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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

x

 Q: What is the essence of the term “Vairocana”?

SR: Vairocana means Dharmakaya Buddha. I'll explain it in the next lecture.
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC  


Vairocana (also Mahāvairocana, Sanskrit: वैरोचन) is a celestial buddha who is often interpreted, in texts like the Avatamsaka Sutra, as the dharmakāyaof the historical Gautama Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism (Chinese, Korean and Japanese Buddhism), Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of Śūnyatā. In the conception of the Five Tathagatas of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the centre and is considered a Primordial Buddha. - Wikipedia

DC comment: So Vairocana Buddha as depicted in various statues is dharmakaya, therefore formless. Don't tell the statues and paintings of Vairocana. And don't tell us either cause all that stuff is describing our true nature. Might freak us out. 

Chronicles of CTR feature on Cuke

Oh - just stumbled on this April post in the Chronciles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I knew they were going to do it but I forgot and missed the post. And while you're there, check the site out. It's full of good stuff. - dc

Monday, July 13, 2020

Philip Whalen's Scenes of life at the Capital

Go to City Lights Live to sign up for Online reading of new edition of Phil Whalen’s Scenes of Life at the Capital - thanks Brit Pyland

Q and A on different wavelength

Q: If someone makes a tape recording of a person's words and takes photographs of the person, there is still something left that he hasn't got. How is he going to describe and communicate to the other people this part that he hasn't been able to record? I think that perhaps about the only way to express it is in a symbolic way.

SR: Yeah, very symbolic. But the scriptures include the good and bad parts of human nature. They are very realistic, actually, but the scale is so big that it includes various elements, good and bad, right and wrong. So the scale should be very great and extravagant, or else you cannot accept this kind of teaching which includes the good side and the bad side.
 
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Podcast Alert

The podcast that went up on Saturday at 1am West Coast time features Danny Parker as a guest. Danny got transmission from Ed Brown and has a group in Florida. He edited a book of Ed's lectures called Tha Most Important Point that came out not long ago and which I've heard only good things about. Go back a week and the guest was Paul Rsoenblum and before that was Vanja Palmers. Go to Cuke Audio Podbean or Cuke Audio Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Tumblr, and YouTube Cuke Video.

Numerous

Q: In the meal chant it says “numerous Nirmanakaya buddhas.” Is there more than one?

SR: There is more than one, you see? A kind of, perhaps, romantic idea created this kind of profound, more realistic Buddha. If you ignore one side of our life, you will not have a good understanding of human life. Nirmanakaya Buddha is the tentative form and color of the true Buddha. Then, “What is the true Buddha?” will be the next question.
 
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Friday, July 10, 2020

This Lotus Sutra stuff is hard to follow

Q: [We solve our problem of understanding this sutra] by giving in to it?

SR: No, by knowing that. That is wisdom. You understand if I explain Sambhogakaya Buddha and Dharmakaya Buddha but so far, how Buddhism developed, a kind of history. And as a true teaching. If we want to treat him as a historical character, it is necessary for us to understand what a historical character is. A historical character has a deeper background. There is no character which just appears without any background. So a more realistic understanding is possible if we understand the background of the Nirmanakaya Buddha. So if we say this is just the Nirmanakaya Buddha, that means, in one sense, “superficial,” because this is Nirmanakaya Buddha. I'm not talking about the Mahayana Sambhogakaya Buddha or Nirmanakaya Buddha.
 
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Four Suzuki Stories

Dearly departed Rick Fields edited the Yoga Journal for some time. In 1975 he put these four brief stories about Shunryu Suzuki in the magazine. Some of the details are off but no matter. Posting cause I"m emembering Rick as much as anything. - dc

Question from student on Lotus Sutra

Q: But should we believe it because they were romantic? It sounds very superstitious to me, Roshi. You know, flowery and full of things that are not so real.

SR: Yeah, maybe that is your understanding. [Laughter.] Which is realistic? I don't know. You have to think more. We are naturally pretty romantic beings, you know. So perhaps we are too romantic and too emotional. That we don't want to be so romantic and emotional and want to be more realistic, is our desire, but we have romantic and emotional being. That is very true. So I don't argue about whether we are romantic or realistic. But the purpose of religion is to solve this kind of problem.
 
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Zentatsu Teisho

Richard Baker lectures from the SFZC Wind Bell

Big Adjective

Student A: You said that there is some reason why people should apply a “big adjective” to the Buddha. What's the reason?

