Note: Rows below without page numbers were other lectures of the period given at Los Altos and used in preparing Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Limited data. Beginner's Mind. AUTUMN EQUINOX WITH ZEN TEACHER GAELYN GODWIN of the Soto Zen Lineage of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki of the San Francisco Zen . Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice [ Shunryu Suzuki, Trudy Dixon, Huston Smith, Richard Baker, David Chadwick] on .
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mind" in calligraphy by Shunryu Suzuki. ZEN MIND,. BEGINNER'S MIND by SHUNRYU SUZUKI. First Master of Zen Center, San Francisco and Carmel Valley. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki is a book of instruction about how to practice Zen, about Zen life, and about the attitudes and. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. By Shunryu Suzuki. SHUNRYU SUZUKI () was a Japanese. Zen master of the Soto school who moved to the.
You have to read it with fresh mind. Thich Nhat Hanh. This is quite true with us. So by your practice we must make our beginner's mind more and more -- we should appreciate beginner's mind. If you try to do it all at once the water will leak from the bank so you have to make the bank carefully, little by little. Let them come and let them go out. We recited Prajna Paramita Sutra this morning only once.
In our scripture it is said that there are four kinds of horse -- an excellent We say our practice without gaining idea, practice without expecting even enlightenment, The purpose of my talk is not to give you some intellectual understanding but In India there were many schools. My master passed away when I was thirty three. The most important point in our practice is to have right effort.
When we sit in this way our mind is calm and quite simple. The precept today is giving, the joy of giving. There may be various kinds of practice, or ways of practice, or understanding In our practice we have no special object of worship.
The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism but to study ourselves. Zen story or Zen koan is very difficult to understand before you understand what As I cannot speak your language so well that I find some way to communicate with The more you understand our thinking, the more you find it difficult to talk If you go to Japan and visit Eiheiji monastery -- before you enter the monastery In our practice the important thing is our physical posture we take, and The basic teaching of Buddhism is the teaching of transcendence or change.
The purpose of zazen is to attain the freedom of our being, physically and mentally. There is big misunderstanding about the idea of naturalness. If you want to understand Buddhism it is necessary for you to forget all about In the Prajna Paramita Sutra the most important point, of course, is the idea I found out that it is necessary -- absolutely necessary to believe in nothing.
Already we feel night become shorter and shorter when I come here. Zazen is not one of the four activities: We should establish our practice where there is no practice or no enlightenment. I am very glad to be here the day Buddha was born -- when Buddha attained enlightenment This morning, I want to talk about our practice.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about.
An instant teaching on the first page. And that's just the beginning. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. Read more Read less. Frequently bought together. Total price: Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Ships from and sold by Amazon.
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: The Miracle of Mindfulness: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Way of Zen. The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment. Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen. Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation. Thich Nhat Hanh. An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Chogyam Trungpa. Read more. Product details Paperback: English ISBN Don't have a Kindle?
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Write a customer review. Customer images. See all customer images. Read reviews that mention beginners mind zen mind mind beginner shunryu suzuki mortal stakes robert b parker years ago zen buddhism red sox suzuki roshi great book highly recommend zen practice alan watts many times anyone interested zen meditation meditation practice peter coyote short chapters. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
Reading this book is like sitting with a teacher. The energy of it is clear and light, open. Its intent is to share its understanding, its observations. It looks easy, but it needs some different, special effort. How to make this kind of effort is the secret of practice. Suppose you are sitting under some extraordinary circumstances. If you try to calm down your mind you cannot sit, and if you try to -- try not to be disturbed by it, your effort will not be right effort. If you have to make some effort, the only effort you can do is to count your breathing or to be concentrated on your inhaling or exhaling.
Why this kind of effort is necessary is that this kind of effort will help right effort in your practice.
We say concentration but to concentrate your mind on something is not the purpose -- is not the true purpose of Zen. True purpose of Zen is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, to let everything go as it goes, and to put everything under control in it's widest sense. In other words, to open up our small mind, is Zen practice. So to control your mind is just an aid to obtain the big mind.
So if you want to find out the true meaning of Zen in your everyday life, some -- you have to study, or you have to find out the meaning of controlling your mind -- them meaning of keeping your mind on your breathing, the meaning of keeping your body in right posture. This is rather difficult to explain, but your study should be more subtle and careful.
And we have to find out the true meaning of Zen. From present to past, times goes from present to past. Kyo no Kimi was the wife of Yoshitsune, a famous samurai, just before the Kamakura period. He was so faithful to his brother until he was killed in the northern part of Japan. And before he went to northern part of the country he had to say-- he had to bid farewell to his wife, and soon his wife was caught by his brother.
