Archive for July, 1970

July 6th, 1970

Monday, July 6th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SANDŌKAI  LECTURE XIII:  “Don’t Spend Your Time in Vain”

Monday, July 6, 1970

Tassajara

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-06

 

[This lecture is concerned with the following lines of the Sandōkai:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

(Transliteration by Kazuaki Tanahashi.)

 

The goal is neither far nor near.

If you stick to the idea of good or bad,

you will be separated from the way

by high mountains or big rivers.

Seekers of the truth,

don’t spend your time in vain.

(Translation by Suzuki-rōshi.)]

 

Here it says:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

 

Ayumi wo susumure baAyumi is “foot” or “step.”  Susumure ba:  “to carry on.” Susumure ba gonnon ni ara zuGon is “near”; on is “far away.”  Ayumi wo susumure ba.  Ayumi is actually “practice,” you know.  Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu.

 

“There is no idea of far away from the goal or nearer to the goal.”  This is very important.  When you [are] involved in selfish practice, there is, you know—you have some idea of attainment.  And when you have—you strive for to attain enlightenment or to reach the goal, you have naturally, “We are far away”—you know, idea of, “We are far away from the goal.”  Or, “We are almost there,” you know.  Gonnon:  “near” or “far away.”
But if you really practice our way, enlightenment is there.  Mmm.  Maybe this is rather difficult to accept [laughs], you know.  When you practice zazen without any idea of attainment, there is actually enlightenment.  Or you may understand in this way like Dōgen-zenji explained:  In our selfish practice there is enlightenment and there is practice.  Practice and enlightenment is two—a pair of opposite idea.  But when we realize—when we understand our practice and enlightenment as an event in realm of great dharma world, enlightenment and practice is two event which appears in a great dharma world.  The both practice and enlightenment is also events, you know, which will have—which many events in our life or in our dharma world.  When we understand in that way, enlightenment is one of the event which symbolize the dharma world, and practice is also an event which symbolize our big dharma world.  So there is—if both symbolize or express or suggest the big dharma world, you know, actually we sh- [partial word], there is no need for us to be discouraged because we do not attain enlightenment or why we should be extremely happy with our enlightenment.  Actually there is no difference.  Both has equal value.

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July 4th, 1970

Saturday, July 4th, 1970
Suzuki-roshi and Katagiri-roshi at a Precepts Ceremony at City Center

Suzuki-roshi and Katagiri-roshi at a Precepts Ceremony at City Center

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SANDŌKAI  LECTURE XII:  “It Is Not Always So”

Saturday, July 4, 1970

Tassajara

 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-04

[This lecture is concerned with the following lines of the Sandōkai:

 

          Koto wo uke te wa subekaraku shū wo esu beshi.

          Mizukara kiku wo rissuru koto nakare.

          Sokumoku dō wo ese zumba,

          ashi wo hakobu mo izukunzo michi wo shiran.

(Transliteration by Kazuaki Tanahashi.)

 

If you listen to the words, you should understand the source of
the teaching.

Don’t establish your own rules.

If you don’t practice in your everyday life as you walk,

how can you know the way?

(Translation by Suzuki-rōshi.)]

 

 

Tonight and tonight lecture and one more lecture will be the last concluding lecture for Sandōkai.

 

And here it says Koto wo uke te wa subekaraku shū wo esu beshi.  Koto means “the first character.”  We read from this side, you know:  Koto wo—  Koto?  Koto wo uke te waKoto means “words.”  Uke te wa:  “to receive” or “to listen to”; “to receive,” you know.  This is something like “hand,” you know.  The same type [?] character—”to receive.”  If you receive words, it means that if you receive teaching, you should—subekaraku—you should—subekaraku—shouldyou should.

 

Shū wo—shū is “source of the teaching”—shū—source of the teaching which is beyond our words.  Esu beshi is “to have actual understanding of it.”  So if you listen to the words, you should understand—e—understand— shū—source of the teaching.  Usually we, you know, stick to words, and it is difficult, because we stick to words, it is difficult to see the true meaning of the teaching.  So we say, “words or teaching is finger pointing at the moon.”  If you stick to the finger pointing at the moon, you cannot see the moon.  So words is justto suggest the real meaning of the truth is the words.  So we shouldn’t stick to words, but we should know actually what the words mean.

 

At his time, you know, at Sekitō’s time, many people stick to wordsor each one’s, each Zen masters [taught] personal characteristic of Zen.  Each masters had, at that time, their own way of introducing the real teaching to the disciples.  And they stick to some special teacherssome particular way, so Zen was divided in many schools, and it was very hard to the student [to know], “Which is the true way?”  And actually, to wonder which is the true way is already, you know, wrong.  Each was, you know   Each teachers is suggesting the true teaching by his own way, so each teachers, you know, true  Each teachers is suggesting same truthsame source of the teaching which was transmitted from Buddha.  Without knowing the source of the teaching, to stick to words was wrong, and actually that was what the teachers at his [Sekitō’s] time was doing, or students’ way of studying Zen.

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