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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Try to figure this one out left as he said it

Enlightenment will happen to you, you know, when you are very, very, very truthful to the fact or truthful to, not to, if truthful to, although you are not truthful toward reality or fact from both sides, but even, you know, if you are very truthful to one sided view of life, you know, then you have chance to attain enlightenment, you know. And whether you attain enlightenment or not, you know, this is true. [much laughter] -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Change

If we accept the two side of the one reality then there is no problem when we say everything is changing. It's ok. [laughter]When someone says everything does not change then that is true. When you could accept in this way, even for a moment [Laughs] that is enlightenment. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Suffering

The teaching of suffering comes from this point, [from the teaching that everything is suffering]. Although everything, including self, changes always we expect everything not to change. [Laughs] This is a marvelous fact of our nature. In one hand everything changes and on the other hand we try not think everything changes. And so there we have suffering, you know. When we expect things not to change, but actually [laughs] everything is everything , everything betrays our hope. That is how, you know, we suffer. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Monday, October 28, 2019

Self

So, if everything is changing, how about yourself? You know, self is also changing. If so, even though Buddha says self, there's no such substantial being as self. As we learned last night, typically we call our function of mind and body self. But there is no such thing as self. So we emphasize as long as everything changes, self cannot be exception. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Changes

According to Buddhism, the basic teaching is everything changes. Because of this teaching his descendants or his disciples treated Buddha as a teacher of heaven and earth. He is not only a teacher of this world, he is a teacher of heaven. Because even though you go to heaven, this teaching, that everything change, we must be different, you know, is also true in heaven. So he is called a teacher of heaven and earth because of this teaching that everything changes. And this is the basic foundation of Buddhism, Buddhist teaching. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Haiku for the Archives

Here's a poem by Christopher Herold which dips into a 1968 practice period at Tassajara and a gift of an acorn to Shunryu Suzuki.

Time and Self

So discontinuity of time and continuity of time. In this way, reality is double. Only by double structure of our reasoning we can figure out what is reality. And selflessness and self is same thing, you know, not different. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time

I want to explain this kind of double structure of our teaching. To me everything real should be understood in this way. For instance, idea of time has, you know, double structure. One is idea of continuity. If the continuity of time is the idea of time there is no need to have watch. When I say it is half past ten, it means that, at that time my idea of time is discontinuity. It is not actually half past ten, you know, maybe more, or while I'm watching it, it goes more, continuously it's going. But I have to say as long as I have watch, if someone asks me what time is it, I have to say is half past ten. So that is the idea of discontinuity of time. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Actually

Actually nothing happens [laughs] even though you study Buddhism. And nothing happens even you practice zazen. When you feel in that way, in your practice, that is enlightenment, you know. It is difficult for us to wipe up everything, you know, from our mind. And actually there is no need to do so and it is foolish to try to eliminate all, everything what you have done or result of your previous activity. That is not possible. And it is foolish to try to do that. But there is way to develop our everyday life without being bothered by our previous activity or result of that previous activity. This is how I can explain what I have in my mind about teaching of Zen. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Detachment

Detachment means to erase something but actually we cannot erase what we did [laughs]. If you feel as if you've wiped up everything you delude yourself. But when you are completely absorbed in your activity or in your everyday life, you experience this kind of development of your life, in your life force. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Monday, October 21, 2019

Wipe

We continue this kind of activity - to write something and wipe it up. Because I try to explain it more psychologically or more as our human experience, I put it in this way. But actually what we are doing is to continue this kind of effort, you know. This is in other words, detachment.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mirror

In Zen school we wipe up every dust on the mirror. And see everything on the reflection of the mirror is our way. Or to erase everything from the blackboard and to write something on it is Zen.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Friday, October 18, 2019

Lotus

Lotus Sutra puts the emphasis on the understanding which you will have after attaining experience of emptiness. This is something like Zen. Zen extended this kind of idea by practice and brought this philosophical teaching into our actual experience and how to bring this philosophical teaching to our life by practicing Zen.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Harmony

In Mahayana we have more advanced philosophical setting of Buddha's teaching, like in Kegon Sutra. Kegon put emphasis on harmony with the truth and the phenomenal world.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Static

In general, Buddha's teaching is based on the teaching of selflessness. But later his teaching was more settled down in some static teaching, like everything changes or teaching of interdependency or teaching of cause and effect.-------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Opposite

What we think will be clear when we take at least two opposite viewpoints. Then we will have some reality without being caught by some one-sided idea. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Monday, October 14, 2019

Double

We call the nature of our teaching double construction, or double nature of Buddhism. And actually without paradoxical or opposite, two opposite understanding, we cannot think things clearly. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Self and Not

Buddha on the contrary put emphasis on selflessness so that there you have a more balanced understanding of our life. And for the people who were trying to find out something about pleasure of life in this actual modern world, he put the emphasis on suffering so that they can understand their life from both sides. So naturally even so his purpose of sitting is through some harmonious teaching. So, sometimes he put emphasis on self, you know, instead of put the emphasis on selflessness. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Friday, October 11, 2019

No Self

Buddha's teaching put the emphasis on selflessness because even Buddhism is not a special culture or heritage. It is a part of Indian thought. And so before Buddhism there must be some similar teaching or some opposite teaching which form a pair of opposites with Buddhism. As you see in the Upanishads there are many similar teachings based on selflessness. Why he put the emphasis on selflessness is because people at that time had great difficulty because of a strong idea of self. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Closing Words from the 2nd Practice Period

In spite of my lack of effort, you fulfilled this training period very well. I am satisfied. Katsuzen-san [Phillip Wilson] did it very well, supported by many students who are here with us today.

