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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ornament again

Suzuki is talking about a guest at Tassajara. (continued from Saturday.

She said, 
“I am a ornament of it. I am not I. I am it,” [laughs], she said. “I am it.” Not “me,” “it.” And she started to talk about the relationship between “I” and “it,” And "I am an ornament of it, a tools of it."   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, December 30, 2019

My Sectarianism

Whatever the religion is, that is very helpful. This is my non-sectarianism. So my sectarianism is sectarianism and non-sectarianism [laughs]. Both. Do you understand? You cannot say it is non-sectarianism, because I am very proud sectarian [laughs].

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Ornament

I was talking with a guest about and she had very good understanding. I was amazed [laughs, laughter]. We talked about maybe thirty-forty minutes, standing under the -- what do you call it?

Student: Trellis.
SR: Hmm? Trellis. Yeah. She said we are ornament of it, instead of saying buddha-nature. First of all, she was thinking about the word for buddha-nature, and she said we are tools of it. And I said, “Yeah, maybe tools of it.” And actually we say, “We are the ornament of it,” you know [laughs].  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, December 27, 2019

China

Student B: You were talking about non-sectarianism in Sung China. What does it mean in America?

SR: In America, first of all, you have no tradition of Buddhism. And we are start to establish some  Buddhist activity here. And intellectually you study many things and you have various understanding. I think some of you already studied under many teachers. So the situation is quite different. In Japan,  mostly Soto students study Soto only. Between Rinzai and Soto, some Rinzai students study Dogen Zenji, and we study Rinzai practice too. But mostly Rinzai student is Rinzai and Soto students from beginning to end are Soto students.
But here the way you study is not same as we do in Japan. And this is, I think, something like the situation in Buddhism or Zen Buddhism started in China after the Sixth Patriarch. They recommended their students to some other teachers. Actually there was not much sectarianism, but there were various kinds of practice or way of giving instruction. And I think we are in America, under the same situation as they had in China.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Water

Our practice is like a water. Water is necessary for everyone. Even though wine or lemon juice tastes good, or ice cream is good [laughs], if you always take ice cream or lemon juice, you cannot survive.So you should not forget water. Our practice is like a water.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

Blessings to you and yours on this day and those to come. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ram Dass page

A cuke page for Ram Dass who died three days ago. The pages on Tassajara from Be Here Now are excerpted therein - and more. Anything anyone has to add, please send in. - dc 

No Steps

In Soto Zen, in shikantaza, there are no steps - because we are expressing our true nature through practice. We already have innate nature and what we should do is to express it. So there are no steps. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, December 23, 2019

RIP Ram Dass

Good friend to all on a spiritual journey, Richard Alpert Ram Dass - what a trip here on earth - bon voyage oh mariner! - dc

thanks Steve Tipton

Koans

At the time of Sixth Patriarch, there were no koans. Only Sung Dynasty, then koan study started. If koan study is only way to study Buddhism, the Sixth Patriarch or Bodhidharma are not Zen masters [laughs, laughter].  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Date for Bill Sterling Memorial

The memorial service for Bill Sterling will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, January 19 at The Grange in the Anderson Valley, 9800 CA-128, Boonville

Lots of new photos of Bill and Yvonne Rand on his cuke page - at the bottom

Everyone

If the only means to attain enlightenment is cross-legged sitting, onlye a few people will be saved by Zen. But according to Dogen Zenji, Zen is not such thing. Zen is for everyone whether you can cross your legs or not.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, December 20, 2019

For Everyone

It is easy to repeat Amida Buddha's name. Pure Land school, everyone can practice it. It is quite different from zazen. And religion should be for everyone, not just for men or for someone who can cross their legs in lotus posture. What will they do if they cannot cross their legs [laughs, laughter]? Many people say Zen is not for everyone [laughter], and Zen is just for [laughs] men and not for ladies. Maybe Pure Land school is better [laughs], because a religion should be for everyone.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Amida

Before Shinran, to repeat Amida Buddha's name was a kind of practice to be saved by Amida Buddha. So if you wanted to be saved by him sooner you should repeat it many, many times. That was the idea of repeating Amida Buddha's name. But according to Shinran, because we are originally saved by Amida Buddha, even if you say it just once that is enough [laughs]. If you are aware of your true nature, that is enough.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sectarianism

