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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Effort

 Jeff Williamson: Docho Roshi, recently in my zazen I have been putting forth every bit of effort that I can find. And before too long-- before too long that I have been sitting there, I think that I should slow down, that I am trying too hard to have good practice. And then I think, “No, I am not trying too hard. I am putting forth my very best effort.” And I really do not understand what you mean when you say, “Put forth your very best effort, but be careful that you do not try too hard.” I do not know where to draw a line. I don't know when I'm doing one thing and when I'm doing the other. Could you please say something that would help me now? 


SR: “Try your best effort” means not to lose your way. Always keep up with your practice. That is what I mean. Of course, zazen practice is difficult because we should reject the two extreme. While you are practicing, it-- or while you are keep up with your practice-- everyday practice, you will find out how to reject the two extreme. So when you become frustrated, when you have problem, when you are discouraged, at that time you should try your best effort to resume your own practice. That is what I mean. 
       --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-11-11 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