Posts Tagged ‘Sesshin’

February 28th, 1970

Saturday, February 28th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Last Lecture of Sesshin:  PRACTICE TO BE LIKE A STONE

Saturday, February 28, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-02-28


Before we sit, six-day sesshin was too long.  But after we completed, it was too short [laughs, laughter].  I think you feel, you know, quite different feeling.  For an instance, when you walk, you know, you have quite different feeling.  You feel as if you—your legs have become shorter [laughs, laughter], and your legs stick to floor, you know, and you feel very heavy [laughs] in your walking.  It should be, you know, great joy for you, you know, when you completed such a long torch,[1]  you know.  But, you know, it is strange, you know, not to have so much joy, you know.  I think that is because you have more composure in your feeling.  And this is, I think, important.


Zen student is not, you know, so expressive, you know.  Mostly they keep silent.  They do not walk so fast.  They don’t act so actively, you know.  You know, they have some—something, you know—something different, anyway.  Especially when you sit for so long time, you yourself feel you changed a lot.  You feel, you know, it is difficult even to smile [laughs]—even to say something, you know.  That will be the feeling you have.  And if you continue your practice, you will be more and more so.  And even though you will not change into a strong buddha [laughs, laughter], a great change will happen to you, you know, and you will be someone which you didn’t like at all.  “I don’t want to be like this.”  [Laughs.]  But although this kind of experience is not the experience you wanted to have, but this is the experience anyway you will have through [laughs, laughter] zazen.


But there is—there is no need for you to worry, you know, because this is the way, you know, upwards, and soon you will find out the way downwards, and you will find yourself in the city again as a normal person.  So there is nothing to worry, but in zendō it is necessary for us to have this kind of experience through practice.


July 30 1965

Friday, July 30th, 1965


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Friday, July 30, 1965

Lecture B

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30

Tape operator: The sentence about “your mind”[1] was in the meditation before breakfast, and beginning here is the instruction at nine o’clock Friday morning.

Suzuki-rōshi: I have to give the conclusion to my talk for this sesshin.  The science or philosophy is like a dissection.  It is possible to analyze what we did after we did something [1 word].  But it is already dead corpse [laughs]—dead corpse of our practice.  So even though you analyze what you have done, it will not work.  It will not help you so much.  It is nearly the same as to count your lost child’s age [laughs].  So we cannot help counting our lost boy’s age.  It is our nature, but actually it will not help us so much.

So the most important thing is to understand our true mind or inmost nature in our practice.  How we understand our actual mind is the most important point—should be the most important point.  That is why Zen emphasize to live on each moment.