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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Water Is Not Water

Although they have water, the people in Hell cannot drink it because their water burns like a fire, or water which they want to drink looks like blood. While for celestial beings it is a jewel, for fish it is their home, and for human beings it is water. You may think that “water is water” is the right understanding, and that although water sometimes looks like a jewel, home, blood, or fire; that is not real water. As you may think that zazen practice is real fundamental practice, and the rest of everyday activities are the application of zazen. But Dogen Zenji, amazingly said, “Water is not water.” If you think water is water, your understanding is not much different from the understanding of a fish, a hungry ghost, or an angel’s understanding of water. There would not be much difference between our understanding and their understanding. —Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 67-12-14 - as found on edited by PF. Go to or for Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts - with a photo.