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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Like a Mountain

Your mind pervades all over your body.  And all the parts of your body are participating in one activity. Dogen Zenji says, “like a mountain” in his instructions.  Which means your body should be like one big mountain.

Painted by Dan Welch

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Zazen Instruction

And I always explain how you do it: That is to have right posture. Having some strength here [hara], and having a perfect mudra like this, and you feel as if you are trying to open your arms a little bit. And pull your chin and stretch your neck as if you are supporting something on your head. And you have strength in your hara, especially when you inhale. In other words, your inhaling comes to the bottom of your tummy. At that time you feel as if you are opening your arms. Actually they shouldn’t move. And you exhale without losing your power in your tummy.


cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Featured Cuke Archives page

 

Dwite Brown was sitting at Sokoji and sending Zen stories to his brother Ed. Alan Winter and Ed Brown came to check the West Coast out and started sitting at Sokoji too. Dwite worked with Silas Hoadley in Silas’s importing business. He became an Episcopalian minister and taught computer science at a college. He and his wife Judy converted to Catholicism over three decades ago. Now they live near and are involved with the Abbey of New Clairvaux, a rural Trappist monastery located in Northern California in the small town of Vina in Tehama County.

http://cuke.com/f

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Unified

You practice our way as one unified activity, mind and body, and each part of your body from the ends of your nails to the [laughs] top of your head.

Bob Walter in Tasmania doing yoga

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Friday, October 27, 2023

In Each Pore

The mysterious power of showing the appearance of the Buddha in each world in each pore of the body: that is actually zazen practice. When you practice zazen in its true sense, actually you are Buddha himself, and in each pore of your body you have so many worlds [laughs]. And in each of the worlds, there is Shakyamuni Buddha. This is an explanation of our shikantaza.

Photo by Meiya Wender

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Emptiness Is in Usual Activity

Emptiness is in usual activity; it’s not the goal of practice or the purpose or aim of activity. The only way to realize the absolute is through our practice in its true sense.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Absolute Is Emptiness

All that we do or all that we think is not absolute itself. So, there is no reason why we should attach to it. The only thing we should observe as absolute is emptiness, which is the absolute in its true sense, which is quite different from somethingness [laughs]. All that you do is somethingness, and you cannot understand emptiness. So, that is why it is called emptiness.


cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Help Others

First of all you should be able to accept things as it is, and you should be able to help others in various ways, not just by sitting. So although we have no koans, we have various kinds of ways of helping people, not just by sitting.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Everyone Is Buddha

Even though we are all Buddha, there are some who are actually aware of being Buddha and some who are not aware of it. So, for the enlightened person, everyone is Buddha. But for those who are not aware of it, you know, they are not Buddhist.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.


Cuke Podcast with guest, Joanna Bull

 


Podcast with Joanna Bull - That's a link to the podcast on Cuke Podcast home, Podbean. For links to the podcast on other platforms go to the Cuke Podcast page or search for “Cuke Audio Podcast” in your favorite podcast app.

Joanna Bull was a student of Shunryu Suzuki became a psychoanalyst and, as a result of having Gilda Radner as a client, went on to be a founder of Gilda's Club and the Cancer Support Community. She's got a neat ghost story too which led to her coming to the Zen Center. 

Joanna was Joanne back when she was at Tassarajara.

Her cuke page

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Angry Like a Thunderstorm

When anger is just anger, we cannot say that is bad. But if you have some excuse for being angry, for yourself or for some purpose, that is not just anger. Anger should be just anger, but unless you practice our way or unless you understand “form is form” and “emptiness is emptiness,” it is rather hard to be just angry like a thunderstorm. The next moment there’s nothing. That is beautiful, you know. [Makes a loud sound like thunder, laughs, laughter.] That’s all. This is very good for oneself and for others too.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Ho To Newsletter, photography by Rob Weinberg, calligraphy by Chino Sensei: Haku Un, "White Cloud”

Friday, October 20, 2023

Myriad Ways

I am explaining as if this is some good teaching, [laughs] as if I know some secret. But it is not so. I am speaking about everyone’s own way. We put emphasis on “just to sit” because everyone has their own myriad ways or dharmas. And moment after moment, you will find your own way when you “just to sit,” when you are exactly you yourself.


cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

John Clarke Mason interview

 I looked into this 2004 interview with John Clarke Mason who we called Clark because he was the first mechanic at Tassajara and I wanted to mention him in a piece I'm working on for Tassajara Stories. Anyway, I couldn't stop reading the whole interview. That last part is him talking about how the SFZC should make more than two of Shunryu Suzuki lectures available. Five years later they started going up on shunryusuzuki.com and then we supplied the SFZC with the digital files ready to upload and they started doing it. 