In her mind the past time was now. So when we find out this kind of truth it means we have found the true meaning of the time which constantly elapses from past to present and present to future.
If this is true, at the same time, the time elapses from future to present and from present to past is also true. We have to acquire this kind of vital freedom, perfect freedom. So perfect freedom is in-- is under some rules. If there are no rules, there is no freedom. As long as you have rules you have freedom. Without being aware of the rules to try to obtain freedom means nothing.
This kind of freedom is -- I don't know what to say. It means nothing. Muchacha means nothing. That is why we practice zazen. We are aiming at the same thing but it looks like there is no need for us to practice anything; there is no need for us to have any rules, as some young people may say, but it is absolutely for us to have some rules.
But it does not mean always to be under control. This is the secret of our life. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, p. Don't try to stop the thinking when you are practicing zazen. Let it stop. If something comes into your mind let it come and let it go out. It will not stay long.
But if you try to stop it, it means you are bothered by it. Don't be bothered by anything. Actually we say something comes from outside, but it is -- actually it is the waves of your mind, so wave cannot be -- will stay -- will become more and more calm.
So in five minutes or at most ten minutes your mind will be completely serene and calm. At that time your breathing becomes pretty slow, while your pulse of your hand becomes a little bit faster. We don't know why, but if you will check your pulse you, yourself cannot do it but it appears in that way.
It takes pretty long time before you get calm, serene mind in your practice, but even though you have waves in your mind that is waves in your own mind. Nothing comes out from out here. Nothing can bother -- nothing can cause any trouble for your mind. You make your mind disturbed -- bothered by -- you make waves of your mind. So if you don't -- if you let it as it is your mind will be calm.
Usually our mind expects something from outside -- our mind is ready to accept something from outside, but that is not true understanding of our mind. According to our understanding, mind includes everything. Nothing comes from outside. Our mind has everything, and when you think something comes from outside it means your mind -- in your mind something appears.
In this way you accept things. If your mind is related to some other things, that mind is small mind, limited mind. If your mind is not related to anything else and with the understanding of mind, something which you feel is just the waves of your mind, there is no dualistic understanding in your activity of your mind.
That mind is the big mind which is not related to anything else. Everything is included within your mind. That is essence of mind. So essence of mind -- that is the religious feeling. That mind is pure, even though you have waves in your mind, that is pure mind, clear water with some waves.
And that is the actual -- you have some security in your feeling when you understand your mind in that way. And your mind do not expect anything from outside, so your mind is always filled, or -- and even though your mind has waves it is not disturbed mind, it is actually more amplified mind. Whatever you experience it means amplifying your mind. You find various meanings of you own mind. It is not disturbance.
Do you understand the difference between the two understandings of your mind? Mind which includes everything, mind which is related to something else. Actually maybe the same thing, you know, but understanding is different, or attitude toward your life if different. This is Buddhist understanding of your mind. So that is why our mind is called cosmic mind. The mind which is ready to accept things -- not even ready for -- because the activity of our mind is just to amplify or, feeling good, through various experiences, through the activity of your mind.
You know when you feel something. That is you feeling. So that is called enlightenment. Your mind -- something good will be supplied as an experience of your which you experience… not now, but sometime before.
Even though you do not know when you have experience, but you feel as if you have know it… you have experienced it long before.
That is how we accept things. So this mind is not different from the mind which is related to something. In this… with this mind we sit, so our mind is always… we can sit with the big mind. This practice is called practice with original enlightenment, or wondrous enlightenment.
It is not so easy to come and sit even though -- even after you started sitting at first, you have to encourage yourself to sit well. This kind of -- those are the waves of our mind-- just waves and in pure zazen there should not be any waves in our mind. But while you are sitting those waves will more and more become smaller and your effort change into some subtle feeling.
We make it nourishment of the plant. We pull the weed and bury the weed near the plant to make it nourishment of the plant.
So even though you have some difficulty in your practice -- even though you have some waves while you are sitting, those weeds itself will help you.
So we should not be bothered by the weeds you have in your mind. We should be rather grateful to the weeds you have in your mind because eventually will enrich your practice. If you have some experience how the weed you have in your mind will change into your mental nourishment in your practice your practice make remarkable progress.
