Posts Tagged ‘Training’

September14th, 1969

Sunday, September 14th, 1969

Suzuki-roshi and Richard Baker at Tassajara

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Sunday, September 14, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-09-14

Sunday school—a Sunday-school girl saw me in sitting, and she said:  “I can do it.”  And she crossed her legs like this [gesturing], and then said, “And what?  [Laughing, laughter.]  And what?”  She sit like this and said, “And what?”  I was very much interested in her question because many of you have same question [laughs, laughter].  You come every day to Zen Center and practice Zen.  And you ask me, “And what?  [Laughs.]  And what?”


I want to explain this point a little bit.  I cannot—I don’t think I can explain it fully because it is not something to be—to ask or to be—to answer.  You should know by yourself.  We—why we sit in some formal position is through your body you should experience something, you know, by doing—by formal sitting—something you yourself experience not by mind—by teaching, but by physical practice.


But to be able to sit in some form and to attain some state of mind is not perfect study.  After you have full experience of mind and body, you should be able to express it in some other way, too.  That happens quite naturally.  You don’t stick to some formal position anymore, but you can express same feeling—same state of mind, or you can convey your mind to others by some way.  And even though you do not sit in some certain form—for an instance, in chair, or in standing position, or in working, or in speaking, you can—you will have same state of mind—state of mind [in] which you do not stick to anything.  This is what you will study through our practice.  That is the—what you will, you know—that is the purpose of practice.


July 30 1965 3rd Talk

Friday, July 30th, 1965


Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Friday, Thursday, July 30, 1965

Lecture D

Soko-ji Temple, San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-07-30 3rd Talk

Suzuki-rōshi: Do you have some question?

Student A: Sensei, D. T. Suzuki wrote that “Zen was religion of the will,” is what he said.  What do you think about that?

Suzuki-rōshi: Religion?

Student A: Of the will, he said.

Suzuki-rōshi: Oh.  I—I haven’t read it.  What does he say?

Student A: Oh.  He just said—I just remember this sentence.  He said Zen is the religion of the will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will?

Student A: Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: I don’t understand.

Student: Willpower.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will?

Several Students: Willpower.  Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.  Yeah, I know [laughs, laughter] what is.  Wheel.  No?

Student: No.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will.

Student: Will.

Suzuki-rōshi: Will.

Student: Yeah.

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.  [Laughs, laughter.]

Student: “I will do it.”

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah.

Student: “I will.”  Willpower.

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah.  It is—he may say [laughs] religion of will.  But willpower is not only power we have, you know.  Will, and emotion or feeling, and moral—morality.  Willpower may be the driving power, but in contrast with European religion, they say emotion is deepest.  They think it is—emotion is deepest, and willpower is not so deep.  And intellect is most superficial [laughs].

But Zen is not just willpower—religion of just willpower.  Sōtō is more—more, you know, maybe emotional.  And religious feeling is something like emotional, but just emotional power—emotion [is] blind.  The willpower is also sometime [laughs] blind.  So that is why we want rational power.  But rational power will correct the mistake of—will blind [blend?] or help blend willpower and feeling or emotional power.  I don’t exactly figure out why he said so, but because in practice we want big willpower.  Zen is religion of practice, so he must have said Zen is religion of will.  But I don’t think Zen is just will, religion of will.  [It is a] religion of whole mind.  Some more question?


May 1964

Friday, May 1st, 1964





May 1964

Introductory Word by Engo

Introducing Engo said, “Obtaining the sole existing independent body, the total free activity takes place.”  (When you become one with an object, your activity is omnipresent, the activity of one existence.)  “On each occasion, an enlightened mind is quite free from intercourse with the world.”  (This is called intuitive free activity.)  “Only because he has no idea of self are his words powerful enough to put an end to ordinary mind.”  (Baso’s powerful way in this main-subject.)  Think for a while.  After all, from what place did the ancients get the ultimate restfulness.  Ponder about the following subject.

Main Subject

Attention!  Once, when Baso was walking with his disciple Hyakujo, wild ducks were flying over them.  Baso, the great teacher, said, “What are they?”  Hyakujo said, “They are wild ducks.”  Baso said, “Where are they going?”  Hyakujo said, “They are flying away.”

Baso gave Hyakujo’s nose a great tweak.  Hyakujo cried out with pain.  Baso said, “Did they indeed fly off?”


March 1964

Sunday, March 1st, 1964





With a commentary by Engo-zenji

Translated by Reverend Suzuki, Master of Zen Center

March 1964

San-cho and “The Golden Scales” Escaping from the Net

Introductory Word:

Engo introducing the subject said: Seven piercings and eight holes, snatching the drums and carrying off the banner (in war-time to pierce the enemy’s lines in seven or eight places and to snatch the enemy’s drums and banner is metaphorically compared to the great activity of San-cho in the main subject). A hundred ramparts and a thousand entrenchments, watching the front and guarding the rear (comparisons to Sep-po’s way of attending to San-cho). Or sitting on the tiger’s head and seizing its tail: such is not good enough to compare the great activity of skillful Zen Master (San-cho). Even though an ox-head disappears and a horse-head appears, this would not be miraculous enough (in comparison to the skill of Sep-po). So ponder what you will do, if you come across a man of such surpassingly great activity.

Main Subject:

Attention! San-cho asked Sep-po: “What (Why?) does a mysterious golden-scaled carp escaped from the fishing net cast?” Sep-po said, “I would like to wait for your coming out of the fishing net and then answer you.” San-cho said, “You, who have fifteen hundred disciples do not understand what I say.” Sep-po said: “this old monk is too busy in managing temple affairs to attend to you.”