Way-Seeking Mind and Right Practice

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Saturday, March 26, 1966

Our monthly one-day sesshin is not a matter of something unusual for us any more; we are quite -- get accustomed to it. But whenever we have this sesshin, we have some renewed feeling for zazen, and my talk may be different from what I said before. But the main point of my talk is always concentrated on several important points: one is the way-seeking mind, and right practice, and attitude towards practice, or discipline, or study of Buddhism. I am not so interested in what we will acquire by practice or philosophical answer to our -- to your questions. But I am trying to be more sympathetic and systematic in my answers, because you will not understand what I am trying to say if my answer is not properly systematized. But for me, and for you too, systematic philosophical answer will not be necessary, but the mutual understanding and friendship between us is more important.

What we do looks like very rigid and formal, but if you repeat this kind of practice over and over, you will find out some unique feeling, in our rituals and formalities. As we have not much good thing in Japan, especially, civil war time (?), when tea ceremony start -- not much things to it, or not much cake to serve, not much good tea to take, but our life at that time was so hard, that we tried to help with each other by serving a cup of tea, or a piece of cake. And to prepare a piece of cake, and cup of tea is pretty difficult. All of us knew that - how it is to help people, to give, to serve a cup of tea - so we took it with great appreciation. If you take a piece of cake, a small piece of cake -- as if you eat as if you eat piece of bread, it doesn't make any sense, so we treat it very carefully, and we took even a cup of tea with great care and appreciation. That is why -- that is how tea ceremony started.

So tea ceremony is, as you know, very very tedious ceremony. Before you take a cup of tea, the tea will be cool, cool enough for you. For Japanese sometimes it is too cold, but we of course try to not to serve too hot ones or too cold ones, but still, even for Japanese it looks like tedious. But in the serenity -- serenity of the tea house, the calm and delicate movement of the master and graceful manner of taking tea will create deep feeling.



Transcript from Engage Wisdom, created by SDH in 2021.


File name: 66-03-26-C: Way-Seeking Mind and Right Practice (titled by ew) 2021 newly discovered tape. Transcript in progress SDH 10/21.

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