Posts Tagged ‘Schools of Buddhism’

July 26 1965

Monday, July 26th, 1965

Shunryū Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

1 PM SESSHIN LECTURE[1]

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.

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January 1963

Tuesday, January 1st, 1963

COMMENTARY BY MASTER SUZUKI ON MODEL SUBJECTS NO. 14 & 15 FROM THE BLUE CLIFF RECORD, UMMON ZENGI AND THE TEACHING GIVEN BY SHĀKYAMUNI DURING HIS LIFETIME

January 1963

First Question:

A traveling monk asked Ummon-zenji:  “What is this first teaching [the Teaching told by Buddha during Buddha’s own lifetime]?”

Ummon replied: The teaching confronts each.

(Model Subject No. 14.)

Commentary:

The teaching given by Shākyamuni Buddha during his lifetime was accommodated to each disciple’s particular temperament, and to each occasion’s particular circumstances. For each case there should be a special remedy. According to the circumstances there should even be teaching other than the teachings which were told by Buddha. In the light of this, how is it possible to interpret and pass down an essential teaching which can be applied to every possible occasion and individual temperament?

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March 1962

Thursday, March 1st, 1962

SQUARE ZEN

(published March 1962, Wind Bell #4)

The idea of emptiness does not mean annihilation. It means selfless original enlightenment, which gives rise to every existence. Once selfless enlightenment takes place, every subjective and objective existence resumes its own nature (Buddha-nature) and becomes valuable jewels to the person who has attained it and to us all.

In Mahayana Buddhism every teaching is supposedly based on the idea of emptiness. The Tendai Sect emphasizes the Lotus Sutra, the highest of all the sutras. The Kegon Sect bases their teaching on the Kegon Sutra, the first sutra told by Buddha about his original enlightenment. However, each sutra has its own incomparable absolute value when it is accepted under special circumstances.

Original enlightenment makes this acceptance possible. How we accept is the practice of zazen. This practice is called “the wondrous practice.” Oneness of enlightenment and wondrous practice is the ultimate purport of Zen Buddhism as well as Buddhism in general.

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Checked by Gordon Geist 1999

December 1961

Friday, December 1st, 1961

sr0091

TEACHER AND DISCIPLE

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

December 1961 and February 1962


Emptiness does not mean annihilation; it means selfless original enlightenment which gives rise to everything.  Once selfless original enlightenment takes place, very subjective and objective existence resumes its own nature (buddha-nature) and becomes valuable jewels to us all.

In Mahāyāna Buddhism every teaching is based on the idea of emptiness, but most schools emphasize its expression in some particular sutra-the Lotus Sūtra, the Avatamsaka-sūtra, the Mahāvairochana-sūtra, and others.  In Zen we do not emphasize the teaching until after we practice, and between practice and enlightenment there must not be any gap in our effort.  Only in this way it is possible to attain the perfect enlightenment from which every teaching comes out.  For us it is not teaching, practice, enlightenment; but enlightenment, practice, and the study of the teachings.  At this time every sutra has its value according to the temperament and circumstances of the disciples.

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