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Posts about Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Shunryu Suzuki cuke Lecture Page -------------------------- (access to the whole archive)

12-26-14 - On there are now 143 suggested edited versions of the verbatim transcripts for those who want an alternative to the raw material. Read more on this.


12-14-14 - Starting a page for quotes from Shunryu Suzuki lectures (12-14-14) as I read through them. Already into 1968. Like to post something every day on so will find something to post from what I read every day or so. - DC


11-23-14 - Reading through all of Suzuki's lectures now and we're making little changes and corrections on on the default transcripts which can be downloaded and printed. Some really embarrassing mistakes have been in there for years. Found another really big one today. - read more in One Continuous Mistake


11-01-14 - Chart - Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcript Categories and Info


working on an audio chart - 6-2015

posted in Documents relating to Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

10-26-14 - New to transcripts in progress - A fragment from a shosan ceremony occurring at the end of a fall-winter practice ceremony in which students are asking the abbot, Shunryu Suzuki questions. It was found in the middle of audio file 68-02-00-G which was thought to be just a Togen Sumi lecture. This is only the first pass. Am seeking ears of others to do a better job. Just go to this link to read the very brief transcript in progress with question marks for parts not understood. There's a link there to the audio. Send suggested solutions to dchad at cuke dot com. Thanks. - DC

10-22-14 - For historical reasons and to honor the work of those who did the early transcripts of Shunryu Suzuki lectures, transcripts of 75 of them have now been entered onto They can be found by clicking on Early Zen Center Transcripts in the Other Associated File? window or by looking in More Files of a lecture. Next year, if I don't get eaten by a shark, they will be featured one by one here on cuke. But even then Peter Ford who entered them into the site would probably carry on. He's been doing a ton of work on all this. Me too. More to come on all this of course. - dc

10-12-14 - Here's the 4th of four Gordon Geist light edits of Shunryu Suzuki lectures used in Not Always So that were missing from the collection on See post below on 10-02-14 for the 1st and more info. The 2nd one went up on the 4th and the third on the 8th.


Lecture given on 71-02-12-B - was the source for the chapter  of Not Always So called "Not Sticking to Enlightenment" on p. 131.  - the light edit


10-10-14 - Creating this page for posts concerning Shunryu Suzuki lectures so that the main lecture page can be spiffy and all these notes can be in their own space.


Here's the 3rd of four Gordon Geist light edits of Shunryu Suzuki lectures that were part of Not Always So that were missing from the collection on See post below on 10-02-14 for the 1st and more info. The 2nd one went up on the 4th and the third on the 8th.

Lecture given on 70-03-15 - was the source for the chapter  of Not Always So called "Everyday Life is like a Movie" on p. 49.  - the light edit

A page for that lecture with links to other versions and audio.

10-08-14 - Here's the 3rd of four Gordon Geist light edits of Shunryu Suzuki lectures that were part of Not Always So that were missing from the collection on See post below on 10-02-14 for the 1st and more info. The 2nd one went up on the 4th.

Lecture given on 71-02-12 - was the source for the chapter "Not Sticking to Enlightenment" on p. 131.  - the light edit

A page for that lecture with links to other versions and audio.

Gorden Geist memories of SR - 15 years ago

10-04-14 - Here's the 2nd light edit of the two Gordon Geist light edits mentioned above.

69-06-22 - Direct Experience of Reality - the light edit

A page for that lecture with links to other versions and audio.

10-02-14 - Going through what transcripts we have and making a chart. Gordon Geist in Norway did a bunch of light edits of verbatim Shunryu Suzuki lectures including all of the lectures that comprised Not Always So, a collection of Suzuki's lectures edited by Edward Brown. Gordon translated it into Norwegian as he did ZMBM. He did all that years ago. I noticed in the chart that there were two Suzuki lectures that were part of Not Always so that didn't have light edits by Gordon so I emailed him and he sent them. I forwarded them to Peter Ford who operates these days and he included them there. So here's the first one:

69-03-09 - Sun-Faced Buddha, Moon-Faced Buddha - the light edit

A page for that lecture with links to other versions and audio.

9-16-14 - Here's a more accurate version of Shunryu Suzuki lecture #12 on the Lotus Sutra from the fall of 1968. Lecture name 68-10-00-K surely given later on in November but most of these lectures weren't dated so they were named that way a while back. This will be added to where the link to that lecture is this. A text file of this PDF should replace the existing work in progress. Not going to do that now though because Peter Ford who manages the site is being inundated by me with emails about a transcript project we're involved with.

