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Excerpts from Shunryu Suzuki lectures - 2014-5
[laughs] = Suzuki laughs [laughter] = students laugh

Big Mind

Suzuki had been talking about the following story briefly related here from this site.

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe.


Buddhism is not idealism. So according to Dogen Zenji, when we say “mind,” that is not our mind which observes things. When we say “mind” it means big mind. The small mind-- to observe things, you know, even though it is right, we do not say that is our big mind. When we say “mind,” the mind is big mind in which everything happens. So waving flag is mind-- itself mind. And waving flag includes everything. If so, waving mind is big mind itself. That is, you know, maybe right understanding. And how we attain this kind of mind is our practice.


If I explain this much you may, you know, already understand what is our practice, what is shikantaza, or what is our everyday life in its true sense. When we say “one is all and all is one,” you know, that is how things happens in our big mind. This mind is not mind in a relative sense. This mind is beyond subjective and objective world.


We say, you know, when you eat you should eat. When you sleep, you should sleep [laughs]. That is the big mind, that is selflessness. And best way to get rid of small mind is just to, you know, sleep when you should sleep. Just get up when you should get up, without hesitation. Do you understand?


DC note: Left all six "you know" in as they seemed to me to flow with it. Sometimes there are so many I cut some out. Suzuki used the term "big mind" frequently.

From 69-08-18. For more go to this entry on the Suzuki lecture archive found on Shunryu Suzuki dot com. - Edited by DC, posted 1-01-15