Posts Tagged ‘Teacher’

August 3rd, 1970

Monday, August 3rd, 1970
Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Monday, August 3, 1970


In our practice two important practice is zazen practice and to listen to pure teacher, or right teacher.  This is just like two fields of _________.  Without practice, you cannot understand teaching.  You cannot listen to your teacher and without practice, without listening to your teacher, your practice will be, cannot be right practice.  Right practice, by right practice we mean practice, fundamental practice from which you can start … from which various teaching will come out.  So from right practice, if you have right practice you have already right teaching there.  So right practice is the foundation of all Buddhist activity.  Right practice.  It is–it cannot be compared to various practice or training.  There are many ways of Zen practice.  There are many practice, zazen practice, meditation practice, but our practice is, cannot be compared to other practice.  I don’t say which is important or which is better but anyway without foundation various practice does not work.  So if you practice some particular practice which has no foundation, your practice–you will eventually, you know, fall into a pit hole.  You will be caught by it and you will lose your freedom.  But if you have–if you have the foundation to your various practice, the various practice will work and will help you.  Right practice we mean that kind of foundation of practice.  It is not–it is more than practice.  So when you have foundation to your practice even though your practice is not perfect, it will help you.  That is right practice.  And what is–if you want to know actually what is right practice, as I told you, it is necessary to practice with right teacher, who understands what is right practice.


January 25th, 1970

Sunday, January 25th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, January 25, 1970 

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-01-25


The difference between so-called-it Therāvada Buddhism and Sarvāstivādian or Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna is very important and directly, you know, concerned with our present problem.  We are supposed [laughing] to be Mahāyāna Buddhist, but I think most of us are Hīnayāna, actually.  There is not much Mahāyāna students.  Almost all of us may be Hīnayāna or sectarian Buddhists because we study Buddhism as something which is already given to us, like Hīnayāna Buddhist thought Buddha already gave us—have given us—the wonderful teaching.  So what we should do is to preserve his teaching as you like—as you put food in refrigerator [laughs].  That is Hīnayāna way.  And to study, you know, Buddhism is to take out food from refrigerator.  So wherever you want it, it is already there.  That is Hīnayāna way of understanding.


But Mahāyāna students rather interested in how to produce food from the field—from the garden.  So naturally Mahāyāna Buddhist, you know, put the emphasis on ground or garden which has nothing in it, you know, which you don’t see anything in it.  You know, if you see the garden, you don’t see anything.  But if you take care of seed, it will come out.


So we—Mahāyāna Buddhist make our effort to, you know, to see something come out from ground.  And joy of the Mahāyāna Buddhist is joy of take care of the garden.  That is Mahāyāna Buddhist.  So we—Mahāyāna Buddhist—that is why Mahāyāna Buddhist, you know, put emphasis on emptiness.  Emptiness is—is a garden where you cannot see anything.  But it is, actually, mother of everything from which, you know, everything will come out.


April 13th, 1967

Thursday, April 13th, 1967

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Rev Suzuki lecture

April 13, 1967

Los Altos

There may be various kinds of practice, or ways of practice, or understanding of practice.  Mostly when you practice zazen you become very idealistic with some notion or ideal set up by yourself and you strive for attaining or fulfilling that notion or goal.  But as I always say this is very absurd because when you become idealistic in your practice you have gaining idea within yourself, so by the time you attain some stage your gaining idea will create another ideal.  So, as long as your practice is based on gaining idea, and you practice zazen in an idealistic way, you will have no time to attain it.  Moreover you are sacrificing the meat of practice, set up for the future attainment, which is not possible to attain.  Because your attainment is always ahead of you, you are always sacrificing yourself for some ideal.  So this is very absurd.  It is not so bad, rather not adequate.


April 5th, 1967

Wednesday, April 5th, 1967

Suzuki-roshi leading a period of zazen

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Wednesday, April 5, 1967

A lecture here in the zendō is meaningful in a way quite different from that of an ordinary public lecture. Here you are students; there you are members of an audience. The difference in attitude, and probably attentiveness is significant. If you realize the difference between listening as a students and as an audience member, you will know how to study Buddhism. Mr. Watts did a good job at his lecture. In an ordinary public lecture situation it is very difficult to speak of Buddha Nature.

The correct way to listen to my lecture is to listen with just the right amount of effort. Do not listen with a dualistic frame of mind. The correct way is just to listen—in an accepting attitude. This is different from listening with the intent to ask questions. Asking questions is to merely develop your preconceived ideas. You must give up all preconceived ideas and all feelings of “good” or “not-good”. If you listen to your teacher with the attitude of a disciple, you will learn of Buddhism in the right way.