A Brief History of Archving the Legacy of Shunryu Suzuki 2022 - for more on how this came about

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Find Your Way

Before you realize who you are, it is not possible for you to go in your own direction. If you are bound by some idea, you cannot find your way for yourself. Only when you can “just to sit” can you find out your own way.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Drawing by Stan White

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Accurate Understanding

To have a kind of accurate understanding of ourselves is very important. It is the same thing as with a clock. To know it is ten past nine is very important. But actually, there is no such time [laughs]. It is not ten past nine. When I am saying something, it will be eleven past nine. I am pointing at something which is non-verbal. We say “just to sit,” but this “just to sit” is extra, you know.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Ken Knabb & DC on YouTube


Ken Knabb made a video recording of his Cuke podcast and put it on his YouTube channel So here it is.

Here's the blurb with it: David Chadwick (head of the Cuke.com website devoted to Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki and those who crossed paths with him) interviews Ken Knabb. The leisurely conversation explores Ken's experiences with Zen practice and also his situationist adventures and perspectives.

Ken Knabb cuke page

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Effort

Sometimes you emphasize non-attainment, but other times you speak of exerting your best effort, like exerting our best effort to keep good posture or full lotus. Why speak about effort? Why not simply stay to the teaching of not trying to do anything at all?

Even though I say stay and do whatever you like, you are doing something with some effort. Can you do anything without any effort? No, you cannot. Anyway you have some problem. So, it is better to have some good problem rather than a bad one [laughs, laughter].


—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Dan Welch, Shunryu Suzuki and Bill Shurtleff who asked the question.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Mu

Those masters who understand the Soto way, instead of “just to sit,” they may give you the mu koan. What is mu? Just to sit is mu [laughs]. There is no difference. And just to sit will be various kinds of koans, actually. So, there may be thousands of koans for us. If you can sit shikantaza, it includes various powers of practice. And this is the direct way to enlightenment, or renunciation, or nirvana—whatever you say.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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, October 14, 2023

Be Oneself

This is not something you understand because I say so. This is not teaching you believe in because Buddha said so. This is actual ultimate truth. And the only way to attain renunciation without causing any problems for anyone is just to be oneself. No problem whatsoever.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Tony Patchell and Darlene Cohen receiving priest ordination at City Center on May 26, 1999

Friday, October 13, 2023

Just To Sit

This is not a fancy teaching at all. There can be no other teaching so direct. “Just to sit” is the most direct teaching. You cannot [laughs] even say no or yes, you cannot say anything about it: “just to sit” [laughs]. So we say, “just to sit.” There is no more teaching.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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, October 12, 2023

Beginner's Mind, a musical composition

Beginner's Mind for Piano by Walter Zimmerman

Go to the Beginner's Mind Song page to listen to and read about this composition written over fifty years ago.

Just Me

When you try to be something else, you lose your reality. Do you understand? So, I should be just me. Then, at the same time, I have liberation. I have enlightenment. I am not a ghost [laughs]. I exist here. I am Buddha himself. This is, you know, just to sit.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Necessary to Vanish

It is necessary to vanish. If you don’t, you are a ghost [laughs] in your delusion. Something that exists should vanish, you know. Is there anything which never vanishes?

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Drawing by Stan White

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Also Ornamental Buddha

There is no need to have a bridge to the other shore. The other shore is other-shore-buddha, this shore is this-shore-buddha [laughs]. Just the name is different, but actually everything is Buddha by himself. The bridge is ornamental Buddha, and this shore is also ornamental Buddha. The other shore is also ornamental Buddha.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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, October 9, 2023

human-being-buddha

When you practice, there is no Buddha and no human being. That which exists is just practice. When you say, “I am human being,” it means human-being-buddha— another name of buddha. We understand in that way.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Drawing by Stan White

A book on Steve Stucky

Remembering Myogen Steve St├╝cky

a book by Renshin Bunce on Amazon

In the years since the death of my teacher, I've noticed that I repeatedly tell the same handful of stories about him. Also, when I'm around San Francisco Zen Center, students approach me to tell me their stories, to tell me how touched they were by him. Some also tell me that they regret not establishing a deeper relationship with him before his too-early death. Now, in the hope of sharing some part of him with Zen students in the future, I offer this book. The first part is my memories, the second is a collection of stories from friends and family, the third is a collection of his teachings in the three months between his diagnosis and death, and the fourth is his obituary. May it serve to benefit the awakening of all beings.



