Lunch Instruction

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Wednesday, July 28, 1965

[Some words missed]... he [Buddha] came back and he ate his food, his meal, from this bowl. So we do not put anything but rice in this bowl. But—strictly speaking it is so. So, in this case, as old monks in Japan do, it is better to—it was better to break your eggs and put it in small bowl, and put rice from this—you know, like this. And we should eat from this bowl. [Laughs] I didn't explain it, so that is my fault.

In such case, when someone make mistake, he should bow, you know, to Buddha, and to the—to the man who is responsible for kitchen. This is my fault—not only kitchen—kitchen but also various rooms where the officers and someone who responsible for the room—we have to bow three times with incense[?]. It takes time; if it is Eiheiji, it will take [laughs] —you will spend a whole morning [laughter]. All of those—those officers[?] does not know what—[laughs] what he did, if—if he—if someone go with bows and incense, there is no time to make a [laughs] more serious mistake[?].

So, I should bow to Buddha, the kitchen, Reverend Katagiri, and Jean Ross [laughs], strictly speaking. This is how we—monastic life. Everyone is responsible for his own function, and he is absolute authority. So even the temple master cannot say anything about what you do—if you observe our rules, we cannot say anything. Even though someone makes mistake, we cannot say anything. The man who is responsible for you should say something. And no one else can say anything to—to anyone, unless he’s not responsible for the public[?], for the work.

In this way, the monastic style is carried on, so there is no problem at all. Of course we make many mistake, so when we make mistake we should bow [laughs]. We should apologize for what (some words unclear). If you—we have no ego, it is not so difficult. So, you know, I apologize to all ??? –to all of you for lack of consideration. Excuse me. [Clackers struck]


Transcription by Shundo David Haye, Sept. 2021. Verbatim version 2/2022 by Peter Ford.


File name: 65-07-28-BN: Lunch Instruction (titled by sdh) (Verbatim) Transcription SDH 9/21. Tape 3 Summer Sesshin July 1965 Wednesday morning 12:00 lunch instruction. (Sound problem.)]

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