Archive for January, 1968

January 18th, 1968

Thursday, January 18th, 1968

Rev. S. Suzuki

January 18, 1968

In (Agama) Sutra there is a funny story.  A man who had…There was a man who had four wives.  One wife always lived with him and he complied with everything that she wanted, providing good furniture for her rooms and everything.  Whatever she wanted he bought it for her.  And the second wife was…he did not like the second wife so much, but when she was not with him he missed her very much and when he did not see her he felt very uneasy.  That was the second wife.  The third one was almost like the second, but the difference was that whenever something serious happened to him he would go and talk to her about what had happened to him.  And once in awhile on New Years Day or Christmas, he would visit her or she would visit his home.  That was the third one and the fourth one was like a servant.  She was with him always, and helped him like a servant but he never said, ‘Thank you’ to her.  That was the fourth one.

I was rather interested in this story.  Moreover, when the man was going to die he felt so lonely that he asked the first wife to die with him.  But the first wife refused.  And so he asked the second one to go to heaven or hell with him, but she said, “Why should I go with you when the first wife refused.  So I won’t go”.  And the third one said…the third one, who had not much relationship between them, of course refused him, but when he asked the fourth one to die with him she said, “Of course I will.  When I was…when I came to you I already fixed my mind to be with you forever, so I will die with you.”


January 12th, 1968

Friday, January 12th, 1968

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Friday Evening, January 12, 1968


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-01-12

We are still studying about Samantabhadra Buddha.  This buddha is told in Saddharma—in Kegon Sūtra.[1] In Kegon—Kegon Sūtra is famous for its view of dharma.  In Kegon Sūtra—the main thought of Kegon Sūtra is perfect harmony with truth and various fact or things, and perfect harmony between every existing—every existence.

Jiji muge or riji muge.[2] Most people knows this special technical term.  Jiji muge and riji mugeRiji muge—ri is truth or theory, and ji is things.  Where you—where there is something, there is truth or theory.  So through things you will understand the theory on which everything are based on.  This much is understood [by] almost everyone, but perfect harmony between each things—this is rather hard to understand or rather hard to accept unless you study Buddhist thought more.

We say—we have—as I said last night,[3] our thought or our view of things is very substantial.  And we think everything exist as it is and everything is independent from the rest of the things, but actually everything exist—everything is dependent with each other.  Things are dependent with each other, and things are changing always.  That things changes means it is not independent being.  So there is—there should not be—there must be—originally things does not exist having some special self-nature.  Strictly speaking, everything does not exist, but in the smallest particle of time things exist.  Or as a smallest particle of element things exist.[4]


January 11th, 1968

Thursday, January 11th, 1968

Suzuki-roshi conducting a precepts ceremony at City Center

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Thursday Evening, January 11, 1968


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-01-11

I already explained about Maitreya Buddha when I explained about the three period—three period of Buddhism.  And in this occasion, I want to explain this—all of the Ten Buddhas which we recite [at] mealtime:

Homage to the pure Dharmakāya Vairochana Buddha.

I already explained Vairochana Buddha.

And to the complete Sambhogakāya Vairochana Buddha.

To the numerous Nirmānakāya Shākyamuni Buddha.

To the future Maitreya Buddha.

I explained already Maitreya Buddha.

To all buddhas, past, present and future all over the world.

To the Mahāyāna Saddharmapundarīka-sūtra.

To the great Mañjushrī Bodhisattva.

To the Mahāyāna Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.

To the great compassionate Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.

To the many bodhisattvas, mahāsattvas.

To the Mahāprajñāpāramitā.

Here we have complete teaching of Buddha.  Dharmakāya Buddha, Sambhogakāya Buddha, Nirmānakāya Buddha.  This is Buddha.  And here we have Mahāyāna bodhisattvas.  And we have also the Mahāyāna Mahaprajñāpāramitā.  This is the teaching.  So we have here Buddha and sangha and dharma.  So to recite those names actually—if you recite those names with deeper understanding, it means you are repeating, you are practicing the Buddha’s way.