===== Awakening the Archive - Tape #22, by Shundo David Haye =====
In this second tape made by Dan Gourley at Tassajara in the summer of 1968, Suzuki Roshi starts by answering a question about a scroll of Bodhidharma. In the previously existing recording, once he got up from his seat and went over to where the scroll was hanging, what he said was inaudible, but on this recording we can hear his whole talk, and a question and answer session with the students.
Handling and treating objects with care is an important part of Zen practice, and Suzuki Roshi explains different aspects of caring for scrolls, before going on to tell some historical stories about Bodhidharma, his place in the Zen lineage, and his well-known exchange with Emperor Wu, which he suggests can be considered the first koan story (indeed it is placed at the beginning of the Blue Cliff Record collection that Suzuki Roshi lectured extensively on over the years).
During the talk and his answers, he touches on the philosophies of different schools of Buddhism from that time, and various topics that some of his students would have been familiar with: the "third view" of the Tendai school, which he had discussed several times in his lectures on the Genjo Koan; the discontinuity of time. This is also one of the few occasions where he returns to the theme of beginner's mind, in response to a question - this is a couple of years before the book was published, but the transcripts had been excerpted in the Wind Bell (p63) the year before.
Most extensively, he talks about the "first principle," which had started to come up earlier in the year when he lectured on the Lotus Sutra at Tassajara, and would again in the subsequent series on the sutra, as well as later lectures: "the first principle is, you know, the principle which is -- which you cannot talk about. And which we transmit to master -- from master to master, from patriarch to patriarch. But the teaching which we transmit has -- is not written, you know. So how to transmit it to one person (?), that is the point we should study [laughter]." (33:17)
Contrasting the way that people strive for a fairer distribution of profits, or expecting to find paths to the truth through government action on equality, Suzuki Roshi notes, "from our viewpoint, it is absolutely wrong, you know, understanding of fair, or truth. Truth is not here, you know. The truth is something which we cannot, you know, bring it perfectly into our everyday life... For us, it is too much to expect for government. We cannot expect so much for the government." (1:20:43)
There is no perfect life to be had, just as we cannot fully grasp or understand the first principle; “that is why Zen put emphasis on our practice. Whatever the teaching is which was told by someone, is not absolute teaching.”(39:21)
[First words missed] ... asked me about the scroll right there. That is Bodhidharma -- Bodhidharma, the First Chinese Patriarch. He came to China five, maybe -- we don't know exactly when. But 500, maybe 10 [510 A.D.] or 11 [511 A.D.], he came to China. He was a prince of some -- some country near India -- Koshi—Koshikoku (note 1) in Japanese. And he was one of the many teachers who practiced zazen in India, and he came to China. And there is a famous story about him. But I -- before I explain -- talk about this -- about him, I want you to -- explain something about those scrolls. Excuse me.
[SR gets up and moves around room.]
This is a scroll Phelps (note 2) -- Phelps lend us. We can -- we can hang it until he wants it. Here it says "For Master -- " this is in Chinese transliteration of his name. 1967 he gave it. Usei, (?) the man who painted this scroll. And here it says, "One reed, with old man's reeds (?) he crossed the Yangtse River." And after, Shotan, which -- which ??, he crossed the Yangtse River and went to the Li. This is --
In Chinese painting which is called Nang-na (?), they write some poem or something with painting. And Chinese people call painting "no voice poem," which has no voice. So usually there is some poem on the -- on the scroll -- painting. And poem is -- no voice -- no voice poem [laughs]. Painting is "no voice poem." Poem is [laughs] -- poem is no -- picture with -- picture with -- with voice is poem. So "no voice poem" is [laughter] not so good. So they put -- they put [laughter] pictures with voice -- which is poem. So maybe put together, the scroll becomes -- can become part. Poem is one part, which has only voice, and picture has poem, which has no voice, even the voice that (?) cannot say. So we put poem on picture.
Anyway it is quite -- almost all the Chinese pictures has poem on it, especially Nang-na, or Zen pictures, has almost all the time poem on it. And those scrolls are very -- you should hang or -- when you hang it, you know, you should roll as much as you can before you take up (?) -- pick up (?). And we use some -- something like this, you know, a stick. Or else you know [laughter], you will cause -- this is not -- sometimes by mistake, you know, you will drop it. If you drop it, you will -- even though you don't break it, it will be like this. It will be -- what do you call it? -- break.
SR: So it will be broken. So as much as you can, you roll it first, and take up -- take off. And when you hang it, you should not hang it like this [loud repeated noise]. This is ?? An inch off. Come this way. You can --
Student: ?? fine so far (?) [laughter]
SR: Made in Hong Kong [laughter]. Maybe that's why this is not so good [laughter - some words lost]. This is too thick, so it comes up like this, easily. And when you hang it, without opening it, you should hang it and then [noises]. Too high [noises].
