Shunryu Suzuki talking from Zen in America (video)

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

[Audio from final cut used in film in italics]


And if we are able to listen to another word, in this way several words at that time you know, then the words will help us. The words will be the nourishment for us. But if we have to…

If we try to listen to something wonderful [laughs] -- it means that to ignore the bird which we are listening now. You know, when you think Buddha said something wonderful, and I must find out what he meant; then your mind is directed to Buddha’s words [pointing up with his right hand], so you don’t hear the birds [pointing left with his left hand, and birds are chirping loudly]. So always we sacrifice, y'know, various actual reality because we stick to something. And we stick to something which looks like very good [laughs], but that is not so good. If we - and if we have this kind of attitude when we listen to words or teaching even, y'know, we lose our life and - ah - maybe our whole life will be sacrificed because of some special teaching.

And sometimes one teaching is good, you know, for him, and another time, some other teaching is better. So, ah, before you listen to when the Buddha's words, you know, means sacrifice various - ah - words and voice [?] for sake of Buddha's words. And when you come to listen to Buddha's words, then you may think, oh, Buddha wasn't so good [laughing], maybe better to listen to the Christ, [laughing]. So now you sacrifice Buddha's words for sake of Christ words. In this way, you know, we have no time to listen to something clear, and we are enslaved by some idea, you know . Innumerab… innumerable words which will come to you one after another - and you're chasing after words - sacrificing the birds you hear. That is how we get lost in this, you know, uh world where we have too much fun.

Maybe I should go to San Francisco. If you go to San Francisco - Maybe I w… I should go to Tassajara. [laughing]. When you are at Tassajara, you sacrifice Tassajara to go to San Francisco. When you go to San Francisco, you sacrifice San Francisco for… to go to Tassajara. Back and forth. [laughing]. So it is… I think that is how we loose our, you know, ah - actual life. Our way is rather to enjoy, you know, our life right now… you know - without sacrificing, without being too much idealistic.

This is a kind of desire which human being has. To some extent, desire we have is good, but if we are enslaved by desire, you know, we will lose whole being. We will… we don't get anything.


File name: 70-06-00-V: Shunryu Suzuki talking from Zen in America (video) Shunryu Suzuki and Tassajara (1970) section from a feature 35 mm documentary for theaters featuring gurus presented in full and in segments plus outtakes. Previously named Sunseed-SR.

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