hands—to help others.  But, you know, if he is concentrated on one hand only, you know [laughs], 999 hands will be no use [laughs].

 

Our concentration does not mean to be concentrated on one thing, you know.  Without, you know, trying to concentrate our mind, you know, without trying to concentrate, concentrated on something, we should be ready to be concentrated on something, you know.  For an instance, if I am watching someone, you know, like this [laughs], my eyes is concentrated on one person like this.  You know, I cannot see, you know, even it is necessary, it is difficult to change my concentration to others.  We say “to do things one by one,” but what it means is, you know, without [laughs]—ah, it may be difficult—maybe not to try to explain it so well [laughs].  Nature [of] it is difficult to explain.  But look at my eyes, you know.  This is eyes, you know, I am watching someone [laughs].  And this is my eyes, you know, when I practice zazen.  I’m [not] watching anybody [laughs], but if someone move, I can catch him [laughs, laughter].

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December 13th, 1970

Sunday, December 13th, 1970
Virginia Baker (I think), Richard Baker, Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Virginia Baker (I think), Richard Baker, Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Lecture after Trip to Japan:

JAPAN NOW

ZAZEN AS OUR FOUNDATION

Sunday, December 13, 1970

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-13

 

In this trip,[1]  I studied in Japan [laughs], you know, and I found out many things, and many things happened.  Many things has happened since I visited Japan four years ago.

 

Can you hear me?  [Laughs.]

 

Japan changed a lot.  Not only various food and materials now is very high.  Transportation changed, and the road is pretty good now.  And people there are very busy, and they—their life is more now Western-style and busy.  If you go from here to America [Japan?], you will be amazed how busy life they have in Japan.

 

Because of the easy transportation, their—the area they work expanded.  For an instance, before they—be- [partial word]—four years ago, the station I went [to] was Yaizu station, but nowadays mostly I go to Shizuoka station, which is three times as far, or four times as far as—from—from—to go to Yaizu.  So accordingly, they have to buy something driving car four times more.

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August 3rd, 1970

Monday, August 3rd, 1970
Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

LECTURE

Monday, August 3, 1970

 

In our practice two important practice is zazen practice and to listen to pure teacher, or right teacher.  This is just like two fields of _________.  Without practice, you cannot understand teaching.  You cannot listen to your teacher and without practice, without listening to your teacher, your practice will be, cannot be right practice.  Right practice, by right practice we mean practice, fundamental practice from which you can start … from which various teaching will come out.  So from right practice, if you have right practice you have already right teaching there.  So right practice is the foundation of all Buddhist activity.  Right practice.  It is–it cannot be compared to various practice or training.  There are many ways of Zen practice.  There are many practice, zazen practice, meditation practice, but our practice is, cannot be compared to other practice.  I don’t say which is important or which is better but anyway without foundation various practice does not work.  So if you practice some particular practice which has no foundation, your practice–you will eventually, you know, fall into a pit hole.  You will be caught by it and you will lose your freedom.  But if you have–if you have the foundation to your various practice, the various practice will work and will help you.  Right practice we mean that kind of foundation of practice.  It is not–it is more than practice.  So when you have foundation to your practice even though your practice is not perfect, it will help you.  That is right practice.  And what is–if you want to know actually what is right practice, as I told you, it is necessary to practice with right teacher, who understands what is right practice.

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August 2nd, 1970

Sunday, August 2nd, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

TRUE PRACTICE AS EXPRESSION OF BUDDHA-NATURE

Sesshin Lecture No.  2

Sunday, August 2, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-08-02

 

In Japan, a terrible fire broke out, and some hotel was burned down, and many sightseeing people killed in the fire.  And recently in Japan, they had many sightseeing people even to Eihei-ji, where monk—only monks practice our way.  Uchiyama-rōshi[1]—Uchiyama-rōshi said in his book[2]—if you open the book, he says recently, “Everything is going like that” [laughs].  Because we have so many sightseeing people, [laughs], so many years of hotels is built as one building after another.  So the building is very complicated.  So once something happens [laughs], they don’t—it is difficult to figure out which is entrance and which is fire escape [laughs].  [Coughs heavily.]  Excuse me.

