Posts Tagged ‘Way-seeking mind’

March 28th, 1970

Saturday, March 28th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi



Saturday, March 28, 1970

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-03-28

[First 1-2 sentences of lecture may be missing.]  Way-seeking mind is the most important.  This kind of chance is—usually in some difficult situation—when you have some difficulty in your everyday life, I think you will have, you know—there you will have chance to arise way-seeking mind.  Once you arise the way-seeing mind, your practice is on the track.


Watanabe—Watanabe Genshu-zenji,[1]  who passed away several years ago, arise way-seeking mind when famous Arai-zenji[2]  came to his temple.  He [Watanabe] was—he was a chest-maker or what do you call?—he was making, you know—he is—he is not a carpenter—was not a carpenter, but he was—hmm?—[comments from students]—oh, cabinetmaker.  He was cabinetmaker.  And he—when he went to his temple, you know, to hear Arai-zenji’s lecture or to—to see him, maybe [laughs], to see the zenji—famous zenji, he arosed way-seeking mind.  And he made up his mind to follow him, and asked his family to let him go.  And he joined Arai-zenji’s order.


He [Watanabe] had—when he was young, he had a very difficult time at his home always.  But he didn’t complain about it.  He rather enjoy his—to make cabinets.  But Arai-zenji was so great Zen master that he, you know, made up his mind to follow him.  And so, you know, he doesn’t forget his—his life in his—when he was young.


December 1st, 1969

Monday, December 1st, 1969

Suzuki-roshi (on the right) as a young monk

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Winter Sesshin, Day 3, Lecture No. 3


Monday, December 1, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-12-01


Our way-seeking mind is buddha-mind.  And our practice is—makes sense when you practice with buddha-mind, or way-seeking mind.  But usually, when we say the way-seeking mind or dōshin—dōshin—dō is dao, and shin is mind—it also means bodhi- [partial word]—bodhisattva-mind—bodhisattva-mind:  to—not only to help ourselves but also to save or to help others.  Strong nuance of this kind is always there when we say dōshin.


Right now we recited:  “This perfect and penetrating dharma is rarely met with even [in a] hundred thousand kalpas of time.”  The moment we have right now doesn’t come back again.  I don’t know how old are you, but if this day pass, you will not have the same day.  So not only dharma you listen [to], but also your life you have right now doesn’t come back.  Even [in a] hundred thousand kalpas of time, you cannot repeat your life again.  And it is so.  So it is foolish to stick to something and ignore our life which does not come again.  We should not be regretful after many years.


November 30th, 1969

Sunday, November 30th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Winter Sesshin Lecture No.  2


Sunday, November 30, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-11-30


I think nowadays way-seeking mind is understood like something to do good in its—with a pure motivation—not for sake of success or not for sake of fame, but to purify our mind and to be a good Buddhist.  That is way-seeking mind.


So, accordingly, to do something good is, in its wide sense, the way-seeking mind:  for an instance, to do something which people do not like to do:  the cleaning restrooms, or pick up garbages, or to save small animals, or to help sick people.  Those are things which a man of way-seeking mind will do.  And with this spirit, we practice zazen.  Zazen practice is just for ourselves—just for oneself.  And when we do it completely, for himself—for ourselves, the practice will be, at the same time, the practice of saving others in its true sense.


To “establish ourselves on ourselves” is to encourage people to establish themselves on themselves without asking some other’s help.  That is something what a man of way-seeking mind will do.  So when you have way-seeking mind in your practice, you can practice your way in its true sense.


Even though you do something which people may say [is] good, if you do not do it with pure spirit, you don’t feel so good, you know.  You—you will create something disagreeable for yourselves.  Only when you do it with pure mind, you will be satis- [partial word]—you will fi- [partial word]—you will have joy of practice, and you will appreciate the great mind, and you will be—your practice will be the practice of kindness, too.


November 29th, 1969

Saturday, November 29th, 1969

Suzuki-roshi appears to be giving some words at a ceremony

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Winter Sesshin, Lecture No.  1


Saturday, November 29, 1969


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-11-29


… mind.[1]  Without this way-seeking mind, our practice does not work.  We say “just to sit,” or shikantaza.  Only when we have a strong way-seeking mind, just to sit make sense.  Without this mind, just to sit means maybe—will mean just to sit mechanically and formally.  The way-seeking mind—when way-seeking mind vitalize the form you have in zazen may be actualized and make sense.


People say “form” or “spirit”—but to—actually, you know, maybe if you do something without intellectual understanding, without knowing why you do it, you know, that is, you know, formal practice.  We—usually we understand in this way without knowing what it is, you know—just to imitate, or just to do something as others do, or in the way you are told to do is the formal practice.


And knowing what is the actual reason, maybe, and practice something is more spiritual way.  But actually, you know, Zen is not something which you can understand it.  Intellectual understanding cannot reach the true understanding of Zen.  So only way is by actual practice to find out the meaning of it is our way because intellectual understanding does not make much sense.  If you have no way-seeking mind, your, you know—even though the only way to—only approach to the enlightenment is practice, but practice without way-seeking mind is dead practice.


That is why we put emphasis on way-seeking mind, because intellectual understanding does not work.  If, you know, intellectual understanding is proper approach to the enlightenment, then there will not be—no need to put emphasis on way-seeking mind.  But intellectual understanding—we do not, you know, take intellectual approach, but actual—by actual practice, we find the true approach to the enlightenment.  But without way-seeking mind, you know, the practice cannot be actual practice because of the lack of the spirit.


March 26, 1966

Saturday, March 26th, 1966

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Saturday, March 26, 1966

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 66-03-26 (Note – noise problems in audio)

When we feel the evanescence of life, or when we have problems for ourselves, and direct feeling of the problems—of the fact you have to face—is how you arise the way-seeking mind.

Usually when we set ourselves to studying something, we put our everyday problems aside, concentrating our attention for a time on something of particular interest.  That is how we study generally.  On Sunday you may go to church, but to you going to church and your everyday life are two completely different activities.  Eventually, however, you will feel some contradiction in your everyday life, and some uneasiness, feeling you have nothing to rely on.  It is this feeling which gives rise to the way-seeking mind.


August 28 1965 Second Talk

Saturday, August 28th, 1965

Suzuki-roshi in Japan in traveling monk garb

Suzuki-roshi in Japan in traveling monk garb

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Saturday, August 28, 1965

Lecture B

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 65-08-28 2nd Talk

Tape operator (Richard Baker): This is the end of the one o’clock lecture.  There may be another lecture later, which will follow immediately if there is.

[Recorder stopped and restarted.]

Suzuki-rōshi: [Laughs.]  I have nothing in my mind.  [Laughs.]  I don’t know about what should I talk.  So will you give me some topic—topics to talk about?  Or question?

Student A: You say that we shouldn’t be critical of our practice.  But you say that if all of us [3–4 words] the part of us that desires to express our buddha-nature is the part that we should [1 word] on.

Suzuki-rōshi: Um-hmm.

Student A: Well, I don’t know how to say it, but [laughs].  When—when we’re learning to be practicing [?], we’re not supposed to be critical of our own practice, right?

Suzuki-rōshi: Mm-hmm.

Student A: But, at the same time—

Suzuki-rōshi: Yeah.

Student A: —it’s the part of us that is critical—

Suzuki-rōshi: Uh-huh.

Student A: —that is the—that’s what makes us practice.


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.”