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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Exchange on Communication between Suzuki and Students

Student F: This way of helping each other with words and trying to convey meaning is very difficult. It seems to be very important to be able to communicate with another person. I say to myself, “What is preventing understanding when the words are being correctly used?” What is preventing, what is not listening, or what is the disturbance? What is preventing the penetration of this meaning?

SR: You yourself prevent it [laughs].

Student F: Obviously, but what can be done to help-- how do you get through if there's no understanding-- say, right now?

SR: If you are confronting the problem you have, you will understand.

Student F: But for the other person, how will he understand?

SR: Hmm?

Student F: How will the other person understand?

SR: Other person doesn't matter [laughs].

Student G: But when it does matter-- when you have to help.

SR: No, no.

Student G: Or feel his innermost need.

SR: It doesn't matter.

Student G: Does it matter when you want to communicate, when you want to try to help the other person who is obviously suffering?

SR: The most important thing is to understand you yourself is the most important thing.

Student F: Fine. And after that?

SR: After that? After that I don't know! [Laughs, laughter.] You will know after that.

Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 65-07-30-C as found on - Edited by DC