- 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

|HOME| Shunryu Suzuki Index

Shunryu Suzuki Lectures home page - the archive comes to you - all the transcripts, all the audio - and more.

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.

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.

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.

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

Basic info on Shunryu Suzuki

Shunryu on Shunryu - interviews and lectures

Beginner's Mind lecture - oldest known version

Beginner's Mind original manuscript for the book ZMBM

Shunryu Suzuki Lectures on the Berkeley Zen Center web site

Footnotes may only appear in the edited versions. I just discovered that these formatted notes do not show up when I download the files from MS Word to Front Page. They will be included in these light edited versions from now on because they're inserted within brackets as text within the body of the lecture and not as formatted footnotes at the end. - DC

Listen to Shunryu Suzuki

Suzuki's wedding ceremony message

The phrase “most important” as found is Shunryu Suzuki lectures

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

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

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

8-04-12 - Shunryu Suzuki use of the term "Golden Rule"

4-13-12 - Shunryu Suzuki on Precepts - Part II begins.

4-06-12 - Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts 2012

2-1-12 - What did Shunryu Suzuki have to say about precepts? A series searching in the digital archive for each instance of his use of that word.

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

Two brief Shunryu Suzuki comments from the Fall, 1967 Wind Bell on the importance of practice periods and being "truly involved in the development of our way" - from a Fall, 1967 Wind Bell.

A Shunryu Suzuki New Year's story

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

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.

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

A few quotes from Shunryu Suzuki's lectures  
as found in Crooked Cucumber

Quotes from Shunryu Suzuki on Transmission

Shunryu Suzuki on War and Peace

Correspondence written by Suzuki

Some Suzuki quotes found on the net

Go to Suzuki Stories for more
and Brief Memories

Go to Basic info on Shunryu Suzuki - bio, chronology etc

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 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

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.

Claude's comment

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.

Basic info on Shunryu Suzuki