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Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts in Progress

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts 2012 --- INDEX

Working with the most difficult tapes in the Suzuki tape archive

Thanks to Judith Gilbert for transcription and AW for Audio work - DC, 4-05-12

Yellow words are ones where Judy guessed.

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture
Audio Problem set
JG's first pass - see CM's 2nd pass

In this moment, it's restricted or limited, which is attainable under some restriction. It's real[Judith Gi1]  limited. Do you understand? That is what I meant.

Q: Is that part of you which you restrict, the same part of you that is liberated?

Yes. Some restriction is necessary. For our liberary, our self restrict[Judith Gi2]  is necessary to attain liberation.

Q: What are you to restrict, or what am I to restrict?

According to the mirror, some kind of[Judith Gi3] , under some kind of circumstances are always … different circumstances. So our way … way is not always same, but actually limited. It is not always … always the same. That is realization, limited, or you create even, actually, in this life. We understand in this way. We do not understand it -- restriction. We understand the means of realizing the limits. That -- as restriction.

Do you understand?

Q: uh huh.

For you, husband, husband is restriction, but because of your husband, you can express your affection. Restriction … it  gives you some chance to express your limited life.

For me to, for me as I'm Japanese, to come and live San Francisco is very big restriction. This is total restriction – personal fever. Because of that [Judith Gi4] the restriction is currently that sometimes they are limited Limited[Judith Gi5] .

Other times like that. Sounds negative, negative. If more restricted, sound like that I have no idea. At the same time I have no idea, really, where is if there's no restriction.[Judith Gi6] 

Q: [unintelligible][Judith Gi7] 

There is still a restriction. This is attitude, or belief.

Q: If we follow the instruction what restriction should we take up? [It seems there's the laws of the universe. I don't even know what they are. If the restriction goes against the laws. You wouldn't think it should happen][Judith Gi8]  It's difficult because we all have to find our way, and you have to break a restriction as soon as you make it.

But let me, say we have to be completely a kind of fool. We will find these negative events.[Judith Gi9]   You will find a different way, I hope, of realizing a way of facing these restriction[Judith Gi10] . When you realize this way of facing a restriction, it's often here where we do it.[Judith Gi11] 

So certain mistake, I feel is  our way of life.[Judith Gi12]   On restriction, negative, we are, we are caught by the idea of negative too much, and Buddhism doesn't [Judith Gi13] [make it]  or we do not emphasize too much – after it. But ah, … I hope trying to pay attention to it for our desires or instant.... [Judith Gi14] So coming along. If you practice this, but if you usual practice this, you can become this way of life, whether you feel better, or because you have to always practice[Judith Gi15]  some part a kind of restriction is lifted of whatever you whatever you do. You cannot find out without limit or restriction.


This is a kind of trust. If you are concentrated on everyday practice of zazen then this does not become restriction, but becomes the way. This is understanding of our way. This is necessary[Judith Gi16] .

Q: Long ago you said we recognize deep within ourselves, that we recognize the deep thing that might result in our perception.[Judith Gi17] 

I believe you can involve, but where? You might have some idea in head. But if you listen carefully.

Q When you are not listening to the restriction, you might not have the idea[Judith Gi18] .

That is your idea. First you haven't idea of effects what the results will end. But you do not then practice.

Q: I think that there is a kind of defense. That is why I didn't. This is been the reason why I'm not being around.

You do not recognize in the way that you can. Fundamental way, according to Buddha's way. Do you understand this? So I appreciate it.

Go beyond it. Look further, look deeper, look wider.

Q; [Question too faint to hear]

Go farther, and later, if you have some idea, you caught by the idea[Judith Gi19] 

Q: [too faint]

No, not all the time. Fundamental problem. But you are caught. The very one, real standards of it. Maybe. But that isn't standard. Later circumstance. Later, it had happened. Fundamental idea, for that.[Judith Gi20] 

You are caught by, because you are caught by some idea. Maybe it's not to concern but you make all the way to the cause, and as soon as you arrive at the cause… you doubt it.

Q: How do you do it?[Judith Gi21] 
[Judith Gi22] 

Oh, I make a relationship. I wish I didn't … we would say. I'm not negative ....but the rest of my life is to be going to do it the nice way. For a long time I thought that way. The rest of this life is [do the right thing][Judith Gi23] 

When you are trying… but when you are caught with[Judith Gi24]  fundamental idea... [strong confidence ] Do you see?

[Judith Gi25] After the Second World War, in Japan, the textbook of history...  completely, completely changed. The other people,  their concept of sociality not. That theory is based on some idea or some – idea  – or  framework of society. And then all the people in Japan become a lover …. lover?  become loving of  framework…  idea of framework and society… and within that framework  … when you feel more important ... this is big mistake! It is much better to be a lover, but you feel some drunk with it ...like some Coke… very easy the new generation of Japanese people, because It is easy for you to laugh! Japanese children are very independent people. Almost the same comical. It is not easy to understand. They keep anger, anger inside. This is age of loving, what?

Q: Isn't this the age of robot for a Japanese man?

You are joking, you do not understand.

Q: When we think of saving labor a robot is a machine, don't some things get run by a machine – a robot is a machine?

When you want to be lover, this is another idea.

Q: When you want to be lover, accept it?  


[Judith Gi26] When you have profit that is perfect idea ….The perfect is big question mark. It must be self. 

Q: If what you are saying... reminding of the sutras really won't help much. You won't really understand.

What's remind? There's no need to stop your mind. When you practice zen, you have to.

