Shunryu Suzuki Quotes

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Shunryu Suzuki (dharma name Shogaku Shunryu, often called Suzuki Roshi) (born May 18, 1904, Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan; died December 4, 1971 in San Francisco, California, United States) was a Soto Zen monk and teacher who helped popularise Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). Suzuki founded San Francisco Zen Center, which along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most influential Zen organisations in the United States. A book of his teachings, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, is one of the most popular books on Zen and Buddhism in the West. Wikipedia

Not Always So: Practicing
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Practising the true spirit of Zen. Not Always So is based on Shunryu Suzuki's lectures and is framed in his own inimitable, allusive, paradoxical style, rich with unexpected and off–centre insights. Suzuki knew he was dying at the time of the lectures, which gives hi...
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Branching Streams Flow in
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When Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind was published in 1972, it was enthusiastically embraced by Westerners eager for spiritual insight and knowledge of Zen. The book became the most successful treatise on Buddhism in English, selling more than one milli...
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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind:
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books.  Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line.  In a single stroke,...
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Zen Is Right Here: Teaching
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Shunryu Suzuki’s extraordinary gift for conveying traditional Zen teachings using ordinary language is well known to the countless readers of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. In Zen Is Right Here, his teachings are brought to life powerfully and directly through stories t...
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As long as you seek for something, you will get the shadow of reality and not reality itself.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Daily life becomes our Zen training.

— Shunryu Suzuki

For Zen students a weed is a treasure. With this attitude, whatever you do, life becomes an art.

— Shunryu Suzuki

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Our way is to practice one step at a time, one breath at a time, with no gaining idea.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Preparing food is not just about yourself and others. It’s about everything!

— Shunryu Suzuki

Q: How much ego do you need? A: Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.

— Shunryu Suzuki

The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, open to all possibilities.

— Shunryu Suzuki

The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.

— Shunryu Suzuki

To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves.

— Shunryu Suzuki

We dedicate ourselves to sincere practice, with no thought of gaining anything special.

— Shunryu Suzuki

We should appreciate what we are doing. There is no preparation for something else.

— Shunryu Suzuki

What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and exhale.

— Shunryu Suzuki

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

— Shunryu Suzuki

When your mind is calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing, no world, no mind nor body, just a swinging door.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. Because we cannot accept, we suffer.

— Shunryu Suzuki

You and I are just swinging doors. This kind of understanding is necessary.

— Shunryu Suzuki

‘You’ means to be aware of the universe in the form of you, and ‘I’ means to be aware of it in the form of I.

— Shunryu Suzuki

You stick to naturalness too much. When you stick to it, it is not natural anymore.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.

— Shunryu Suzuki