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

Buddha Seed Etc.

The discerning cuke reader may wonder why this excerpt is chosen. It's not easy to follow and is a little strange and there's a whole exchange based on a student misunderstanding a word Suzuki is using. But it's really sort of representative of a lot that went on between the profound gems that we feature. - DC

Student B: In the Lotus Sutra they say the Buddha-seed arises from conditions.


SR: Buddha's what?


Student B: The Buddha-seed--


SR: Seed. Uh-huh.


Student B: -- arises from conditions.


SR: Uh-huh.


Student B: Do you know what that means-- what they mean there?


SR: If you, you know, sew a seed, because of the seed, of course, plants comes out. And it will have fruits-- flower or fruits or branches. But without aid of rain or manure it will not grow. It means things result from seed and by aid of something. I think your culture puts more emphasis on aid. If aid is good result you will have good fruits. And how to improve the social condition is the most important point in your culture. But some other culture put emphasis on seed more, maybe like Communism.


Student B: Could you explain that?


SR: Hmm? Explain it more?


Student B: I don't understand how Communism puts emphasis on the seed.


SR: You know, Communism is-- I don't so well, so-- I'm not Communist, so [laughs, laughter]-- but in Soviet Union whatever the study may be, sociology or anthropology or whatever, if you put emphasis on aid, you know, the government will not accept your theory. In Communism, the social structure is nearly the same for everyone. Supposed to be, but actually I don't think so. Someone who has great power-- great enough or strong enough to control people, they have more chance, although social structure looks like same. So the aid is supposed to be same to-- equal to everyone


I think both is too one-sided, I think. Seed is important, and aid is also important.


Student C: I don't understand the difference between the egg and the seed-- how you're using it.


SR: Seed?


Student C: The basic difference, you know, between the two things.


SR: Basic difference, you know-- it is cause and affect. The relationship cause and affect is more seed. If you sew a seed, you will have some certain kind of plants. That is seed. And seed and relationship-- seed and fruit. The rain or wind or sunshine is not seed, you know. It's aid for the seed-- some factors, conditions which will help the relationship between cause and affect. That is what I meant. In Buddhism we say innen. In is seed, en is aid. And both seed and aid are necessary for something to result.


Student C: Is the egg like the condition? The egg is something that has met certain conditions-- has grown somewhat?


SR: Aid is something to help, you know-- to result something from seed [laughs].


Student D to Student C: Aid. A-I-D.


Student C: Oh, I thought he said E-G-G-- egg. [Laughs, laughter.]


SR: Excuse me [laughs]. You know, egg-- for egg [laughs], the, you know, temperature of mother hen is aid [laughs, laughter]. Some other questions?

From 69-11-11 . For more go to this entry on the Suzuki lecture archive found on Shunryu Suzuki dot com. - Edited by DC, posted 1-10-15