Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shunryu Suzuki on Zen

buddhism, spirituality, japan, meditation
Shunryu Suzuki
This is the first part of a series of videos about Shunryu Suzuki (the Zen priest who founded the San Francisco Zen Center).  I have read rave reviews of Suzuki roshi and I have also read rather harsh criticisms of his style of zen.  To paraphrase the criticisms, they mostly claimed that he brought an unauthentic form of Zen Buddhism to America.  In short, some people say that he wasn't teaching Zen in the way of the true Japanese masters.

Perhaps my above description is an oversimplification, but even if I spent the time to describe these criticisms in detail I think my point would be the same: the experience of zen is a personal and direct experience with the singular point of universal energy that resides in us all.  Therefore, the method of teaching (and surely the masters of old would agree) doesn't matter as long as the end result of the pupil merging with that universal energy (even if for just a moment) is realized.

I think that Suzuki roshi was able to teach the end result of zen to his pupils in San Francisco and help start rolling a new ball of spiritualism across America, one that is still rolling and accumulating energy and strength today.

"The only time that you ever are is now.  And the only place that you ever are is here.  And, what are you going to do with it?"

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