Suzuki Roshi

‘When we digest food completely, what will become of it? It will be transformed, changing its chemical nature, and will permeate our whole body. In the process it dies within our body. To eat and digest food is natural to us, as we are always changing. This organic process is called “emptiness.” The reason we call it emptiness is that it has no special form. It has some form, but that form is not permanent. While it is changing, it carries on our life energy.
We know that we are empty, and also that this earth is empty.  The forms are not permanent. You may wonder, “What is this universe?” But this universe has no limit. Emptiness is not something you can understand through a space trip. Emptiness can be understood when you are perfectly involved in chewing rice. This is actual emptiness.” (Not Always So)

5 thoughts on “Suzuki Roshi

  1. Shundo – What is emptiness? What is vastness? Are they one and the same? I’m also observing time these days! How old is time? Any good references on the age of time, emptiness and vastness?


  2. Well, if you want to talk about time, Dogen is your man, so I will dig out some ‘Time-Being’.
    Emptiness can be such a misleading word – Kaz Tanahashi has settled on boundlessness as a translation, but I wouldn’t think of it in terms of size.


  3. I’m caught-up by ‘time’ and how I’ve referenced ‘time’. Growing up in the country, we had no clocks in the house and the elders spoke of ‘time’ or the thought of ‘time’ in this way: ‘for the time being’ father time’ ‘time wait for no man’ or ‘it is time’. The cycles of the moon was another way to dance with time, I think. I also remember my Aunt teaching me the 24-hour time cycle (I was about 4 years old and I was struggling with the idea; then I got what she was teaching) and my entire world changed for I looked at each day differently. How old is time? Nobody knows, maybe. A few days ago, I was reading Uji: The Time-Being by Eihei Dogen. We are time!


  4. I love posing questions because soon afterward, answers appears in some book or thought. However, last evening, as I was dosing-off to sleep this thought emerged: ‘Today is the daughter of yesterday and the mother of tomorrow’ (I read this somewhere). We are the children of ‘Time’. And ‘Time’ is older than All of us; explaining the old saying ➖ Father Time and Mother Time. What do you think? So, I put down the ornament of Time and picked up the ornament of Enlightenment. Any references to the following question: Do we become enlightened when we are shown something that we already know and have forgotten/then reminded, or we enlightened because we’ve never heard of or has familiarity with the subject matter? Maybe both?
    deep bows


    • I would refer you back to the quote from the Wholehearted Way from the other day. It is already there. Time is already there too. We can be mothers and fathers of time, by showing up to time-being fully. Deep bows for your questions.


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