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

ZMBM, 2nd ed. (2000): Changes in Preface and Introduction
by Victor Sergeyev

1972 Preface and 2000 Introduction to ZMBM

Introduction to the 2011 40th Anniversary Edition

Other Changes in ZMBM chapters - ZMBM cuke page
ZMBM at 40 - with notes and links and a few lines that were cut.

ZMBM, 2nd ed. (2000): Changes in Preface and Introduction

Note from Victor Sergeyev

While working on the Russian translation of ZMBM first in ’95, ’00 and then again in ’13 we had to deal with certain problems. After a number of questions concerning the afterward ZMBM_at_40 and Suzuki chapters - see New Errata  and Suggestions, what remained were Preface and Introduction. Please find below the list of semantic and stylistic changes made in the 2nd ed. (2000) that you (DC) were interested in, with brief notes.

We used pdf-file from Shambhala Publications for ZMBM 2nd ed. (2010 ed).


this his only          – text in the 1st ed., omitted in the 2nd ed.

the book through  – insertions in the 2nd ed.

The wording         our comments.

 Preface, by Huston Smith

(1 change)



Page IX: In this his only book, here issued for the first time in paperback, hHe sounded exactly the follow-up note Americans interested in Zen need to hear.


The original wording, deleted in the 2nd ed., though did not include the date explicitly, contained a clear indication as to when the Preface was written, namely, that it was written for the first paperback edition, which date of publication can be easily ascertained as April 1st, 1973. If this hint is removed, there is no way for the reader to figure out when the preface has been penned down.

It would not raise questions if instead of “updating”, the editor would have kept the original Preface, either in full or, as the case may be, with three dots instead of the omitted words, with the most probable date of its composition added at the end, namely —  [1972].


Introduction, by Richard Baker

(6 changes)


 Page XIV: Directly or sometimes by inference, every section of the book concerns the question of how to maintain this attitude beginner’s mind through your meditation and in your life.


 Page XV: The editing is further complicated by the fact that English is profoundly thoroughly dualistic in its basic assumptions…



 Page XVI: Suzuki-roshi uses these different cultural vocabularies quite freely, expressing himself in a combination of the Japanese feeling-attributive way of thinking and the Western specific-idea way that to his listeners makes perfect sense both Japanese and Western ways of thinking. In his lectures, they merge poetically and philosophically.



 Page XVII: … to notice every insect which that comes by.



 Page XVII: Trudy and I worked together in a number of ways on the book throughout the development of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, and she asked me to complete the editing, write the introduction, and see the book through to its publication.




Page XVII-XVIII: Except for now and again in lectures,  Suzuki-roshi never seldom talks about his past, but this much I have pieced together/see Note 1/. He was the disciple of Gyokujun So-on-daioshoroshi, one of the leading Soto Zen masters of the time. Of course hHe had other teachers too, one of whom; the most influential for him was Kishizawa Ian-roshi, a leading authority and lecturer on Dogen. Kishizawa-roshi emphasized a deep and careful understanding of Dogen, the koans—particularly the Blue Cliff Records—and the sutras. Suzuki-rR/see Note 2/oshi’s father was also a Zen master, and, while still a boy, Suzuki was twelve when he began his apprenticeship under his father’s disciple, Gyokujun, a disciple of his father's. After years living with his teacher, he continued his practice and study at a Buddhist university, Komazawa, and at the main Soto training monasteries, Eiheiji and Sojiji. He also studied with a Rinzai teacher for awhile. Suzuki was acknowledged a Zen master when he was rather young, I think at about the age of

/new para/ Gyokujun-roshi died when Suzuki was thirty. HisAs a result, he had the responsibility in Japan included many temples and a monastery, and he was responsible for, at a rather young age, of both his father’s temple (who had died shortly before Gyokujun) and his teacher’s temple. The latter, Rinsoin, was a small monastery and head temple for about two hundred other temples. One of his main tasks was the rebuilding several temples of Rinsoin in the exacting tradition his teacher and he wanted.

/new para/ During the Second World War he was the leader of a pacifist group in Exceptional for Japan during the nineteen thirties and forties, he led discussion groups at Rinsoin that questioned the militaristic assumptions and actions of the times. Before the war, and from the time he was young, hHe had been interested in coming to America when he was young, but; however, at the insistence of his teacher, he had long given up the idea when he was asked by. But in 1956 and twice again in ’58, a friend, who was one of the leaders of the Soto School, persisted in asking him to go to San Francisco for one or two years to lead the Japanese Soto Buddhist congregation there. On the third request, Suzuki-roshi accepted./see Note 3/

In 19589, when he was fifty-threefive, he came to America.


Note 1. The updated version of Shunryu Suzuki biographical data is based on David Chadwick’s book from 1999 (Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki) or, as the case may be, on personal talks with its author. Therefore it can hardly be characterized by the original (1970) phrase “this much I have pieced together”. Anyway, the reference to D.Chadwick’s book seems to be more than appropriate here.

Note 2. The form Suzuki-roshi  (not Suzuki Roshi) is used throughout the Preface and Introduction.

Note 3. The fragment starting with “But in 1956...” does not seem to follow Crooked Cucumber accurately. Probably the following would be closer to it  (please, see the corresponding passage in ZMBM_at_40):

But in 1956 and again in ’58, a friend, who was one of the leaders of the Soto School, invited  him to go to San Francisco for a few years to serve as the priest in the temple of the Japanese Soto congregation there. In 1958 when the rebuilding of Rinsoin was completed, Suzuki-roshi accepted the invitation.


Naturally, the updated Introduction, with reference to D.Chadwick’s book, would need to be dated accordingly at the end — say, 1970, 1999 or so.

See list with links of All Contributions ZMBM from Victor Sergeyev with Gvido Trepsa.