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Thursday, December 16, 2021


And if you practice our way in its true sense, even though you and your teacher are in sesshin, we can communicate with each other. I think you say—the yuben3 [eloquence] is silver, silence is gold. In Zen we say the silent talk of Vimalakirti.4 His silence is more than yuben talk.

3 This is a translation of the English proverb: Speech is silver, silence is golden. Suzuki Roshi translated the Japanese version into English again. Yuben is eloquence. -Shohaku Okumura

4 Suzuki Roshi is talking about the story of entering the dharma gate of non-duality from the Vimalakirti Sutra. There is a famous phrase from the story: Yuima no ichimoku rai no gotoshi means Vimalakirti's silence is like a thunderclap. Probably he is saying, Vimalakirti's silence is louder than Manjushri's talk. -Shohaku Okumura

DC Comment - A few of us spent time getting the verbatim down on these sentences - get it down as well as we could. Shohaku Okumura of the Sanshin Zen Community lent a good deal of assistance. The above is not verbatim but edited by DC.

        --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 67-12-04-A - as found on shunryusuzuki.comfrom one of the newly discovered (2021) lecture tapes. 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. Go to for more daily Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts - with a photo.