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Saturday, April 16, 2022


 Student E: You talked of the first principle and the second principle. What is the difference?

Suzuki: The second principle is ordinary common sense. Or the teaching which is for patients is the second principle. But people know this is just for some particular patient. So, there must be some absolute teaching which is for everyone. People, Buddhists look for some teaching which is permanent. And what is that permanent teaching? That was a problem for them. And we need general teachings that whatever it is that is told by someone is not the First Principle. Then what is the First Principle? The First Principle is something which you cannot understand, to which there’s no approach. That is the First Principle.         --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 68-07-23 - 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

DC: Student E is Tim, either Burkett or Buckley. Would have to listen to know. They were both there then at Tassajara.