 

I am very much interested in Uchiyama-rōshi’s remark, and it—it is something like that happening to us too [laughs].  Zen Center become bigger and bigger [laughs], and people—students who come here will find it very difficult which is entrance and which is fire escape [laughs].  I, you know, I thought maybe he is teasing me [laughs].  But what he said is very true, I think.  The world situation is something like that.

 

But we should know, you know, the right entrance for zendō.  Dōgen-zenji says in Shōbōgenzō, right entrance for the Buddha hall is zazen.  Zazen practice is right entrance.  So everyone should, you know, enter the big right—from the big wide entrance.  Because no—no Buddhist—there is no Buddhist who does not practice zazen.  So all the teaching comes out from zazen, and what we obtain by practice of zazen is transmitted mind from Buddha to us.  So when we practice zazen, all the treasures transmitted to us will come out from our transmitted mind.  And how to open up our transmitted mind is practice of zazen.

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August 1st, 1970

Saturday, August 1st, 1970
Suzuki-roshi in ceremonial robes.

Suzuki-roshi in ceremonial robes.

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SESSHIN LECTURE No. 1[1]

Saturday, August 1, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-08-01

 

In this sesshin, I have been explaining the context of our practice and, at the same time, the meaning of rules and precepts.  But for us, precepts—observation of precepts and practice of zazen is same thing, you know, not different [just] as our everyday life and practice, zazen practice, is one.

 

After sesshin, we will have ordination ceremony for Paul [Discoe] and Reb [Anderson].  And—and then we will have lay ordination ceremony for the students—all the students who has been practicing zazen who—who has practiced zazen for three years before 1967.  And so that is why I explained the meaning of our practice, zazen practice, or way of our zazen practice, referring to the precepts and rules—rules which you may like [laughs]—you may not like so much [laughs].

 

But if you know what is the precepts and what is rules, you—whether you like it or not, it is something with you, always, before—even before you are born—you were born.  So we say:  “If there is something, there is rules about it or in it.”  [Laughs.]  There is nothing without rules, you know.  That something [is] there means that some rules is there.  That is rules.  But before we, you know, know our true nature or some truth or rules which is always with you—you, you know, you think when—when someone explain how you exist or what is, you know, your true nature, then that is Buddha’s teaching, not mine [laughs].  Nothing to do with me.

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July 31st, 1970

Friday, July 31st, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SESSHIN MEETING

Friday, July 31, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-31

 

… [laughter].  What he—she meant is if you stand up, you know, with painful legs or sleeping legs, you will [laughs]—it will be dan- [partial word]—dangerous [laughs, laughter].  That is why she said so—so, you know.  I think that is very important, you know, and even though you feel your legs, okay.  But it is better to make it—make them sure [laughs], rubbing, you know, your knee.

 

Student A:  I thought what she was saying was that once we stood up, we were supposed to stand there without—before we started walking.

 

Suzuki-rōshi:  Excuse me, I don’t—

 

Student A:  I thought that, you know—

 

Suzuki-rōshi:  —I don’t know what she said, you know, so it is difficult [laughter].

 

Student A:  I just won’t move [laughing] until the person in front of me leaves.

 

Suzuki-rōshi:  When you make kinhin, you know, walk, you know, so that you give them—  You know, if you walk too slowly or if you have too much, you know, distance, between you and someone ahead of you, that will make other person difficult to walk, so you should be careful, you know, abo- [partial word]—about distance between you and a person ahead of you.  So keep certain, you know, distance.  And if, you know, someone like me, you know, walk—naturally I walk slowly, you know.  That will give others some difficulties.  And as I walk very slowly, we—I will have big distance from [laughs] a person who is walking ahead of me.

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July 28th, 1970

Tuesday, July 28th, 1970
Suzuki-roshi with ??

Suzuki-roshi with ??

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

HOW TO UNDERSTAND RITUALS AND PRECEPTS: 

ZAZEN, RITUALS AND PRECEPTS CANNOT BE SEPARATED

Sunday Evening, July 28, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-28

 

This evening I want to talk about some problems you have when you come to Zen Center.  And you understand why we practice—zazen practice, pretty well.  But why we observe this kind of ritual—rituals, is maybe rather difficult to understand why.  Actually, it is not something to be explained [laughs] so well.  If you ask me why we observe or why I observe those rituals, you know, without much problem is difficult to answer.

