Posts Tagged ‘Thinking’

August 4th, 1971

Wednesday, August 4th, 1971

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Wednesday Evening, August 4, 1971

Zen Mountain Center


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-04 Part 1

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-04 Part 2

Tomorrow is the Bodhidharma’s Day.  We will have—we have special ceremony this evening, and tomorrow also we will have special ceremony for him.  As you know, he is the twenty-eighth patriarch from Buddha, [not] counting Buddha as the first, and he is twenty-eighth patriarch.  I should like to introduce how he became a successor of Hannyatara,[1]  the twenty-seventh patriarch, and then I want you [to] ask some questions.  I will briefly introduce you [3-8 words unclear] twenty-eighth patriarch.


Hannyatara-sonja,[2]  the twenty-seventh patriarch, asked Bodhidharma, “There are many things.”[3]  “Things” here means various things we see:  stones, or mountains, or rivers, or ocean—everything we see and everything we think about.  It include our various ideas we have.  Those are “things.”


“And what will be the thing which has no form—formless being—what will be the formless one?”  Bodhidharma said, Fuki musō.[4]   Fuki musō is rather difficult to [explain]—I must explain about it.  But it is a kind of technical term.  Fuki musō.  Fuki is no-, non-arising.  Musō is formless.


February 5th, 1971

Friday, February 5th, 1971
Suzuki-roshi in a gathering of Buddhist leaders

Suzuki-roshi in a gathering of Buddhist leaders

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Friday, February 5, 1971

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-02-05


Purpose of sesshin is to be completely one with our practice.  That is purpose of sesshinSesshin.  Sesshin means—  We use two Chinese characters for setsuSetsu means to treat or, you know, like you treat your guests or like a teacher [student?] treat his teacher, is setsu.  Another setsu is “to control” or “to arrange things in order.”  Anyway, it means to have proper function of mind.


When we say “control,” something which is controlled is our five senses and will, or mind, Small Mind, Monkey Mind which should be controlled.  And if—why we control our mind is to resume to our true Big Mind.  When Monkey Mind is always take over big activity of Big Mind, you know, we naturally become a monkey [laughs].  So Monkey Mind must have his boss, which is Big Mind.


And when we say “Big Mind,” then while we practice zazen, it is the Big Mind controlling the Small Mind.  It is not so, you know, but only when Small Mind become calm, the Big Mind, you know, start to start its true activity.  So in our everyday life, almost all the time, we are involved in activity of Small Mind.  That is why we should practice zazen and we should be completely involved in this kind of practice.


July 9th, 1969

Wednesday, July 9th, 1969

Suzuki-roshi in a gathering including Katagiri-roshi, Maezumi-roshi & Kobun Chino-roshi.

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Wednesday, July 9, 1969



 Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-07-09

In our previous lectures we have studied the relationship between—relationship between real and seeming, or emptiness and forms.  [By] “real” we mean something beyond our thinking.  This is, you know,—there is no way to—whatever, you know, we say about it, it is the expre- [partial word]—just suggestion, you know, not real or emptiness itself.  It is something beyond our thinking mind, so we call it “emptiness.”


It is not actually something which we can understand in term of good or bad, real or not real.  And seeming and all—whatever it is—all what we say, you know, everything what we say or what we see is forms.  And we actually live in the world of forms and color, you know.  And we don’t know, actually, what is emptiness itself.  Even—we call it “emptiness,” you know, there is some rules, you know, how emptiness takes various form.  So according to some rules, emptiness take its form and color.  And we are explaining about the relationship between emptiness and form which we can see.


Right now we have been mostly discussing rather philosophical way, but tonight may be better to explain it more psychological way or physical way.  According to Buddhist psychology, you know, of course, we have five senses, and thinking mind, and to—some faculty to lead our thinking mind in false, you know—to make our thinking mind mistake, you know.  That kind of faculty we have.  And there is also some faculty to point out the mistake of the seventh mind, you know.  Five senses and thinking mind, that is six.  Seventh one is, you know, to make our mind made—make mistake.  That is the sixth one—the seventh [corrects self] one.  That is the mind which let our thinking mind stick to something, you know.  There is [laughs] no need to stick to something, you know, actually.  But seventh mind, you know, make sixth mind to stick to something.


August 15, 1966

Monday, August 15th, 1966

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Monday, August 15, 1966

August Sesshin Lecture

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Lecture A

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-08-15 1st Talk

Suzuki-rōshi: The second paragraph [of the Genjō Kōan]:

That we move ourselves and understand all things is ignorance.  That things advance and understand themselves is enlightenment.  It is Buddha who understand ignorance.  It is people who are ignorant of ignor- [partial word]—enlightenment.  Further, there are those who are enlightened about enlightenment, and those who are ignorant of ignorance. [Recording stops.][1]

Tape operator: Uh, what would you like me to say into the microphone?  [Recording stops.]

Suzuki-rōshi: … trace of enlightenment—enlightenment—  … trace of enlightenment—enlightenment—  [Fragments only.]

[2]… among many instructions about how to sit:  to keep your back straight, pull your chin, and about mudrā in your hand.  The most important thing is, we say, to stop thinking or to keep your mind on your breathing.  Dōgen-zenji says, “Think non-thinking.  Think non-thinking.”  This is a very important point, and at the same time this is very difficult practice because your mind will be easily carried away.  Sometime I—when you feel very good, but as soon as you feel you reached a certain stage, your mind will be carried away because you felt something [laughs], and your mind is not on your breathing any more [laughs].  So if you want to concentrated on your breathing, you should not mind even the state of mind you are in your practice.


June 23, 1966

Thursday, June 23rd, 1966

June 23, 1966

Rev. S. Suzuki

When we sit in this way our mind is calm and quite simple.  But usually our mind is not so calm and our mind is very complicated.  When we do something it is difficult to be concentrated on what we do and because, before we do (something) we think and when we think the thinking leaves some trace, and the thinking not only leave some trace but also it will give us some particular notion to do something.  That notion makes our activity very complicated.  When we do something quite simple we have no notion, but when we do something difficult, or when we do something in relation to others…other people, or in society, we will have many convenient idea for ourselves, and that makes activity very complicated.