Don't know why this transcript by the meticulous Brian Fikes is not in the transcript archive. I found it about a year ago comparing old transcript collections from the SFZC with what we've got now and included it in a group to be scanned. There still might be some others that haven't made it to the current so called complete archive. When I get back to the States I plan to see that all those old transcripts are carefully checked again to make sure there's not some other transcripts that could be added - among tons of other archive stuff to go through in storage. - DC

8-12-14 - Bill Redican's Shunryu Suzuki lecture master log from his valiant work over a decade ago - in Group I  of 2013 Scans from Cuke Archives

This log focuses on lectures with audio. The archive is more complete now and there have been many changes, but this is an important archival document. It's a PDF of about 120 mgs. Thanks to Jean Selkirk for creating this PDF. Bill's work concentrated on lectures with audio.

8-02-14 - Marian Derby letter to DC explaining what she thinks the source of the box of Shunryu Suzuki Los Altos Lecture transcripts with editing marks that ended up in the SFZC library closet - all of which now are in lecture archive on - - in Group I  of 2013 Scans from Cuke Archives

5-08-14 - A page of a Shunryu Suzuki lecture edit draft for 1967-01-12. We're trying to determine whose hand the edit marks are in, probably either Trudy Dixon or Marian Derby. This came from Los Altos so they would seem to be Marian's. They were sent to Blanche Hartman at the City Center years ago with a whole box of Suzuki lecture transcripts sent by Angie Boissevain or so Blanch thought as the note that came with them was signed with a single letter, maybe B - saying they were cleaning up and found the box. I discovered the box a few years back in the SFZC library storage room and stayed up all night copying the originals and the final drafts but not the intermediate note stages. I assumed it was Trudy's edits and called it Trudy's box but now I'm not so sure. Last year I mentioned to Connie Cummings, SFZC secretary, that they should be scanned and she asked Joe Tennis to do it with his archiving class that comes to the ZC in the summers and she told me they did it. I'm trying to get those scans right now. - dc

Here these lectures are

4-29-14 - All Shunryu Suzuki lectures, lecture notes, and comments from the SFZC's Wind Bell publication scanned and presented here as PDF images with OCR (optical character recognition) along with links to PDFs of the complete Wind Bells.

9-29-13 - We have replaced the following incomplete audio on with complete audio

69-09-00 B - "Stand Up by the Ground/ We have been talking about-- discuss-- discussing about reality, actually, and ..."

69-09-00 C - Sesshin, Third Night Lecture - "We are talking about our practice. What is the practice, and what is enlightenment..."

69-09-14  - get rid of modified audio because it was not of the whole lecture. Pure Silk, Sharp Iron - "Sunday school-- a Sunday-school girl saw me in sitting, and she said..."

70-07-13 - Ekō Lecture 5 -  "Morning Service Patriarch Hall Sutra Line 1. May Buddha observe us and may ...…"

69-09-16 - had the wrong audio. Got the right one on there: Why I became a priest - "I have not much chance to think about why I came to America or why I became a ...…"

Lecture titles and quotes from the Title/First Line column of the Compact Media List

4-06-12 - Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts 2012

1-24-12 - THE TRIKĀYA - Edited from six Lotus Sutra Lectures. Scanned from Wind Bell .

1-10-12 - The Shunryu Suzuki lecture 67-08-24CU mentioned below on 1-08-12, a new addition to the on disc/online archive. This lecture needs to be proofed again against the Fall '67 Wind Bell or a scan of the Wind Bell from which it came. - volunteer sought. Thanks again Edgar Arnold for entering it onto disc. - dc

1-08-12 - The phrase “most important as found in Shunryu Suzuki lectures #134. Two new "most important" uses uncovered in a lecture and discussion recently scanned by DC from the fall, 1967 Wind Bell, and entered onto disc by Edgar Arnold in Munich. This lecture is being entered into the disc/online archive archive of Suzuki lectures along with two other small Suzuki statements from that same Wind Bell which Edgar also just entered onto disc. Right now I'm naming this 67-08-24CU (the date attributed by the Wind Bell) with another lecture and a shosan ceremony for that date already. That's possible - it was at the end of a sesshin. The lecture will be posted soon and I'm scanning another group of lectures for Edgar. Thanks Edgar! - dc

4-15-10 -  Charley Pokorny who's doing the Suzuki Roshi blog for the SFZC, came over and we fixed a screwed up audio file he'd noticed. So now if you go to and get in and then to the Suzuki Lecture Index and go to 66-03-13b, you'll get the corrected lecture. Also added on the side are Ananda Claude Dalenberg's intro to the tape and a good clean version of the Heart Sutra. I edit out everything from the Suzuki lectures that isn't him talking and put it in separate files in an Other Folder. Here it all is on cuke so you don't have to go to to get it. The first two are 32k mp3 and the lecture is 16k which may be too low quality for you. Let me know if so and I'll change it.