You feel the progress, you know. You can feel how it change into the nourishment of yourself. Of course it is not so difficult to give some philosophical interpretation to our practice but that is not enough. We must have actual experience of how our weeds change into the nourishment. Strictly speaking, the effort we make is not good because that is a kind of waves of our mind, but if you, but it is impossible to attain absolute calmness of your mind without any effort.
You must make some effort, but we must forget ourselves into the effort we make. In this kind of realm you have no subjectivity or objectivity. Your mind is just calm without even any awareness. And in this unawareness every effort, and every idea and thought will vanish.
So, it is necessary for us to encourage ourselves and to make effort to the last minute where we have no effort. You have to keep your mind on your breathing, until you do not aware of your breathing, but we should try to keep our effort -- continue our effort forever.
And when we try to -- when we continue our effort we should not expect to -- expect some stage when we will forget all about it. We should just try to keep our mind on our breathing. That is actual practice. And that effort will be refined more and more while you are sitting.
At first the effort we make is quite rough and impure, but by the power of practice, the effort will be more and more pure -- will become more and more pure. When your effort becomes pure your body and mind becomes pure. This is the way how we practice Zen.
This kind of practice is not possible by ordinary activity, but once you understand our innate power to purify ourselves and our surroundings you can act properly and you will learn with each other and you will become friendly with each other.
This is the merit of Zen practice. But the way of practice is just to be concentrated on your breathing with right posture, with pure, great effort. This is how we practice Zen. In our scripture it is said that there are four kinds of horse -- an excellent one and a not so good ones and bad horse. The best horse will run before it sees the shadow of the whip -- that is the best one.
And the second one will run just before the whip reach his skin -- and that is the second one. The third one will run when it feels pain on his body -- that is the third. The fourth one will run after the pain penetrates into his marrow of the bone -- that is the worst one. When we hear this story perhaps everyone wants to be a good horse -- the best horse; even if it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be second best.
That is quite usual understanding of horse. But actually when we sit, you will understand whether we are the best horse or the not so good ones. Here we have some problem in understanding of Zen. Zen is not the practice to be the best horse. If you think so, if you understand Zen as a kind of practice to be a best horse you will have, if you have this kind of idea, you will have problem.
That is not the right understanding of Zen. Actually, if you practice right Zen, whether you are best horse or worst one is not -- doesn't matter. That is not the point. If you feel the mercy of Buddha what will he -- if you think of the mercy of Buddha, what do you think the Buddha will feel for him worst horse -- he will like or he will be most -- more sympathetic with the worst one rather than with the best one.
So if you have the right understanding of Zen, or deeper understanding, worst horse should be most valuable horse. And because of the imperfect character of ourselves we have to express our inmost feeling through our imperfect body and characters. Usually those who can sit physically perfect takes more time to obtain the marrow of Zen -- the true taste of Zen -- actual feeling of Zen. Those who have -- those who find a great difficulty in practice Zen will find more meaning of Zen. So sometimes I think it is the best horse is the worst horse and worst horse is the best one -- sometimes.
In -- If you study calligraphy, you know, those -- usually those who are not so clever will become best calligraphers, and those who are very clever at his hand will find great difficulty to attain excellent calligraphy.
That is quite usual in our art and religion. The posture we take is not the same. For someone it is impossible to take this posture. Even though he cannot take right posture he can practice Zen in its true sense. In our everyday life we -- what we are always ashamed of myself -- reflecting what we are doing. The calendar is a calendar of failure -- the calendar become a calendar of failure. Shaku means mistake or wrong.
With wrong -- succeed wrong with wrong. To succeed wrong with wrong or to succeed mistake with mistake. It means continuous mistake. Continuous mistake is Zen according to him. And yet he is a founder of Zen. But his life was a life of continuous mistake. Shoshaku jushaku. But there is Zen in it. Those who think he is good father is not good father -- but those who think he is good husband is not good husband; those who think he is bad husband may be good husband.
This is true. When we find it is impossible because of pain on your head or some physical difficulty, but in such case we should sit when we are worst horse -- We should sit. Then you will get the marrow of the Zen.
Suppose your children suffering from hopeless disease. You don't know what to do. You cannot lie in bed. Usually the best thing for you is to lie in warm, comfortable bed.
That is the best place to live. But in such case you cannot rest on your comfortable bed so you may walk up and down because you cannot stay still. You think that is the best way. In such case how is it possible to stay still? But actually best way to stand for the mental suffering is to sit -- this is the best way. If you can't sit in such case you are not Zen student. Even though you walk in and out of your house, it doesn't work.
