Shunryu Suzuki

All quotes below are derived from "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice" by Shunryu Suzuki.


Single-Minded Way, p53 "If you want to express yourself, your true nature, there should be some natural and appropriate way of expression. Even swaying right and left as you sit down or get up from zazen is an expression of yourself. It is not preparation for practice, or relaxation after practice; it is part of the practice. So we should not do it as if it were preparing for something else. This should be true in your everyday life. To cook, or to fix some food, is not preparation, according to Dogen; it is practice. To cook is not just to prepare food for someone or yourself; it is to express your sincerity. So when you cook you should you should express yourself in your activity in the kitchen. You should allow yourself plenty of time; you should work on it with nothing in your mind, and without expecting anything. Your should just cook! That is also an expression of our sincerity, a part of our practice."


No Dualismp.41 "...if you are not careful the sutra itself will give you a gaining idea. It says, 'Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.' But if you attach to that atatement, you are liable to e involved in dualistic ideas: here is you, form, and here is emptiness, which you are trying to realize through your form. So 'form is emptiness, and emptiness is form' is still dualistic. But fortunately, our teaching goes on to say, 'Form is form and emptiness is emptiness.' Here there is no dualism. When you are still trying to stop your mind, this is the stage of 'form is emptiness and emptiness is form.' But while you are practicing in this dualistic way, more and more you will have oneness with your goal. And when your practice becomes effortless, you can stop your mind. This is the stage of 'form is form and emptiness is emptiness.'...When you say, 'Whatever I do is buddha nature, so it doesn't matter what I do, and there is no need to practice zazen,' that is already a dualistic understanding of our everyday life. If it really does not 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."


Mind Weeds p.36 "Of course it is not so difficult to give some philosophical interpretation of our practice, but that is not enough. We must have the actual expreience of how our weeds change into nourishment." {Zen can not easily be defined. It is easier to understand if it is experienced.}