Posts Tagged ‘Delusion’

September 1st, 1969

Monday, September 1st, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


“I Don’t Know Zazen”

September 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-09-00 A


In our practice, the most important thing [is] to—to know—to know.  “To know” is that we have buddha-nature.  Our practice—real practice happens when realization of buddha-nature take place.  Intellectually we know that we have buddha-nature, and that is what was taught by Buddha.


But to know buddha-nature—when you know that we have buddha-nature, at the same time you will know that even though we have buddha-nature, you know, it is rather difficult to accept it.  At the same time, we have various evil nature.  And buddha-nature is something beyond good and bad, but our everyday life is going [on] in realm of good and bad.  So there is—there is two—twofold of duality.  One is duality of good and bad, and the other is duality of good and bad—realm of good and bad, and realm of the world where there is no good and no bad.


And our everyday life is going [on] in realm of good and bad—the realm of duality.  And buddha-nature or our absolute nature is found in the realm of absolute where there is no good and bad.  Our practice is to go beyond the realm of good and bad and to realize the one absolute world—to enter the one absolute world is our practice.  If I say in this way it is rather—it may rather difficult to understand.


Hashimoto-rōshi,[1]  the famous Zen master who passed away last year or 1967, I think, explained this point.  “It is”—I think I told you once—”It is like a—to—to prepare a food,” you know.  We prepare food—various food—you separate:  rice is here, and pickles are here, and soup is in middle bowl.  We don’t cook like a gruel all the time [laughs]—soup and rice and everything in one bowl.  Even though, you know, to cook—to prepare food separately, you know, in each bowl is the—our usual world—world of seeming.  And—but when you eat it, you know, in your tummy, you know, soup and rice and pickles and everything—goma-shio[2]—and everything [gets all] [laughs] mixed up and you don’t know what is—which is goma-shio or rice.  That is the world of absolute [laughter].  As long as goma-shio is goma-shio, and separately prepared on the plate, it doesn’t work—like your intellectual understanding of Buddhism.  It doesn’t work.  [Laughs, laughter.]  That is book knowledge.


August 25th, 1969

Monday, August 25th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Monday Evening, August 25, 1969


 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-08-25


Tonight, maybe, we will have question and answer.  As usual, will you give me some questions?  No questions?


Student A:  Rōshi?


Suzuki-rōshi:  Hai.


Student A:  Could you explain how if improvement is one of the causes of suffering, how does our practice relate to it?  Zazen seems to me to be one of things that is changing my life to the better.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.  “Changing better,” you know, there—there is problem, you know.  Do you mean you have some problem or suffering, and by practice you think you can stop or you can—you will be more free from suffering, or what do you mean?


Student A:  Well, for instance, in—in the practice of ōryōki


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.


Student A:  —seems to avoid a lot of bodily [1 word] suffering.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.


Student A:  That seems to be why we practice ōryōki.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.  Practice—actually, the purpose of practice is to be completely, you know, devote ourselves to the something which you do.  You know, that is the main point of practice.  When you don’t or when you do it carelessly, then your mind is not there.  So your mind—when your mind is not there, then you are separated by your, if I say, if I use big word, by your surrounding.  And you are here and you are separated by your place [where] you live.  If—when you are separated by objective world and there is suffering, you know, but when you are completely devote yourself to what you do there is no separation, and [that] which exist there is not subjective world or objective world for you.  Ōryōki, just ōryōki exist, you know, and that ōryōki covers everything—not only you but also everything will be covered by it or included by it.  When this oneness appears there is no suffering.  Do you understand?  Suffering is—this is suffering [writing or drawing on blackboard].  When there is only one stick there is no suffering.  Do you understand?  When—when this kind of oneness take place there is no suffering.  That is—


August 21st, 1969

Thursday, August 21st, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Thursday, August 21, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-08-21

Suzuki-rōshi:  If you want, please come here.


I am sorry I haven’t prepare anything for lecture—for this lecture.  So I should be very happy if you have some question and—so that I can say something about it.  Do you have some questions?  Hai.


Student A:  Rōshi, you speak about the relationship of conditioned origination and free will and our everyday life?  Is it possible to say anything about that?  [Laughter.]


Suzuki-rōshi:  Condition of?


Student A:  The relationship of conditioned origination or the—


Suzuki-rōshi:  Origination?


Student A:  —the chain of causation and free will—free will to determine our own actions in our daily life.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Free will?  I don’t—you know—what will—conditioned origination, what is it, do you think?


Student A:  The twelve-fold chain of causation?


Suzuki-rōshi:  Hmm?


Student A:  The twelve-fold-chain of causation—


Suzuki-rōshi:  Oh, oh I see.


Student A:  —and free will—the relationship of those two things.


Suzuki-rōshi:  That’s deep.  [Laughs, laughter.]  Do you know twelve links of causation?  Twelve links of causation.  The—our life originated from—started from ignorance.  We came out of ignorance.


Excuse me.  I have something in my mouth still [laughs, laughter].


Do you know something about it?


Student A:  No.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Why we came, you know, this world is because of ignorance.  Ignorance is the origin of—not “species,” but origin of being, maybe.  Yeah.  Why we say so is because we think we exist here with some self-nature.  So—but actually there is nothing to be called as self-nature.  So that we think, “I am here with some self-nature” is actually not right.  Why we have this kind of imperfect understanding of being—not only our self but also all being.  Mis-[partial word]—not “misunderstanding,” but a kind of delusion.  To see something which does not really exist is delusion.


August 2nd, 1969

Saturday, August 2nd, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-roshi

Saturday, August 2, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-08-02

I’m afraid I will—I am making you hotter [laughs] because I cough
and my lecture is maybe pretty difficult to understand because of my English especially.  Last night I was trying to—my skeleton of lecture was like this [laughs].  Can you read it?


The first teaching—the—we—we have four or three series of Buddhist teaching.  The teaching—the teaching that [laughter]—the teaching that everything is changing—in Japanese, shogyō-mujō[1]—or Chinese shogyō-mujō—teaching that everything is changing.  This teaching can be—could be understand in two ways:  the one—the teaching as the law of the truth.  This teaching is always true, you know, whether we observe it or not.  The—so—if everything is changing, that means non-substantiality.  There is no substantial being, you know.  We are only composed being from various elements.  So we are non-substantial being.  (a) Non-substantiality.


(b) As a—as the presupposed teaching of the teaching of the selflessness.  Teaching of selflessness is the teaching that everything changes.  And teaching of selflessness, the second one, is two of the four important teachings.  The four teaching are:  teaching that everything changes, and teaching of selflessness, and teaching of suffering, and teaching of nirvāna.  Those are the four important teaching of Buddhism.  So we call it “four seals of Buddhist teaching.”


November 30, 1966

Wednesday, November 30th, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

November 30, 1966

We should establish our practice where there is no practice or no enlightenment.  As long as we practice zazen in the area where there is practice and enlightenment there is no chance to make perfect peace for ourselves.  In other words we must firmly believe in our true nature.  It is beyond our conscious realm…conscious experience.  There is good or bad or practice or enlightenment only in our conscious experience but whether or not we have experience of it what exists actually there, exists.  In this way we have to establish the foundation of our practice.  To…even it is good thing to have it in your mind is not so good.  You may be…it is a kind of burden for you.  You do not feel so good.  Even you have something good in your mind.  So to have something in your conscious realm you do not feel, or you do not have, perfect composure.  The best way is to forget everything.  Then your mind is calm and your mind always wide enough or clear enough to see things and to feel things as they are without any effort.