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Friday, January 12, 2024

A Mistake

I’m talking about Shobogenzo, but this is also, maybe, a carved dragon. But at least when we do something, there must be something which is supposed to be a true dragon. I know that [laughs]. In this way we practice zazen. You come and practice zazen in this zendo where there should be a true dragon. But the instant you think, “This is the true dragon,” that is a mistake. But knowing that, if you come to this zendo, you should practice zazen with people, forgetting all about your carving or your painting. You should practice zazen with your friends, in this zendo, completely involved in the atmosphere we have here.

Tassajara, winter-spring practice period 1974 for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-12-B as found on, edited by PF. Go to for the Instagram version.