SR: Because when Buddhism was the teaching between Buddha and his followers, there was already a kind of poetry. For us, who actually do not know who Buddha is, he is just a historical character. But for his disciples, he was a greater than historical character. That was the reason.
 ----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Sokoji

A page for Sokoji, the former Jewish temple which became a Soto Zen temple and where the SFZC was born. Needs more work but there's still a bit there.

More Lotus Sutra

This kind of Buddha, who made a vow to save people, starting from his training as a bodhisattva, and who appeared in this world as a buddha, is called the “incarnated body” or Nirmanakaya Buddha. So far, all of this kind of teaching is called Hinayana Buddhism. But if you look closely at those teachings, there is already the Mahayanistic understanding of the teaching. I said just now “incarnated body.” If there is an incarnated body, there must be an “essential body,” the mother of the incarnated body. When our understanding reaches this point, the more profound teaching will be understood as Mahayana teaching. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

DC comment: This is our body he's talking about - yours, mine, that person over there.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Paul Rosenblum was our Guest

On Saturday July 4th's Cuke Audio Podcast. Check him out at Cuke Audio Podbean - or Cuke Audio YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or Tumbler.

Living by Vow - Continuing with Lotus Sutra

We usual people appear in this world, according to Buddhism, because of karma, and we die because of karma. But Buddha appeared in this world with a vow, the Mahayana vow. The first of the four vows we recite is to “save all human beings.” He appeared in this world with this vow instead of karma. Karma and vow are actually the same thing, perhaps, but our attitude changes when our understanding changes. Karma changes into a vow. Instead of living by karma, we live with the vow to help people who live in karma. That is Buddha's teaching. This kind of teaching is supported by what Buddha taught when he was alive, you see? So for them, this is not just a story-- this is the actual story we see through the example of the Buddha. In this way, Buddhism survived for a long time. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

DC Comment: Why'd he say that? We don't vow to "save all human beings" but to save all beings, the implication being all sentient beings, not all human beings. Another way to see what Suzuki is saying is that if we turn our karma into a vow, we become Buddha.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SR apologizing for boring Lotus Sutra lecture

This is an excerpt from 68-02-00-C that was posted a while back when we were taking excerpts from a prior series of Suzuki's lectures on the Lotus Sutra. I think these were the ones that I asked him if he might like to curtail or present differently or let us read and then riff on. I found this excerpt by just searching for "I'm sorry." But anyway, check this out:

Continuing with Lotus Sutra

But actually, he was a human being. When he was 80 years old, he passed away. At this point he was not a supernatural or superhuman being anymore. But how should we understand his death as a superhuman being? If he were a superhuman being, there would not be any need to enter nirvana. Whether to die or to remain alive would have been his choice. For an ordinary person, it is not possible to have this kind of choice. They say that he took Nirvana because he had completely finished giving people a chance to attain enlightenment. He gave a full teaching for helping people to attain enlightenment, so there was no need for him to live any more. That is why he entered Nirvana. They understood his death in this way. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Friday, July 3, 2020

Back when Suzuki gave these Lotus Sutra Lectures.

Shunryu Suzuki gave three sets of lectures on the Lotus Sutra. Four of them, including this one, from this second series were edited and made into the contents of an entire Wind Bell by Tim Buckley. Brian Fikes did minimum edits and got them all together in loose leaf binders for the libraries. They can be accessed together by going to shunryusuzuki.com's Suzuki Lecture Search Form and selecting Lotus Sutra in the Subject dropdown and hitting Enter. I am not advising anyone to do this, just letting you know. 

Continuing with the Lotus Sutra lecture

It is the same with us. We appeared in this world, but we appeared in this world with a limitless background. We do not appear all of a sudden from nothing. There must be something before we appear in this world. And there must be something before Buddha also. That he was so great means that he had a great practice. This point is very important for the development of the idea of Buddha.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

