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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.



As your teacher, I am trying to help you in various way, but at the same time I know I cannot help you [laughs]. But as a disciple and teacher, this kind of effort should be always continuing. That is why I am trying pretty hard with other students. I appreciate your effort and the way of working on your own problem too. This is very much true with everybody, but we should make more effort to know how to work on ourselves, how to help ourselves, how to take care of our practice. This is the most important point. So let's have more effort on this point. Each one of you are making pretty good effort on this point, but not enough in comparison to our teachers and masters who attained perfect enlightenment.

Thank you very much.

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