Zen Mind, Beginners Mind

About the author: Shunryu Suzuki

An excerpt from the book





Zen Mind is one of those enigmatic phrased used by Zen teachers to throw you back upon yourself, to make you go behind the words themselves and begin wondering. “I know waht my own mind is,” you tell yourself, “but what is Zen mind?” And then: “But do I really know what my own mind is? Is it what I am doing now? Is it what I am thinking now?” And if you should then try to sit physically still for a while so see if you can discover just what your mind is, to see if you can locate it, then you have begun the practice of Zen, then you have begun to realize the unrestricted mind.


This book originated from a series of talks given by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki to a small group is Los Altos, California. He joined their meditation periods once a week and afterwards answered their quetions and tried to encourage them in their practice of Zen and help them solve the problems of life. His approach is informal, and he draw his examples from ordinary events and common sense. Zen is now and here, he is saying; it can be as meaningful for the Wst as for the East. But his fundamental teaching and practice are drawn from centuries of Zen Buddhism and especially from Dogen, one of the most important and creative of all Zen masters.


This book is about how to practice Zen as a workable discipline and religion, about posture and breathing, about the basic attitudes and understanding that make Zen practice possible, abou non-duality, emptiness, and enlightenment. Hre one beings to understand what Zen is really about. And, most imporant of all, every page breathes with the joy and simplicity that make a liberated life possible.


Suzuki-roshi says “The world is its own magic.” It is a feeling that pervades the entire book. If you read the text closely, the same statement of seqwuence of ideas is simultaneously simpe and obvious, obscure and perplexing, and illuminated. Hre indeed is a book of intense, profound, joyous reflection.