Suzuki Roshi

‘Usually what we do is not so difficult, but the problems which follows by your imperfect understanding of work is greater, and you will suffer from the useless problems, and you will lose whole monastery. There is no more monastery. If your — the point your work is lost then that is not monastery any more. Of course, if you visit good monastery, everything is in order, and everything is — vegetables is growing healthy and plants are — are healthy, and everywhere is clean. And tools and everything is well polished and sharp. That kind of monastery sure to be a good monastery. But to polish your tools or to raise your vegetables — vegetables is not the main purpose — point of your practice. The main point is whether your effort is — practice — real practice or not, is the main point. Of course, because you have good feeling in your monastery, you can — everything grows. So, where there is good teaching, good practice, there is good feeling, and everything will grow. But purpose is not just to get larger crops or to have done everything — a great amount of work. So even though you have some ability on something — special ability, you will work on which you are not familiar with it. But as long as you have something to work on, you should do your best on your position.’ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives)

This is another talk from the first sesshin at Tassajara. Here, Suzuki Roshi is spelling out the role of work in the monastery, in ways that are still spoken about today.


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