Posts Tagged ‘Asceticism’

April 8th, 1969

Tuesday, April 8th, 1969

Suzuki-roshi wearing traditional monk's traveling clothes

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Tuesday, April 8, 1969

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-04-08

[Recently][1] I was talking about denial of, you know, desires.  This is very confusing, you know—may be confusing.  Our way is not asceticism, but actually, what we—if you read, you know, our precepts literally, there is no difference [laughs].  But what it means is completely different.  What is the difference is what I want to talk about tonight.  Or what is the difference between “to study” and “to listen to.”  “Go to the master and listen to what he says” and “to study.”  Or why you started to study Zen.  There must be some reason why so many people come and—come to Zen Center and practice Zen and study Zen.

I think this is because of the—because our culture—our civilization—came [laughs] already [to a] dead end, and if you realize that you cannot go any more—any further more.  So someone who notice—people who notice that this is the dead end may come to Zen Center [laughs, laughter] to find out some way to go further.  That is, you know, your feeling, you know, whether or not you understand what is dead end or why we came to the dead end.

The foundation of our culture is based on individualism.  And individualism is based on, you know, idea of self, you know.  And from the time of Renaissance, we awoke in our human nature, and we started to put emphasis on our human nature rather than, you know, something which is called “divine nature” or “holy nature.”  We put more emphasis [on] how—what we are and what is human nature.  And we wanted to express our human nature as much as possible.  But—and, you know, the human nature—holy nature, you know, or buddha-nature, were replaced by human nature.  And that human nature is not what we mean by buddha-nature.  This is, you know, starting point of mistake.  So whatever the—whatever sort may be—communism, or capitalism, or individualism—all those sorts are based on individual right, or individual power, or individual—supremacy of individual.


February 9, 1966

Wednesday, February 9th, 1966

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

February 9, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

In India there were many schools.  We count major school….we count six major schools, but the most….we can divide those schools into two…we can classify those schools into two.  As you know there were four classes in India, and the first class was the Brahman class and they believed in some different existence which is called Atman.  And our world in terms of phenomenal world was supposed to be the unfolding of divine being, and it reveals itself through sages.  So in nature divine nature reveals itself through everything.  It is rather pantheistic….looks like pantheism, and in human world, divine world will reveal itself through sages.  This is the Brahman teaching.  But on the other hand there were public religion or public sort.  They postulated many elements, and this world is the integration and disintegration of the elements.