Archive for November, 1966

November 20th & 30th, 1966

Wednesday, November 30th, 1966


Wednesday, November 30, 1966

Old Bush Street Zendo

by Tony Artino

(Tony missed the first part of the lecture)

Religion is just for ourselves. We cannot really be religious for others. But neither can we help ourselves without helping others.

The point is to get beyond merely deliberate conscious behavior. To consciously help others is a self-centered activity. Correct helping is an activity without (self-determined) purpose, without self-conscious aim. Similarly, self-conscious zazen will lead to problems-self-created problems. Such problems are natural for beginners, but because they arise “naturally” is no reason to be acquiescent about them.

Zen practice is not training in the ordinary sense. Ordinary training is to improve ourselves; Zen practice is to be ourselves.


November 30, 1966

Wednesday, November 30th, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

November 30, 1966

We should establish our practice where there is no practice or no enlightenment.  As long as we practice zazen in the area where there is practice and enlightenment there is no chance to make perfect peace for ourselves.  In other words we must firmly believe in our true nature.  It is beyond our conscious realm…conscious experience.  There is good or bad or practice or enlightenment only in our conscious experience but whether or not we have experience of it what exists actually there, exists.  In this way we have to establish the foundation of our practice.  To…even it is good thing to have it in your mind is not so good.  You may be…it is a kind of burden for you.  You do not feel so good.  Even you have something good in your mind.  So to have something in your conscious realm you do not feel, or you do not have, perfect composure.  The best way is to forget everything.  Then your mind is calm and your mind always wide enough or clear enough to see things and to feel things as they are without any effort.


November 16, 1966

Wednesday, November 16th, 1966


Written down by Tony Artino

at Old Bush Street Zendo

Wednesday, November 16, 1966 or 1967

Many people mistakenly believe that Zen Buddhism (and other religions) are mystical.  The practice of zazen is not for gaining a mystical something.  Zazen is for developing–or allowing–a clear mind, as clear as a bright autumn sky.

Zen practice is to get to our True Mind, the mind not accessible to thinking. This mind cannot be consciously known by ordinary efforts.  An unusual effort is necessary-this effort is zazen.

If we give up our foolish measuring of our zazen–e.g., as good or bad–then we can be free, and will attain Buddhahood. If we practice zazen in a true sense, we will know a clear sky (mind).


November 9th, 1966

Wednesday, November 9th, 1966


Wednesday, November 9, 1967

Suffering comes from desires.  Zazen leads to the strength to cut off the root of suffering.  When we are free from our suffering we are called Buddhas.  But our evil [?] desires are limitlessly deep.  Hence it is impossible totally to cut off our human suffering.

For a while zazen will alleviate suffering, but zazen is not a complete remedy.

[Suzuki emphasizes improving oneself little by little rather than by trying to cut off one’s suffering at a single stroke .…  “A little fire is still fire.  It is not necessary to have a big fire.”]  In this world we live by constant effort.  Even though gains are small, the act of sincerely trying to improve little by little is salvation—a way to transcend the troubles e.g., desires, we could not have occasion to make efforts at improvement.  So even [evil] desires are necessary [to the overall “scheme”].  The Buddhist way is the way of eternal effort.  True eternity is not that which is contrasted with the momentary.  True eternity is the eternal present.