How to Read these Lotus Sutra Lectures

I've received some messages from readers turned off by the idea of a superhuman being and so forth that Suzuki presents in this and other lectures on the Lotus Sutra. He's explaining what sort of picture the Lotus Sutra paints of Buddha. Here's how I see it. It's an ideal picture of Buddha in the extreme, perfect, superhuman as he says. If one takes this all literally, various emotions and misunderstandings will arise, the worst of which would be to believe that it's historical fact, literally true. Think of it as myth. Myth tells a story that can't be told literally, about that which can't be understood in a usual way. It's not something to believe in, more to swim in or to have it pured over us. It points to something, gives a hint. Remember, Suzuki says it's the Sambhogakaya Buddha speaking this sutra. The Sambhogakaya Buddha is not part of the gross phenomenal realm we are in, is not a sentient being. It's the body of bliss, the body of realization, the subtle body of limitless form. It's our potential, our divinity. So when the sutra says one could never be as great as this, that only Buddha is this great, it's not talking about something outside of our own mind. It's saying that small mind can't reach this, that we need to invoke big mind to realize the truth. It's all about the nature of mind or our true nature. It's not the "chop wood, carry water," or "Buddha is a shitstick" approach. (That was an old way to wipe oneself.)  The later may be more palatable but it shouldn't be taken literally either. Not sure what should be.  - DC

Continuing with Lotus Sutra Lecture

This idea of Buddha as a superhuman being was supported by his teaching. One of the most important teachings of Buddha is the teaching of cause and effect, the teaching of causality. If you do something good, naturally you have some good effect. So his disciples wondered how he could have acquired such a lofty character, such a good character. Buddha told them that if you do something good, you will have a good result. If you practice hard, you will acquire good character. Since his character was incredibly high, his former practice must have been an incredibly hard, long one. So, since their adoration for Buddha extended limitlessly, his practice before he attained enlightenment, or Buddhahood, became limitless. It follows that, if Buddha is a limitlessly lofty person, the time he practiced his way must also have been limitlessly long. In this way, the historical Buddha became more and more something like Absolute Being. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind 50th Anniversary Issue

Shambhala just released this recently. I, your humble servent, wrote an updated Afterword for it. Here's a link to the SFZC blog very nice annancement of it's release.

Continuing with Lotus Sutra Lecture

 So the historical Buddha has two elements. The vital element for the idea of Buddha was this superhuman element. If he was just a historical character, or one of the great sages, then Buddhism could not have survived for such a long time. The reason Buddhism could survive for such a long time is this element of superhuman being in the historical Buddha. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Monday, June 29, 2020

Continuing with Lotus Sutra Lecture

 This may be a difficult thing for you to understand. Do you know of the Nirmanakaya Buddha, Sambhogakaya Buddha, and Dharmakaya Buddha? The Nirmanakaya Buddha is the historical Buddha. But the historical Buddha has two elements. One is a human being, and the other is a superhuman being. These are the two elements of the historical Buddha. Historically, such a character exists. As you know, Buddha was not God Himself, but was a human being. But for his followers, he was a kind of Perfect One. He attained enlightenment and reached to the bottom of our human nature. He was enlightened in human nature, which is universal, true nature. His human nature is universal to everyone and every being. And he subdued all the emotions and the thinking mind. He conquered all of this, and all of the world, and became a World Honored One. He had this confidence when he attained enlightenment, and his followers listened to him as to a teacher who is also the Perfect One.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Lotus Sutra Lectures

A few days ago started putting up Suzuki's first lecture in his second series of three on the Lotus Sutra in 1968. These lectures were rather tedius to listen to. There's no verbatim transcript of this one and likely a number of them. The editing work done by Brian Fikes on them makes them much more palatable. Back in the pre internet days Brian made a loose leaf booklet out of these Lotus Sutra Lectures. All his material is now here on shunryusuzuki.com. This lecture series was also edited by Tim Buckley into a presentation that took up a whole Wind Bell. That was featured here on What's New recently. Suzuki also did a third round of lectures on this subject. All which have survived can be accessed at shunryusuzuki.com on the Lecture Search Form by choosing Lotus Sutra in the Subject dropdown. Back in my early years of trying to organize the Suzuki lectures, no part of that lecture archive seemed as chalenging as getting all the Lotus Sutra lectures down in good form. We should still get them all in verbatim form for the record, but for reading and appreciating them, what is available now will remain the go to place. Thanks to coming across Brians work and with the patient perserverance of Peter Ford, they are now well presented and in good order on line. - dc 

Continuing with this Lotus Sutra Lecture

So it is necessary for us to know first of all what the Nirmanakaya Buddha, the Sambhogakaya Buddha, and the Dharmakaya Buddha are, and how those aspects or understandings of Buddha developed from the historical Buddha. Without this understanding, this sutra does not mean much. It is just a fable, like a fairy tale which is very interesting, but doesn't have much to do with our life. Accordingly, I have to explain the three aspects of Buddha and how the Buddhism which was told by the Nirmanakaya Buddha developed into the Mahayana Buddhism which was told by the Sambhogakaya Buddha.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Friday, June 26, 2020