This is how to hang it, and when you take off you roll it first, and this is something which you should know if you have a scroll. You should do in that way, or else you -- you will have many --
SR: Wrinkles. And if you -- if there are many wrinkles, you know, it is not so valuable any more. It should be perfectly smooth. So whether scroll is good or bad, we can tell by the -- when you take hold of it. The feeling of the scroll by the -- when you take hold of scroll like this, you know, if it is good one, it's very soft feeling, and very carefully treat it, because it is valuable, so -- and some scroll which is treated badly, even it is good, we don't pay so much money [laughs]. If it is good, you know, just when you look at it, before you open it, you can tell how valuable it is. So how you treat it very important.
The first, you know, by look at it. And second, you take it and do like this, "Hmm, this is good," you may feel it. And open little by little, "Oh, very good!" [laughter]. And if it is good, we roll it again, and hang it, and say (?) [laughter obscures word] That is how we appreciate.
That is, you know, how we appreciate scrolls. And we should not hang same scroll all the time. If you do so, the color will fade, it will become dusty. So we have to change once in a while, and change it for something else. And we should always -- once in a while, we should hang it. If you don't, scroll will become moldy. So it is pretty difficult to treat it. That is why old scrolls -- even the old ones looks like quite new, if it is good one and well-treated one.
Now, Bodhidharma, when he came to China, he visited Emperor Wu or Wuteng (?) And there were famous question and answer. But -- he asked him -- this is the first subject of Blue Cliff Record. "Attention: the Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great teacher Bodhidharma, 'What is the first meaning of holy reality?'" What is the first principle? "Bodhidharma said, 'Emptiness. No sacredness.'" No holiness. "The Emperor said, 'Confronting me, who is it?'" Who is here? Aren't you a teacher or a holy person, he said. "Bodhidharma said, 'I don't know.' The Emperor did not accord. Thereupon Dhar -- Bodhidharma crossed the river and reached the land of Wei." "I" in Japanese.
And there were more -- more questions and answers. "Bodhidharma, I helped building temples and supported many -- patronized many teachers. What is the virtue of my deed?" And Bodhidharma said, "No merit." [laughs] That was his answer. So the emperor couldn’t understand what does he mean by "no virtue."
In this way, Bodhidharma started his question and answer in China, in five -- first part of the sixth century. Buddhism was introduced into China the first part of first century, and many and many scriptures were translated into Chinese. And by the time Bodhidharma went to China, there were many schools of Buddhism. Do you know Pure Land school? Pure Land school was there already, and Tendai school, and Sanron also, there were many schools -- were -- there were many schools established already. So Bodhidharma did not introduce -- introduce any scriptures. But he (was) said to have -- to have brought Lankavatara Sutra. But he did not bring any scriptures-- or there were -- there was -- there were no need to introduce any more scriptures.
And he came to China just to practice zazen, or to bring the teaching into practice he came to China. That is -- that is why he came to China. And what we should remember is there were many Indian Zen teachers at that time, and he was one of them. Recently, you know, as we Soto priest put emphasis on Bodhidharma's Zen, or Sixth Patriarch's Zen, or Zen in early Tang Dynasty. So some people, you know, say Bodhidharma -- we don't know when he come (?), maybe he is some Indian man, all what is told about him is almost -- is not historical -- there's no historical evidence, and he may be some legendary person.
But, even though we don't know exactly when he came and when he died, but there were actually many teachings which was left by him, and those teachings, described in various books, is not same. That is why, you know, there's some doubt whether he is historical person or not.
But many scriptures -- in many scriptures there were various records about the Second Patriarch and the Third Patriarch. Second and -- yeah, we have Second. But Third Patriarch we haven't -- not much record. And Fourth, Fifth we have. And that he is called the Sixth Patriarch means there was the First Patriarch, and First Patriarch was Bodhidharma, whatever the person he may be. If he is one of the many teachers who were in India and practicing zazen, that is -- that is enough. And moreover, there are many teaching which was left by him.
And this, you know, "I don't know," "Who are you in front of me?" you know, "What is the first principle," the Emperor asked. "I don't know," [laughs] he said. "I don't know," -- no -- "There's no holy person," or "No sacred -- sacred teachings," that was his answer. "Then aren't you the teacher from J-- from India?" the Emperor asked. Bodhidharma said, "I don't know." [laughs] This "I don't know" is not usual "I don't know."
Last night (note 3) I talked about -- can you hear me? -- talked about rhinoceros fan. "If you," you know, "if you bring it to him, it is too late," [laughs] as Setcho said. If the rhinoceros fan is the first principle, whatever you say that is not right. Or it is too late. Before you say something, it is right [laughs]. If you say something about it, you already put limitations to it, so it is not right.
