Archive for June, 1966

June 23, 1966

Thursday, June 23rd, 1966

June 23, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

When we sit in this way our mind is calm and quite simple.  But usually our mind is not so calm and our mind is very complicated.  When we do something it is difficult to be concentrated on what we do and because, before we do (something) we think and when we think the thinking leaves some trace, and the thinking not only leave some trace but also it will give us some particular notion to do something.  That notion makes our activity very complicated.  When we do something quite simple we have no notion, but when we do something difficult, or when we do something in relation to others…other people, or in society, we will have many convenient idea for ourselves, and that makes activity very complicated.


June 19, 1966 4th Talk

Sunday, June 19th, 1966

Suzuki-roshi holding a flower

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, June 19, 1966[1]

Lecture D

Sōkō-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-06-19 4th talk

When the truth—

—the last paragraph in Page 2.[2]

When the truth does not fill our body and mind, we think that—we think that we have enough.  When the truth fill our body and mind, we know that something is missing.  For an example, when we view the world from a boat on the ocean, it looks circular and nothing else.  But the ocean is neither round nor square, and its features are infinite in variety.  It is like a place—it is palace—it is like a palace.  It is like a jewel.  It seems circular as far as our eyes can reach at the time.  All things are so.  Though there may—there are many features in the dusty life and the pure life, we only understand what our study can reach.  And in our study of all things we must appreciate that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans or mountains are infinite in variety, and universes lies in all squares [quarters].  It is so not only around ourselves, but also directly here—even in a drop of water.


June 19, 1966 3rd talk

Sunday, June 19th, 1966

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, June 19, 1966[1]

Lecture C

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-06-19 3rd talk

Last time I explained the ten prohibitory precepts:

Do not kill.

Do not steal.

Do not be immoral.

Do not lie.

Do not sell intoxicating liquor.

Do not speak of other’s shortcomings.

Do not praise yourself or blame others.

Do not grudge giving to charities material or spiritual.

Do not be angry.

Do not speak ill of the Triple Treasures.

Those precepts looks like quite common precepts and nothing—nothing special.  It is not [laughs] quite usual, and almost all the people know it.  But this is pretty difficult to observe it.  This is well-known fact.  It is quite simple, but it is quite [laughs] difficult to observe it.


June 19, 1966 2nd talk

Sunday, June 19th, 1966

Suzuki-roshi in the wilderness near Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, June 19, 1966[1]

Lecture B

Sōkō-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-06-19 2nd talk

[Now it is specifically taught in Buddhism that life does not become death.] [2] For this reason, life [is] called “no-life.”  It is specifically taught in Buddhism that death does not become life.  Therefore, death is called “no-death.”

Life is a period of itself; death is a period of itself.  They are like winter and spring.  We do not call winter the future spring, nor spring the future summer.

Here he talks about life and death.  But this life and death does not just mean the problem of life and death.  By “life and death” he means understanding of existence and non-existence, or unconditionality and conditionality.  When you practice Zen, our purpose of religion or goal of the religion is not in—to attain some state of mind non- —called non-existence.  We want to attain enlightenment in realm of—both in realm of non-existent and existent.  This is a Buddhist way of understanding—Buddhist way of practice.


June 19 1966

Sunday, June 19th, 1966

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday Morning, June 19, 1966

Lecture A

Sōkō-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-06-19

Suzuki-rōshi: Someone has my—my paper.[1]

Student: [4-6 words unclear.]  Wednesday night—[6-8 words]—Wednesday night.

Suzuki-rōshi: Wednesday?

Student: Yeah.  Finish the whole thing.

Suzuki-rōshi: Hmm?

Student: Wednesday night we finish the whole thing.

Suzuki-rōshi: No, Wednesday we do Shushōgi.[2] Do you finish until the bottom part of Page 3?

Student: No, I think we finished the whole thing.

Suzuki-rōshi: Whole thing.

Student: Wednesday night we did it.

Suzuki-rōshi: Oh.  [Laughs.]  Wednesday night?  Oh.  [Laughs, laughter.]  Oh.  Big mistake.  Okay.

Student: Maybe there are some here Sunday morning that weren’t here Wednesday night.

Suzukirōshi: Mm-hmm.  All right.  Then—paragraph—in each paragraph, I—I think you want some brief comment so that you can understand—

Aside by Suzuki-rōshi: It’s all right.

—so that you can understand all the—whole part of—whole [laughter] fascicle.

The first paragraph is the framework of whole Buddhism.  First paragraph:

All—when all things are in Buddhist way or Buddhist phenomena, we are enlightenment and ignorance, something to study, life and death, buddha, and people.  When all things are without self, we have no ignorance, no enlightenment, no doubt, no buddha, no people, and no life and no death.  The Buddhist way is beyond being and non-being.  Therefore we have life and death, ignorance and enlightenment, people and buddha.  However, flowers fall with our attachment, and weeds grow with our detachment.


June 1 1966

Wednesday, June 1st, 1966

Suzuki-roshi (an informal moment)

Shunryū Suzuki


[The following section is compiled from Suzuki-rōshi’s sesshin and Sunday lectures to complete the discussion of Buddhist precepts.]

The secret of the entire teaching of Buddhism is how to live each moment.  Moment after moment we have to obtain absolute freedom, and moment after moment we exist interdependent with the past, future, and other existences.  In short, if you practice zazen concentrating on your breathing moment after moment that is how to keep the precepts, to have an actual understanding of Buddhist teaching, to help others, yourself, and to attain liberation.