A minimally edited transcript

Translation of Unknown Text

August 1971
San Francisco

Assistant:1 —to make it record…

[Long silent gap in tape.]

Suzuki dictating as he translates a text:

“Therefore, no buddha attained enlightenment without the form of a shaved head. No patriarch is without the form of a shaved head. So the most virtuous thing is the virtue of a shaved head.

If you build a stupa adorned by seven jewels to reach the thirty-third heaven, the virtue is great, but in comparison to the merit of a shaved head, it is not so good as even one hundredth. And any [1-2 words] cannot be described. A stupa could be destroyed, and once it is destroyed, the form cannot be seen. But the merit of a shaved head will increase more and more until it reaches to the Buddha's foot. And its merit will not be lost.

Therefore, without changing our body we are beyond the commoner. Even though we do not attain buddhahood, we are already a son of Buddha. We are the most valuable beings in the three worlds, and our life is the best of the lives in the six conditions of life.

Think carefully. Now, you change your karmic body and mind, attain enlightenment, and will be born in Buddha land. The beginningless karmic attachment will be instantaneously stopped, and innate virtue will result. Therefore, after you shave your head, heaven and earth cannot cover you. You cannot be mixed with the rest of the beings in the six worlds.

A shaved head has nothing to cover, and a square-sleeved robe is a symbol of emancipation. People who see it will have great encouragement, and your close relatives will have good affinity. Your being is the highest in the three worlds, and your virtue is the highest in the world in ten directions.

Kings are not higher than you. Your parents are not more respectable than you. If they are not your teachers, you shouldn't bow to them; if they are not buddha and patriarchs, there is no one to bow to. Therefore we say the karmic life of the three worlds.

It is impossible to cut off love and affection of the family. When we go beyond family relationships of love and passion, that is a way to return the benevolence you receive from them. Thinking about how great is the benevolence you received from your parents, with sincerity you should refuse it. Thinking about how great is the benevolence of water and the earth, we should return the benevolence through a real way of returning it. This is real practice of renunciation and the most lofty and highest way to live.”

1 Thought to be Yvonne Rand.

Source: City Center tape transcribed by Sara Hunsaker (8/8/99) and checked by Bill Redican (3/23/00). Lightly edited for readability by Wendy Pirsig and Peter Ford (4/2021).

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