Bodhidharma -- if the Emperor thinks he is the holy one, that is not true. When -- especially when the Emperor asked him "What is the first principle?" you know. First principle is not something holy, or not holy. Whatever you say about, it is not right. So he said "I don't know." [laughs] No, not -- not a matter of holy or not holy. "Who are you?" he said. If I am Bodhidharma, that is not perfect, so he said, "I don't know."
So since then, the Sixth -- Sixth Patriarch, when the Nan -- when Nangaku called him for the first time, "Where are you from?" he said, you know, that is already a question about the first principle: "Where are you from?" "Who are you?" "I don't know" is right, you know, whether he is -- he may have some merit, but that is just merit, and not he himself.
This kind of question and ans -- answer started from Bodhidharma, and intellectually, this point was discussed by many teachers, even before Bodhidharma came to China. According to the San -- Sanron school there are -- they have -- they understand -- or they classify our teaching in two: the first principle, and the second principle. The second principle is the principle which we can study and talk about intellectually. And the first one something which we cannot talk about. If we talk about it, it is already the second principle. So we classify our teaching in two.
And all the teachings which was -- which is written on the paper is the second principle [laughs]. The first principle is, you know, the principle which is -- which you cannot talk about. And which we transmit to master -- from master to master, from patriarch to patriarch. But the teaching which we transmit has -- is not written, you know. So how to transmit it to one person (?), that is the point we should study [laughter].
And according to Tendai school, there are, you know, aspects of being and non-being, and the third aspect is -- include being -- view -- aspects of viewpoint being and non-being and it is something beyond being and non-being. That is the third aspect. So -- and according to Tendai school, even though you -- when -- according to the third aspect, you cannot arrange our teaching this way or this way. To arrange teaching this way or this way, a time span or a space span, in the teaching which is in maybe the third dimension. But the teaching -- the absolute teaching which we transmit from master to the other is not this kind of teaching. According to Tendai school it is so.
So whatever -- and according to Shingon school, the something which is told by Buddha is not -- we cannot authorize anyone, or any teaching by what was told teaching -- what is told by -- what was told by Buddha. How we authorize our teaching is -- according to Shingon school -- Diamond Sutra, Diamond Sutra which is the supreme teaching which was told by Buddha. And which told by -- told by Buddha to -- without any audience [laughs]. You know, if some -- this is very funny [laughs] -- but if the teaching -- teaching which was told by some special person, according to the -- to his character, or to his ability, you know, is not absolute teaching because it was told by him, like a medicine to the patient. If patient changes, you know, teaching will change, so it is not absolute teaching. But Diamond Sutra, which was told by Buddha to -- to himself, is the only teaching which we can depend on.
But this is not a complete understanding. That is why Zen put emphasis on our practice. Whatever the teaching is which was told by someone, is not absolute teaching. This is traditional understanding of our teaching. Not only Zen, but also for every school of Zen -- Buddhism.
Even according to the Shin school, who believe in Amida Buddha as a saver of sentient beings, this is also true. Amida Buddha -- when we say Amida Buddha, Amida Buddha includes every one of us. The mouth we repeat Amida Buddha's name is also Amida Buddha's mouth, not our mouth. When we believe in -- when we practice, when we repeat his name with this idea, then that is to believe in Amida Buddha. It is not because we repeat his name that we -- that Amida Buddha save us. But because all of us are originally Amida Buddha -- a part of Amida Buddha, so the only thing is -- we should do is to believe in him. That is our idea -- understanding of -- or how we believe in Amida Buddha.
Even though for people we describe Amida Buddha's world in a mystic way, a peaceful way, a fantastic way, it is just, you know, good devices of Buddha. In this way, before Bodhidharma come to China, people were already prepared for accepting Zen Buddhism. And after five hundred years since Buddhism came to China, Buddhism become more and more stronger and stronger and at last Zen Buddhism almost covered whole China, from end of Tang Dynasty. But it took pretty long time, you know, maybe seven, eight hundred years of time.
As I was asked about that scroll, I explained more about Bodhidharma, and the situation -- in what situation Bodhidharma started his teaching.
Will you -- if you have questions, and if you -- if it is too hot for you, you can, you know --
[Tape turned over]
...... it is called atman, or big self, changing to small self [laughs], especially teacher self [laughs], and, you know, big self changing to small self. And there were many various laymen with independent-based religions. Religions for sake of religion, you know, not for sake of people. So, Buddha started -- Buddha at first he wanted to be, you know, instead to protect his people as a priest. But he found out it was not possible. So, he tried to protect his people with true way. And he studied—he studied various religions, and he found out all the religions at that time was not so good. And he started his own religion for people, with -- to help people. That is, I think, Buddhism.
