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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Antaiji

 Grahame Petchey found at Antaiji in Kyoto a temple with a practice and teacher that worked for him. He got to meet Kodo Sawaki when Sawaki was dying and attended the 49 day sesshin following Sawaki's death. Sawaki's dharma heir Kosho Uchiyama became Grahame's teacher and they would meet until Uchiyama had died. Now Grahame is gone. Antiji moved out of Kyoto. Hideko (Petchey) Oga sent this video about practice at Antaiji: Seek nothing. Just sit.

Polish

So first of all, we should reflect on our practice. And before we say something, we should reflect on ourselves. This is a very, very important point. You should not rely on some teaching, but you should reflect on yourself, and polish up yourself, and get rid of selfish idea as much as you can, even though you attained a wonderful attainment or enlightenment. If you do not polish yourself, if you forget to polish yourself, that enlightenment will not work. That is not real enlightenment.               --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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 https://www.instagram.com/cuke_archives/ for more daily Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts - with a photo.

Friday, July 30, 2021

New place for Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Excerpts

 There have long been Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts on cuke.com and starting some years ago on Cuke What's New right here at blogger and since a few months back on Instagram Cuke Archives presented nicely with a photo. Much better presentation than here on What's New. Now the Instagram posts are automatically going to Cuke Archives Facebook and this page on Shunryu Suzuki dot com. You can also get there by going to cuke.com/ig which redirects to the shunryusuzuki.com page..  All that is the brainchild of my associate Peter Ford. Good work Peter. Check it out.

Nothing

So instead of putting emphasis on Soto way, or Rinzai way, or Tendai way, we put emphasis on nothingness. Everything comes from nothing, and our way will be extended forever, limitlessly. That is how we study Buddhism.              --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Confidence

 If I say, you know, “I know something,” that is wrong. The extended practice of bow to the Shobogenzo is how I speak about it and how you listen to it, instead of, you know, with some confidence. If you have confidence, that confidence is not in something which you have, but confidence in something you can extend forever: something which comes from selflessness, which is the base or foundation of all teaching.             --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Once at Page Street

 Greetings. Having some technical problems that will be fixed tomorrow morning but for now from the reservoir of memory we bring you this.

One day at Page Street Shunryu Suzuki walked up to Mell Weitsman and said, "Just to be alive is enough."

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Suggested Brief Video

 Suggest watching Don't Make This Deadly Mistake now featured over at Cuke nonZense Blog. - dc

Humble

When you accept teaching with a non-selfish, a humble attitude, you will have a true understanding of the teaching. That is why a teacher is necessary for students.              --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Donn's Photo of Shunryu Suzuki


The subject of today's Cuke Audio Podcast is this photo


Stick

Some teaching which was told by someone, if you stick to it, that is not true teaching.              --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ted's Email

For those who didn't listen to the podcast with Ted Howell's email, here it is. I felt like the points he makes about breath counting in zazen is important dharma for us to absorb.

David - 

Let me thank you for the episode about counting the breaths (where I did understand Suzuki Roshi). You mentioned that sometimes you just keep on counting. I never considered doing that. I’ve been mostly a shikantaza kinda guy but interestingly about a month or two ago I decided to return to counting the breathing. I discovered that sometimes I found myself forcing my breathing and counting quickly - like I am trying to get to “10” before I get distracted🙂. To counter-act that I began to stop at 9, to rid myself of any sense of the “goal” being to get to 10. 

I became curious about how many breaths an average person takes each year. I looked it up and found that, on average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. I turn 66 next month, which would be 555,033,600 breaths. So I considered starting my counting like this:

555,033,601, 555,033,602, 555,033,603, etc

But then I listened to your podcast and decided to start at one and just keep on counting each time I sit. This is a brand new zazen practice for me. I’m finding that the counting can just keep on going, not necessarily connected to the breathing. Just counting. Sort of in the background, behind the distractions. I like it.

