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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Bodhisattva Vows

Because of the impossibility of solving our problem of sin we have bodhisattva vows. Even though our desires are innumerable, we vow to put an end to them. Even though our way is unattainable, we want to attain it. Then our Buddhist way will have its own life. If Buddhism is a teaching which is attainable, if you attain it that’s all [laughs], there’s no need to study Buddhism. But fortunately, it is unattainable, so we have to strive to attain it. And here we have double structure. We should attain it, but on the other hand it is unattainable. How to solve this problem is to practice our way, day by day, moment after moment.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 - as found on edited by PF. Go to or for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Shunryu Suzuki at lay ordination in City Center zendo, August 1971.