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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Nirmanakaya Buddha

The Nirmanakaya Buddha comes into this world with the vow that he will save all sentient beings. Not by karma, but by vow, he appears in this world, practices the Bodhisattva’s way, attains enlightenment as Buddha did, and saves all human beings. So, he is called an incarnated body. He changes his form in various ways, sometimes to a bodhisattva, sometimes to a buddha. He takes on various forms to help people, so in the widest sense of the word, everything is Nirmanakaya Buddha. But in the narrow sense, those who appear in this world by vow instead of by karma are called Nirmanakaya Buddhas.

Jizo Bosatsu and Kanzeon Bosatsu statues

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-00-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Erik Storlie Strikes again!

Psychedelics, Meditation, Vision, the “Mystical”: Observations Over Sixty Years

Article by Erik Storlie on the McKenna Academy website

Erik's mini bio from the article: Erik Fraser Storlie, PhD, a student of the Zen Masters Shunryu Suzuki and Dainin Katagiri, helped found the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in 1972. He taught English and Humanities for 35 years at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and, after retirement, developed and taught courses in Meditation and Mindfulness for 19 years at the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. See his memoirs Nothing on My Mind: Berkeley, LSD, Two Zen Masters (Shambhala 1996); and Go Deep and Take Plenty of Root: A Prairie-Norwegian Father, Rebellion in Minneapolis, Basement Zen (2013).

Erik Storlie cuke page

Continue Our Trip

Emotionally, we like coffee shops and big banana splits. Even though it is good, we should continue on our trip. This is the Mahayana way—on, and on, and on. Usually, people stop at a coffee shop for one or two weeks. But we cannot stay that long. If it is not the main current, it will die, eventually, and only the main current will continue. So, we don’t have time to stay at the coffee shop very long. Once in a while, when we become sleepy, we must have some coffee. That is our way. With this attitude we should continue our trip. And if we want to continue our trip, the four vows are necessary. At any rate, we should continue our trip as long as our car goes. This is our attitude and our practice.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Point

The point is not whether this Lotus Sutra was told by the historical Buddha, or by some other person. As long as you attach to the historical Buddha too much, you cannot understand Buddhism.

From Temple of Six Banyans, China

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Vertically and Horizontally

To arrange the teachings this way [moves hand horizontally] is not good; to arrange the teachings this way [moves hand vertically] is not good enough either. When you arrange the teachings this way [motions vertically], and choose one of them, and when you arrange the teachings this way [motions horizontally], the historical or traditional way, and understand the characteristic nature of various teachings, then you will find out what kind of teaching you should apply.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

The Sonoma Index Tribune's article on Bill Kwong

Beloved Sonoma Zen leader reflects on his life and teachings

by Daniel Johnson

Thanks Renshin Bunce for posting this on Facebook where I found it. - DC

Bill Kwong cuke page

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

History and Tradition

We should arrange the teachings according to the time and occasion, and you should choose from the various teachings. But that is not enough. You should also know the history, or tradition, of each teaching. Then you can use the teaching in its true sense.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Suitable

It is necessary to know how this tea bowl appeared here, in front of me. And at the same time, it is necessary for you to know whether this tea bowl is suitable for this season or not. Even if it is a very traditional and valuable one, a summer tea bowl cannot be used in winter. So you should know, at the same time, whether this is suitable for this season and suitable for the guest. And you should choose the tea bowl accordingly.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Featured Cuke Archives page

Rick Wicks went to Tassajara in the 70s. He has traveled extensively in Asia and Europe. Now he's an economist living in Sweden. Listen to his podcast and read a great deal on and from him at http://cuke.com/f.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Knowing

Without knowing who a person is, we cannot help him; without knowing what things are, we cannot treat them properly. When you know who made this tea bowl and what kind of history this tea bowl has, then you can treat the tea bowl properly. If you handle it without knowing who made it and what kind of tradition it has, it may be just a bowl; it doesn’t make any sense.

