cuke.com - an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him and anything else DC feels like - originally a site for Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

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Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

This section was quite active years ago but now with shunryusuzuki.com it's only for occasional posts. It remains as a history of posts on the subject.


shunryusuzuki.com - the archive comes to you - all the transcripts, all the audio, video, and over 400 photos. At present by far the most complete collection. 9-07-14


Suzuki Roshi dot SFZC dot org/dharma-talks:  - little by little Suzuki Roshi's lectures are being added to this site with photos and other supporting material. They're doing a good job, well presented.


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.


Shunryu Suzuki Lectures on the Berkeley Zen Center web site


Shunryu Suzuki quotes and excerpts from lectures and memories. Related links and material moved from Lecture page to Quote and Excerpt page 9-06-14


Shunryu on Shunryu - from interviews and lectures


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 shunryusuzuki.com 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 shunryusuzuki.com 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.


Work in Progress and Recent Work done with Shunryu Suzuki lectures since 2012


ZMBM.net - a cuke site for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

ZMBM - cuke home page for the famous book

Beginner's Mind lecture - oldest known version

Beginner's Mind original manuscript for the book ZMBM

Here is a chart for the lectures that went into Zen Mind Beginner's Mind in various versions of light edits.

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 shunryusuzuki.com. - - in Group I  of 2013 Scans from Cuke Archives


The earliest apparently verbatim lectures from Los Altos - no tape but obviously transcribed as he said it. From these lectures came Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.


Listen to Shunryu Suzuki - on cuke - but all the audio is on shunryusuzuki.com


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 Blanch 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


4-06-12 - Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts 2012


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


9-29-13 - We have replaced the following incomplete audio on shunryusuzuki.com 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


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



Shunryu Suzuki known notes on his lectures from December 1961 through 1962. From the earliest Windbells.


Tony Artino's brief Suzuki Lecture Notes from 1967


Bread, one of Shunryu Suzuki's earliest recorded lectures at the Haiku Zendo in Los Altos.


Shunryu Suzuki's final lectures


Shunryu Suzuki lecture on Whole Body Zazen


Ryaku Fusatsu lectures


Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

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 Amazon.com 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 <publications@sfzc.org>.

A couple of other sources are currently offering audio cassette tapes of his lectures. www.Amazon.comhttp://www.mysticfire.com/ and I understand http://www.audiowisdom.com/ 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 Amazon.com 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) - zcarchives@aol.com. [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


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 shunryusuzuki.com 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 shunryusuzuki.com 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)

in the OCTOBER, ISSUE OF GERMAN VOGUE,  EXTRA ISSUE  30 YEARS OF GERMAN VOGUE,  PETER LINDBERGH  QUOTES SHUNRYU SUZUKI:

"TO EXPRSS YOURSELF AS YOU ARE WITHOUT ANY INTENTIONAL FANCY WAY OF ADJUSTING YOURSELFIS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING"

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 shunryusuzuki.com - see if you can find it.


Creative Commons License Shunryu Suzuki Dharma Talks are  licensed by the SFZC under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Footnotes not in some versions of transcripts.


Basic info on Shunryu Suzuki