Sunday, February 02, 2014

Book quotes: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki (5/5)


In the zendo there is nothing fancy. We just come and sit. After communicating with each other we go home and resume our own everyday activity as a continuity of our pure practice, enjoying our true way of life. Yet this is very unusual . Wherever I go people ask me , "What is Buddhism? " with their notebooks ready to writ e down my answer . You can imagine how I feel! But here we just practice zazen. That is all we do, and we are happy in this practice. For us there is no need to understand what Zen is. We are practicing zazen. So for us there is no need to know what Zen is intellectually.

You know how to rest physically. You do not know how to rest mentally. Even though you lie in your bed your mind is still busy; even if you sleep your mind is busy dreaming. Your mind is always in intense activity. This is not so good. We should know how to give up our thinking mind, our busy mind. In order to go beyond our thinking faculty, it is necessary to have a firm conviction in the emptiness of your mind.  Believing firmly in the perfect rest of our mind, we should resume our pure original state.


I want you to have a firm, wide, imperturbable conviction in your zazen of just sitting. Just to sit, that is enough.

Wherever we go, we should not lose this way of life. That is called "being Buddha, "or "being the boss." Wherever you go you should be the master of your surroundings. This means you should not lose your way. So this is called Buddha, because if you exist in this way always, you are Buddha himself. Without trying to be Buddha you are Buddha.

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