From cover of A White Tea Bowl: 100 Haiku from 100 Years of Life - by Mitsu Suzuki

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Background of Buddhist Scriptures

When we read Buddhist scriptures, it is necessary for us to know at what kind of historical stage each sutra was told—to know, in other words, who spoke the scripture. For instance, when Westerners started to study Buddhist scriptures, they thought they were a kind of myth. That may be so, a kind of myth. If someone studies a scripture literally, without knowing what kind of background the scripture has, and if someone has compiled the scripture in a very emotional way, the description will be very mysterious.... But we should know with what feeling, and what kind of attitude, this scripture was presented, or else we will not understand what it is.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Same Thing

To help others and to help ourselves is the same thing. To realize myself and to make others realize the truth is the same thing.

After John King's shuso ceremony at Tassajara at the end of the Fall 2000 practice period

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

RIP Jeffrey Schneider

Not the Written Teaching

Buddha’s teaching is not the written teaching or something told by the historical Buddha. When the Sambogakaya Buddha, the true Buddha told it, it was Buddha’s teaching—very much so. But when we read, we are trying to figure out what he told us, what was the true teaching, and what was the historical Buddha. We are, in other words, deeply attached to someone else, forgetting all about the ultimate fact that we are here.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Exhibition of Paintings by Arthur Okamura


Arthur Okamura    
Buddha's Garden

an exhibition of his art
February 17 - April 6, 2024

Opening reception: Saturday, February 17th, 3:00 to 5:00 pm
 
Paul Thiebaud Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Arthur Okamura: Buddha’s Garden, its debut exhibition of works from the Estate of Arthur Okamura, on Saturday,  On view will be ten acrylic paintings featuring images of surreal Asian rock gardens, western floral gardens, and representations of the Buddha.  A practicing Zen Buddhist for most of his adult life, Arthur Okamura’s (1932-2009) works convey the sensibility of Zen in their brushwork, subject matter, and choice of palette. The exhibition will be on view through April 6, 2024. 

Paul Thiebaud Gallery
645 Chestnut Street
San Francisco


Arthur Okamura was a student of Shunryu Suzuki.  His cuke page.


YOU Should Practice Zazen

But still you doubt, and still you make a separation from yourself and observe yourself from the outside: “Who am I? What am I doing?” [Laughs.] Zazen practice is not this kind of practice. Someone else is practicing zazen, not you. You should practice zazen. That is shikantaza. That is the Sambhogakaya Buddha.

From a tiny, overexposed Polaroid photo of the first sesshin, 1960.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Monday, February 12, 2024

I Am Here

When you become just you yourself, without comparing yourself to others: “I am I. I am here. When you have difficulty, I am with you, and I can manage myself pretty well. If you like, I can help you,” that is Buddha. This kind of Buddha is the Buddha before we attain enlightenment. Without this confidence, you cannot even practice zazen. How can you practice zazen when you doubt, or when you are observing yourself objectively without having any subjectivity? Only when you accept yourself, and when you really know you exist here. You cannot escape from yourself. This is the ultimate fact, that “I am here.”

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

An Excellent Film on Tassajara

 Tassajara - a meditative portrait - 1997

a film by Frazer Bradshaw

Tano Maeda, founder of the International Buddhist Film Festival, asked me why the Cuke Film/Video section didn't include this film. I said because I didn't know about it. He wrote:

Twenty-eight minutes of details that we often overlook in a high-speed world. Feature cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw delivers a wordless, visual poem that forces us to slow down and experience the pace of the oldest American Zen monastery.  We screened it at our IBFF 2003 Los Angeles.

I got hold of Frazer Bradshaw. He wrote back that he'd made it in 1996 "fresh out of film school." He called it an observational documentary. Said he hadn't seen it in 20 years and that it hadn't been digitized. We had a bunch of back and forth and he got interested in digitizing. Going straight from the 16 mm film would be by far the best but it was too expensive. VHS wasn't good enough. He compromised and had it transferred from a Betacam SP copy. That's the professional Beta with a larger cartridge than the Betamax. So now we can all enjoy it. It's good. Enjoy. - DC

Check his website and IMDB 

 Frazer Bradshaw
   Producer + Director of Photography
                   Oakland, CA
                  415.517.3260
      www.frazerbradshaw.com
                        IMDB
                        Vimeo



Saturday, February 10, 2024

Everything Has Buddha Nature

When Buddha became one with himself and with everything else, whatever he saw, everything had the same nature as he had. Just as he existed under the Bodhi tree as an enlightened one, as a perfect one, so everything existed in the same way. That is why Buddha said, “It is wonderful to see everything has Buddha Nature.” Just as he is, so everything is Buddha, we say. But when we say this in its true sense, it means “I am Buddha.”

