- 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 ---- 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.


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

Read the original Beginner's Mind lecture - the Prologue

Preface and chapter named Repetition

Source Lectures for ZMBM can be found at:shunryu suzuki dot com on the ZMBM page which has a useful chart and links to source lectures, Marian Derby's minimally edited first draft, first lines from original - on in the New Search Form under Book, select ZMBM or go to the Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Compact List to access the original lectures ZMBM was based on. They're marked in the second column with a little ZM and the page number.

Beginner's Mind - Marian Derby's original manuscript that led to ZMBM - minimally edited versions - also linked to from the ZMBM page.

a zmbm early history page

Marian Derby page

3-14-15 - PDF of part one of an early draft of "Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation [before the final name - Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind] - by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Editors: Richard Baker, Marian Derby, Gertrude Dixon." [Now reduced in size with OCR thanks to Peter Ford] - Sent to DC by Ted Hensold after Daya Goldschlag's noble scanning. It surely means it dates back to when Daya (Dianne) and I were together and married [68-73-76]. I don't remember it but that doesn't mean anything. I think the order of the editor's names may be alphabetical. It's most interesting that Marian's name is there because I have thought of Trudy as having started her initial work on new transcripts made from the tapes. This makes me think that either Marian's transcripts were referred to or that her essential role in making the book is being honored by the inclusion of her name as an editor - I'll bet Trudy wrote who the editors were. Eventually only Trudy was named as an editor. This was Richard Baker's choice at the time, a choice I think he sort of regrets though it's no big deal.

I think this file is going to have to be broken up to be useful. It's too big, slow loading. If it's too hard for you think of this as a "coming soon" announcement. Will get to that ASAP. And part two coming soon too - whe Daya sends it. - dc

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.

Go to

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

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








The new 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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