- an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him and anything else DC feels like - originally a site for Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki -- home  (all of which just links to the cuke ZMBM section which you're on right now)
Core books by and about Shunryu Suzuki -------  Shunryu Suzuki Index
 ---- books by DC

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Suzuki, Shunryu. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice. Weatherhill, 1970. [The famous first book of Suzuki's lectures] Now published by Shambhala in various forms under the Shambhala and Weatherhill names (Shambhala bought Weatherhill).

40th anniversary issue cover

Amazon link to the 40th anniversary issue of ZMBM.

ZMBM at 40 (the afterword to the 40th anniversary issue of ZMBM by DC).

ZMBM at 40 - with notes and links and a few lines that were cut.


ZMBM at 50 (annotated) for the 50th Anniversary Issue of ZMBM to be published in 2020 - with updates and corrections to the Afterword for the 40th.

The Shambhala link to Shambhala books by Shunryu Suzuki which are editions of ZMBM and Zen Is Right Here.

at local indie bookstore | on Amazon

Shambhala Publications link.

From the Book

Preface - by Huston Smith (Introduced with publication of the paperback)

Introduction to the 2000 edition

-----Changes to Preface & Introduction in 2000 edition

Introduction to the 2010 40th Anniversary Edition

Prologue [Beginner's Mind]

Chapter from the book - Repetition

Read the original Beginner's Mind lecture

ZMBM Source Chart - with links to original, edited, draft versions of the chapters/lectures - on shunryu suzuki dot com

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

a zmbm early history page

Marian Derby page

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

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

New Errata for ZMBM  --- View it on cuke blog - posted 5-30-15

Submissions from Victor Sergeyev with Gvido Trepsa, a list with links. Victor is Secretary, PH Ligatma, publisher of ZMBM in Russian.

Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses for Mapping the Path of Practice in ZMBM by Meg Doshin Gawler - posted 5-23-15

Meg Gawler's Analysis of "Most Important" in ZMBM - posted 6-04-15

11-27-19 - Turned on by Beginner's Mind - a humorous article

9-19-18 - Marc Benioff on beginner's mind

9-22-15 - Beginner's Mind letter from Dean of Columbia College

8-30-15 - Suggestions for ZMBM - Once again an insightful contribution from Victor Sergeyev with Gvido Trepsa, from Secretary, PH Ligatma, publisher of ZMBM in Russian.

3-10-15 - Remarks on ZMBM at 40 from Victor Sergeyev with comments by DC - in which Victor points out inconsistancies and errors.

3-08-15 - Beginner's Mind - a Piano Piece by Walter Zimmerman with words by him and Shunryu Suzuki (taken from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind)

5-10-13 - Diamond Sangha Newsletter 1970 review of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (incomplete)

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.

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.

Must make PDFs of all the material from the Los Altos Box.

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

Suzuki books page on

Read the original Beginner's Mind lecture and the edited version, the Prologue from ZMBM , also from ZMBM, the Preface and chapter named Repetition.

3-13-09 - ZMBM at Thirty-eight and Counting. This is the unedited version of an article written by DC for the fall 2008, 25th anniversary, issue of Inquiring Mind for their Dharma Treasure series]

ZMBM in Crooked Cucumber

Earliest Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Finding the ZMBM manuscript - 5-17-08

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

10-23-12 - ZMBM in Esperanto discussion

12-17-12 - Flint Sparks is a Zen teacher in Austin who sent a note about teaching from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind in France. Here it is.

1-07-12 - Jon Katz is a criminal defense attorney in Maryland and has this bit on Buddhism and Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

10-04-19 - I was just thinking about jealousy and couldn't recall any recent feelings of jealousy strong enough to register in memory. Until I read this Tricycle article on cartoonist Lynda Barry's McArthur genius grant. From the article:  In her 2008 interview with Vice, she noted that she listens to Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s “wonderful” Zen talks while writing and drawing in her studio in Wisconsin. That would be the audiobook of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind narrated by Peter Coyote. This will be added somewhere in the cuke ZMBM section. Congratulations Lyda Barry whose cartoons I was reading years ago! - dc- and thanks Peter Ford for the tip [This posted today on Cuke What's New Blog]

Go to

the back cover of ZMBM, photo by Robert S. Boni


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

The new 2012 translation called Zen Maindo Biginaazu Maindo (Japanized English title). This is published by Sangha which also published Zen Is Right Here in March of this year. This is an Amazon link and ZIRH Japanese version, Zen wa Ima Koko is one of the suggested other books listed with cover. Here's that Amazon link.

posted 5-18-14








Japanese translations of ZMBM

There were three 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

Thanks to Richard Jaffe for sending this image 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

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