May 28th, 1967

Originally offered: May 28th, 1967 | Modified September 16th, 2010 by korin

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

May 28, 1967

Old Bush Street Zendō

Notes by Tony Artino


[Questions to Suzuki on difference between a “monk” and a “master.”]

To practice anything (to do anything) we must know (have) our own position.

In true activity there is no duality. This includes true thinking. True activity includes everything.

We cannot say which occurs first: pure practice or egolessness. When one happens, the other is there also.

There is no such thing as mind. There is no particular location for mind. What is mind?

(Question): The other evening I looked at (a picture?) mountains for a long time. After awhile I felt the spirit of these mountains. But I don’t know if the spirit I felt really was the mountains’ or was my own. I do know there existed communication.

(Suzuki:) There is no answer to “What it is?” because nothing exists independently, but rather exists only through everything else. And who can understand everything else? That is impossible. But if we become one with the thing, e.g., a cup, then we can understand it-and through it understand other things.

According to Buddhism, any idea that arises is only tentative and specific. It does not apply to everyone. Any idea therefore is not perfect or true always. This includes Buddhist teachings.

Katagiri-rōshi: As long as there is something to be seen, you cannot get rid of the self which sees. As long as there is an intentional thought which directs and motivates (your vision) where you look. When you turn head and look completely free from any thought motivation, then you look free of self (little mind).

I exist now because you exist now.


This transcript is a retyping of the existing City Center transcript.  It is not verbatim.  The City Center transcript was entered onto disk by Jose Escobar, 1997.  No tape is available.  It was reformatted by Bill Redican (7/16/01).

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