From Shunryu Suzuki's Hand

other graphics-sutra-cards

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Shunryu Suzuki Letters and Cards and Brush Work.

These are the only examples of correspondence by Suzuki that I can find. If anyone has any more, I'd be happy to include them in this archive. Thanks - DC. Adding calligraphy and doodles starting 10-02-14 and the Heart Sutra card links on 10-19-14

for Letters go here


 ZMC Benefit Art Exibition and Sale poster - First use of Shunryu Suzuki's famous enso.for a fundraiser organized by Mike in 1966

More on this famous enso

A poem by Tozan translated by Suzuki and given to Bill Kwong long ago. Bill gave his student Peter Levitt a copy. It came up in his podcast.


Beginner's Mind Calligraphy

Nyorai (thus come, tathagata) from the cover of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - original calligraphy now hanging on a wall at Richard Baker's Johanneshof.


Bob Watkins on Suzuki's Nyorai sumie used for the cover of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind





from Richard Baker's Introduction to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: The calligraphy on the front of the binding reads nyorai in Japanese or tathagata in Sanskrit. This is a name for Buddha which means “he who has followed the path, who has returned from suchness, or is suchness, thus-ness, is-ness, emptiness, the fully completed one.” It is the ground principle which makes the appearance of a Buddha possible. It is Zen mind. At the time Suzuki-roshi wrote this calligraphy€”using for a brush the frayed end of one of the large swordlike leaves of the yucca plants that grow in the mountains around Zen Mountain Center€”he said: “This means that Tathagata is the body of the whole earth.”


Two more Suzuki yucca leaf brush late entries like the famous to us one above - sent by Bob Watkins

 Bob says Suzuki said this one is Pure Wind

and that Suzuki said this one means Everything is Perfect.

Need 2nd opinion

Read about the origin of the unique brush in Bob Watkins interview

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Datebook - 1959 
The date book Suzuki brought with him from Japan when he first came and made some entries, but he really wasn't a datebook type guy and there's not much there.

Certificate given participants in the first sesshin.






From the 2nd sesshin








Suzuki's? Maybe. A wind bell for the Wind Bells. See other uses of this and more artwork from early Wind Bells.


Three Wind Bell poems in Suzuki's hand maybe in preparation for the one used for the early Wind Bells.











Machine generated alternative text:  This calligraphy by Suzuki Roshi is the   Japanese name he chose for Tassajara€”   Zenshinji meaning Zen Mind-Heart Temple.

from Wind Bell 67-02

Shunryu Suzuki Curriculum Vitae
Done with Kobun Chino in 1969 in preparation for the interviews with him on his life by Peter Schneider - see Shunryu on Shunryu

PDF of this CV in Suzuki's hand

PDF of typed version



Zen Bones benefit lecture by Alan Watts poster with Suzuki calligraphy for bone.





Buddha calligraphy by Shunryu Suzuki





Be Careful with Fire calligraphy

for Grahame Petchey







Read about the origin of this in Zen Is Right Here.



Read about the origin of this piece in Zen Is Right Here.



From a January 1964 Suzuki lecture on Blue Cliff Records model subject #46 - as presented in the February Wind Bell.

All Wind Bells


Back side of DC lay rakusu with kanji written by Suzuki



Another Rakusu forget whose but looks like maybe the Buddhist name is Daiho Myogen (not Steve Stucky)

Reading R to L up to down

Daizai geda puku        ---   Great robe of liberation
Muso fuku den'e         ---   A field far beyond form and emptiness
Hibu nyori kyo            ---   Wearing the tathagatha's teaching
Kodo shoshujo           ---   Saving all beings

And here's the Kechimyaku that went with it.




Calligraphy from Suzuki on the cover of the Brochure for Life, Times, and Teachings of Shunryu Suzuki

Ōzammai - king samadhi


A New Year's card Suzuki sent to Elsie Mitchell - More here











Suzuki's Romanized writing of an eko (chant to dedicate merit after sutra chanting)


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Comment and translation of the above by Shohaku Okumura, ed by DC - thanks Tracy Cramer (who has a copy of it) for getting this from Okumura.

The writing of Suzuki Roshi is a part of the Eko for a service, Sutra Chanting for Mortuary Hall Patrons (in Soto School Scriptures For Daily Services And Practice published by Sotoshu Shumucho). It is in page 68 of the book. The English translation of this part of the eko is:

The merit generated thereby may assist their awakened spirit and adorn the land of their reward. We humbly pray that within the current of birth and death they shall be as the lustrous pearl shimmering undisturbed in the vast sea; that on the shore of nirvana they shall be as a cinnamon moon shining alone in the azure sky; so that they will guide the entire world, together climbing the path to awakening.

Read Tracy's story this.

Below is just some piece of writing from Suzuki. A translation is below it revealing nothing of importance. Probably should just delete it but what the heck. - dc

500 Hundred Year History of Rinsoin

Edited by Master Akatsuki Ofusa

Scholar of local cultures


Went back to the home country to attend the dharma heir ceremony of Richard Baker


Has a profound knowledge of local cultures

While Suzuki in office, Master Ishimine (or Sekiho) Yamamoto's historical standpoint


                                                                                   Old established family in Sakamoto

Possession of family of Masaji Yamada - Ishimine (or Sekiho) Yamamoto's original script

SR Memo translated by Yumiko Sakamoto 11 24 2020 

DC note - Sakamoto is the area where Shunryu Suzuki's Japanese temple Rinsoin is.  There's an interview with Masaji Yamada on cuke.

Writing in Japanese by Shunryu Suzuki and others

Shunryu Suzuki various writing in Japanese on Sokoji stationary