Some Shunryu Suzuki quotes found on the net,
a curious fishing expedition
Some Suzuki quotes from Crooked
Don't have much time and I'm tired
and from doing hard labor for sub-subsistence wages - so I Googled "Shunryu
Suzuki" and here are the Suzuki quotes found on the links on the first
Google page today plus links to the sites. This fishing expedition might
seem like a strange thing to do but I like strange, coming at things in a
new way like this checking of the Internet pulse on Suzuki so to speak, a
random sampling, a way of bringing in here what struck unknown others out
there floating in cyberspace. The quotes are not sourced but I recognize
them all. - DC
The sites not listed below from that search are
this one, SFZC,
Amazon.com for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
- "Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the
garden, not in the bare soil itself. But if you want to have a good
harvest, the most important thing is to make the soil rich and cultivate
- "So the secret is just to say 'Yes!' and jump off from here. Then
there is no problem. It means to be yourself, always yourself, without
sticking to an old self."
- "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a
good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking,
for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice; there is
no other way of life than this way of life."
- "Take care of things, and they will take care of you."
- "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the
expert's there are few."
- "My life has been one long series of mistakes."
- "Life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have
no fear of death anymore, nor actual difficulty in our life."
- "As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize
it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you
- "The way that helps will not be the same; it changes according to the
[I don't think the "My life has been one long series of mistakes" quote
is Suzuki. It's a paraphrase of Dogen which I love to use and so do others
and maybe Suzuki quoted it somewhere so it got attributed to him, but then
again, maybe he said it. I don't think he'd disagree with it and I think he
also knew that what would be attributed to him in the future would be edited
remarks of his that were whispered around in a circle.]
Andrew Main writes: The "My life has been one long series of mistakes" quote is indeed a
paraphrase of Suzuki's quotation from Dogen: "Shoshaku jushaku" which he discusses on page 39 of
Naturally we have repeats of the oft quoted:
Link to this
quote (also in many other places including above)
In the beginner's mind there are many
possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.
See origin of this quote
This one has links to the sources:
Link to this
page of quotes
May 5, 2002
If it is raining out, do not walk fast, because
it is raining everywhere.
the fact that everything changes,
we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it
is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of
transience, we suffer.
The mind which is always on your side is not just
your mind, it is universal mind, always the same,
not different from another's mind.
Zen is not some kind of excitement,
but concentration on our usual everyday routine.
If I suffer while I am dying, that is all
right...Maybe everyone will struggle because of physical agony or spiritual
agony, but that is not a problem. We should be very grateful to have a
limited body like mine or like yours. If you had a limitless life, it would
be a great problem for you...A human being is a human being.
We can enjoy our life only with our limited body. This
limitation is a vital element for us.
Without limitation nothing exists, so we should enjoy the limitation: weak
body, strong body; man or woman. The only way to enjoy our life is to enjoy
the limitation that was given to us.
All descriptions of reality are limited expressions
of the world of emptiness.
Yet we attach to the descriptions
and think they are reality.
To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it
is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat.
There is no taste, and you will give up, because it doesn't mean anything,
even though you sit seven days. But our true zazen cannot be like that. If
Zen was like that, it would have vanished from this world a long time ago.
Zen is still alive because of the other side of the truth. Only when each
one of us feels the truth, appreciates the truth, accepts the truth, and is
ready to follow the truth, will it work. When someone puts himself outside
of the truth in order to study the truth, he won't know what to do when
something happens to him.
In Buddhism, mind and being are one, not different.
As there is no limit to cosmic being,
there is no limit to our mind;
our mind reaches everwhere.
Even if we successfully compete in the visible
world, our work will be neglected before we die.
It is important to work for future generations, for
our descendants. We must be proud to do
something even though people do not usually know its value. To devote
yourself in this kind of work is to have eternal life. However, if you are
occupied by a near-sighted idea, you will lose your value and you will not
find your true composure.
Hell is not punishment,
You stick to naturalness too much.
When you stick to it, it is not natural any more.
these quotes, minus the oft-quoted beginner's mind quote twice (see
second entry above).
Preparing food is not just about
yourself and others. It is about everything!
The world is its own magic.
When you do something, you should burn yourself up
completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we
cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is
difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of
transience, we suffer.
Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on
our usual everyday routine.
has five quotes but the only one new one.
this quote link
Usually when someone believes in a
particular religion, his attitude becomes more and more a sharp angle
pointing away from himself. In our way the point of the angle is always
Link to this
The big mind in which we must have
confidence is not something which you can experience objectively. It is
something which is always with you, always on your side. Your eyes are on
your side, for you cannot see your eyes, and your eyes cannot see
themselves. Eyes only see things outside, objective things. If you reflect
on yourself, that self is not your true self any more. You cannot project
yourself as some objective thing to think about. The mind which is always on
your side is not just your mind, it is universal mind, always the same, not
different from another's mind.