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Shunryu Suzuki quotes and excerpts

6-28-07 - Some Shunryu Suzuki quotes found on the net, a curious fishing expedition

Some Suzuki quotes from Crooked Cucumber


Don't have much time and I'm tired and from doing hard labor for sub-subsistence wages - so I Googled "Shunryu Suzuki" and here are the Suzuki quotes found on the links on the first Google page today plus links to the sites. This fishing expedition might seem like a strange thing to do but I like strange, coming at things in a new way like this checking of the Internet pulse on Suzuki so to speak, a random sampling, a way of bringing in here what struck unknown others out there floating in cyberspace. The quotes are not sourced but I recognize them all. - DC

The sites not listed below from that search are this one, SFZC, and Amazon.com for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.



From this page on Wikipedia

Quotations

  • "Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the garden, not in the bare soil itself. But if you want to have a good harvest, the most important thing is to make the soil rich and cultivate it well."
  • "So the secret is just to say 'Yes!' and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself, always yourself, without sticking to an old self."
  • "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
  • "Zazen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice; there is no other way of life than this way of life."
  • "Take care of things, and they will take care of you."
  • "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
  • "My life has been one long series of mistakes."
  • "Life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have no fear of death anymore, nor actual difficulty in our life."
  • "As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw."
  • "The way that helps will not be the same; it changes according to the situation."

[I don't think the "My life has been one long series of mistakes" quote is Suzuki. It's a paraphrase of Dogen which I love to use and so do others and maybe Suzuki quoted it somewhere so it got attributed to him, but then again, maybe he said it. I don't think he'd disagree with it and I think he also knew that what would be attributed to him in the future would be edited remarks of his that were whispered around in a circle.]

Andrew Main writes: The "My life has been one long series of mistakes" quote is indeed a paraphrase of Suzuki's quotation from Dogen: "Shoshaku jushaku" which he discusses on page 39 of ZMBM.


Naturally we have repeats of the oft quoted:

from www.quotationspage.com      Link to this quote   (also in many other places including above)

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.

See origin of this quote


Shunryu Suzuki quotes and more on Facebook


This one has links to the sources:

from www.identitytheory.com     Link to this page of quotes

Hypersketch Bio:
Shunryu Suzuki

May 5, 2002

If it is raining out, do not walk fast, because it is raining everywhere.

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.

The mind which is always on your side is not just your mind, it is universal mind, always the same, not different from another's mind.

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.

If I suffer while I am dying, that is all right...Maybe everyone will struggle because of physical agony or spiritual agony, but that is not a problem. We should be very grateful to have a limited body like mine or like yours. If you had a limitless life, it would be a great problem for you...A human being is a human being. We can enjoy our life only with our limited body. This limitation is a vital element for us. Without limitation nothing exists, so we should enjoy the limitation: weak body, strong body; man or woman. The only way to enjoy our life is to enjoy the limitation that was given to us.

All descriptions of reality are limited expressions of the world of emptiness. Yet we attach to the descriptions and think they are reality.

To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat. There is no taste, and you will give up, because it doesn't mean anything, even though you sit seven days. But our true zazen cannot be like that. If Zen was like that, it would have vanished from this world a long time ago. Zen is still alive because of the other side of the truth. Only when each one of us feels the truth, appreciates the truth, accepts the truth, and is ready to follow the truth, will it work. When someone puts himself outside of the truth in order to study the truth, he won't know what to do when something happens to him.

In Buddhism, mind and being are one, not different.
As there is no limit to cosmic being,
there is no limit to our mind;
our mind reaches everwhere.

Even if we successfully compete in the visible world, our work will be neglected before we die. It is important to work for future generations, for our descendants. We must be proud to do something even though people do not usually know its value. To devote yourself in this kind of work is to have eternal life. However, if you are occupied by a near-sighted idea, you will lose your value and you will not find your true composure.

Hell is not punishment,
it's training.

You stick to naturalness too much. When you stick to it, it is not natural any more.


from Brainyquote.com    come  these quotes, minus the oft-quoted beginner's mind quote twice (see second entry above).

Preparing food is not just about yourself and others. It is about everything!

The world is its own magic.

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.


 Thinkexist.com   has five quotes but the only one new one. 
                               this quote link

Usually when someone believes in a particular religion, his attitude becomes more and more a sharp angle pointing away from himself. In our way the point of the angle is always toward ourselves.


From artseensoho Link to this quote

The big mind in which we must have confidence is not something which you can experience objectively. It is something which is always with you, always on your side. Your eyes are on your side, for you cannot see your eyes, and your eyes cannot see themselves. Eyes only see things outside, objective things. If you reflect on yourself, that self is not your true self any more. You cannot project yourself as some objective thing to think about. The mind which is always on your side is not just your mind, it is universal mind, always the same, not different from another's mind.


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