In other words, we have to be combine in tentative world. We must not be combine to have faith in world.

[Judith Gi27] That is why we are caught – some idea of perfect.

What is perfection? Perfection is left in back means you exist – exist as imperfect existence. This is our effort. There is no imperfection.

You say hand, and this is the paper in hand. When you repeat that circle – perfect. Hand, I think, is harmony exists between us. You cannot detach that hand. Do you understand? That is vaster hand. Hand is something perfect that exists in harmony.

When you, when you sleep, you have all images, and you are perfect. Before you notice, you have it. Harmony is something we have already – before we say harmony.

[Judith Gi28] Q: When you are caught or not caught by ideas of, you know, images in David Barry's … and still want to help others is to help one's self. To save others before one saves one's own. Can I consider to divide the effort in some way?

When you have those, I don't know how to say, problem as you have... For instance, you have to study to bring back the Buddha, Buddha's way. How you understand our practice is to go back to Buddha's way.

Q: I think it is ah … my first reaction is an acknowledgment of sincere effort, first of all.

Is that real?

Q: Well, as yet misdirected effort.

Right now, your effort that you are making is right effort. The effort you are making is real. That is the combine the better or image. That you need picture is that you have combine the teaching, the written teaching. First off, that is wrong. Is that what you mean?

Q: There still seems to be a division between philosophical and emotional, maybe. I don't know the expression.

Yeah. Your human ... problem to learn it is not necessary to understand Buddha's words or Buddha's teaching literally or in literature – teaching literally or in scripture. But better not to try to understand by this practice. Better to practice zazen irrespectively, and really .. you will better understand. You will have no statistic, intellectual understanding of your practice. Very sad.

Q: Once you understand and are sitting in this way[j g29] , the way back, so the way it seems people, I sound dualistic …

That is the main point of the lecture tonight.

That is the point. In short, if you do not try, if you do not understand why you are angry.... I am, I am quite … I am quite different someone who has nothing to do with you. That is your attitude. You may not think that is so, but I can … change the site or exaggerate, I cannot give you … So.

But this is why I am meditator – a passion.

In short, if Buddhism is right, or if zazen practice is right, I will practice it. If zazen practice is wrong, I will still sit. Or if the leader's practice is [j g30] wooden, I will practice. I will practice without expecting same. It looks like so, actually.

Q: In my case it is so, but if it's true in my case, while often there's a case of special freedom, or a special condition to meet that is somehow opposite in a certain kind of extension.

My letter is perfect to passport. Anyway you are apolitical. Your passport is practical it is necessary.

So, I've spoken in a philosophical way tonight. Buddhist philosophy is said to be denial of Buddhist philosophy. It is static – just you're afraid of absolute freedom from experience. To intellectualize our understanding is to intellectualize our intellectuality. What is your understanding? What is philosophy?

And if you study, if you push that philosophical way, through and through, recipe for defeat and dead end.

So we … I am working, pushing that idea of freedom, that idea of perfection – perfect structure of liberty to that point where you fight. That is no more perfect project or practice.

In short, our life is clear of ideas. That is said to be true. Actually.

Q: The American style. The Americans conceive of....

You are suffering.

We say in Western after Buddha, after it is 2,500 years going back to the Buddha, which today is us. Our life may be made more difficult by each other. Our life is our problem, logically. Your muddy puddle.

How is it possible to attain perfection within a muddy puddle?

But we have to strive for it.

That perfection Buddha has strived for, and we have to be successor. That is our way. Do you understand?

And you want to find out some pure water in small puddle. Small muddy puddle.

Every three and eight day, before four and nine day, we receive this kind of big stick on ourselves. You are even not trying!

Our practice. Your kind of idea of practice of early practice, not the kind, and you cannot get out of this. That is true.

That is eternal truth. That is a fundamental.

Comparing to this people, through the actions, we practice zazen here. With this, you will find out how [j g31] angry is practice. Do you understand?

If all of you understand this point, there's no more work. What is the meaning of finding perfection in actions? That is Jack's need or challenge. Dick Baker is next.

But [j g32] catfish is catfish because it is catfish. Is that not true? Nothing but catfish. And he want to be a wheel. So catfish needs big puddle.

He's more than a catfish. He can catch moonrise.

Q: If the catfish wants to be a wheel, isn't the desire to be a wheel part of the catfish?

If he wants to be, but maybe.... if you want to be a catfish, then one day you can become a whale, but be sure you did unfortunately.

Thank you very much.\


Source: digital audio archive from DC. Problem set. Transcribed March 2012 by Judy Gilbert. Work in progress. Further preparation to post by DC

 Judy notes:

 [Judith Gi2]0:47 liberation? Exists

 [Judith Gi4]3:48

 [Judith Gi17]13:41 fades & not discernible

 [Judith Gi20]18:34


 [Judith Gi24]21:59 very faint, needs filtering


 [Judith Gi27]30:47.

 [j g29]39:25

 [j g30]42:06

 [j g31]50:24

 [j g32]Cactus?



Source: digital audio archive from DC. Problem set. Thanks to audio work by AW, transcribed March 2012 by Judy Gilbert. Work in progress. Further preparation to post by DC

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts in Progress

Working with the most difficult tapes in the Suzuki tape archive

Thanks to Judith Gilbert for transcription and AW for Audio work

Suzuki lectures blog on SFZC site or Shunryu Suzuki dot com-the whole archive

Shunryu Suzuki Lectures on cuke