Posts Tagged ‘Being sick’

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.


March 9th, 1969

Sunday, March 9th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, March 9, 1969

Sōkō-ji, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-03-09

I am glad to see you from here [laughs].  My organ [?][1] may not be so good yet, but I am—today I’m testing, you know, just testing.  [Laughs, laughter.]  I don’t know if it works or not.  Whether it works or not, or if I speak or not, is not such a big problem for us.  Whatever happen to us, it is something which it should happen—which should happen.  So purpose of our practice [is] to have this kind of complete composure in our everyday life.

Some of Japanese member, you know, thought because I am—I am practicing always zazen, “He not—he will not be catch cold.  [Laughs.]  He will not suffer from flu.  But it was funny for him to stay in bed so long.”  [Laughs.]

But purpose of zazen is to makes—to make our—to make ourselves physically strong or to make ourselves mentally healthy or strong, maybe to make our mind healthy and body healthy.  But healthy mind is not just, you know, “healthy mind” in its usual sense, and weak body is not weak body in its usual sense.  Whether it is weak or strong, when that weakness and that strength is based on so-called-it truth or buddha-nature, that is healthy mind and healthy body.


April 23rd, 1968

Tuesday, April 23rd, 1968

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Tuesday Morning, April 23, 1968


Lecture A

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-04-23

Because I was not well [?], I am sorry I couldn’t join your practice so much.  But you did very well, I think, and if—even though as a personal experience you cannot accept your practice, maybe that is not so big problem.  We can—if you can accept yourself completely [laughs], then you are—you will not be in this world any more [laughs, laughter].  So that you have problem means you have—are still alive.  That is our way [?].  And even though you make a trip to another world, same problem [laughs] you will have, as long as you have your body and mind.  Things exist, you know, in that way.  That is how things exist in this world.

When I was—the cold I experienced this time was pretty unusual one—unusual one for the cold we take—I took in America.  The cold I have had in Japan was as bad as I had this time.  High temperature and was feeling, you know, sleeping [or slipping] on some slope upside down [laughs].  Head is—head is down and feet is up.  That is the feeling—that was the feeling I had when I had cold in Japan.

And as I was very careful recently, as I am trying to, you know, find out some way to help you, so I carefully experienced my bad feeling [laughs, laughter].  And I want to tell you some of them.