Archive for October, 1962

October 1962

Monday, October 1st, 1962


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi



[Date unknown; thought to be 1962]

(Suzuki Roshi read first from R. D. M. Shaw’s translation of the Blue Cliff Record)

Introduction by Shaw[1]

The principal character in this model subject is Baso Dōitsu (Ma-tsu Tao-i) (704-768), the chief disciple of Nangaku Ejō (Nan-yueh Hai-jang), one of the disciples of the Chinese Sixth Patriarch, Daikan Enō (Hui-neng).

Introductory Word by Engo

Introducing, he said:  One gesture, one posture.  One word, one verse!  Now, if one plans such an approach (in teaching disciples), that is like gouging out wounds in good meat, making holes and cavities in it.  The Great Activity[2] is before us, manifest.  There are no regulations in it. If you plan to make known to men that there is an Absolute, throughout the whole heaven and the whole earth the search for it will not succeed.  Supposing one does attain, and what if one does not attain?  An extremely small matter.  Supposing one does not attain, what if one does attain?  An extremely critical matter.  And if you do not pass along either of these roads, what is the right thing to do? I tentatively put the matter before you.  Ponder it.

Main Subject by Setcho

Attention!  Baso the great teacher was unwell.  The temple’s chief accountant visited him.  “Sir, during these recent days, how is your health?”  The great teacher said:  “Sun-faced buddhas, moon-faced buddhas.”[3]