Saturday, October 7, 2023

Idea Is Idea Buddha

When we were young, we used to discuss about a bodhisattva’s way to save others before we saved ourselves. What does it mean? Is it possible to save others before we save ourselves? That kind of thing. And what is the goal of practice, and what is idea and what is reality. And reality cannot be ideas. And practice will be a bridge to reality from ideas. These were the kinds of discussions we had. But according to Dogen Zenji, practice is practice buddha, reality is reality buddha, idea is idea buddha [laughs].

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

Suzuki is between first and seconds rows from the front. Probably at Soto prep school, Tokyo.

Friday, October 6, 2023

No Mind and Body

When you have no mind and body, you have no problem [laughs, laughter]. Because you say, “This is mind and this is body, and body should not be the burden of the spirit,” or something like that. Or “Mind should work hard to control our body,” something like this. In this case, mind is not mind. Mind is delusion, and body is also delusion. And delusion and delusion are fighting.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.


A Book on Blanche Hartman






Zenkei Blanche Hartman - a book of interviews collected by Basya Petnik and typed up by Mary Watson and others. Lots of great photos. Thanks for sending this Mary Watson and my apologies for taking a year to get it up. I got sidetracked by something. - dc

Blanche Hartman's cuke page

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Shadow of Reality

As long as you seek for something, you will get just a shadow of reality, not the actual one. Only when you do not seek for anything, you have it. So, when you do not try to attain enlightenment, you have it, you know.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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 screen of Shunryu Suzuki by Al Wong

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Reposting about podcast with Ted Tripp cause there was no link to it


A Cuke Podcast with Ted Tripp
 - that's the link for Podbean, the Cuke Podcast host. Cuke Podcasts are also at other venues such as Spotify - go to the Cuke Podcast page for links to them.

Ted Tripp heard Shunryu Suzuki speak at Stanford in 1967 and met him the next year at Tassajara, where Suzuki let him stay longer in order for him to prepare himself to go to prison for anti-war activities. He's recently retired from teaching English at San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz.  He  says, "A solid foundation of dharma and ability to practice meditation is a good preparation for what comes next."

A 1995 cuke interview with Ted Trip.

I must always remember to check links because they sometimes disappear when I upload. My apologies for the linkless podcast link yesterday.

Vanish

That you are here means that you will vanish [laughs]. Things which exist are bound to vanish. So, something which you have attained cannot be perpetual attainment.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.

“Portrait of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi” - stained glass by Narcissus Robert Quagliata in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A Different Way

After practicing for one or two months, if you don’t think you have made some progress, you may give up seeking for something good. But true religion cannot be obtained in that way. That is the way to attain something in a more materialistic sense. But a true spiritual way cannot be like that. The way to work on spiritual things is quite different from the way to work on something which is more materialistic. Even though you talk about spiritual things, that is not actually spiritual. That is a kind of substitute for the [laughs] spiritual things.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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.


A Talk with Ted Tripp

 


A Cuke Podcast with Ted Tripp
 - that's the link for Podbean, the Cuke Podcast host. Cuke Podcasts are also at other venues such as Spotify - go to the Cuke Podcast page for links to them.

Ted Trip heard Shunryu Suzuki speak at Stanford in 1967 and met him the next year at Tassajara. where Suzuki let him stay longer in order for him to prepare himself to go to prison for anti-war activities. He's recently retired from teaching English at San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz.  He  says, "A solid foundation of dharma and ability to practice meditation is a good preparation for what comes next."

A 1995 cuke interview with Ted Trip.


Monday, October 2, 2023

Teaching Is Always Here

Whether or not you can realize our true nature or attain enlightenment is not so big a problem. If you realize it or if you attain enlightenment, that’s all the better. But even if you don’t, you know, there is no need to seek for some special teaching because the teaching is always here.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 - 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, October 1, 2023

what we've been up to

A message from DC and Cuke Archives: doing our part to preserve the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki and those whose paths cross his - and anything else that comes to mind.

Dear Friend,

Periodically I send out an email reminding you about Cuke Archives and giving a general idea of what we’ve been up to with a few highlights. So here’s another one.

Cuke Archives has three websites: cuke.com, shunryusuzuki.com, and zmbm.net for Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

Cuke.com, focusing on the oral/written history, has thousands of pages, 991 of which have been updated or added in the last 12 months. In that time there have been 538,000 visits to cuke.com. One of the many resources on cuke.com is what we call the “people pages.” Work is ongoing on these personal cuke pages which cover a good deal more than a single page of info on one person. Over 20 have been added since January. There are a total of over 400. But there is a great deal of material about and from many others on the pages of cuke.com and shunryusuzuki.com as well.

