Suzuki Roshi

‘There is no end– there is no end in our practice. Because there is no end in our practice, our practice is good. Don’t you think so? But usually, you expect our practice could be effective enough [laughs] to put an end in your hard practice. If– if I say, “Practice hard just two years” [laughs, laughter], then you will be interested in our practice. If I say, “You have to practice whole life” [laughs, laughter], then you will be disappointed. “Oh, Zen is not good. Zen is not for me.” But if you understand what is practice, and if you [are] interested in practice, the reason why you interested in– you are interested in practice is the practice is endless. That is why I am interested in Buddhism. There is no end. If there is some end, I don’t think Buddhism is so good. There is no end. Even [if] human being vanish from this earth, Buddhism exist. That is why I am interested in Buddhism. Buddhism is not always perfect. It is not perfect at all. Because it is not perfect, I like it. If it is perfect, someone will be– many people will be interested in it, so there is no need for me to work on it. Because people are very much discouraged [laughs] with Buddhism, so I feel someone must practice Buddhism.’ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives)

I quoted the first part of this passage in my Zen Center talk last month, having found it in How The Swans Came To The Lake. It comes from a lecture on the Genjo Koan, specifically, the whole bird and fish analogy.

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