A unique look at ZC and Sokoji

Sokoji and Zen Center
a paper for the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, June 6, 1969 by Rumi Kawashiri

Continuing his talk on the Lotus Sutra

This sutra was not told by the Nirmanakaya or historical Buddha, but by the Sambhogakaya Buddha. According to this sutra, it was told a long, long time before Buddha. And Buddha, knowing that there was this kind of sutra before him, talked about the sutra which had been told by the Sambhogakaya Buddha. The sutra was attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha, but he told this sutra the way Vairocana Buddha told it a long, long time before.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Trikaya

Just started posting excerpts from Shunryu Suzuki 2nd round of lectures on the Lotus Sutra - because that's what came up next as we go through all his lectures day by day snipping out this and that. The late dear Tim Buckley took this series and made a whole Wind Bell out of them. It's nicely done - and not easy - as these were not easy lectures to follow. Tim called it the Trikaya, the three bodies, as that's what Suzuki was focusing on, the three bodies of Buddha (and us all), the Nirmanakaya (historical person), and the body of bliss Sambogakaya and gone beyond Dharmakaya. Here's a page for the Trikaya plus links to that Windbell and the individual lectures.

On Shakyamuni Buddha

Buddha was not God Himself, but was a human being. But for his followers, he was a kind of Perfect One. He attained enlightenment and reached to the bottom of our human nature. He was enlightened in human nature, which is universal, true nature. His human nature is universal to everyone and every being. And he subdued all the emotions and the thinking mind. He conquered all of this, and all of the world, and became a World Honored One. He had this confidence when he attained enlightenment, and his followers listened to him as to a teacher who is also the Perfect One.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Forgot

Gosh - I got so involved in what I was doing yesterday I forgot to post here so it's going up late but it's still the 24th in Hawaii so that's close enough. One rather demanding task I'm into recently is doing these podcasts. Katrinka is still trapped in the States, though enjoying being with her son and family - his wife and daughters, and in a nice coastal Oregon town. So while she's away I'm trying to get as much done as I can on the podcasts. There are six a week. This Tuesday was chapter nine of Crooked Cucumber with comments and next Tuesday chapter ten. Thursday is Life in Bali, this week with Sustainable Suzy Hutomo. Last Saturday was a phone chat with Mel Weitsman and this one with Vanja Palmers. M-W-F are mini podcasts reading vignettes from Zen Is Right Here; Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki - and making pithy comments. Check em out at Cuke Audio Podbean - or Youtube, iTunes, Spotify, and Tumblr. 

On the Lotus Sutra

This sutra titled Saddharmapundarika Sutra was supposed to be told by Buddha, but actually this sutra appeared maybe after two or three hundred years after Buddha passed away. So historically we cannot say Buddha spoke this sutra. If you ask if all the sutras were spoken by Buddha, the answer may be that only parts of them were spoken by him. And they will not be exactly as he said them. Even the Hinayana sutras were not handed down by Buddha's disciples exactly as he told them. Since even the Hinayana sutras were not told by Buddha, the Mahayana sutras could not have been told by him.    ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Complete

As some Zen masters say, our way is like to walk step by step. This is our practice. When you stand on one leg you should forget other leg. This is step by step. This is true practice. If you stick to the right leg or the left leg, the left foot or the right foot, you cannot walk [laughs]. This is how we practice our way. This is complete freedom.    ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Shunryu Suzuki at the early ZC board meetings

Shunryu Suzuki in the early board notes

Della Goertz Notebook

Della's notebook
is full of little jewels


She started sitting with Suzuki within a week or two or so of when he arrived.

Monday, June 22, 2020

ZC Way

I am not emphasizing Soto way instead of Rinzai way, but as long as you practice zazen in Zen Center, you should practice Zen Center's way, or else you will be involved in personal practice. You will be carving your own dragon, always, thinking this is the true dragon. That is a, you know, silly [laughs] mistake. You shouldn't create this kind of problem for your practice.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Tassajara First Practice Period

Student work period list - and here's another one

Made by Bob Watkins. Don't see everyone. I'm not there. Don't see Ed Brown and some others.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Tassajara first sesshin - schedules

Back when we had work periods in sesshin

sesshin schedule-1

sesshin schedule--2

Interesting thing to say

You should not listen to the various instruction in detail.The instruction will help you only when you are ready to practice zazen according to the place you practice, forgetting all about the old way of practice you have been making.    ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tassajara First Practice Period Schedules

They were changing. Here's one.  Here's another one.