Ted Howell

****


Limited

When we forget all about the intellectual limitation of the teaching, then true Buddhism will be extended forever. In that way, Buddhism will have eternal future.               --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Counting Breaths

 I recommend today's Cuke mini Podcast in which I read an email from fellow SFZC alum Ted Howell on counting breaths. It's about nine minutes long.

Extend

If it is all right to understand teaching literally and stick to the teaching, Buddhism cannot be transmitted to us. When we limitlessly extend, try to extend, our true nature, instead of selfish, limited self, then Buddhism is there.              --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Referring to Yesterday's Story

Before he was enlightened, he thought, “I understand what is Buddhism.” And he thought, “My understanding is perfect.” That is why his understanding was not perfect. When he gave up his intellectual understanding, his limited understanding, and sought for some more truth, his mind was open and enlightened.             --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Fire Seeking Fire

 Today's Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpt is also the subject of today's podcast

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Suzuki tells a Story (with a confused and humorous interruption)

 In Shobogenzo, on the first chapter, Dogen Zenji refers to interesting story.

Because

When you just sit because you are told to sit because that is Buddha's way-- only because that is Buddha's way-- then you have not much selfish idea in your practice. When you eliminate selfish ideas from your practice, that is actually non-selfish practice-- the true way of practicing truth.             --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Monday, July 19, 2021

ZIRN and ZIRH options

Both are available as hard cover, Kindle eBook,
or audiobook (so far ZIRN only)

Go to the new ZIRN page for links to each option











Gaining Idea

Why we say you should practice zazen without a gaining idea, is that gaining idea is based on a selfish idea.             --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Study

Study is also practice. It is not just intellectual. It is not different from zazen because it is based on non-selfish idea. It is not extended selfish practice.            --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

My Amazon dot com review

 


Of Zen Is Right Now - cuke page for it


And here's the review I put on Amazon.com

Since I put this book together from the Cuke Archives, not only does my opinion not matter, but I don't really have one. I'm too close. But like with our children we love them no matter how good or bad they are so naturally I gave it five stars. Not that many people have seen the book yet because it just came out two days ago, but it's interesting the comparisons to its predecessor, Zen Is Right Here. Spirituality and Practice gave that original one an award for that year and wrote in their review, "Zen Is Right Now is perhaps even better.." There's an Amazon review that has the opposite opinion saying they liked the first one but not ZIRN which scrapped the bottom of the barrel. That's really insightful - recognizing the depth of the teachings therein - and because the bottom is where Suzuki and I both reside and that's where I scrape up all the accounts of him and quotes. I invite you to join us there and see what you think.      

Excluding

Why you should have a teacher is to learn the truth in its pure form, excluding selfish practice.            --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Selfish Ideas

When you study Buddhism, you have a lot of selfish ideas: “I study. I must know what it is,” you know. When you want to listen to your teacher, there is not much selfish idea. That is the difference. This is very important point.            --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Lew Richmond article and some DC comments

 A Buddhist Approach to Disagreement - in the Good Men Project.

Excellent points by Lew Richmond emphasizing finding common ground, showing respect, and changing level. I'm going to try to apply this more.

It starts with a story about someone he calls Richard (clearly changed the name) rapping to Shunryu Suzuki about brown rice - and Suzuki's response.

I just was reading in a Suzuki lecture something that reinforces what Lew wrote about Suzuki's comment on food emphasizing the spiritual aspect. I can't find the excerpt right now because it's hard to search for. He said the word food about 350 times in the lectures we have in the database. What he said I'll summarize as what we eat is important but our attitude toward food and eating is more important than concerns about how healthy it is. He said the health aspect is important but that one's approach to food and eating is more important. He indicated we tended to have our priorities in reverse order. He really didn't like food fanaticism but he did like us eating brown rice because he agreed that it was nutritionally better. I'm sure he'd rather have eaten just white rice though. 

