Archive for September, 1968

September, 1968

Sunday, September 1st, 1968


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Shōsan Ceremony

Fall 1968[1]


Suzuki-rōshi: On this occasion, if you have some question [or] comment, present it to me.

Student A [Claude Dalenberg]: Dōchō-rōshi, questions come into my mind; none of them seem to be good questions. My heart comes into my throat and I do not know what to say, nor what to ask.

Suzuki-rōshi: When you have no questions, and when you have nothing to ask about, there you have true way.  Thank you very much [for] all of your effort, all through this training period.  [The student then gives formal bows and spoken thank-you.  I will omit the thank-you unless it seems important to the question-answer … i.e., if it is a part of it.][2]

Student B [Bill Shurtleff]: Dōchō-rōshi, you have said, “Just listen to the Dharma.”  And you have said, “The instant the ‘I’ appears, it (or It?) (or eye?) vanishes.”  When you speak, to whom am I listening?  When I speak, to whom are you listening?  When thoughts seem to speak, to whom are we listening?  When the stream seems to speak, to what are we listening?

Suzuki-rōshi: To listen to Dharma; to speak about Dharma—all of those practice should be Buddha’s practice, which will continue forever without leaving any trace of them.  You should not try to follow the trace of it.  Just let them go and let them come.

Student B [Bill Shurtleff]: As a person speaks to us each day?

Suzuki-rōshi: You should react with single-mindedness.  But don’t leave any trace of it.

Student C [Alan Rappaport]: Dōchō-rōshi, what are you doing here?

Suzuki-rōshi: Nothing special.

Student C [Alan Rappaport]: Dōchō-rōshi—  [Silence.]

Suzuki-rōshi: Yes, I am here.

Student C [Alan Rappaport]: Thank you very much.