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Saturday, February 22, 2020


Especially for young people, it is necessary to try very hard to achieve something. And you must stretch out your arms and legs as wide as they will go. (Demonstrating.) Form is form. You must be true to your own way until at last you actually come to the point where you see it is necessary to forget all about yourself.

Until you come to this point,
[From Trudy Dixon's handwritten note in an early manuscript of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. The note is to insert this into the "No Dualism" chapter and says "From Roshi's lecture, Aug. 4, '68, in S.F." The rest of the lecture has not been found.]   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-04 as found on Edited by DC 

Friday, February 21, 2020


You should be able to accept things as it is, and you should be able to help others in various ways, not just by sitting. So although we have no koan, we have various kinds of ways of helping people, not just by sitting.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC 

Thursday, February 20, 2020


In comparison to Soto, Rinzai teachers did not have so many followers. But most Rinzai students are people who actually practice zazen.. This is very good. Even though they do not have many followers, the followers they have are sincere students who practice zazen. But the practice itself is narrow. It is a kind of special practice for some special people. So that is why Rinzai school did not develop to have many supporters. That is the bad point of Rinzai school. We cannot compare actually-- we cannot say Soto is good or Rinzai is good. It is difficult to say which is better. I think both Rinzai and Soto should exist.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC  [DC comment - I frequently feel uncomfortable when he talks about other sects.].

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Andrew on Ruthie

photo from Ruth Friend's Facebook page. She's on the left with Sophie Harris. Sophie posted a bunch more there.

Andrew Atkeison sent his thoughts on our dear friend, Ruth Friend, who died recently. (See post here from the 14th). Am posting

Ruth Friend, known to most as Ruthie, was truly a friend to all without regard to perceived social status of wealth. I sometimes wondered what she saw in her husband, but could only conclude that love works in strange and wonderful ways, and that he was certainly a lucky man to have her.


All the Soto believers in Japan are not Zen students. But they know somehow who is a good teacher and who is not. And they believe in him rather than believe in his teaching, or Buddha's teaching, or teaching of Dogen, or Shobogenzo. They just believe in his way or his character. In this way, Soto developed. This is the characteristic of Soto school.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Fil Lewitt has a new novel

And this one is Zenish.

Hover Over Bear River:  a novel of meditation & mayhem.

Amazon link for Hover over Bear River

Amazon page for all his books

The four books are: ARCHEOPOETICS (Stone Age humans); CANYON WREN’S RAG (poems for pathfinders); THE ZEN FOLLIES; and now HOVER OVER BEAR RIVER (Vipassana Insight Meditation, plus some mayhem).

Fil Lewitt cuke page


For a Buddhist it is necessary to make some special effort to help people. That is a duty for the enlightened one. But the enlightened one has some ability to help people in various ways. Whether they understand it or not, he is actually helping people. In this way, you know, our religion exists in a social framework.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Lew Richmond has a new book

NEW BOOK ON AGING FOR MEN. Lew Richmond's new book on Aging--The Final Mountain: Aging With Honor and Dignity--a Guide for Men  will be published in October, 2020 by North Atlantic Books.  This book follows on his earlier aging book Aging as a Spiritual Practice, but is specifically geared toward men's aging needs (though women can buy it for themselves or the men in their lives).  The theme of this new book is that aging is emotional and intuitive, and men need to open themselves to those aspects to really negotiate growing older.  See Lew's latest blog post to learn more click HERE.

Lew Richmond Cuke page with a link to books by Lew

Are, are Not

Everyone is Buddha. But for those who are not aware of it, they are not Buddha.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC 

Saturday, February 15, 2020


Student asks if it's okay from a great samurai to kill, "through and through, is it all right for him to kill?"
SR: Maybe [laughs]-- but that kind of thing will not happen to him [laughter]. He should have complete freedom, but there will be no need to use all his ability. In all of his ability, you know -- one phrase is enough. That is one of the ten powers. To save people just by one phrase or one blink of eye is enough.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on Edited by DC