Lew's comments about brown rice are incidental to his wise points on disagreement but Suzuki was quite familiar with brown rice when he lived in Japan. There was the same sort of trip there that there is here. People into nutrition promoted it, some fanatically, especially during the war--including one of his closest friends, Kazo Kato. Kato turned Suzuki on to the book Food to Win the War With (don't have Japanese name right now) which promoted Brown Rice as the patriotic food to eat. 

A few time, Elin, my wife back then, and I would be with friends or happen on a place to stay or a restaurant that served brown rice exclusively. And it's not as simple as white and brown. All over Japan there are rice stores with hulling machines. I'd walk to one nearby us and tell the proprietor how much I wanted to buy and how many runs through the huller. It was just him, unhulled rice, and the huller. Ten runs was pure white rice. We'd get three runs through it usually. Bob Halpern turned me on to not getting it 100% brown. I miss that nanabuzuki - I must be saying this wrong cause I can't find it in Google translate.  People would come in and order different levels. Mainly pretty white I'm sure. I'll make a note to write some emails inquiring about this. 

Another thing. There's not much, but there is some brown rice served in Japanese temples. I've heard of it being used in the morning gruel at Eiheiji. There are always exceptions in Japan and eccentrics.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

He's been using the dictionary

Before Buddhism they practiced asceticism for their future, you know, good life: to be born in some place where they have lot of enjoyment or a more perfect world. That is a kind of extended selfish practice. But our mortification is not based on selfish desire. The purpose of our practice is to control our desires so that our desires find their own place and act properly.           --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

A Jesuit Strategy

 Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Ken Ireland on his experience as a Jesuit concerning sexual abuse. - revised and updated

Ken Ireland Cuke page

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Zen Is Right Now pub date Today

 


Superficial

As long as our life is controlled or based on a selfish idea, you know, it is not possible for every thought to find its own place without fighting with each other. So there's no wonder why we have difficulty in our life when our life is based on just, you know, superficial idea of self or individual.           --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Non Selfishness

So there is no idea of holy being, or Buddha, or God. There's no idea of it which will make some rule to-- some background to give appropriate position to equality and desires or freedom. So those idea-- those thought-- if it is necessary for-- 

For us to accommodate thoughts of equality and freedom without difficulty, it is necessary to postulate some big fundamental idea of non-selfish desire or limitless boundary of material or place, an idea which is not just material or spiritual. Something beyond spiritual and material is necessary. That is so-called “non-selfishness.”           --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. [DC - I wonder if he meant unselfishness.]

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Intro to the Audiobook for Crooked Cucumber

Today's Cuke podcast shares the introduction to the audiobook of Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki. It's a 13.5 minute podcast with the intro to the audiobook for CC taking about 7:45 as I recall. 

Suzuki goes Commie

Our conscience always tells us we should be free in extending our desire. It is all right. It should be all right to act freely, to possess things as much as we can, if we don't disturb people. But if we have too much, you know, when others do not have so so much, we don't feel so good. So [laughs] those are not compatible thoughts.          --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Not Compatible

Individualism or capitalism seeks for freedom for our desire. Communism rather put emphasis on equality of the profits or rights. But equality and freedom are not compatible. If you want to be free from everything, if you want to extend your desire freely, limitlessly, you cannot divide things equally, because you want to extend your desire as much as you can. If each one extends their desire, it is not possible to possess things equally.         --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Final Willow Fire Report

 It's the top item in the current SFZC's Sangha News

Foundation

The foundation of our culture is based on individualism. And individualism is based on, you know, idea of self, you know. And from the time of Renaissance, we awoke in our human nature, and we started to put emphasis on our human nature rather than, you know, something which is called “divine nature” or “holy nature.” We put more emphasis on how-- what we are and what is human nature. And we wanted to express our human nature as much as possible. And holy nature or buddha-nature were replaced by human nature. And that human nature is not what we mean by buddha-nature. This is, you know, the starting point of mistake.         --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

DC: I think when he says "our culture" he's speaking of the dominant modern world culture though he might just mean Western culture but it has been so influential in Asia for a couple of hundred years that I see it as extending globally.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wondering

 What's on https://www.instagram.com/cuke_archives/ today?

