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Zen Anecdotes

--by Shunryu Suzuki (Mar 23, 2004)


~~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."

~~A student asked in dokusan, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" Suzuki Roshi answered, "It doesn't matter."

~~A student who had just concluded a thirty-day zazen retreat with two enthusiastic dharma pals asked Suzuki Roshi how to maintain the extraordinary state of mind he'd attained. "Concentrate on your breathing, and it will go away," Suzuki said.

~~Once I asked Suzuki Roshi, "What is nirvana?" He replied: "Seeing one thing through to the end."

~~At a question session with Suzuki Roshi at Sokoji, a young man asked "What should a Zen practitioner do with his spare time?" Suzuki at first looked perplexed and repeated the phrase, "Spare time?" He repeated it again and then began to laugh uproariously.

~~A student filled with emotion and crying, implored, "Why is there so much suffering?" Suzuki Roshi replied, "No reason."

--Shunryu Suzuki, To Shine One Corner


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On Jan 17, 2008 fay haugen wrote:
a calm mind works on everything