Suzuki Roshi

‘I am quite sure that we can pay for the Tassajara land, but that is not what concerns me so much. I feel a big responsibility in managing the temple and organizing our practice in that monastery. To establish right practice in America is the most important point. Although we are paying a lot of money for the land, we do not gain anything. We are not so much interested in the ownership of the land, but in practicing our way as we want to practice it. To do so, in this situation a lot of money must be paid. It can’t be helped.

The land itself belongs to heaven and earth. No one can possess it. Everything is in flowing change; nothing exists but momentarily in its present form and color. There is nothing to be possessed in this world of constant change. One thing flows into another and cannot be grasped. Before the rain stops we hear the bird; even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some growth coming up. In the East I saw rhubarb already. In Japan, late in the spring, we eat cucumber. In this way, everything is changing, and sometimes it is nice to feel the change of things. But if we realize what we are doing in this evanescent life, we become rather ashamed of ourselves. In this changing life, we cannot repeat the same thing again. If we miss this moment, we become older.’ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives)

I had never read this talk before, from early in 1967, after Suzuki Roshi had visited the East Coast.

I had to go back quite a way in my WordPress photo library to find a picture of Tassajara…

One thought on “Suzuki Roshi

  1. Impermanence, thank goodness. I have never much liked it here on this plane pf existence. The hope that someday the compost heap will turn itself over and become rich fertile soil out of which a miriad of good things can grow is a huge relief.

    Liked by 1 person

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