 

But first of all, why I do it is because—because I have been doing for a long time [laughs].  So for me there is not much problem [laughs, laughter].  So I—I tend to think that because I have no problem in observing my way, there must not be problem—so much problem for you [laughs].  But actually, you are an Amer- [partial word]—you are Americans, and I am Japanese, and you have been—you were not practicing Bud- [partial word]—Buddhist way, so there must be various problems [laughs].

 

So this kind of problem is almost impossible to solve.  But if you, you know, actually follow our way I think you will reach—you will have some understanding of our rituals.  And what I want to talk about is actually about precepts, you know.

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July 26th, 1970

Sunday, July 26th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

MUDRĀ PRACTICE AND HOW TO ACCEPT INSTRUCTIONS FROM VARIOUS TEACHERS

Sunday Morning, July 26, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-26 

 

This morning, I want to talk about our practice, as usual [laughs],  as—especially when we have various teachers.  So far we had Tatsugami-rōshi[1] and Yoshida-rōshi.[2]  And you will be—you will have—your practice must be confused a little bit [laughs], this way or that way [laughs].  But actually for you there is only one practice.  There is no need to be confused when you have right understanding of our practice of Dōgen-zenji.  But I don’t say Dōgen-zenji’s way, this way, or that way.

 

For advanced students, what I want to talk about will be easily understood.  You know, for an instance, when you, you know—about mudrā you have in your zazen.  Keizan-zenji,[3] you know, says:  “Put your mind on your mudrā, or in your palm.”  And some teacher—Yoshida-rōshi says—say:  “Put your thumb on your middle finger, like—over your middle finger.”  Some other teacher says, you know,” put your thumb—have a vertical line by [between] your pointing finger and thumb, like this [presumably gestures].

 

Recently what—I notice that some—some of you [laughs] [were] doing this too much this way.  Someone’s finger—finger—thumb is not right over middle finger, you know.  Maybe [laughs] like this.  Going the extreme, you know, like this.  That is not what Yoshida-rōshi said.

This is too much.

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July 6th, 1970

Monday, July 6th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SANDŌKAI  LECTURE XIII:  “Don’t Spend Your Time in Vain”

Monday, July 6, 1970

Tassajara

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-06

 

[This lecture is concerned with the following lines of the Sandōkai:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

(Transliteration by Kazuaki Tanahashi.)

 

The goal is neither far nor near.

If you stick to the idea of good or bad,

you will be separated from the way

by high mountains or big rivers.

Seekers of the truth,

don’t spend your time in vain.

(Translation by Suzuki-rōshi.)]

 

Here it says:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

 

Ayumi wo susumure baAyumi is “foot” or “step.”  Susumure ba:  “to carry on.” Susumure ba gonnon ni ara zuGon is “near”; on is “far away.”  Ayumi wo susumure ba.  Ayumi is actually “practice,” you know.  Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu.

 

“There is no idea of far away from the goal or nearer to the goal.”  This is very important.  When you [are] involved in selfish practice, there is, you know—you have some idea of attainment.  And when you have—you strive for to attain enlightenment or to reach the goal, you have naturally, “We are far away”—you know, idea of, “We are far away from the goal.”  Or, “We are almost there,” you know.  Gonnon:  “near” or “far away.”
But if you really practice our way, enlightenment is there.  Mmm.  Maybe this is rather difficult to accept [laughs], you know.  When you practice zazen without any idea of attainment, there is actually enlightenment.  Or you may understand in this way like Dōgen-zenji explained:  In our selfish practice there is enlightenment and there is practice.  Practice and enlightenment is two—a pair of opposite idea.  But when we realize—when we understand our practice and enlightenment as an event in realm of great dharma world, enlightenment and practice is two event which appears in a great dharma world.  The both practice and enlightenment is also events, you know, which will have—which many events in our life or in our dharma world.  When we understand in that way, enlightenment is one of the event which symbolize the dharma world, and practice is also an event which symbolize our big dharma world.  So there is—if both symbolize or express or suggest the big dharma world, you know, actually we sh- [partial word], there is no need for us to be discouraged because we do not attain enlightenment or why we should be extremely happy with our enlightenment.  Actually there is no difference.  Both has equal value.

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