Shunryusuzuki.com, this Shunryu Suzuki archive, lecture transcripts, audio, video, photos and more, now contains 6,141 files. In the last 12 months there have been over 69,000 visits to shunryusuzuki.com. As always, the presentation of materials there is constantly being improved. We have added or significantly updated 15 lectures in the past year. New verbatim lecture transcripts have been added and many others gone over to improve accuracy (working with Shundo David Haye of Engage Wisdom). More minimum edits (for smoother readability) of Suzuki lectures are joining the verbatim and other edited versions such as those from the Wind Bell publication of the San Francisco Zen Center. Here’s a link to a page with all the minimum edits listed.

There are now some Shunryu Suzuki lecture audio files that have been minimally edited to remove his coughs, extraneous sounds, sentence fragments, and long empty spaces. There will be many more of these to come. They will be added to the archives and not replace the original audio versions.

The video section of shunryusuzuki.com has all extant Suzuki film in whole and parts with many stills. Cuke Archives YouTube has almost all. All nine pages in the video section have recently been updated to our newer layout to fit better on both large screens and phones.

Zen Is Right Now - Zen Is Right Here. Click to go to page for these books. Over 700 Cuke Podcasts have been created in the last four years, over 150 of them with guests, almost all of whom are from the Shunryu Suzuki lineage, many who practiced with him. These podcasts have greatly enhanced the vast oral and written history of our wide community. Transcription of podcasts has started this year. They’re useful to facilitate reviewing the podcast discussion to note places to cut and edit, and to locate stories and memories for the archives in other ways such as material for Brief Memories of Shunryu Suzuki. They are transcribed by AI and have to be gone over to make presentable. For more go to the Cuke Podcast page.

Both Crooked Cucumber (2nd edition) and Thank You and OK! audiobooks produced and narrated by yours truly have been published by Shambhala and join audiobooks of the Zen is Right Here and Zen is Right Now Shunryu Suzuki vignette set (not narrated by me). See DC Audible Audiobooks.

Before long I will finish a book I’ve been working on (and off) for years, working title: Tassajara Stories: the Early Years with Shunryu Suzuki. In an effort to have more time for it, I’ve reluctantly paused working on editing the lecture audio and reduced producing new podcasts to one a week.

Shunryu Suzuki lecture excerpts continue to be posted daily on Cuke Archives Instagram, Facebook, and the What’s New blog. The What’s New blog frequently has other posts that also appear on Cuke Archives Facebook. Some follow it online and some subscribe to it.

Daily we get questions and requests: to fact check a book or article, for information, how to find something or someone on one of the sites, or how to connect with someone. One service we provide is to check on the source and authenticity of a quote attributed to Shunryu Suzuki. Sometimes it can be found in exactly or approximately the same wording. Others all we can say is it sounds like him but can’t find a source, or we might say it doesn’t seem to be from him. Sometimes we find another source. There are a few examples at Dubious Quotes.

More and more these days we post an RIP for someone dear to us. The Memorial Index on cuke.com contains a long list of names, many with links to a cuke.com page for that person. Work on the memorial page is ongoing including a chronological presentation. Recently I have begun to see Cuke Archives as a sprawling memorial to us all – teachers, students, friends. A memorial to the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki and those whose paths cross his and for those to whom the baton has been and is being passed.

***

Enso Poster. Click to go to page for these brochures and postersHere is the enso, or sumi circle, drawn by Shunryu Suzuki for a 1966 fundraising art show organized by his student, artist Willard Mike Dixon. The funds acquired were for the purchase of land for a Zen Mountain Center in the Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County California near Tassajara Springs. Only at the last minute was the deal changed and the raised funds used for a down payment on Tassajara Springs itself. Here’s a downloadable image of the poster for that event with the first use of Shunryu Suzuki’s famed enso. Also, there’s a downloadable image of the enso by itself. On cuke.com they are found on the Posters and Brochures for early Tassajara Fundraising page which was created this year. All of them are downloadable. The page itself is one way to look at the story of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center becoming a reality.

For further elaboration on the above mentioned projects and more on what we’re doing and who’s doing it, go to Cuke Update from here, or anytime from the home page of cuke.com.

We ask for your support that this work may continue and these materials may continue to be freely available to the public.

To contribute to Cuke Archives please go to our Donate page and write a check or make a donation through PayPal—or become a monthly subscriber. (PayPal also offers the option of using a credit or debit card.)

The Donate page is also accessible from the home and other pages of cuke.com and shunryusuzuki.com.

Thanks and take care.

David



“We’re all bozos on this bus.” - Firesign Theater