Archive for December, 1970

December 27th, 1970

Sunday, December 27th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, December 27, 1970

San Francisco

 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-27


Dōgen-zenji said sickness does not, you know, destroy—destroy people, but no practice will destroy people.  Sickness does not destroy people, but no practice destroy people.  What do you mean [laughs]?  What does it mean?  “No practice destroy people.”


If, you know, we have no idea of practice, sickness—even sickness does not mean anything, you know, because when we cannot practice, we call it sick- [partial word]—sickness.  But, you know, if you have no idea of practice, what is sickness?  Maybe for the people whose purpose of life is to enjoy life, you know, when he cannot enjoy his life, it is sickness.  But it is—that idea is self-contradiction, you know, because sickness is also a part of [laughs]—part of life.  Maybe because he want to enjoy our life, he want to enjoy in its—enjoy in its more common sense—common sensitivity—enjoy our life.  When you cannot enjoy our life, it is sickness [laughs], but, you know, sickness also, you know, [is] a part of life, especially when you become old.  You will be al- [partial word]—almost everyday you will be sick [laughs].  So that—that does not, you know, mean anything to the old people.


So how to enjoy our old life is, you know, to have the idea of practice.  When someone cannot [laughs] practice, you know:  “Oh, I am sick.”  [Laughs.]  “It means something.”  But even in their bed, you know, they have, you know, something to do:  to have more better practice or more formal practice.  So they—they will try to, you know, keep up more ordinal [ordinary?] way of practice, having medicine or—or something.  Anyway, he will try.


December 23rd, 1970

Wednesday, December 23rd, 1970
Suzuki-roshi with students at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi with students at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Introduced by Jakusho Kwong-rōshi

Mill Valley Zendō

Wednesday Morning, December 23, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-23


Zazen—zazen practice, for us, more and more become important.  Nowadays, as you may feel, we are human being.  We came to the point where we must start—maybe it is too late but, even so, we must start some new movement.  In America it is not so—so bad, but in Japan it is very bad because the land is so narrow.  And what people did for [to] their own land is awful.  Soon they will not have anything to eat.  And I—we think, even though we die will come to—to the earth.  And everything, you know, which appeared should come back to the earth or in its wide sense it—it must come back to emptiness.  But something we human being did for [to] our earth or land is pretty difficult to go back, to resume its old home of emptiness.


We human being appeared on this earth and did many things to the earth.  And as long as we could, you know—everything resume to emptiness, it was okay.  But now it is not—what we did is pretty difficult to resume to emptiness.  If you raise, you know, vegetables—vegetables contain something harmful to you.  If you eat something, if you breathe air—everything, you know, has already some poison for us.  And poison we made remains on the earth almost looks like forever.  It cannot be forever, but for human being it is—it is almost forever.


People talks about this kind of thing, but they do not feel so deeply or bad about this.  I feel—if I could, you know, after death become emptiness, I feel very good.  But what we did, as Buddha says, is, you know, create karma—awful karma.


December 20th, 1970

Sunday, December 20th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Saturday, December 20, 1970

San Francisco

 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-20


In my last trip to Japan I found out many things.  The feeling I had there was—they were—you know, Japanese people nowadays are trying very hard, but according to Uchiyama-rōshi,[1] you know—do you know him?  He is in Kyoto, and he is practicing with students.  And many Caucasian students were there.  And when I went there they asked me to speak something [laughs], so I just saw them and talked a little.


Japanese people now—group, group—bo-kei:[2]  group is group, but bo-kei means “lose themselves.”  Lose themselves in group.  That is Japanese life now.  Group bo-kei.  Japan is a big family or big group.  [Laughs.]  They lose themselves [laughing] in group, so they don’t know what they are doing actually.  I don’t say ma [partial word—”many”?] all of them, but most of people there lose themselves in group.


And, you know, some—some people who thinks themselves rid of Japan also has some confidence in their effort of making progress in every direction.  But still they were involved—they were lose themselves, they are lose themselves in group, and they don’t know.  It is difficult for them to know what is—what are they doing.  Even though they do not have any information from other countries outside of the countries, I think if their mind is calm enough to see, you know, to realize what they are doing [laughs], you know, it is not so difficult to see themselves.


December 13th, 1970

Sunday, December 13th, 1970
Virginia Baker (I think), Richard Baker, Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Virginia Baker (I think), Richard Baker, Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Lecture after Trip to Japan:



Sunday, December 13, 1970

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-13


In this trip,[1]  I studied in Japan [laughs], you know, and I found out many things, and many things happened.  Many things has happened since I visited Japan four years ago.


Can you hear me?  [Laughs.]


Japan changed a lot.  Not only various food and materials now is very high.  Transportation changed, and the road is pretty good now.  And people there are very busy, and they—their life is more now Western-style and busy.  If you go from here to America [Japan?], you will be amazed how busy life they have in Japan.


Because of the easy transportation, their—the area they work expanded.  For an instance, before they—be- [partial word]—four years ago, the station I went [to] was Yaizu station, but nowadays mostly I go to Shizuoka station, which is three times as far, or four times as far as—from—from—to go to Yaizu.  So accordingly, they have to buy something driving car four times more.