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Stand on Your Own Two Feet

The most important point is to stand on your own two feet before you observe yourself objectively. “Who am I, and what am I thinking? What kind of experience did I have? What kind of enlightenment did I have yesterday?” That is not true realization of oneself. To realize oneself is deeper than that kind of superficial observation of oneself. Before we objectively observe ourselves, we should be one with ourselves.

Andrew Atkeison at Rinsoin

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Care for Truth

After Buddha was acknowledged as truth itself, then as long as truth exists and as long as we care for truth, we can remain as Buddhists. This Buddha is called the Sambogakaya Buddha.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Truth Itself

We have to have some idea beyond the incarnated Buddha, or Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Nirmanakaya Buddha. That Buddha is the Sambogakaya Buddha. The Sambogakaya Buddha is the Perfect One, and truth itself. When he is seen by people as truth, he may be a teacher. Even plants and animals, mountains or rivers, can also be our teacher when we have eyes to see this. So when the historical Buddha has this kind of background, when he is elevated to this stage, he will be accepted as our teacher in the true sense.

The Church Creek Canyon as seen from the Pine Ridge Trail

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-21 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

A Brief History of Tassajara on cuke


Before buying A Brief History of Tassajara (Cuke Press, 2018), you might want to check it out on cuke. There's a link to a PDF of it on the cuke page for the book.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Understanding of Life

You can describe his teaching [in the Lotus Sutra], if you understand it, as very simple and very fancy, including many things good and bad. So to exist in this way, like a lotus in muddy water, is not so easy. But without this kind of strict, profound, and rich understanding of life, we cannot be disciples of Buddha.

From the cover of The Zen Way of Recovery by Laura Burges

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Vow

Q: Roshi, is there a vow of a bodhisattva not wishing to enter nirvana until all sentient beings have entered nirvana?

SR: Yeah. “Until all sentient beings enter Nirvana, I will not enter Nirvana.” Some bodhisattvas take this kind of vow. If you take that vow, at that time, you are Buddha himself.

Drawing by Jack Van Allen and Misha Merrill

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Featured Cuke Archives page

Rhonda Johansen Karzag was at Tassajara with her parents for three summers when she was in elementary school. In our podcast she talks about what that was like for her and reads from an account of it she wrote for school when she was in the fourth grade. Rhonda talks about this picture in the podcast and writes about the ceremony in her 4th grade autobiography. - http://cuke.com/f

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Romantic or Realistic

Which is realistic? I don't know. You have to think more. We are naturally pretty romantic beings. So, perhaps we are too romantic and too emotional. That we don’t want to be so romantic and emotional and want to be more realistic is our desire, but we are romantic and emotional beings. That is very true. So, I don’t argue about whether we are romantic or realistic. But the purpose of religion is to solve this kind of problem.

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Gene DeSmidt in Assisted Care

 I tried o get hold of Gene Desmidt recently and failed. A note on Facebook yielded results. He came down with a rare neurological disease and is in a nursing home. He's had three strokes. Here's an article on this from the SF Chronicle's  Season of Sharing which helped him out. 

Gene Desmidt cuke page


Friday, February 2, 2024

Vows

We usual people appear in this world, according to Buddhism, because of karma, and we die because of karma. But Buddha appeared in this world with a vow, the Mahayana vow. The first of the four vows we recite is to “save all beings.” He appeared in this world with this vow instead of karma. Karma and vow are actually the same thing, perhaps, but our attitude changes when our understanding changes. Karma changes into a vow. Instead of living by karma, we live with the vow to help people who live in karma. That is Buddha’s teaching.

The Four Vows, calligraphy by Dainin Katagiri-roshi

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Historical Buddha

Buddha was not God Himself, but was a human being. But for his followers, he was a kind of Perfect One. He attained enlightenment and reached to the bottom of our human nature. He was enlightened in human nature, which is universal, true nature. His human nature is universal to everyone and every being. And he subdued all the emotions and the thinking mind. He conquered all of this, and all of the world, and became a World Honored One. He had this confidence when he attained enlightenment, and his followers listened to him as to a teacher who is also the Perfect One.

Gandhara Buddha at SFZC

cuke.com/ig for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com, edited by PF. Go to instagram.com/cuke_archives for the Instagram version.