We say, “Before spring has gone, the summer comes.” This practice period we had spring training. And right here, we will have the next sesshin.

If we take a pause for a while, I cannot help but be amazed at seeing things, including you. You developed very well, and the same time Tassajara became more and more mature. This may not be the right words for congratulations, but it's exactly how I feel. So we should try not to be lost in our practice, and Tassajara also should not be lost from this world by your efforts. Like various unknown flowers near the stream, we should keep up with the world of transiency.
Thank you very much. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Concluding words for Shosan Ceremony

The points all of you presented were like a jewel and gold. But we should make jewels and gold in its true sense. Something special. When we say “something special” that may be jewels and gold. When we say “something common,” that is also jewels and gold, to which usual people attach. When we attach to them, that is not true jewels and gold.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Shadows

Student SS [Richard Baker]: Docho Roshi, to many of the questions, you've answered, “Don't do anything,” or “Forget about.” I have difficulty with this point. I feel that's too, maybe, selfish. It helps us and it helps our people who practice with us. But I'm not sure it helps others so much. I feel we have to go beyond accepting everything. Sometimes Zen practice seems too much like the poem of the bamboo, the shadows don't disturb the dust on the stairs. I think the dust on the stairs has to be disturbed sometimes.

SR: Yeah [laughs].

Richard: And grass doesn't always grow by itself.

SR: Uh-huh.

Richard: What do you think?

SR: We should take care of grass, and we should always be disturbed by-- or at least possible to appreciate the shadow of the bamboo. If we ignore this point, our practice doesn't mean anything. Pain [?]-- big great constellation [?] through everything. And to have renunciation in it is our way, which is pretty difficult. This is the point many of our Zen masters had difficulty in their true practice, because it is not matter of successful or unsuccessful, you know. It is matter of how to handle themselves or how to understand the way to work on it. This is very subtle point. No one else but you can help you.

Bruce McAllister photos

Rick Levine sent in two Bruce McAllister photos and a story to go with them. See it on Bruce's memorial page. Here he is with Tom Giradot and two unknowns in a photo by Rick.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Issan Dorsey Record

Ken Ireland made this record, or collection, of pieces relating to Issan - memories and a lecture by Issan Tommy Dorsey.

Issan Dorsey cuke page

Melting

Student RR: Docho Roshi, melting into rivers of gold--

SR: Excuse me?

Student RR: Melting into rivers of gold, tasting the bitterest dregs at the bottom of the teacup, I feel I am a more complete person for having these experiences because I find a world that is not measured. However, I don't want to become attached to this world, but want to give it its proper place so it will have its own existence.
SR: You understand, you know, very well. But still your understand is not real because idea of ego is-- too much idea of ego involved in it. So don't think so much. Instead of thinking, you should forget-- try to forget yourself by all means. Okay? -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Friday, October 4, 2019

Meaning

Student QQ: Docho Roshi, first our teacher became ill, and then someone passed away. What is the meaning of this?

SR: [Laughs.] Oh. I didn't think of the meaning of those, but nothing happens just by accident. There must be deep meaning to it. But I don't think I am, you know-- you will have my funeral service so soon. [Laughter.] I don't think in that way, but there is many things to think about.
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Zen-inspired cartoonist Lynda Barry awarded MacArthur “Genius Grant”

I was just thinking about jealousy and couldn't recall any recent feelings of jealousy strong enough to register in memory. Until I read this Tricycle article on Lynda Barry's grant. From the article: In her 2008 interview with Vice, she noted that she listens to Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s “wonderful” Zen talks while writing and drawing in her studio in Wisconsin. That would be the audiobook of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind narrated by Peter Coyote. This will be added somewhere in the cuke ZMBM section. Congratulations Lyda Barry whose cartoons I was reading years ago! - dc- and thanks Peter Ford for the tip

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Foolish

Student PP: Docho Roshi, I feel pretty foolish. How do you feel?

SR: Pretty foolish? Foolish?

Student PP: Yes.

SR: Ah. Yeah, I-- I feel same way. [Laughter.]

Student PP: Thank you very much.
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

[All the Q and A from shosan ceremonies end in Thank you very much - as do Suzuki's lectures. I rarely include that line in an excerpt. - dc] 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Mountains on the Water

Student OO: Docho Roshi, the dharma is no dharma. The Tathagata doesn't come or go. And the Buddha cannot be seen by the thirty-two marks. Where is our way?

SR: Actually, there is no way-- we say, “You will see various mountains over the river.” Between the waves, you know, we think there is no road in the sea, but there is some road. So nothing exists in its sheer emptiness. Even on the water there is mountain. Even in the water there is a path to go. So as long as we are practicing our way, there is no problem. Before you practice it, you know, you have problem. 
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC

Tomatoes on the Vine

Here's a drawing by Del Carlson that he did for Tassajara Cooking.

thanks Eric Roos

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Bruce McAllister Memorial Page

Bruce died over a week ago in Oaklan. There was a memorial at Green Gulch. More posted on the Bruce McAllister Page - A few more details forthcoming. If you've got anything to add, would love another photo, send to dchad @ cuke.com.  - Thanks. DC



Suzuki Roshi Yams

Just added this to Frances Thompson's page.