I think I'll go check it out.


Dead End

There must be some reason why so many people come come to Zen Center and practice Zen and study Zen. I think this is because our civilization has came [laughs] already to a dead end, and if you realize that you cannot go any further. So people who notice that this is the dead end may come to Zen Center [laughs, laughter] to find out some way to go further.        --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Most Used Phrase

So, reviewing Saturday's post, we've seen that Shunryu Suzuki used the phrase "most important" 266 times in the latest updated collection of the transcripts of his lectures and some other spoken words that were recorded. And we've noted that he used the phrase "Thank you" 384 times. Well, actually it would be more accurate to say that those word combinations exist that many times in the transcript collection sometimes as the whole phrase but more often as part of a phrase. However, there is a phrase with two words that our dear Hojo San (as his wife Mitsu called him) used even more than those. And that is his incessant habit of saying "you know" while he talked - like some hippy. Those two words are repeated in the surviving archive  20,520 times. I edit out most of them in text and in audio. 

Stay tuned for more

I was talking about denial of, you know, desires. This is very confusing, you know-- may be confusing. Our way is not asceticism, but actually, if you read our precepts literally, there is no difference [laughs]. But what it means is completely different. What is the difference is what I want to talk about tonight.       --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-04-08-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Source: Board Meeting Notes

Roshi: in the Japanese way you treat your whole life as a Zen student.        --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-03-31-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Most said phrase

 A while back twas posted here a query bout what's the most used phrase of Shunryu Suzuki as we peruse the archive of his lectures and other words. Is it "most important" which we established is now repeated 266 times, equally divided twixt most important thing and point. Nope. How about when he ended his lectures with Thank you. There are 384 of them of which 339 are Thank you very much.

Board Meeting March 31, 1969

Roshi: Right now--there is no need to sign. If something happens and there is a need, you have that feeling, then I will sign. Being here to help you establish American Zen--I am not forcing something. I am not sticking to the Japanese way. Most of the time I don't have a special idea about how things should be. If I have some feeling about how things should be and find I am right I will discuss it and ask you to discuss it. The advantage to my signing the minutes is that I would have to be more careful if I am signing my name to them. Claude has proposed my signing maybe because he is thinking of the future. Right now maybe too formal.         --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-03-31-bn - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

DC note: Smart move SR.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Kerekshun


 Got the image of Lloyd Reynold's copy of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind on the Reed College page now.

Lecture concludes

I was in bed for a long time, and I was thinking about those things, you know. I am just practicing zazen in bed [laughs, laughter]. I should enjoy my bed [laughs]. Sometime it was difficult, but [laughs, laughter] if it is difficult, I laughed at myself. “Why is it so difficult?” [Laughs, laughter.] “Why don't you enjoy,” you know, “your difficulty?” [Laughs.] That is, I think, our practice.

Thank you very much.
         --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-03-30 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Reed College


Some additions were made to the Reed College page. A lot of folks who practiced at Zen Center and other Zen realms were former Reed students and sat in the student formed zendo there. Some names were added to the list of who they were. A calligraphed announcement of Shunryu Suzuki's upcoming talk at Reed is now on proud display and featured in this post. At the bottom of the page, is a photo of calligraphy mater Lloyd Reynold's signed copy of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. - thanks Reed alumni

Enjoy

It is all right with you to enjoy your life moment after moment because you are not enjoying your life as something which is concrete and eternal. Our life is momentary, and, at the same time, each moment includes its own past and future. Next moment will include its own past and future. In this way, our momentary and eternal life will continue. This is how we lead our everyday life, how we enjoy our everyday life, and how we get freedom from various difficulties. How not to suffer from difficulties and how we enjoy our life, moment after moment, is our practice, based on true understanding.        --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki  lecture 69-03-30 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com. 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.