Monday, January 11, 2010

From Suzuki Roshi's View

More thoughts from "Zen Is Right Here," stories of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi - a selection that represents some of the things I'm struggling with at the moment.

* * * * *
A student of Suzuki Roshi's, a publisher of Beat poetry, saw his teacher of a year and a half in a private interview. He said that he couldn't continue, that every time he sat zazen he started to cry. "I can't take it," he said. "I'm leaving. I can't be here anymore."
Suzuki didn't tell him to stay. He merely said, "You try and you try and you fail, and then you go deeper."

* * * * *
Once in a lecture Suzuki Roshi said, "Hell is not punishment, it's training."

* * * * *
On the fourth day of sesshin as we sat with our painful legs, aching backs, hopes, and doubts about whether it was worth it, Suzuki Roshi began his talk by saying slowly, "The problems you are now experiencing..."
"Will go away," we were sure he was going to say.
"...will continue for the rest of your life," he concluded.
The way he said it, we all laughed.

* * * * *
A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored, "Why is there so much suffering?"
Suzuki Roshi replied, "No reason."

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