Posts Tagged ‘Fear of Death’

December 5th, 1967

Tuesday, December 5th, 1967

Suzuki-roshi in the dokusan room at 300 Page St.

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Tuesday, December 5, 1967

Afternoon Sesshin Lecture


Lecture A

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 67-12-05

In previous lecture, I compared zazen practice and usual everyday activity.  In usual activity, as you know, our effort is directed to outside, and our activity is concentrated on some particular things.  This activity of particularize something create many things.  But this kind of creativity is—at the same time creates some fear.  This creativity will result some feeling—whether it is good or bad—a good and bad feeling we have—we will have.

Before—before you do—if before the concentration happens to you, your mind is just big and something—your mind is something which you don’t know.  You do not have any feeling about yourself.  But once you have involved in something or you are concentrated on something, there your mind will crystallize, and you will have some clear idea of yourself—subjectively and objectively.  That subjective crystallized self reflect—project itself to the objective world, and you have some clear objects within your mind.  There you have various feeling about the object.  But as that object is the projected of mind of yourself, that—that you do—if that feeling is good or object is good, you will naturally cling to it.  That—when you cling to some object, it means you are clinging to yourself at the same time because that object is the projected self.  And if it—that attachment will result you some fear, if it is good.  Because you attach to it, you try not [to] lose it.  But nothing is permanent.  Everything is changing.  So even though you cling to it, that object will change even though you know that you have fear of losing it.


June 19, 1966 2nd talk

Sunday, June 19th, 1966

Suzuki-roshi in the wilderness near Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, June 19, 1966[1]

Lecture B

Sōkō-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-06-19 2nd talk

[Now it is specifically taught in Buddhism that life does not become death.] [2] For this reason, life [is] called “no-life.”  It is specifically taught in Buddhism that death does not become life.  Therefore, death is called “no-death.”

Life is a period of itself; death is a period of itself.  They are like winter and spring.  We do not call winter the future spring, nor spring the future summer.

Here he talks about life and death.  But this life and death does not just mean the problem of life and death.  By “life and death” he means understanding of existence and non-existence, or unconditionality and conditionality.  When you practice Zen, our purpose of religion or goal of the religion is not in—to attain some state of mind non- —called non-existence.  We want to attain enlightenment in realm of—both in realm of non-existent and existent.  This is a Buddhist way of understanding—Buddhist way of practice.


August 19 1965

Thursday, August 19th, 1965

August 19, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lecture


If you go to Japan and visit Eiheiji monastery….before you enter the monastery you will see the small bridge called Han Sak Kyo.  “Han Sak Kyo” means half dipper bridge.  Half dipper bridge.  Whenever Dogen Zenji used (dipped) water from the river, after he used half of it he returned the water to the river again without throwing it away.  That is why we call that bridge Han Sak Kyo – Half dipper bridge.


July 30 1965 2nd Talk

Friday, July 30th, 1965

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Friday, July 30, 1965

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30 2nd Talk

Tape Operator: This is the beginning of the 1 pm lecture, Friday.

Suzuki-rōshi: If you have a question, please give me.  I want to answer about what I told you during sesshin.

Student A: Sensei?  I’d like to refer to a question someone else asked a couple of mornings ago, about helping other people.  At that time you said that unless a person were enlightened, it wouldn’t do much good to help other people.  It seems to me that that would mean that probably most people in this room should not do anything for anyone else.  I doubt we’re all enlightened in this room, and since I have been thinking of [it], I wonder if you could expand on this idea?

Suzuki-rōshi: Oh.  “Enlightened” means, maybe, many things.  And in the word “enlightenment” is very wide.  So “enlightenment” does not mean to attain perfection, you know.  Bodhisattva—for bodhisattva—bodhisattva’s way is to help others, even before he save himself.  That is bodhisattva’s way.  So the point is how to help others, you know.  Enlightenment—enlightenment, or bodhisattva’s mind—I have to go back to my talk about bodhisattva or bodhisattva-mind.