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book cover 40
40th anniversary issue cover

Read the original Beginner's Mind lecture

Beginner's Mind - Marian Derby's original manuscript that led to ZMBM - minimally edited versions.

The story of how this was acquired  (posted 5-29-15).

A rediscovered late draft for ZMBM named Beginner's Mind with handwritten notes and a new lecture for the archive. - posted 4-13-15

5-01-13 - Today the missing text from the last page of Shunryu Suzuki lecture 67-01-12 which became the Mind Waves chapter of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - with a link to the original transcript and the draft edited with Trudy Dixon's (I think) handwritten notes which had the missing page.

Changes to Preface & Introduction in 2000 edition


A zmbm early history page

Earliest Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Finding the ZMBM manuscript - 5-17-08

Marian Derby page

4-16-14 - SFZC Board Notes excerpt. Marian Derby and Dick Baker talk about publishing (Zen Mind) Beginner's Mind book showing no disagreement, getting close to decision.


Comparing the original Preface & Introduction of ZMBM with the 2000 edition

Comparing the original Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind with the 2000 edition which corrected a few errors. View it on cuke blog  - posted 5-29-15


From the 50th afterword: “In 2009, for the fiftieth anniversary of Suzuki’s arrival in America, Genine created an exhibition in which each page of the book was represented by someone’s contribution, culled from hundreds sent her, including pages translated into Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. We’re not sure how many languages it’s been translated into. Genine says there was a student at the City Center who read it in his native Mongolian translated from the Russian version.”

More recently: “To date, I’m counting 31 languages that the title has been translated into: Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Complex and Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese.” - thanks Oliver Glosband, Shambhala Publications, Rights and Contracts Manager

2022 translation

Zen Maindo Begnazu Maindo
translated into Japanese by Issho Fujita, published by PHP Institute in 2022. A complete translation of the 50th Anniversary Edition with David Chadwick's Afterword.

Among Steve Jobs’ favorite books ever since his early years. THE ULTIMATE INTRODUCTION TO ZEN! Translated and published in more than 24 countries! A new translation of the author’s words made easy to understand by a priest who taught for many years in America! - banner translated by Fred Harriman

10-23-12 - ZMBM in Esperanto discussion

10-20-12 - JW decided to translate Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind into Esperanto

10-09-12 -  Tom Cabarga sends this about his father translating Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind into Spanish

The 1979 first Japanese translation called Shoshin-Zenshin [Beginner's Mind-Zen Mind] (which never heard anything good about) was published by Hakuba Shobo.

2012 TranslationThe bookcover for the 2012 translation called Zen Maindo Biginaazu Maindo (Japanized English title). This was published by Samgha which also published translations of Zen Is Right Here, Not Always So, and Crooked Cucumber in that order but went bankrupt in 2021 not long after the owner, Toru Shimakage unexpectedly died. Since then, only Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has been picked up by another publisher.

Japanese translations of ZMBM

There are four Japanese translations of ZMBM.

1979 - Shosen Zenshin: Zen no Susume, publisher - Hakubo Shobo, translator - Matsuzaki Tokui - low marks

1998 - Zen no Izanai, publisher - PHP Kenkyujo, translator - Kazuyoshi Kino - not bad

2012 - Zen Maindo Biginaazu Maindo, publisher - Samgha, translator - Taro Matsunaga - high marks

Susannah Duerr also found a 2015 Samgha listing for a translation by Ishho Fujita. Richard Jaffe, Soto Zen scholar at Duke, SFZC alum, says he thinks Fujita was an editor. But Fujita has been involved with all of Samgha's Zen translations. Jaffe said he'd heard good things about the Samgha translation in Japan.

So Fujita was already involved with the prior one. The new publisher (2022) wanted a new translation obviously to help sales. It's been assumed Fujita would get it. They were advised to use the most up to date 50th anniversary issue with my afterword. I'm going to write Fujita about that. - dc

The 2012 Samgha Japanese translation of Zen Mind Beginner's Mind. The bottom part with Jobs on it is not part of the cover but a promotional wrap that goes around the book. - posted 7-21-12

The 2022 Japanese translation by Issho Fujita was released on Sept. 14, 2022.

Thanks to Richard Jaffe for sending an image of the 2012 cover with the following note:

I just returned from Japan, where I picked up a few copies of the new Japanese translation of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Note the "obi" on the book, which refers to the it as "the 'Zen Bible' loved by Steven Jobs.". Nice marketing job, as books about Jobs and Apple are extremely popular in the major Japanese bookstores these days.

I haven't been able to read it closely yet, but I hear it is a much better translation than the earlier Japanese ones.

DC note: The title is not translated. It reads Zen Maindo Beginaazu Maindo - their way of saying Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

Jaffe says the rest means: "Translated in more than 24 countries worldwide. This introduction to Zen is a memorial of Suzuki Shunryu-, who brought zazen to America."

At first I thought it was the cover and wrote "I'm not sure what adjective to use - shameless? embarrassing? humorous? Way cool?" But now Jaffe has explained that it's just something they stuck on the book to promote it. I forgive them.  - dc