Posts Tagged ‘Sincerity’

May 3rd, 1970

Sunday, May 3rd, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sesshin Lecture No. 3


Sunday, May 3, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-03

To have—to have sincere practice means to have sincere concern with people.  So our practice is actually based on our humanity.  So Dōgen-zenji says to accomplish humanity is to raise—to hold up Buddhism and help people.


So what is the way to establish humanity?  That is the way to establish humanity is tao or practice, he says.  By practice we can establish humanity, and our practice is based on humanity, so human being practice true human nature is our zazen.  And he says the way is not something which was established by Buddha or some particular patriarch.


We must have spirit to attribute various good things to others, and accept various evil or mistake as your own.  That is the spirit.  With this spirit, we should establish our human way.  And how to establish our human way is how to practice zazen.  So you may understand zazen practice is not some special practice for special person.  And this is the only way to accomplish or to establish our human way in this actual world.  If you want to seek for the way for human being—if you try to seek for the way for human being some other way, it is almost impossible.


And so Dōgen-zenji was very strict, you know, with our human way.  That is why his way is called it menmitsu no kafu,[1]  you know.  He doesn’t, you know, ignore even a drop of water, like a well—well-made rice paper.  And—and he, you know, is always asking us, you know, “Your way is like this, and—do you—can you accept that kind of way as your own way?”  [Laughs.]  And he criticize, you know, our weakness and our darkness or carelessness in our everyday activity—treating things, treating your friend, receiving teaching from your teacher.  And after all, what he will say is, “practice zazen.”  That is only way [laughs] to polish up your everyday life, and to do it without making so much effort.  That is the only way.


May 2nd, 1970, second talk

Saturday, May 2nd, 1970
Suzuki-roshi and Kendo Okamoto at Zoun'in

Suzuki-roshi and Kendo Okamoto at Zoun’in

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sesshin Lecture, No.  2


Saturday, May 2, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-02 2nd talk

First of all, a sincere—our practice—sincere practice—our sincere practice is not, you know, practice just for himself.  This is not so difficult to understand.  Bodhisattva practice is not just to help himself, but to help others.  We put more stress to help others.  That is bodhisattva practice.


I think because you are not so considerate in your everyday life, you have that question:  you know, why we have to practice zazen, or what is sincere practice?  If you find out how difficult it is to help others, with bodhisattva mind, with mind of selflessness, you may, you know, imagine how difficult it is to practice to help others.  And actually, all the problems we human being has [are] caused by our carelessness, careless activity, or selfish activity.  That is, you know—those small careless activity one by one accumulated will cause a big trouble for our society.  If we realize this point, you know, we find out the reason why we must practice zazen.


I think you have—you must have read—some of you must have read Zuimonki.[1]   You know, in Zuimonki, Dōgen-zenji is discussing about this everyday problems we have, and he, you know, explain what is bodhisattva mind.


Last night, Yoshimura-sensei,[2]  you know, was asked to help someone’s schedule of trip [laughs], and he had to sit up until half past twelve [laughs].  [Laughter.]  He knows, you know, of course, we have sesshin, you know.  Even though he may sleep, you know, today—today’s sesshin, knowing that he has to help someone who [is] making trip—this is, you know, already a big problem to discuss, you know:  whether he should help others, sacrificing his sesshin, or whether he should refuse—refuse it because practice of zazen is more important than making a trip.


April 28th, 1970

Tuesday, April 28th, 1970


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Tuesday, April 28, 1970

San Francisco

 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-04-28


Since Tatsugami-rōshi[1]  came, you must have heard Dōgen-zenji’s name so many times.  But Dōgen-zenji may not like to hear his name so many times [laughs].  But unfortunately he had a name like Dōgen, so [laughs] there is no other way to address him.  So we call him Dōgen-zenji or Dōgen.


As you know, he didn’t like to say “Zen” even, or Zen—in China they called monks who sit in zazen, called [them] “Zen monks,” but he didn’t like to call “Zen” even.  And he said if necessary you should call us “Buddha’s disciple.”  Shamon, you know, he called himself Shamon Dōgen—”A Monk Dōgen.”


In China, there were many various schools like Rinzai, Sōtō, Ummon, Hōgen, Igyō.  But Nyojō-zenji’s—Nyojō-zenji,[2]  who was Dōgen’s teacher then, was not, according to Dōgen, [from] one of the five schools of Zen or seven[3]  schools of Zen.  His Zen is just to practice zazen, to realize—to actually realize by his body Buddha’s mind, Buddha’s spirit.  That was his Zen.  That was why Dōgen accepted him as his teacher.


Before he—Dōgen went to China, he studied Hiezan [Onjō-ji?]—Tendai—main temple of Tendai school.  And after Tendai, he went to Eisei—Eisai-zenji[4]—Yoshin-ji [Kennin-ji?], and then he went to China because Eisai-zenji passed away when he was very young.  So he went to China to continue his practice with good teacher.