It is nearly the same as you try to lie in your comfortable bed. In sitting you want your mind and your body has power to accept things. In standing posture you have no power to accept your difficulties. In this posture you have big power to accept you difficulties. In this posture you have big power to accept things. Whether your posture is right or wrong it is out of question. So when you sit you have enormous power to accept things as it is whether it is agreeable to you or disagreeable to you, you can accept things as it is.
When you feel disagreeable it is better for you to sit. There is no other way to accept it and work on it. That is the only way we have.
And we have always this wonderful way to accept things and to work on things. We say our practice without gaining idea, practice without expecting even enlightenment, but what we mean by those statements is -- it does not mean just to sit without any purpose. Of course this practice of -- without gaining idea, based on the gaining idea we have in the Prajna Paramita Sutra: When you find it difficult to stop your mind in your sitting and are still trying to stop your mind, this is the stage of form is emptiness and emptiness is form.
But while you are practicing this way, more and more your practice will -- in your practice you will have oneness of your goal and your practice without effort, you can stop your mind. This is the stage of form is form and emptiness is emptiness. To stop your mind does not mean to stop your activities of mind. It means your mind pervades your whole body. Your mind follows your breathing and your mind -- with your full mind you form the mudra in your hands; with your mind you sit with painful legs without being disturbed by them.
This is to sit without gaining idea. At first you feel some restriction in your posture but when you find -- when you are not disturbed by the restriction that is actually what we mean by emptiness is emptiness and form is form. So to find your own way under some restriction is the way of practice.
So it does not mean that whatever you do that is zazen. Or even lying down that is zazen. When your mind is not restricted by restriction that is what we mean by practice.
If really it doesn't matter there is no need for you even to say so. As long as you are concerned about what you do, that is dualistic. If you are not concerned about what you do you will not say so.
When you sit, you will sit. When you eat you will eat. If you say it doesn't, it means that you are making some excuse to something by your own way. It means you are attached to something especially. That is not what we mean, but just to sit, or whatever you do that is zazen.
Whatever we do that is zazen. If it is so there is no need to say so. So when you sit you will just sit without being disturbed by your painful legs or sleepiness.
That is zazen. But at first it is very difficult to accept things as they are. You feel some -- you will be annoyed by the feeling your have in your practice. When you can do everything, whether it is good or bad, you can do it without disturbance or without being annoyed by the feeling that is actually what we mean by form is form and emptiness is emptiness. Suppose you suffer from an illness like cancer and you realize you cannot live more than two or three years.
Then you will start practice because it is difficult to rely on something. And someone may rely on the help of God. Someone may start the practice of zazen and his practice will be concentrated on obtaining emptiness or all things. We naturally -- originally we are empty beings. That means he is trying to be free from the suffering of duality this life, or next life, or this life. This is the practice of form is emptiness or emptiness is form. Because that is true so we want to have that actual realization in our life.
But of course this practice will help you and if you practice it and believe in it that is true, and if you -- and realizing that to be concerned about this life or that life is wrong, still you are making effort. That is, maybe, that will help you, of course, but that is not perfect practice. Knowing that his life is just two or three years time to enjoy day after day, moment after moment that is the life is form is form and emptiness is emptiness.
When Buddha comes you will welcome him; when devil comes you will welcome him. That is the life of form is form and emptiness is emptiness. There is no problem. One year of his life is good. One hundred years of life is good. If you continue our practice you will attain this stage.
But at first you will have various problems in your practice and it necessary for you to make some effort to continue our practice. Practice without effort is not true practice for the beginner. For the beginner the practice needs effort. So whatever we do that is practice-- that is Zen. So it does not matter whether you practice or not -- that kind of understanding is completely mistaken.
If you continue, whatever you do, that is practice. If you do it everything with this purpose and this idea that is practice. By bow we can eliminate our selfish, self-centered idea. My teacher had hard skin on his forehead because he bowed and bowed and bowed so many times and he knew that he was very obstinate, stubborn fellow, so he bowed and bowed and bowed and he always heard his master's scolding voice. That is why he bowed. And he joined our order when he was thirty.
For Japanese priest to join the order at the age of thirty is not early. He said, [Japanese phrase missing in transcript]. It means priest who joined our order when he is old. When we join order when we are young we have little -- it is easy to get rid of our selfishness.
But when we have very stubborn, selfish idea it is rather hard to get rid of it. So he was always scolded because he joined our order so late. To scold does not mean slight people, or it does not mean to -- actually his teacher was not actually scolding him. His master loved him very much because of his stubborn character. And to bow means to eliminate our self-centered idea.