That first practice period, the only one in ths summer, was divided into two parts, roughly, July and August. Here's an August schedule.

Practice

If you only have freedom from yourself, you will have complete freedom from everything. How we attain this freedom is our practice.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Freedom

To talk about freedom is quite easy. But actually to attain it, to have it, is not so easy at all. Unless you are able to have freedom from yourself, you will never have freedom from everything.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Officially getting Tassajara up and running as a Zen monastery

Tassajara, Zen Mt. Center, Zenshinji, Opening Program - July 3, 1967. It says "preliminary opening." I don't remember any other.

I prefer calling Tassajara a practice center to monastery, the later being a place for monks to be monos, alone. But on the other hand, a lot of words don't quite express what they originally meant. - dc

Another Tassajara fundraising brochure

Zen in America
- written by Richard Baker who was hustling round the clock to assure we kept the place

x Your Dragon

Instead of carving your own dragon, just sit. That is how you carve your own dragon, actually. How you have complete freedom from everything, including you, yourself.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

1967 Tassajara Fundraising Brochure

Four pages that brought in a lot of support - written by Richard Baker


thanks Bob Watkins for saving this and other early ZC stuff and sharing it, and while where at it, RIP.

No Problem

When you practice your own personal practice, you have problem. When you just sit, being absorbed in the feeling we have in our zendo, there is no problem at all.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Monday, June 15, 2020

Vipassana Retreat chant manual

Manual that retreatants receive
 at the temple where I've gone for Vipassana retreats - Brahmavihara-Arama  - in the Theravadin tradition with a Bali twist. It has all the chants we recite at the beginning and end of the day in Indonesian and English.

Brahmavihara Arama (BVA) Bali Buddhist temple for Vipassana Retreats plus retreat reports

The new Blogger interface has a bug in it regarding images. They keep disappearing. Cuke eagle eye Peter Ford is monitoring them and switching them back to seeable but they sometimes go blank again. All those were available via links to them on the web. I would have done that with this book-cover image but since its home is my hard drive, I had Blogger download it from there. Peter thinks that might work. It's more trouble though so I'll also keep just linking till Google fixes that bug. - dc

Create

 If they sit one year, most students will actually have calmness of mind, have this quality of practice. But when you try to figure out what is your practice, you have there a problem, or you create problems which do not belong to your practice. If you just sit, there is no problem for most of our students, but sometime you create problem, that's all. And you fight with the problem, that's all [laughs]. You are creating it, actually. In your zazen there is no problem.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Universe

Actually--there is no problem for us. But as a human being who lives in this world in this way, the constant effort to keep up the way whole universe is going and practice our way is necessary, as long as this universe exists. With this feeling, with this complete calmness of our mind, we should practice our way.   ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

TDL interview on BBC

Good brief, timely interview with the Dalai Lama

Friday, June 12, 2020

Images Not Happening

Blogger has a new interface on this end, the creation end, and maybe that's why images did not show up in the last two attempts. I'm going to keep using images so I can see if they start showing up. There's some glitch somewhere - here or there or in cyberspace. Let me try one I just posted on my other blog, cuke nonZense, which is more personal and varied stuff than here on Cuke What's New. This is something that oldtime bud David Cohen posted on his special Facebook page, Abandon Trump All Who Enter Here. As soon as I saw it I realized that it expressed quite nicely a core principle of my way. It is to me true in more ways than one and self-negating at the same time - like the Diamond Sutra. Here tis. I hope it shows up.



Yes it did show up. Good. Maybe those other two are being blocked for some reason - but they're both from my archives so they're not infringing on anyone else's intellectual property rights.


No Beginning

Actually we are practicing Dogen's way day by day, but for us there is no time to figure out what he meant completely. And even though we human beings continue his way forever, we will not be able to say this is his way. The only thing we can say is this is the way which has no end and no beginning.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Can you guess what word Suzuki is saying?

In the SFZC board notes for 69-07-15 where they're talking about tangaryo, the day or days of non-stop zazen one has to do before being a student, in this case at Tassajara, we can't figure out what word Shunryu Suzuki is saying on line 15 below: "Perhaps we need a ??? in summer." Can you help us?

