- Shunryu Suzuki Index  - WHAT'S NEW - table of contents

Zen Is Right Here

Contents and Anecdote Index

ZIRH cuke page

End Matter

Glossary, Further Reading, Acknowledgments

Explanation of Buddhist Terms

 Definitions of Buddhist terms in Sanskrit (Skt), Japanese, and English.

Avalokiteshvara (Skt)   The mythic/cosmic bodhisattva (enlightenment being) of compassion who hears the cries of the world.

big mind   A term Suzuki used for buddha mind, or the mind that includes everything, as compared to small mind, which is limited by discrimination and ideas of self.

buddha (Skt)   An awakened one, referring both to historic or mythic persons such as Shakyamuni Buddha and to ultimate, awakened reality.

dharma (Skt)   The teaching, the truth or reality that is taught, and the path to approach that truth.

dokusan   A formal private interview with a teacher, a Soto Zen term.

emptiness   A term denoting the interconnected, relative true nature of all, with nothing having an inherent, fixed, separate nature or existence.

monkey mind   Small mind, especially when it is jumping from one thing to another, like a monkey from branch to branch.

nirvana (Skt)   In early Buddhism, the cessation of all suffering. In Zen, nirvana is understood as ultimately not separate from everyday life and the worldly cycles of suffering.

okesa   The outer patchwork robe traditionally worn by a Buddhist monk.

practice   The expression of zazen in daily life.

Rinzai Zen   One of the two major sects of Zen.

roshi   "Venerable old teacher," respectful title for priest, or Zen master. Shunryu Suzuki was usually called Suzuki Roshi starting in 1966. Before that, he was usually called Suzuki Sensei or Reverend Suzuki.

sensei   Title used for teachers, doctors, sometimes priests, and other respected persons.

sesshin   A concentrated zazen retreat of one or more days, usually five or seven.

Soto Zen   One of the two main sects of Zen, emphasizing "just sitting" or silent illumination meditation and its application to everyday activity; Shunryu Suzuki's sect.

stick  Either the teacher's stick (nyoi), a short, curved stick carried by teachers in formal situations, or a flat one with a rounded handle.

sumi-e   Japanese painting done with brush and black ink.

sutra (Skt)   Discourses of the Buddha, old Buddhist scriptures, or scriptures to be chanted.

tatami  Japanese rigid straw floor mats approximately two inches thick, three feet wide, and six feet long.

tea ceremony (chanoyu)   A formal, aesthetic method of preparing and serving tea, originating in Japan around the sixteenth century.

zazen   Zen meditation, sitting meditation. Usually practiced sitting cross-legged on a cushion but can be done in a chair, while walking, chanting, or in any activity. In sitting zazen the practitioner sits upright and still with the eyes half opened, following the breath, counting from one to ten with the breath, concentrating on the lower abdomen or a mantra or a koan (Zen question), or "just sitting" and letting thoughts come and go without attaching to them..

Zen   A school of Buddhism originating in China that emphasizes zazen, direct insight, and actual experience of Buddhist truth in everyday activity.

zendo   A Zen meditation hall, zazen hall.

Further Reading

Baker, Richard. Original Mind: The Practice of Zen in the West. Riverhead Books, forthcoming.

Brown, Edward Espe. Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings: Recipes and Reflections. Riverhead Books, 1997.

Chadwick, David. Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki. Broadway Books, 1999.

________. Thank You and OK! An American Zen Failure in Japan. Penguin Arkana, 1994.

Fields, Rick. How the Swans Came to the Lake: a Narrative History of Buddhism in America. Shambhala, 1992.

Hiestand, Barbara, editor. Chronicles of Haiku Zendo. Haiku Zendo Foundation, 1973.

Kaye, Les. Zen at Work: a Zen Teacher's 30-Year Journey in Corporate America. Crown, 1996.

Mitchell, Elsie. Sun Buddhas, Moon Buddhas: a Zen Quest. Weatherhill, 1973.

Mountain, Marian. The Zen Environment: the Impact of Zen Meditation. William Morrow, 1982.

Richmond, Lewis. Work as a Spiritual Practice: a Practical Buddhist Approach to Inner Growth and Satisfaction on the Job. Broadway Books, 1999.

Schneider, David. Street Zen: the Life and Work of Issan Dorsey. Shambhala, 1993.

Storlie, Erik. Nothing on My Mind: Berkeley, LSD, Two Zen Masters, and Life on the Dharma Trail. Shambhala, 1997.

Suzuki, Mitsu. Temple Dusk: Zen Haiku. Parallax Press, 1992.

Suzuki, Shunryu. Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Lectures on the Sandokai. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999.

_________. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Weatherhill, 1970.

Tipton, Steve. Getting Saved from the Sixties. University of California Press, 1982.

Wenger, Michael, Thirty-three Fingers: a Collection of Modern American Koans. Clear Glass Publishing, 1994.

Wind Bell (publication of the San Francisco Zen Center), 1961-2000.

The Credits that were once here and now placed beneath the anecdotes.


I would like to thank the following writers who suggested I do this book:  the late wonderful Rick Fields, Lew Richmond, Kazuaki Tanahashi, and Michael Toms of New Dimensions Radio.

I would like to thank those whose memories of encounters with Shunryu Suzuki are related herein. Their names can be found in the notes to the book. And thanks to all those who shared their memories which were not used (for an almost complete list of them, see acknowledgments in Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, Broadway Books, 1999).

I would like to thank my agent, friend, and mentor Michael Katz for all the time and effort he put into every stage of the realization of this book. He even wrote his own acknowledgment.

At Broadway Books I would like to thank my editor Ann Campbell, her assistant, Amanda Gross, Tracy Behar for her initial interest and sealing the deal, and Rebecca Holland in Production. Thanks to Holly Hammond for copyediting.

For reading the vignettes over, helping me to choose which ones to use, for feedback, suggestions, and in some cases with other assistance, I would also like to thank: Richard Baker, Kamala Buckner, Cha Yu, Elin Chadwick, Kelly Chadwick, Diana Hart, Linda Hess, Jane Hirshfield, Joan Hanley, Niels Holm, Bill Lane (RIP), Balthasar Lohmeyer, Heather McFarlin, Elsie Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell, Thomas Moore, Grahame Petchey, Valerie Robin, Renee [accent over the second or middle "e"] Roehl, Ken Sawyer, Elizabeth Sawyer, Sahn Bul,  Judy Sandors, Peter Schneider, John Sumser, Steve Tipton, Elizabeth Tuomi, Sojun Mel Weitsman, Dan Welch, Michael Wenger, Clare Whitfield, Carol Williams, Yasodhara.

Thanks to Jenny Wunderly for the design and production. For other help in that area, thanks to David Bullen, Michael Katz, and Raymond Rimmer.

Thanks to Kobun (RIP) and Katrin Otogawa for the calligraphy on the title page, the character hikari which means light, or to shine.

For other assistance: Catherine Anderson, John Bermel, Tim Buckley, Ahdel Chadwick, Clayton Chadwick, Gil Fronsdal, Daya Goldschlag, Francine de Gruchy, Taigen Dan Leighton, Tano Maida, Hideko Petchey, Pauline Petchey, Yvonne Rand, Bill Redican, Diana Rowan, Bill Schwob, Mickey Stunkard, William Shinker, and Dan Welch.

So many people gave me assistance of one kind or another in the development of this book. My apologies to those whom I have forgotten to mention.