Posts Tagged ‘Resistance’

August 8th, 1971

Sunday, August 8th, 1971
Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Suzuki-roshi and Okusan

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, August 8, 1971

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-07

(The interchange with the last questioner is not included in the audio file)


Tonight I have nothing to talk about [laughs].  Empty hand.  No book.  I just appeared here [laughter].  But as Yakusan-zenji[1]  did, I wouldn’t go back to my room without saying anything.  If you ask some questions, I will answer.  In that way, I want to spend just one hour with you.  Okay?   If you have some questions, please ask me.  Ask.  Okay.  Hai.


Student A:  Rōshi, I notice that often when I wake up in the morning the first minute or so my mind is sort of unclear.  [Remaining 3-6 sentences unclear.]


Suzuki-rōshi:  It is because you are [at] Tassajara pretty long time, and you have not much problem to follow our schedule.  So you have, maybe—you have time to think [about] something else, you know [laughs].  That is, maybe, the reason.  At first, as we—as it is difficult to follow our schedule and to know exactly what we do in zendō.  First of all you think about [how?] to go to zendō anyway, you know.  That will be the first thing you think about.  But more and more, you feel as if you can do pretty well.  I think that is main reason.  I think that is not so good, but that is—anyway that will be the problem for the student who stay pretty long time here.  So if it is so, I must give you a big slap [laughs], but now I—I want to ask you—I have a question, you know.  Why do I give you a slap—because your practice is not so good?  [Taps stick several times.]  What will be the reason for—reason of the slap?


Student A:  It seems [1-2 words] to my mind, to—to wake me up right now.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.


Student A:  And I [4-8 words].


Suzuki-rōshi:  Mm-hmm.  When you just wake up, you know, you have—you don’t have, you know, so many things in your mind.  Your mind is clear.  And when your mind is clear, you have to come to zendō.  And our practice should be continuous view [?] of practice, but that is actually not so easy.  So—but if—if something appears already, it can’t be helped, you know.  You shouldn’t fight with it.  Even so, even [if] you have problem, [and] your mind is not clear, you should come.  That is what you should do.  To encourage that kind of practice, I give you slap or dōan or ino will, if you are still in bed, you know, for an instance.  Someone will go to—to bring you to the zendō.


December 5th, 1967, 2nd talk

Tuesday, December 5th, 1967

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Tuesday, December 5, 1967

Evening Sesshin Lecture


Lecture B

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 67-12-05 2nd talk

As the nature of our practice is, like I told you over and over, and the point [of] our effort is directed—is like this, for beginner it looks like very discouraging and frustrating.  Someone said it is [laughs]—Zen is like standing on—on your head [laughs], you know.  It is simple [laughing], but to keep standing is very difficult.  In dokusan someone said.  I think that is very true, but to stand on your head should not be difficult.  But to keep standing is too difficult.

But if you don’t know what is true practice, and where you should put your effort, and nature of our practice based on the human nature or nature of culture—human culture, we cannot make appropriate effective effort in helping ourselves and others.  This kind of instruction given by Dōgen-zenji is like a lighthouse in the stormy ocean.  When the sea is very calm, you should rather expect—you should rather to have—like to have a storm [laughs].  And most—most of the young people has this kind of feeling—this kind of resistance.

When we have this kind of resistance, to observe something quite common is difficult because it is not so encouraging thing.  But if you are under a very critical situation, you will have—you will have to have, or you will find out your true nature.