SHUNRYU SUZUKI Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Shunryu Suzuki (May 18, 1904 - December 4, 1971) was a Japanese Zen master of the (Soto school), direct spiritual descendant of Zen master Dogen. He moved to San Francisco, USA in 1959 and founded the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962.


The Zen Center later created Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the first Zen training monastery outside of Asia, and Green Gulch Farm. A collection of his teishos (Zen talks) were bundled in the books Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen. His lectures on the Sandokai are collected in Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness. Suzuki’s biography is captured in David Chadwick’s Crooked Cucumber .




Notable persons among Suzuki’s students include:
Tenshin Reb Anderson
Zentatsu Richard Baker
David Chadwick




“Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the garden, not in the bare soil itself. But if you want to have a good harvest, the most important thing is to make the soil rich and cultivate it well.”
“So the secrect is just to say ‘Yes!’ and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself, always yourself, without sticking to an old self.”
“When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”


“Zazen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice; there is no other way of life than this way of life.”