Before I, you know, talk about non-sectarianism, you know [laughs], I must take pride in my sectarianism first, and how my sectarianism is non-sectarianism [laughs, laughter]. It is the next thing I should try to explain. But right now, we should establish ourselves in a firm foundation. We are talking about the universal foundation to every school of Buddhism.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Do

[Speaking on 2nd of the four vows] Our evil desires are, you know, inexhaustible. But we vow to, you know, put an end to it [laughs]. This is something which you should do, which you buddha-nature asks us to do it. Not something which you should do which you should promise to do [laughs]. Something which you should do day by day, every day, you know.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Endless

For us there is no dead end. We say even though there are innumerable sentient beings, we vow to save them [laughs]. That is our vow. This vow is not based on the possibilityof saving all of them, but to make our best effort to express our true nature, we vow to save them all. And if it is impossible, our effort will be endless. In this way, we understand our practice and our vow. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Express

To express our true nature, we practice zazen.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, December 13, 2019

No Need

There is no need for us to depend on Buddha's teaching, but directly we should practice as he did. That is starting point of Zen Buddhism. And that is Bodhidharma's Zen.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

No Dif

There is no difference between our buddha nature and Buddha's buddha nature.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Buddha Nature

Even if Buddha had not appeared in this world, we all have Buddha nature. And we would start our practice because of our true nature which Buddha found out.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Based

According to Bodhidharma, buddha-nature is not something to be attained by practice. For Bodhidharma, our practice is quite independent from various teaching. Our practice is independent from Buddha's teaching. Although we acknowledge, or we accept Buddha's teaching, our practice is not something based on some teaching. Our practice is based on our original nature, buddha-nature.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Evil Desire

According to Buddhism or Buddha's teaching, evil desires itself, if we understand it properly, is enlightenment itself, buddha-nature itself.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Both sides

As long as you experience it in terms of a good stage or a bad stage, a high or low stage, that is not perfect enlightenment. We do not expect anything perfect, but we do not reject it. We always have it, but ideal is ideal and reality is reality, and in our practice we have to have both sides. This is the original nature of Buddhism. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Not Possible

 In Soto practice, you know, we do not put too much emphasis on enlightenment. When we say enlightenment, we mean some perfect stage you will attain. But actually [laughs] that is not possible.
-------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .u

On Bill Sterling.

A cuke page for William Wallace (Bill) Sterling who died on the morning of December 1st.

Bill with wife Yvonne Rand at Tassajara, 1986.
photo by Barbara Wenger

Please send anything you may wish to add to Bill's page to dchad at cuke dot com. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

No Need

We understand Buddha as the ideal, as a perfect, you know, one. At the same time we understand him as a human being. Although we have this ideal there is no need for us to be bound by the ideal. The same thing is true with rituals and precepts. There is no need to be bound by precepts and there is no need to be bound by, to observe, our rituals as some formality. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .u

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bill Sterling update

As posted a few days ago, William Wallace Sterling, Yvonne Rand's husband died suddently, I believe on the morning of December 1st. Yvonne was with him and stayed at his side until his body was taken away. Her daughter Hillary has been with her taking care of things. Yvonne's son Chris has been there too.

There have been over 100 responses to my post on Facebook.

Would love to have a photo of Bill.

Accept

we should not treat ideal or reality something desirable or something not satisfactory. We should, you know, accept ideal as ideal and reality as reality. So even though our practice is not perfect, you know, we should accept it, without forgetting, without rejecting ideal. How to do that is to live on each moment. On each moment we include reality and ideal. So everything is included on each moment. So, there's no other way to be satisfied with what we have on each moment. That is only approach to the ideal. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Ideal

In our way, there is no idea of complete success, complete enlightenment. And yet we are aiming at, we have some ideal. But we should note that, the ideal is something which we can’t reach. Ideal is ideal and reality is reality. Now, we should have both reality and ideal, or else we cannot do anything. So ideal and reality, both ideal and reality will help our practice. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .u

Monday, December 2, 2019

RIP Bill Sterling

Just got word that dear old friend and husband to Yvonne Rand, Bill Sterling, has passed away. More on Bill as it's received. Gya te gya te.

