Posts Tagged ‘Talking and Not Talking’

April 19th, 1969

Saturday, April 19th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi (with Ryogen-sensei)

Afternoon Sesshin Lecture

Sunday, April 19, 1969

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-04-19

(The first 20 minutes of the audio is Yoshimura Ryogen-sensei which is not transcribed below.)

Ryogen-sensei: Good afternoon.  Are you very tired in sesshin?

Suzuki-rōshi: [Whispers 1-2 sentences in Japanese, presumably to Ryogen-sensei.]

It is already 3:30.  I have twenty minutes more.  [Laughs.]  Twenty minutes more.

Actually, Zen is not something to talk [about], and also it is something to talk [about].  [Laughs.]  If you understand Zen in that way, your understanding will be perfect.  If someone ask you, “What is Zen?” you may say, “Whatever you say, that is Zen.”  [Laughs.]  And you may say, at the same time, “Whatever you say, it is not Zen.”  [Laughs.]  Both is true for us.

So this kind of paradoxical statement could be understand just by your tummy [?] [making a gesture—possibly rubbing his stomach], you know, by your zazen, or else you don’t understand.  That is, you know, how we com­municate with each other, without sticking to words.  You should directly communicate with each other, not by words.  This is very important.

So Zen is not something to study, maybe, you know, like you study science or philosophy.  Zen is something to listen to.  “Listen to” means, you know, to—with empty mind, to accept the truth without seeking for what your teacher says.  Just, you know, listen to it with empty mind.  Then his words will penetrate into your mind.  So whether you understand it intellectually or not is not point.  We say if you attend a lecture, even though you are sleeping, it is all right, we say, you know.  [Laughs, laughter.]  It is all right because, you know, the teaching will come right into your home, through your, you know, through your nose, or—what do you call, you know?


September 27, 1967

Wednesday, September 27th, 1967

Rev Suzuki

September 27, 1967

The more you understand our thinking, the more you find it difficult to talk about it, because the purpose of talk is to give some idea of our way, but originally our way is not for something to talk, but something to practice.  So best way is just to practice without saying anything.  When we talk about our way we are apt to create some misunderstanding of our way.  Because true way is always…has at least two sides, negative side and positive side which is opposite.  So when we talk about negative side, the positive side is missing and when we talk about the positive side the negative side is missing, and it is impossible to talk positive way and negative way at the same time.  So we don’t know what to say.  So not to say anything, and to do it, is the best way.  Showing one finger or drawing a round circle may be the best way, or bow.