Read an Excerpt
From Zen Is Right Here
One day I complained to Suzuki Roshi about the people I was working with.
He listened intently. Finally, he said, "If you want to see virtue, you have to have a calm mind."
* * *
One day during a tea break a student standing next to Suzuki Roshi asked, "So what do you think about all of us crazy Zen students?"
Roshi said, "I think you're all enlightened until you open your mouth."
* * *
"Suzkui Roshi, I've been listening to your lectures for years," a student said during the question and answer time following a lecture, "but I just don't understand. Could you just please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?"
Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.
"Everything changes," he said. Then he asked for another question.
* * *
On a visit to the East Coast, Suzuki Roshi arrived at the meeting place of the Cambridge Buddhist Society to find everyone scrubbing down the interior in anticipation of his visit. They were surprised to see him because he had written that he would arrive on the following day.
He tied back the sleeves of his robe and insisted on joining the preparations "for the grand day of my arrival."
* * *
There was a big boulder in the Tassajara creek that Suzuki Roshi said he wanted for his rock garden. Every day four or five of us went down to the creek during the silent work period and struggled to move the boulder by various devices and means. Each one of us was secure in the knowledge that somehow we were going to move that stone to his rock garden, which was quite a distance away. After a week the rock hadn't budged, but no one was about to break the silence or give up. One day Suzuki Roshi came down to the creek and struggled along with us. Some visitors called down from the bridge to ask what we were doing.
Suzuki Roshi called up, "We don't know!"