Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

August 3rd, 1971

Tuesday, August 3rd, 1971


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Tuesday, August 3, 1971

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-03 Part 1

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-03 Part 2

I want to explain why we become Buddhist [laughs] or why I myself became a Buddhist.  Perhaps here in America, because you have some wish, you know, hope in your future life—future life of a—future—personally your own future life. and sociologically you’re concerned about your future society.  But to tell the truth, we Buddhists do not have any hope [laughs].  We do not have any hope for our human, you know, life because we understand this life is originally full of suffering.  That is, you know, how we understand our society.  From the beginning we understand that our world is world of suffering.  And we understand why we suffer, you know, is because we expect too much.  We always expect something more than you will obtain or acquire.


For an instance, everyone knows that we cannot stay young, but we want to be always young [laughs].  Once in a while, you know, when—even though you are young, once in a while you may feel, “Oh gee, I am twenty-five now [laughs].  Oh, I am not anymore young.”  [Laughs, laughter.]  You may feel in that way.  That is, you know, good evidence that you want to be always young.  But that is not possible, you know.  We want to experience what you have, but that is not also possible.


Things are changing always, so nothing can be yours.  So whatever you want—you want to be or you want to have, nothing can be possible for you to obtain or to have it.  That is actually how our human world is.  Actually it is so.  But still, we want to be fooled by [laughs] something.  That is maybe why we say human beings do not like something real.  But human being like something unreal.  That is very true.  You don’t like anything real.  So after, you know, give up all the hopes you have in mundane world, we become Buddhist.


August 6th, 1969

Wednesday, August 6th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Wednesday, August 6, 1969

San Francisco

 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-08-06


I think you are facing actual problem in your zazen practice.  The worst one may be the pain of your legs, maybe.  It is some—not secret, but it is some certain way to sit in pain.  Because it is so direct that you have no time to—to think of some way, you know.  Before you think it comes, and you are involved in the pain.  But that is so-called-it, you know—that you are involved in the pain immediately means that your way, your way of life, or your attitude towards your life is not well-trained.


For an instance, if you—I think some of you must have this kind of experience.  If you are going to fell, you know, from, for an instance, from the tree to the ground, the moment you, you know, leave the branch you lose your function of the body.  But if you don’t, you know, there is a pretty long time before you reach to the ground.  And there may be some branch, you know.  So you can catch the branch or you can do something.  But because you lose function of your body, you know [laughs], before you reach to the ground, you may lose your conscious[ness].


But in zazen practice, first problem you face will be the pain.  Even for Japanese people who are sitting always on the floor, this problem of pain.  But how you endure the pain is, as I always say, to have—not to lose your power right here and free your legs, you know, from pain—having more strength here [possibly pointing to hara].  And this is—this kind of way—this way will be applied for various problem you have.  For an instance, when you are about to be angry, you know [laughs], you shouldn’t be involved in the anger immediately.[1]  You have time—you must have time before you become angry.  So we say count to ten before you are angry.  Your anger will not come while you are counting:  one, two, three, four [laughs].


January 20, 1966

Thursday, January 20th, 1966

January 20, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday lecture

The purpose of zazen is to attain the freedom of our being, physically and mentally.  According to Dogen Zenji…Dogen…every being…every existence is flashing into the vast phenomenal world, and each activity of the being…each existence is another understanding, or expression of the quality of the being.  I say many stars in the car when I’m in the car this morning….in my car this morning.  The stars I saw in the car was nothing but the light from the heavenly bodies which traveled many miles.  But for me all the stars are calm and steady and peaceful being…for me at least it is not so speedy being…it is just calm and serene existence.  So, we say, in calmness there should be activity…activity…in activity there should be calmness.  Calmness and activity is not different.  It is same thing.  It is different interpretation of one fact because in our activity there is harmony.  Where there is harmony there is calmness.  And this harmony make the sense of…quality of the being, but quality of the being is nothing but the systematic speedy activity of the being.  Because there is some harmony in the speedy activity there is some quality.