It is not so -- actually it is not so difficult -- easy -- and although it is difficult to try to get rid of it is very valuable practice. The result is not the point but effort to improve ourselves is valuable.
There is no end in our practice. We have four vows -- although sentient being is innumerable, we have to save -- we vow to save them that is one. Although are evil desires is limitless, but we vow to get rid of it that is second and although the teaching is limitless, but we vow to study. Although Buddhism is unattainable, we should attain it. That is four vows. If it is unattainable, how can we attain it? But we should.
That is Buddhism. Because it is possible we will do it. That is not Buddhism. Even though it is impossible we have to do it if it is our true nature. Whether it is possible or not is not the point.
If we want to do it we have to do it even though it is impossible. So whether it is possible to get rid of our self-centered idea or not is not the point. Anyway we have to try to get rid of it.
When we make this effort there are our appeasement, there our Nirvana. There is no other way to attain calmness of your mind than to do it -- than to try to do it. If you -- when you thinking about -- before you decide -- determine to do it you have difficulty but if you start to do it there is no difficulty -- there is appeasement, there is calmness of your mind.
So calmness of your mind should be found in -- real calmness should be found in activity. Calmness of your mind does not mean to stop our activity. In our activity there is true calmness. Even though you try very hard, you cannot actually make progress. The progress you make is always little by little. It is like -- to go through fog. You don't know when you get wet, but if you just walk through fog you will be wet, little by little, even though you don't know -- it is not like a shower.
It is not so bad but when you get wet by fog it is very difficult to dry yourself. This is how we make progress. So actually there is not need to worry about your progress. Just to do it is the way. It is, maybe, like to study language. Just repeating, you will master it. You cannot do it all of a sudden. This is how we practice, especially Soto way, is to do it little by little. To make progress little by little.
Or we do not even mind, we do not expect to make progress, just to do it is our way. The point is to do it with sincerity in each moment.
That is the point. There should not be Nirvana besides our practice. I feel the practice of zazen is enough but if I should say something. I think what I shall talk will be how wonderful it is to practice zazen in this way.
Our purpose is just to keep this practice forever. This practice is started from beginningless time and it will continue for endless future. Strictly speaking, for human being there is no other practice than this practice.
There is no other way of life than this way of life, because Zen practice is direct expression of our true nature. Of course, whatever you do, it is the expression of our true nature, but without this practice it is difficult to realize what is our life.
When you give up, or when you do not want to, when you do not do anything, you do something. When you do not do anything with some gaining idea, you do something. Actually what you are doing is not for sake of something. You feel as if you are doing something special but actually it is the expression of true nature, or that is the activity to appease you inmost desire. It is our human nature to be active always.
To do something is our human nature and it is universal nature for everyone, every existence. So, in this way, just practice of Zen is enough. But so long as you think you are practicing zazen for sake of something that is not true practice. If you continue this simple practice every day you will obtain some wonderful power. But before you attain it, it is some wonderful power but after you attain it, it is just power. It is not something special.
It is just you yourself. Nothing special. As Chinese poem says there is nothing special. If you visit there, there is nothing special. However Losan is famous for its misty mountains. And Seko is famous for its water.
This is Zen. There is nothing special. If you go there there is nothing special. But people think Losan is wonderful. It is wonderful to see the range of mountains covered by mist; to see the misty mountains in Losan is wonderful.
And people say it is wonderful to see the water covers all the earth. It is wonderful they may say but if you go there you see just water and you see just mountains.
But it is a kind of mystery that for the people who has no experience of enlightenment, enlightenment is something wonderful, but if you attain it that is nothing. Although it is nothing, it is not nothing. Do you understand? For some person, for the mother who has children to have children is nothing special, nothing special. But if she lose her children what she will feel? So if you continue this practice we don't know when you will acquire the power, but more and more you will acquire something.
Not special, but something. You may say, universal nature, or Buddha nature, enlightenment.
You may call it by many names but for the person who owns it, it is nothing. And it is something. So I cannot express my joy to practice zazen with you here once a week. And while you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, you will -- your experience becomes more and more deeper and the experience you have you obtain, will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is when you practice zazen it is necessary to forget all gaining idea, all dualistic idea.
In other words just practice zazen in certain posture. This is very good point. Don't think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without thinking, without expecting anything. Then you will -- or true nature will resume its own nature and eventually you will resume to your own nature. You resume your true nature when the true nature resumes to its own nature.
If you hit the horse, the horse will be angry. What will you do? When you resume to your true nature, when your true nature resumes to its true nature, you resume to your true nature.