Satisfaction

When we are satisfied with our attainment moment after moment, with some improvement, we have there composure of life. We have satisfaction.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .u

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Unattainable

If Buddhism is some teaching which is attainable, you know, if you attain it that's all, there's no Buddhism, there's no need to study Buddhism. But fortunately, we don't attain anything, so we have to strive to attain it. And here we have double structure. One is, we should attain it, but on the other hand it is something unattainable. And, how to solve this problem is to practice our way, day by day, moment after moment, to live on each moment is the best answer. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .u

Friday, November 29, 2019

Vow

So, with this impossibility of solving our problem or karma, we have vows as a bodhisattva. Even though our desires are innumerable we vow to cut it, you know, put and end to it. Even though our way is unattainable, we vow to attain it. This is the vow we should have forever. In this way, Buddhist way will have its own life. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Long Way

How to get out of karma is. the best answer is, by our practice. But before we go to the best answer, where we have no idea of good or bad, it's not simple. We have to go pretty long way in our practice, little by little we should improve ourself. Even though you attain enlightenment you cannot change your karma as long as you live here. So, we have a long way to go. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC .

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Sin

 If when we understand sin or karma in that way it is rather difficult to surmount to it just by our confidence or decisions. It is more than that. So in this point I think there is some similarity of Christian sin and our idea of sin. Both for us and Christian this idea of sin is something inevitable and something impossible to get out of it. This is, you know, the idea of karma or sin for us.-------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC -[DC note: Keep in mind that the root meaning of sin is to miss the mark or to make a mistake, often a tragic mistake, a mistake with consequences.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Beginner's Mind Turns Her On

A humourous story in the Columbia Spectator

thanks Peter Ford

Cuke page for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Karma

Karma is not just what you did, but also it is more personal. One way it is social and on the other hand it is more accumulated. It is not just created by our body, but our ancestors or created by our former life. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Monday, November 25, 2019

Wrong Way

Accumulation of inappropriate way of observing our way will result in some power which can drive us to the wrong way. That it is our idea of karma. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Buddha Nature

Buddha Nature is by birth nature for everyone. It is more good nature, not sinful nature. That is our understanding of our nature. In its true sense it is not either good nor bad, that is complete understanding. But, in its usual sense it is more good nature rather than bad nature. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Observe

When we are helped by precepts that the blossom of the true nature. And when we understand precepts in a negative sense, spiritually, that is also expression of true nature but that is negative way of expression of our inmost nature. So precepts observation has two sides, one is negative and the other side positive. And we have choice, you know, to observe it and not to observe it. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Observing and Not Observing

We say, in observation of true precepts there is positive way and negative way. And with two of that and not two of that, there must be, you know, four ways. But those four ways should not be different. To observe precepts should be not to observe precepts at the same time. Not to observe precepts means not just observing precepts but when you do not try to observe it then there you have both observing and not observing precepts. So, one is positive and one is negative.Anyway we have to observe precepts and our inmost nature helps us to observe precepts. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Observe

If you observe precepts that is not true observation of precepts. When you observe precepts without trying to observe precepts, then that is true observation of precepts. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

A Story by David Schneider

No Good Deed Goes Unpublished just published on Tricycle.org.

David Schneider cuke page

Photo of David may be a few years old ha ha

Monday, November 18, 2019

Ego

Egolessness does not mean to annihilate or to give up our own individual practice. True egolessness should forget egolessness too. So as long as you understand your practice as egolessness, then it means you stick to ego practice too. So, when you practice your own practice with others, true egolessness happens. That egolessness is not just, you know, egolessness, it is also maybe ego practice. And at the same time it is practice of egolessness. So this egolessness is beyond ego or egolessness [laughs]. Do you understand? -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ears

When we observe one thing together, we should forget our own practice. When we practice something with people it is partly each individuals practice and it is also others' practice. So, we say, for instance, when we recite sutra, "Recite sutra with your ears." Really? You know, to listen to others' chanting. So with our mouths we practice and with our ears we practice. We listen to other's practice. So, here we have the complete egolessness in it's true sense.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC [DC comment: At Sokoji there was a sign in the zendo where we chanted that read, [Chant sutra with your ears."]

