This is the Cuke Archives page for what’s being featured each day.
Our other two Zen sites: - all the transcripts, audio, film, photo archive
and - for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
New 2021: Audiobook for Crooked Cucumber & Zen Is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki
Youtube Cuke Archives - Posts from here also appear on Facebook Cuke Archives
Core Books by and about Shunryu Suzuki -- People Index -- DC home -- DC Books
Cuke Podcasts - Instagram Cuke Archives - - Donate
For personal, environment, music, etc, go to Cuke nonZense Blog and cuke-annex
Search cuke blog 

Friday, February 2, 2024


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 for links to the source of the photo. Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-10-20 as found on, edited by PF. Go to for the Instagram version.