Archive for September, 1967

September 27, 1967

Wednesday, September 27th, 1967

Rev Suzuki

September 27, 1967

The more you understand our thinking, the more you find it difficult to talk about it, because the purpose of talk is to give some idea of our way, but originally our way is not for something to talk, but something to practice.  So best way is just to practice without saying anything.  When we talk about our way we are apt to create some misunderstanding of our way.  Because true way is always…has at least two sides, negative side and positive side which is opposite.  So when we talk about negative side, the positive side is missing and when we talk about the positive side the negative side is missing, and it is impossible to talk positive way and negative way at the same time.  So we don’t know what to say.  So not to say anything, and to do it, is the best way.  Showing one finger or drawing a round circle may be the best way, or bow.


September 8th, 1967

Friday, September 8th, 1967

Suzuki-roshi doing rock work at Tassajara (with Phillip Wilson)

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Friday, September 8, 1967


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 67-09-08

Tonight I want to give you a correct idea of Buddhism or Zen.  In a word, Zen is the teaching or practice of seeing “things as it is” or accepting “things as it is” and of raising things as they go.  This is the fundamental purpose of our practice and the meaning of Zen.  But it is, actually, rather difficult to see “things as it is.”  You may say you are seeing “things as it is,” but actually, you do not see “things as it is.”  I don’t mean that it is a distortion of sight, such as when something of one shape looks shorter than something of another shape.  I mean that, as soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it.  As soon as you intellectualize something, it is already it is not just what you saw.


September 1st, 1967

Friday, September 1st, 1967

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

September 1967

Zen Mountain Center


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 67-09-00 part 1

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 67-09-00 part 2

Student: Please come up front if you’d like.

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah, please come nearer.

Student: Those in the back come up to the front, please.

Suzuki-rōshi: Tonight my talk will be quite informal.  You are, of course, interested in Zen.  But Zen is also Buddhism, you know.  So it is necessary for you to understand Buddhism in general.  Although it will not help you—my talk will not help you immediately, but it is necessary for you to have some understanding of original teaching of Buddha, and, at the same time, various understanding of original teaching of Buddha or else, I am afraid, you will miss the point.

Tonight I want to talk about the three-fold body of Buddha.  The other day, Bishop Sumi[1] explained about what is the various understanding of Buddha, like historical Buddha, buddha as a—as the truth, and buddha as a teaching or dharma.  This concept originated from, of course, historical Buddha, who is so great.  And he was so great that Hīnayāna Buddhism—Buddhist or [are?] direct disciple of Buddha, had a kind of supernatural nature of form—some—some supernatural being—idea of supernatural being like Buddha who had the 32 marks[2] or eighty holy figures.  Those concept already—already formed some Buddha as a embodiment of the truth—of Buddha who attained buddhahood after unusual practice.  So in Mahāyāna school—Hinayāna Buddhist had no such elaborate aspects of Buddha, but Mahāyāna Buddhist started—had the three aspects of Buddha.  And this three aspect forms a trinity, like three [pre-?] Buddhistic religion.