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New 2021: Audiobook for Crooked Cucumber & Zen Is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki
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Monday, July 31, 2023

New Cuke Podcast with Micah Sawyer

 


Podcast with Micah Sawyer

Cuke podcast page with links to other platform on which to listen to this podcast.

Micah Sawyer was born at Green Gulch Farm to Ken and Elizabeth Sawyer. In this podcast he talks about growing up in and around the farm and the SF Zen Center but mainly about Micah's Hugs which he and his wife Michelle founded after their son, Micah Jr. tragically died at  22 of a Fentanyl overdose. 

Check out Micah's Hugs

Micah and Ken who run Sawyer Construction

No Self

So, if everything changes, how about yourself? You know, self is also changing. Even though we say self, there’s no such substantial being as self. Tentatively we call our functions of mind and body: self. But there is no such thing as self. This is also true with Buddhism. So we emphasize, as long as everything changes, self cannot be an exception.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Shadow painting of Suzuki Roshi by Al Wong

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Everything Changes

According to Buddhism, the basic teaching is everything changes. Because of this teaching his disciples treated Buddha as a teacher of heaven and earth. He is not only a teacher of this world; he is a teacher of heaven. Because even if you go to heaven this teaching, that everything changes, will not be different—is also true in heaven. So he is called a teacher of heaven and earth because of this teaching that everything changes. And this is the basic foundation of Buddhist teaching.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Friday, July 28, 2023

Continue This Kind of Effort

In the Zen school we wipe up everything, all the dust on the mirror. And to see everything on the reflection of the mirror is our way. Or to erase everything from the blackboard and to write something on it is Zen. And we continue this kind of activity, wipe it up, and write something on it, and wipe it up. Because I try to explain it as our human experience, I put it in this way. But actually what we are doing is to continue this kind of effort.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Extend Philosophical Teaching

The Lotus Sutra puts the emphasis on the understanding which you will have after attaining the experience of emptiness. This is something like Zen. Zen extended this kind of idea by practice and brought this philosophical teaching into our actual experience. We learn how to bring this philosophical teaching to our life by practicing Zen.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Shunryu Suzuki and Lama Govinda at Tassajara

Cuke Upgrades

 cuke.com and shunryusuzuki.com are constantly being added to and upgraded. Here's an example. Nothing earthshaking. What's new is the column on the left. Now it should be easier to see a list of books by and about Shunryu Suzuki and by me, DC. Check out the Publications page.

thanks Peter Ford

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Harmony with the Truth

In Mahayana we have more advanced philosophical setting of Buddha’s teaching, like in the Kegon Sutra. Kegon put emphasis on harmony with the truth and the phenomenal world.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

From Wind Bell Vol. XI, 1972, p. 8 - article on life of Shunryu

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Opposite Understandings

Sometimes Buddha put emphasis on self instead of putting the emphasis on selflessness. We call this kind of our teaching double construction or double nature of Buddhism. And actually, without paradoxical or two opposite understandings, we cannot think things clearly. And our thinking will be clear only when we take at least two opposite viewpoints. Then you will have some reality without being caught by a one-sided idea.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Monday, July 24, 2023

Selflessness

Buddha put the emphasis on selflessness because people at that time had much difficulty because of a strong idea of self. So Buddha on the contrary put emphasis on selflessness so that we have a more balanced understanding of our lives. And for the people who were trying to find pleasure of life in this actual mundane world, he put the emphasis on suffering, so that they could understand their lives from both sides.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

Gold and Iron

When we say “something special” that may be jewels and gold. When we say “something common,” that is also jewels and gold which usually people attach to. When we attach to them, they are not true jewels and gold. What we are practicing is not compared with anything else. If you start to compare gold with iron, jewels with charcoal, you will not understand what jewels or gold are. Something common is valuable because it is common. Something special is valuable because it is special. People may say to sit on top of a mountain is special, and what we do in our everyday life is common. But in its true sense, or in its absolute sense, there is no difference.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Painting by Lucille Harris

Thursday, July 20, 2023

RIP David Padwa


IN THE 92nd YEAR OF HIS LIFE, ON THE MORNING OF JULY 18th, 2023, THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF DAVID PADWA OBSERVED HIS PEACEFUL AND DIGNIFIED DEATH. 

We are grateful to the legislature of New Mexico and its Governor for the passage of legislation allowing for compassionate medical assistance in dying in the event of terminal illness.


