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Monday, May 4, 2015


Student E: Roshi? In the Lankavatara Sutra they described a buddha as one who controls his outflows. Would you say a few words about that? Or they also used the phrase “non-leakage,” which was hard to get.

SR: Non-? Non-what?

Student E: Non-leakage, you know.

SR: Leaky?

Student E: When a bottle leaks, you know, it comes out the cracks-- overflows. Would that contribute to the-- to the [1 word] around the head-- the ring around the barrel that you were talking about?

SR: [Laughing.] I don't know. That is quite Japanese expression: tangawa honryu. Maybe so. We have many ways of-- expression for “one truth.” I couldn't understand actually what you said just now. What did you mean?

Student E: Well, when I am doing zazen, it seems as though sometimes I have this experience of a non-outflowing, you know, that I'm-- it's all staying right within me --

SR: Mm-hmm. Oh, “outflowing.” I see.

Student E: Yeah. Instead of, you know-- when you see-- when I see-- I feel like I'm looking outward, and I feel-- oh, like-- so when I'm doing zazen, though, that will drop back inside.

SR: Mm-hmm.

Student E: And I thought perhaps this is what they meant by “non-outflowing”: being able to control the-- the outflow of your energy or--

SR: Mm-hmm. Yeah. “Outflow.” That is opposite, you know, to our way. Outflow. Comes out-- your energy from your-- whatever it is, body or mind. You should be one thought or existence when you sit. There is no outside or no inside when you sit. Can you -- do you accept this expression?

Student E: Yes. Mm-hmm.

SR: So it is not even to see inward. It is just to sit. No inside or no outside. Just one existence.

Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 65-08-28-A as found on - Barely edited by DC