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Friday, December 8, 2017

Frog

 Have you seen the picture by the famous Zen master Sengai? He shows a frog looking just like he was sitting in zazen, as we are sitting in this lecture. How can a frog attain enlightenment? It is very interesting the more you think about it. A frog is faced by many things.


If zazen makes you a Buddha, the frog may say, "I am practicing zazen. Why is it impossible for me to attain enlightenment? I have been practicing since I was born, and even before I was born; through many former years and incarnations I have been practicing." If just sitting is so important, we were practicing in our mother's womb for nine months in almost perfect form. So we must have been embryo Buddhas. And actually it is so; you may understand it in this way - you are an embryo Buddha.
Another interpretation could be that zazen is just a cross-legged way of killing time. You may feel your zazen is not the same as mine, will not work like my zazen. But, you know, my understanding is yes, you have attained it, you have attained enlightenment. You are practicing so hard. And you will practice your way in various places. Now you are sitting on a stone like a frog, but suddenly you will have a big, big practice when a snake comes to you. You will be swallowed by the snake but you won't know it. To let the snake devour you, that is your practice. And you will have your teacher in your world. I understand it in that way.

You may say, "When I am lazy, ignoring our practice which I should not do, then I am ashamed of myself. Even a frog studies his way very hard." So we human beings are mostly ashamed of ourselves, always seeking some good experience like enlightenment, or avoiding some bad experience. This is not real practice, not the Bodhisattva's way.------------------------------------------------------------------ Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 67-08-24-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC - Many Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts on cuke.com - from there links to much more. Going slowly through Suzuki transcripts featuring whatever is next that seems okay, not just the super cool ones.