Family of David Padwa


David Padwa cuke page


I consider myself most fortunate to have known and spent time with David Padwa - in person, on the phone, in email, in his books and writings and photos he sent to go on his cuke page. I will miss David. He had some life. What a character. What a brilliant character. Condolences to his wife Bettina and his offspring Gideon, Mariner, and Sabrina. - DC


How To Handle Themselves

To have renunciation is our way, which is pretty difficult. This is the point many of our Zen masters had difficulty in their true practice because it is not a matter of successful or unsuccessful. It is a matter of how to handle themselves or how to understand the way to work on it. This is a very subtle point. No one else but you can help you.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Kobun Chino, Sumi Togen and Shunryu Suzuki at Tassajara 1967

Cuke Podcast with Alan Senauke




This is podcast part two  for Alan Senauke.
Part one went up o May 15th. Usually one follows the other but this gap was intentionally created by forgetfulness on the part of yours truly. Still, it comes across fine. -dc

This podcast with Alan Senauke picks up where we left off on the last one, #91. He is the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center and author of the recently published Turning Words, Transformative Encounters with Buddhist Teachers. He has a long involvement with  Buddhist peace work and  music.

Alan Senauke cuke page

Cuke Podcast page


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Forget Yourself

Melting into rivers of gold, tasting the bitterest dregs at the bottom of the teacup, I feel I am a more complete person for having these experiences because I find a world that is not measured. However, I don’t want to become attached to this world, but want to give it its proper place so it will have its own existence. How can I achieve this?

SR: You understand very well. But still your understanding is not real because too much idea of ego is involved in it. So don’t think so much. Instead of thinking, you should try to forget yourself by all means. Okay?


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Teacup Dragon by Dan Welch

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Foolish?

Student: Docho Roshi, I feel pretty foolish. How do you feel?

SR: Pretty foolish? Foolish?

Student: Yes.

SR: Ah. Yeah, I feel same way. [Laughter.]


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Stan White’s Zen Ink Drawing

Monday, July 17, 2023

Path in the Water

Docho Roshi, the dharma is no dharma. The Tathagata doesn’t come or go. And the Buddha cannot be seen by the thirty-two marks. Where is our way?

SR: Actually, there is no way. We say, “On the water you will see various mountains over the water.” We think there is no road in the sea, but between the waves there is some road. So, nothing exists in its sheer emptiness. Even on water there is mountain. Even in the water there is a path to go. So as long as we are practicing our way, there is no problem. Before you practice it, you have problems.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Saturday, July 15, 2023

Happiness

When we are happy, do we suffer? Do we suffer when we are happy?

SR: Suffering exists actually in your happiness. And so if you seek for happiness, you will get suffering, not happiness. So when you suffer, you should find true happiness in your suffering. That is how you seek for true happiness. If you try to find out what is real suffering, you should seek for happiness [laughter]. You will find out what is suffering in its true sense.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Lama Govinda

Friday, July 14, 2023

Why are we you?

Student: Docho Roshi, why are we you? 

SR: Why you are me? 

Student: Why are we you? 

SR: Oh. There is no reason. If you want to find out why, you should ask yourself, you know. [Laughter.] 

Student: I am. 

SR: Huh? 

Student: I am. 

SR: Okay. You are. So when you are truly me, there is no problem. But when you say “why,” there may be something to think about [laughter]. But for me, there is nothing to think about between you and me.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Doubt

Docho Roshi, what can you say to my doubt about whether my zazen is true zazen, my practice is true practice, and my effort is right effort? 

SR: [Laughing] don’t doubt your practice. Just sit with us. That is true practice. When they get up, you should get up and join our practice. That is good enough. Don’t think more than that. Then your practice will be true practice. But if you think too much about your practice, you will lose your practice. So, don’t think too much, or don’t try too hard.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Meg Gawler offering incense

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

No Competition

Docho Roshi, the top of the mountain is a place without competition. Why is there so much competition to get there?

SR: Because you forget your seat and try to find your seat there is so much competition. Each one sits on the top of his own mountain, you know. Each one of us is boss. [Laughter.] There is no competition.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Mitsu Suzuki at Green Gulch Farm

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Possible or Not

Docho Roshi, the bodhisattva’s vow—how to understand it and to follow it?

SR: Bodhisattva’s vow is a vow which looks like it’s not possible. But possible or not is not our point. We should continue our practice without being involved in the possibility or impossibility. Because we should do it we should continue our way. That’s all. That is bodhisattva way.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Monday, July 10, 2023

Without Ears

Docho Roshi, your words without sound, may we hear without ears.

