Suzuki Roshi

‘The most important point is for us to exist in right place in right way. If we exist in right place in right way, everything exists in right place in right way. But usually without being aware of this point we try to change something else where it exists. That is wrong. Even though you try to do something you cannot organize your life. But when you do things in the right way at right time everything else will be organized. When the boss is sleeping, everyone is sleeping. When the boss do something right, everyone will do every thing right, at the right time. That is the secret of Buddhism.

So your posture should not be leaned over backward. You should be straight. You should not be this way or the other way. You should be straight. Our spine should be vertical. This is not just form. It express the key point of Buddhism. If you understand the key point — if you want to understand, truly, really, actually we should practice this practice. Those forms is not the means of obtaining right state of mind. To take this posture itself is our purpose or practice. It is not some means of obtaining some special state of mind. When you have this posture you have right state of mind. So there is no need to obtain some special state of mind. This point is also very important. ‘ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives)

The talk that this comes from was edited to become the opening chapter of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and as I have written before, I often refer to both the point that it makes, and the significance of it being placed at the beginning of the book. If we don’t know how to sit, we can’t know how to practice.

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