Here it is on the page for 1969 SFZC board notes

Escape

Dogen's practice is something beyond formal practice or spiritual practice, or even beyond enlightenment. The more you try to figure out, the more you feel distance from your practice and from his practice, and yet there is some practice which cannot be escaped from.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Crooked Cucumber - chapter seven


The Occupation - with comments - Tuesday, June 9ths, Cuke Audio Podcast.

Involved

Usually, you know, when you become very much attached to something, you have no freedom from it. But for us, because of complete freedom, we-- for us it is possible to be involved in or to be attached to something completely. That is shikantaza, true shikantaza.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A Great Brief Interview

With Masao Yamamura in 1994 in Sakamoto, Yaizu, just below Shunryu Suzuki's temple, Rinsoin. I'm so glad now that we have this for the record.

Involved

Usually, ichinyo-zammai is understood to mean to be completely involved in some kind of practice. It is so, but at the same time, even though we are deeply involved in a kind of practice, at the same time we should have complete freedom from it. Do you understand [laughs]?  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Monday, June 8, 2020

Early SFZC Heart Sutra chant card

This is a four-sided two page Heart Sutra version used in the early sixties at Sokoji. Later they changed to a two-sided one page version which is what was being used when I arrived in 66. It was fine and didn't seem crowed. Oh I see on the bottom of the card it says "For the memory of Shinsanshiki - Zen Center." That's the ceremony in the spring of 1962 when Shunryu Suzuki officially became abbot. We call it the Mountain Seat Ceremony where Suzuki stepped up to the mountain seat, to be abbot. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

With form and color or without? You choose.

For Buddhist, we understand reality in two ways: by form and color and, without form or color. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Read the booklet, listen to the sounds

The Way of EiheijiZen Buddhist Ceremony
Elsie and John Mitchell - 1959
Amazing what Elsie and John did back then.

Snake

Recently, if you read books written by many scholars, you know, you will find out various opinions about Zen literature or Zen thought, or what is Bodhidharma's way, whether Bodhidharma was historical person or not, what is shikantaza, what is koan practice? But, in short, most of them -- I don't say all of them [laughs] - but most of the teachers and scholars are talking about their own dragon. It is easy to, you know, to analyze or to compare one dragon to the other. Because it is a carved one it is some form already. So, you know, ”Ah-- ah-- this is Soto dragon [laughs], or this is Rinzai dragon [laughing].” But Soto way is not so easy to, you know, figure out what it will be [laughs]. Looks like Rinzai, looks like Soto [laughs, laughter]. Maybe Soto [laughs].
In this way they write many books about Zen. But it is not true, you know. True dragon is very difficult to figure out. “What is it? Is this a dragon or a snake [laughs]? Looks like snake. No good,” some scholar may say. But true zazen sometimes looks like a snake instead of dragon. So, you cannot say true zazen is dragon, or true dragon, or miniature dragon. It is not possible to figure out if it takes the same form always, that is not true dragon. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Friday, June 5, 2020

Moneyya's Wayseeking

Last Thursday, May 28th (at 46:00), and this Thursday, yesterday, June 4th (at 33:34), parts one and two of a phone chat with Bhikkhu Moneyya were featured in Cuke Audio Life in Bali podcasts. At Cuke Audio Podbean

Layin' Down the Law

Sometime I allow people who stick to their old way to do that, but strictly speaking those who come and practice zazen here should be completely involved in the feeling we have in this zendo, and practice our way with people according to my instruction. That is what you should do. But people who do not know what is real emptiness or dragon may think he is forcing his way [laughs] on us. And, “Sokoji is a Soto Zen temple. I have been practicing Rinzai way.” But that is not true. We are practicing our way transmitted from Buddha to us. We are Buddha's disciples. And we practice zazen with Buddha, with patriarchs.  ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Priest's Tale


by David Barrow - transciption and original in the author's hand

Written in the 1930s about Shunryu Suzuki by a young man who was traveling in Japan and China with Nona Ransom, Suzuki's English teacher in college. There's lots on her in cuke. Nona's adopted son, Harry Ransom Rose sent me this piece. He said that David Barrow is the only Westerner who traveled with Nona or knew her that he knew of, that Barrow was a general's son, and that he died in WWII. Harry Ransom Rose was so helpful.