Posts Tagged ‘Koan Study’

March 10th, 1969

Sunday, March 9th, 1969

At Sokoji: Suzuki-roshi seated, on the right, Katagiri-roshi.

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Nansen’s “Everyday Mind Is Dao

Monday Morning, March 10, 1969

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-03-10

(first part of the talk is Katagiri-roshi speaking which is untrascribed. The transcription below begins at 2:48 in the audio file).

… it was very, very cold.  It was November?  I don’t remember exactly.  November or—he said [?]—I told you [him], you know:

“Don’t wear so—so much clothing.  Even though we wear many clothing, you will not be so warm.  And if your practice is sincere enough, even though you do not wear so much, you will not be so cold.  If you are involved in intense practice, you know, actually you don’t feel so cold.”

And so he appeared in zendō [with] only one thin shirt [laughs, laughter].  And he practiced.  I said to him, “It may be too thin.  You have to wear little bit more ” [laughs, laughter].

But he say, “It’s all right.”  And he sits [with] just one shirt on his body.  Why I, you know, talk about his experience is because I want to talk—talk about one kōan:  the famous kōan of Nansen[1]—between Nansen and Jōshū,[2] Nansen’s disciple.  “Everyday—Everyday Mind Is Dao.[3] I think you may know that kōan.

Kōan is not something to—something to explain.  Why we talk about is to give some suggestion, you know, about how you practice zazen.  It is suggestion.  We don’t talk about what kōan means directly.  We give you just suggestion, and you, according to the introduction or suggestion, you work on kōan.  That is how we explain kōan and how you listen to kōan.

So you don’t—you must not think—if I, you know—if you remember what I said or if I—if you understand what I said, you—that is—there is no need for you to solve the kōan, you know.  So I am not trying to explain what is everyday mind or what is dao, but through this kōan—by this kōan, I want you to—I want to give you some suggestion how you practice shikantaza.


July 21st, 1968

Sunday, July 21st, 1968

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, July 21, 1968


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-07-21 Part 1

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-07-21 Part 2

[1] … I don’t think [laughs] we can reach conclusion.

I was asked to talk about—about some—something like sectarianism.  What is Sōtō and what is Rinzai?  Or—and what is the position, or what is the attitude as a Sōtō priest to other schools of Buddhism?  This is the subject I was given to—I was given to speak about it.  But this is not so, you know, simple question.  It is very big problem.

First of all, we should understand how—why we have so many schools of Buddhism.  As you know, various schools arised [arose]—or especially Buddhism, various schools which we have now is the—almost all the schools are Mahāyāna Buddhism.  So-called-it Theravāda Buddhism is also—is not just Hīnayāna school or Theravāda school.  The scholars of Hīnayāna Buddhism or Theravāda Buddhism knows what is Mahāyāna, you know, and intellectually, or so far as the teaching [is] concerned, there is not much difference between—excuse me—all of—all the Buddhists, I think—most of the Buddhist understand not only their own teaching of their own school but also the teaching of various schools too.

So, so far as the understanding goes—actually there is no particular school.  But here Zen is not, you know—Zen school or Zen Buddhism is very much different from the other schools of Buddhism.  The other schools of Buddhism put emphasis on understanding, but we Zen Buddhist put emphasis on practice, you know, actual practice.