Posts Tagged ‘Resume to Our True Nature’

December 23rd, 1970

Wednesday, December 23rd, 1970
Suzuki-roshi with students at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi with students at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Introduced by Jakusho Kwong-rōshi

Mill Valley Zendō

Wednesday Morning, December 23, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-12-23


Zazen—zazen practice, for us, more and more become important.  Nowadays, as you may feel, we are human being.  We came to the point where we must start—maybe it is too late but, even so, we must start some new movement.  In America it is not so—so bad, but in Japan it is very bad because the land is so narrow.  And what people did for [to] their own land is awful.  Soon they will not have anything to eat.  And I—we think, even though we die will come to—to the earth.  And everything, you know, which appeared should come back to the earth or in its wide sense it—it must come back to emptiness.  But something we human being did for [to] our earth or land is pretty difficult to go back, to resume its old home of emptiness.


We human being appeared on this earth and did many things to the earth.  And as long as we could, you know—everything resume to emptiness, it was okay.  But now it is not—what we did is pretty difficult to resume to emptiness.  If you raise, you know, vegetables—vegetables contain something harmful to you.  If you eat something, if you breathe air—everything, you know, has already some poison for us.  And poison we made remains on the earth almost looks like forever.  It cannot be forever, but for human being it is—it is almost forever.


People talks about this kind of thing, but they do not feel so deeply or bad about this.  I feel—if I could, you know, after death become emptiness, I feel very good.  But what we did, as Buddha says, is, you know, create karma—awful karma.


November 1 1965

Monday, November 1st, 1965


Shunryū Suzuki

November 1965 (Wind Bell, Jan.–Feb. 1966)

Early Afternoon Lecture:

Buddhism is very philosophical, and sometimes intellectual and logical. It is necessary to be logical and philosophical to believe in the teaching completely. If it is not logical and philosophical, you cannot believe in it. Our teaching should not be doubtful. Although intellectual and philosophical understanding of the teaching is not enough, it should be at least be logical and philosophical.

Sometimes a student of Buddhism will become proud of the lofty, profound philosophical teaching. This is wrong. The philosophy is for the believer himself, not for others. Because it is difficult for us to believe in the teaching, we should enter it from an intellectual approach. However, there is no need to be proud of the profundity of it. It is just for the student, not for others. If it is possible to believe in Buddha’s teaching without philosophical understanding it may be all the better. For most of us it is quite difficult to believe in it without intellectual understanding. So philosophy is just for ourselves.


October 14 1965

Thursday, October 14th, 1965

Suzuki-roshi in an airport with his family in Japan

Suzuki-roshi in an airport with his family in Japan

October 14, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lectures

I don’t feel to speak after zazen.  I feel the practice of zazen is enough but if I should say something, I think what I shall talk will be how wonderful it is to practice zazen in this way.  Our purpose is just to keep this practice forever.  This practice is started from beginningless time and it will continue for endless future.  Strictly speaking, for human being there is no other practice than this practice.  There is no other way of life than this way of life, because zen practice is direct expression of our true nature.  Of course, whatever you do, it is the expression of our true nature, but without this practice it is difficult to realize what is our life.  As long as you think, ‘I am doing this.  I have to do this’, or ‘I must attain something special’,  actually you are not doing anything.  When you give up, or when you do not want to, when you do not do anything, you do something.  When you do not do anything with some gaining idea, you do something.  Actually what you are doing is not for sake of something.  You feel as if you are doing something special but actually it is the expression of true nature, or that is the activity to appease you inmost desire.


July 26 1965

Monday, July 26th, 1965

Shunryū Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Monday, July 26, 1965

Lecture A

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-26

A talk is always—the conclusion of my talk is always why we should practice zazen.  This is not—my talk is not just casual talk.  And basically, my talk is based on Shōbōgenzō.  And fortunately we have a system of—we have a complete system [of] how to understand true religion.

The true religion cannot be understood by philosophical way or scientific way.  The only way to understand or to realize our true nature is just through practice.  Without true practice it is impossible to realize our true nature.  Of course, what we do, whether we are aware of it or not, what we do in our everyday life is based on true—our true nature.  True nature drive us to do something, but if you do not understand, or if you do not realize your true—what is true nature, and if you have no system to know the actual meaning of your true nature, you will get into confusion.


July 15 1965

Thursday, July 15th, 1965

July 15, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki’s talk on Great Prajna Paramita Sutra

This morning I want to explain the attainment…the attainment here…it

means to resume to our true nature is actually attainments.  To attain nirvana means to resume to our true nature.  Our true nature is beyond our reasoning, beyond our sensory world.  If…when we…when we are beyond our reasoning, or sensory world there is no problem, there is no fear.  There is just our true nature itself.  When we resume to our true nature we say we attained enlightenment.  So actually there is nothing to attain; to resume to our true nature is our attainment.   But from the viewpoint of intiate…initial awareness of the true nature it is attainment, because we will attain…we will resume to our true nature by going beyond our sensual world or sensory world, so step by step, one by one, to get rid of all the emotional functions and thinking…stop thinking we will attain enlightenment.  So in this sense it is attainment.  But, what we attain is not something quite different from our empirical world, so in this sense it is not attainment.  So in this sutra it says “no attainment (or no dharma), no five senses or sense organs, or no world of five or six senses; no problem of birth and death, and old age and illness.  Of course no self at all.