The Heart Sutra - with Dainin Katagiri leading the chanting

Shunryu Suzuki lecture B on 66-03-13

Incidentally, just fixing this and changing it in various archive drives and on the web took several hours. If doing a bunch of like stuff at once of course it gets faster and one stops making the same mistakes. - dc

9-20-09 - Thanks to Al Giga for sending this photo of the cover of the recent issue of Vogue (German issue) which on the inside has a quote from Shunryu Suzuki

Here's how I got it (caps are not mine - dc)



I just searched ZMBM and found it this way as the lead quote for the chapter on - well, you can see it.

COMMUNICATION "Without any intentional, fancy way of adjusting yourself, to express yourself as you are is the most important thing."

Here's the verbatim quote (not checkable on a tape but, according to one transcriber from back then, they typed it word for word) from the original lecture from February 2nd, 1967. Interesting to see how it changes as it moves.

To be quite natural…to ourselves, and to follow what others say or what others do in the most appropriate way is pretty difficult.  So…but we cannot adjust ourselves, in some way.  It is impossible.  If you try to adjust yourself in certain way you will lose yourself.  So without adjust yourself, without any artificial, fancy way of adjusting yourself, to express yourself quite freely is the most important thing to make you happy and to make others happy. 

You can get this at - see if you can find it.

Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Way long ago notes

The archives of the San Francisco Zen Center currently includes about 400 Shunryu Suzuki lectures on tape and\or in print. They are currently being worked on so that a complete set of verbatim transcripts will exist [see ARCHIVE]. That was written in 1999 or so. Now there are many lectures available at the SFZC to read in verbatim and edited form. The job is mostly done. 

At present only a relatively small number of Suzuki's lectures are available for the public outside of Zen Center and affiliated libraries. He wished for them to be edited before they were published but more and more his unedited lectures are available. And a lightly edited version of a new lecture is put on this site about every month [June, 2004]. There are several sources where lectures edited by Shunryu Suzuki's students can be found.

The most famous source is "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," but there are two other books of Suzuki lectures: Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness and Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen (Amazon link) which is more in the vein of ZMBM. Another source known to the Buddhist world is the bi-annual Wind Bell, publication of the SFZC (300 Page St., San Francisco CA 94102)[$3 per issue; $6 a year domestic; $10 a year foreign] and there are publications of other Zen Centers, especially the Berkeley Zen Center. 

Also, the book of Wind Bell excerpts has a number of lectures by Suzuki Roshi. Wenger, Michael & Erlich, Gretel (Editors) Wind Bell: Teachings from the San Francisco Zen Center - 1968-2001 (web link) North Atlantic Books, 2001. [That was an informative link on it, but here's the link. A great collection of various articles, including Suzuki lectures, from old Wind Bells. There - took that right from the bibliography of this site.

And a few audio tapes of Shunryu Suzuki lectures are available. Write to the Zen Center, 300 Page St., San Francisco, CA 94102. or call 415-863-3136. Not sure as of 3/03 which email is best. Try <>.

A couple of other sources are currently offering audio cassette tapes of his lectures. www.Amazon.com and I understand but that didn't work for me. It led to a page with no links. I think there are more lectures available and will try to get a more complete and easy to read thing done up on this in the future.-DC]

Wind Bell: Teachings from the San Francisco Zen Center - 1968-2001 (go to bibliography for more info) -- by Michael Wenger (Editor), Gretel Erlich, North Atlantic Books has some Suzuki Roshi lectures in it. Here's the link which will give you more info on it

"Branching Steams Flow in the Darkness: Lectures on the Sandokai," University of California Press, Berkeley, is now available. [go to the Bibliography. More details will be printed here about how to buy or otherwise have access to Shunryu Suzuki lectures.-DC]

If you know where any Shunryu Suzuki lecture tapes or transcripts are, the SFZC Archive Project would love to make copies of them so that all who are interested can share. Contact the Archivist at the Zen Center (300 Page St., San Francisco, CA 94102) - [A part time job not always filled] If they don't answer please tell me! [no one there for years now - 5/07

Recently [mid nineties] some old lecture tapes and even several boxes of old Suzuki-roshi tapes have been located. In each case the Zen Center offered to replace them with good copies, more suitable for listening. Old transcripts, some of lost lectures, have also been found. One whole group of lecture tapes that are missing are the original 7" reel to reel tapes of Suzuki's lectures at Los Altos from which Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind was compiled. I (DC) interviewed an old student who had Marian Derby's (Marian Mountain) original manuscript called "Beginner's Mind" which was used as a model for the final book. In it Marian selected and lightly edited 21 lectures that Suzuki had given to students at her home\zendo in Los Altos. It's been lost for thirty years - not that anyone noticed - we're just starting to think about these things.

For more info on the creation of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and the Los Alto Zendo, see Crooked Cucumber, p.320-323 and 351-352, and the Chronicles of the Haiku Zendo in the Suzuki Stories section which I have posted here in full as it is unavailable except for in a few small libraries.

See Berkeley Zen Center abbot Mel Weitsman's Commentary on Suzuki Roshi's Sandokai Lectures