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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Continuing from Yesterday

Usually, we understand that zazen practice is formal practice. Or shikantaza is formal practice, and koan practice is spiritual practice or more mental practice. But this kind of understanding is not complete. This kind of understanding is the understanding of blind men or Seiko [who loved paper dragons]. True practice is not formal practice, or so-called it shikantaza, or koan practice. None of those. Those practices are just the practice to whip the ox.

The true practice we mean is true shikantaza, you know, not that shikantaza is the opposite way of koan practice. So those who talk about shikantaza mostly understand that is Soto way, while koan practice is Rinzai's way.

This is, you know, like Seiko loves dragons. Those are carved dragon, not real ones. So each one of us should think of this point. Each one of us practices zazen in their own way, with their own understanding. That is right. And they continue that kind of practice, thinking that, “This is right practice.” So even though they are sitting in here in zendo, they are involved in their own practice. In other words, they are carving, carefully carving their own dragon [laughs], which is not real. That is what most people are doing. Some people may explain zazen in a philosophical way. Or some people try to express our zazen in some literature, or painting, or scientific way, without knowing that that is their own dragon, not real one [laughs].

So, that is not wrong. That is all right, but we should know that there must be the way to whip the cart. Or we should know that there is a true dragon which has no form or no color, which is called nothingness or emptiness, and which includes koan practice, and so-called-it shikantaza, and various Hinayana way of practice, or pre-Buddhistic practice. This is the practice transmitted from Buddha to us. You know, we, right now we recite sutra for the screen maybe. What is the screen? The white, you know, screen where there is no Buddha painting-- or no-- no images. 
 ----------------------------- 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