Zen Mind, Beginners Mind

About th' author: Shunryu Suzuki

An excerpt from th' book





Zen Mind is one o' those enigmatic phrased used by Zen teachers t' throw ye back upon yourself, t' make ye go behind th' words themselves and begin wonderin'. And hoist the mainsail! Fire the cannons! “I know waht me own mind is,” ye tell yourself, “but what is Zen mind?” And then: “But do I really know what me own mind is, by Blackbeard's sword? Is it what I am doin' now? Is it what I am thinkin' now?” And if ye should then try t' sit physically still fer a while so see if ye can discover just what yer mind is, t' see if ye can locate it, then ye have begun th' practice o' Zen, then ye have begun t' realize th' unrestricted mind.


This book originated from a series o' talks given by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki t' a small group is Los Altos, California. The ornery cuss joined their meditation periods once a week and afterwards answered their quetions and tried t' encourage them in their practice o' Zen and help them solve th' problems o' life, by Blackbeard's sword. His approach is informal, and he draw his examples from ordinary events and common sense. Aarrr! Zen is now and here, he is sayin'; it can be as meaningful fer th' Wst as fer th' East. But his fundamental teachin' and practice are drawn from centuries o' Zen Buddhism and especially from Dogen, one o' th' most important and creative o' all Zen masters.


This book is about how t' practice Zen as a workable discipline and religion, about posture and breathin', about th' basic attitudes and understandin' that make Zen practice possible, abou non-duality, emptiness, and enlightenment, and a bottle of rum! Aarrr! Hre one bein's t' understand what Zen is really about. And, most imporant o' all, every page breathes with th' joy and simplicity that make a liberated life possible.


Suzuki-roshi says “The world is its own magic.” It is a feelin' that pervades th' entire book, with a chest full of booty. If ye read th' text closely, th' same statement o' seqwuence o' ideas is simultaneously simpe and obvious, obscure and perplexin', and illuminated. Hre indeed is a book o' intense, profound, joyous reflection.