Posts Tagged ‘Things-as-it-is’

May 27th, 1970

Wednesday, May 27th, 1970
Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Wednesday, May 27, 1970


 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-05-27

[This is the first in a series of lectures on the Sandōkai

(Chin. Cantong qi or Tisan-tiung-chii), a poem by Sekitō Kisen. Japanese transliteration in all lectures is by Kazuaki Tanahashi (1999).  English translation in all lectures is by Suzuki-rōshi.]



[The following line of the Sandōkai is discussed in this lecture:


Line 1      Chikudo daisen no shin


Line 1      The mind of the great sage of India]



I am so grateful to have chance to discuss about or to talk about Sandōkai.  This is one of the most important teaching for us.  And meaning is so deep, and the expression is so smooth, that it is, you know, pretty difficult to have some feeling, you know, when you read it.


Sekitō Musai-daishi[1]  (his posthumous name is Musai-daishi), and he is [dharma] grandson of the Sixth Patriarch[2]  [Enō] and son of Seigen,[3]  the Seventh Patriarch.  As you know, under the Sixth Patriarch there were many disciples, but the most important disciples are Nangaku[4]  and Seigen—Seigen and Nangaku.  And later, under Seigen, Tōzan[5]  appeared, and under Nangaku, Rinzai [6]  appeared.  And Rinzai and Sōtō is the most powerful schools under the Sixth Patriarch.


Sekitō’s, you know, way—Seigen’s way is more gentle in comparison to Nangaku’s way.  And Sekitō’s [Seigen’s] way may be, you know, elder brother’s way, you know, who is mostly gentle [laughs], you know.  Nangaku’s way is, you know, maybe like second boy or third boy’s way, who is rather naughty [laughs].  You know, in Japan, mostly, if someone is very gentle, you may be the first son [laughs], we say, you know.  And sometime the first boy is not so able [laughs].  We say “Soryo no jin roku.”[7]   You know, Soryo no—the first one, first boy is mostly very gentle.  And we, you know, understand in that way when we talk about Sōtō and Rinzai.  Tatsugami-rōshi[8] put emphasis on memmitsu no kafu.[9]   That is more Sōtō way.  Memmitsu is “very careful” and “very considerate” and “very,” anyway, “very careful” in doing things.  That is more Seigen’s way.


October 23rd, 1969

Thursday, October 23rd, 1969

Suzuki-roshi at the wind caves in the ventana forest near Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


[Third Lotus Sūtra Series]

Thursday Evening, October 23, 1969

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-10-23


[The recording starts with Suzuki-rōshi reading from:  Saddharma-Pundarika or The Lotus of the True Law, translated by H. Kern, New York:  Dover, 1963 (an unaltered reprint of the 1884 edition of “The Sacred Books of the East,” Vol. XXI), Chapter II, “Skillfulness,”
p. 30.  He is continuing from approximately the point where he left off in SR-69-10-20.]



out things difficult to understand.


The mystery of Tathāgata is difficult to understand, Shāriputra, because when they explain the law (or phenomena, things) that have their cause in themselves, they—they—they do so by means of skillfulness, by the display of knowledge, by argument, reasons, fundamental ideas, interpretations, and suggestions.  By a variety of skillfulness they are able to release creatures that are attached to one point or another.  The Tathāgata, Shāriputra, have acquired the highest perfection in skillfulness and the display of knowledge; they are endowed with wonderful properties, such as the display of free and unchecked knowledge; the power; the absence of hesitation; the independent conditions; the strength of the organs; the constituents of Bodhi; the contemplation; emancipations; meditations; the degree of concentration of mind.  The Tathāgata, Shāriputra, are able to expound various things and have something wonderful and marvelous.  Enough, Shāriputra, let it suffice to say that the Tathāgata have something extremely wonderful, Shāriputra.  None but Tathāgata, Shāriputra, can impart to a Tathāgata those laws which the Tathāgatas knows—Tathāgata knows.  And all ways [laws], Shāriputra, are taught by the Tathāgata, and by him alone; no one but he knows all laws, what they are, how they are, like what they are, of what characteristic and of what nature they are.


And on that occasion, to set forth the same subject more completely [copiously], the Lord uttered the following stanzas:



This chapter is, for us Sōtō students, a very important chapter.  If you understand this chapter so far as I read, you will understand what is our transmission, what is our practice, what kind of life we have as a Sōtō Zen priest or Sōtō Zen children—disciples [laughs].  It is so important.  But usually they don’t think this chapter is so important, and the most explanation of this chapter is very superficial.  So I want you to, you know, read it over and over again [during] study period.  I will take time and Dick [Baker] one line after one line very deeply and very widely.


July 27 1965 2nd Talk

Tuesday, July 27th, 1965


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Tuesday, July 27, 1965

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-27 2nd Talk

In our way of Zen, we emphasize the way-seeking mind—way-seeking mind.  This is, in another word, bodhisattva-mind or way-seeking mind.  In Zen, people say “way it is” or “to observe everything as it is.”  But “the way as it is” or “to observe things as they are” will not be the same what you mean by that.  I don’t know what—how do you understand “to observe everything as it is.”  I find out there are big misunderstanding in your understanding of “way it is” or “to observe things as it is.”