Friday, November 15, 2019

Chosen

Disciple, of course, can, will, must choose his teacher. Teacher, when he's chosen should accept him as a disciple. Sometimes teacher may recommended some other teacher for disciple. Or else, you know, human relationship will not be perfect. So if a teacher think, think his friend is maybe more perfect teacher for him, he may recommend him as a teacher. But, between teachers there's there should not be any conflict. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Contact

So, naturally how we transmit our way through activity or through contact, through human relationships. Here we have relationship between teacher and disciple. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Transmit

Zazen, this posture, is not only, not originally maybe a kind of training or something but it is not just training it is more the actual way of transmitting Buddha's way to us. Through practice we can actually transmit Buddha's teaching because words is not good enough to actualize its teaching. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Direct

To have direct contact with reality is Zen practice. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Monday, November 11, 2019

Wisdom

So how we get out of suffering is to have wisdom, to see things as it is. By your thinking that is not possible. But your thinking will help when you think from various angles. If you want to have sudden enlightenment, you should fight it out. If you do not want to feel that you are fooled by something, then you should try for it little by little according to your wisdom or thinking. Sometimes, by wisdom, we mean wisdom followed by teaching. Wisdom sometimes is direct understanding. To have direct contact with the reality is wisdom.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Cause

Cause of suffering is the Second Noble Truth, that this world is... Maybe better to explain more at this point. Origination of suffering, you know, that something exists here is already suffering, for what is, for us, for me that I’m here is suffering. [laughter] [laughs] And how you take this suffering is the point. [laughs]. That I’m here is suffering and maybe it is joy too. [laughs] It is all right to be here. And it is a kind of joy. Joy is also suffering. [laughs] Not only after I have joy, but simultaneously I suffer too, Because I suffer I have joy. So, to have suffering and joy at the same time. Two sides of one coin.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Friday, November 8, 2019

Suzuki mentions the Four Noble Truths

Do you notice anything in this listing of the Four Noble Truths by Suzuki?

***

Student: What are the Four Noble Truths?

SR: The Four Noble Truths are that this world is the world of suffering.

Student: That’s number one?

SR: Yeah. And cause of suffering.

Student: That’s two?

SR: Two. The third one way to have diversions from, way to get out of it [the Eightfold Path]

and  Enlightenment or Nirvana. 

Student: That’s three, isn’t it?

SR: No four.

Student: Fourth is Nirvana.

SR: Fourth is Nirvana.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC
***

The student was correct. Nirvana is the Third Noble Truth - at least I've never seen it listed as number four. And the Eightfold Path is always in my experience listed as the Fourth Noble Truth. This isn't the only time Suzuki did it this way. Maybe there's an alternate order in some Chinese or Japanese tradition, but I bet he just saw it that way and never thought to check. It does make sense in the order Suzuki used and doesn't seem to matter. He never seemed to me to care much for the letter of the law, just the spirit. - DC

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Perfection

There is nothing is perfect. Nothing is perfect is meant by the teaching of selflessness. We think, you know, it is possible to attain or to get contact with something, yeah, to understand or to grasp something perfect. But to attain some stage of perfection according to Buddhism that is not possible. [laughs] It is not possible. When you understand that is not possible, that understanding is perfect understanding and that is [laughs] enlightenment. [Laughter]  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Riffing on the Genjo Koan

Buddhism means here, not only, Buddhist teachings, to study everything is to study ourselves. And to study ourselves is to forget ourselves. And to forget ourselves is to be enlightened by things we study. Some things we study will teach us something real and true. So Dogen said, to study ourselves is to be enlightened by everything. And this enlightenment goes forever. In this way, wiping the enlightenment and having enlightenment again. In this way this enlightenment proceeds you where you go on and on and on and you will understand everything in its true sense.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

One-sided

When we just rely on one-sided understanding we lose the purpose of our study.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC