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Saturday, June 6, 2020

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