SR: Yes. You should hear it without ears. It means you shouldn’t stick to my words. You should accept them with your whole body, and with your whole practice. You should hear what I say like you hear some bird singing in your zazen. You are the boss. Nothing happens to you [laughs]. Even though you hear something, that is a part of practice. So, nothing happens besides your practice. That is how you hear my talk without your ears.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

David and Susan

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Cuke Podcast with Leland Smithson


Podcast with Leland Smithson

Leland Smithson was a logger from Vancouver who came to the SF Zen Center in 1972 while still a teenager and practiced there for a number of years.

Go to Leland's cuke page for more.

Cuke podcast page for link to other platforms with cuke podcasts.


Saturday, July 8, 2023

Big

Docho Roshi, how is it that big mind can hide so well?

SR: [Laughter.] Because it is too big. Or because you are too near-sighted. [Laughter.]


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Friday, July 7, 2023

Changing

A change can't be form?

SR: Change, yeah. Changing—moment after moment it changes. But even for a while you can see some form—you can observe things in its particular form. That is form. But it exists in the smallest particle of time. Next particle of time it will be some other thing. But in each moment it exists. That is also true. So form is emptiness, emptiness is form.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

Emptiness

Docho Roshi, if you and me and everyone here and everything around us is emptiness, can we see form in its change?

SR: Emptiness? Because we are changing, we say “emptiness.” Empty because nothing stays in its own home—because everything is changing. But usually, when I say “you” or “I,” we have some idea already which does not change. That kind of idea is empty. But if we understand everything in the state of change, that is true understanding.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Certificate of Emptiness

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Teacher

Docho Roshi, when you are our teacher, I feel like you have nothing to teach. But you stay in this world and suffer along with us. And I’d like to ask you why, but that’s a very foolish question. And I think that you just sit and wait for us if you’re at Tassajara, and I’d like to thank you.

SR: Yeah. I don’t want to be your teacher in its usual sense because with your idea of teacher you cannot find your teacher in its true sense. That is why I always say I am not your teacher. All right? But we are actually practicing with you. That is my responsibility.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Tears

Docho Roshi, hearing the stream, feeling it within, tears flow. What is the meaning?

SR: Our practice is quite new to you. It does not mean your practice is wrong, or your attainment is not good. But if you feel that way, with fear, that is because your experience is quite unfamiliar to you. That's all. You will get more accustomed to this practice. More and more you will feel deep joy in your practice.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.


Daya (Dianne) Goldschlag


Interview with Daya Goldschlag on Richard Brian McDaniel's Zen Conversations and Profiles

Daya's cuke page

Monday, July 3, 2023

Walk with Your Own Feet


SR: Your weak point is you are trying to understand it, or in short, you are like a big baby [laughs]. That is your weak point. So you should work on your own—walk with your own feet.

Student: And what is your role as my teacher?

SR: “Your teacher,” you say, but actually I am your friend. I cannot do anything for you. Tentatively, I will treat you in this way.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Ryuko Laura Burges

 

Cuke Podcast with Laura 🔊 focusing on The Zen Way of Recovery - July 2, 2023

Laura Burges’ page featured this week at cuke.com/f.

Diane di Prima Tribute


We are writing to invite you to join us in a celebration to honor the life and work of poet, activist, and teacher Diane di Prima. On her 89th birthday, (8/6/23) we are hosting a bash to express our love for Diane, there is no charge. - Chris DiPrima and Dominique DiPrima



Read more and donate to the Go Fund Me to help make this event happen. - DC

thanks Jeanne di Prima

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Don’t Try

Docho Roshi, there is nothing to attain, and yet every morning we chant, and we vow “to attain it.” [SR laughs.] And if enlightenment is within me, and yet I can’t tap its resources, I can’t make any use of it. When you speak, I think I understand, and I accept what you say, but when you’re through speaking, I reject everything you say. I don’t understand how unless somehow I can experience the truth myself, I know what to believe and what not to believe, and what to accept and what not to accept.

SR: Try—don’t try to accept things, but you should, you know. Don't think I am talking to you; instead, I am talking, that’s all. Because you think I am talking about something to you, you cannot accept it. So, what I am talking is how you feel. How you think is what I am talking, actually.


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B - as found on shunryusuzuki.com edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives or cuke.com/ig for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.