So many teachers, even many teachers at that time converted to Buddhism. So, maybe he put an end to all religion [laughs]. But we -- we have saying, Buddha gave us poison [laughs]. Buddha started some poisonous religion again [laughs]. But that is not his fault [laughs], his followers hold fault.
And it is -- all the religion is good, if we study it with sincerity for the people, and through and through, it is good. And we need various religions because there are many different types of people. So, each one of us need his own religion. So, strictly speaking, religion is -- should be his own. And, when we have our own teaching, mysteriously enough it become a true teaching, and we can communicate with each other. This is also true.
Some other question? Hai.
Student A: The other night (note 3) you compared practice to an unbroken band of pure white silk …
Suzuki: Um, hah.
Student A: for ten thousand miles.
Suzuki: Ah, hah.
Student A: And -- and I don’t understand if that’s something which we attain, and our practice becomes purer and stronger, so that we can say, as our practice was beginning, it was not like that. But as it became -- as it became a better practice, then we experience our practice in that way. Or rather, that once we understood pure practice, we would see that all of our practice has been of that type. Is this the same process?
Roshi: Hmm, yeah. It is both, you know. Before -- before you -- before you realize our religion or practice, through and through, there were religions, you know. But after you understood religion, there is no religion because we are always with people, and we have -- we have struggled with same problem. What we are doing is not different from everyone is doing. We find out this truth after, you know, going through the various understanding and experience. We come to the certain point again, and on and on we follow this way with people. So that is, you know, the point after you went through various religious -- religious experience. But -- and at the same time it is starting point of religion. So both. It doesn’t make much sense [laughs, laughter]. It looks like some are drowning [laughs]. ?? [laughs].
Suzuki: Do you have some question?
Student B: I -- I can’t choose to become freedom now. [Laughs, laughter.]
Suzuki: You can’t choose freedom now [laughs]. Hai.
Student C: Would you explain to us again what you mean by the beginner’s mind?
Suzuki: Beginner’s mind?
Student C: Yeah.
Suzuki: Beginner’s mind is, you know, when you started, just started your study, you have no -- no prejudice, you know -- no preconceived idea. You don’t know anything about Buddhism. And you open your whole mind to the Buddhism. That is beginner’s mind. After you went through -- but if you study our way, you feel as if you, you know, understood Buddhism, and as if you attained something special. That is quite usual. But at that time you just lose your beginner’s mind. So, if you feel, you know, even though you study Buddhism, you really -- you should like to study more. And your study is not good enough. Then what you study is Buddhism. Do you understand? That is beginner’s mind. And that beginner’s mind is also big mind. Clive [?] is my answer is acceptable? Hai.
Student D: Many times I — I think that beginners they know more than when after started. They knew that—that they don’t know anything. And when you first come, you think you know enough.
Suzuki: Yeah. But what we are studying, you know, like this -- in our lecture is, you know, to have some outline of, you know, Buddhism, intellectually, you know. Without some outline of teaching, or suggestion, you cannot practice, you know. You cannot study. That is why we give you some advice or framework of Buddhism. And to point out—to point out some important points in your practice. Tim?
Student E: You’ve recognized with these -- talked of the first principle and the second principle. What is the difference?
Suzuki: The first principle -- second principle is, you know, ordinary common sense, you know. Or the teaching which is for patients is the second principle. But people know this is just for some particular patients. So, there must be, you know, some absolute teaching which is for everyone. People, you know, Buddhists seek for some teaching which is permanent. And what is that permanent teaching? That was a problem for them, And we need general teachings that whatever it is, what is told by someone is not the first one -- First Principle. Then what is the First Principle? The First Principle is something which you cannot understand, which -- to which there’s no approach. That is the First Principle.
Student F: But doesn’t the second principle depend on the first principle?
Suzuki: Depend on, but the -- the way it depend on is different (?). The -- even though you extend the second principle, you know, you cannot reach the first -- the first principle. If you add one and one and one, how many ones you add, it will not add in infinity. So, infinity, or the first principle is something beyond the second principle. Or you may say the viewpoint is quite completely different. If you divide one into many, you know -- if you add, you know, one after another, how many -- how long you add one after another, it cannot be infinity. But if you divide the absolute one in many ways, in -- as much as possible, that is, you know, infinity. In this way -- when we understand in this way, we can say, we are a part of it, you know. But we are not. Our understanding is not based on one, or two. Our understanding is based on something absolute [laughs], which we don’t know. But we may be a part of it. When we understand in that way, we are a part of it. So, it is a kind of belief, you may say. But it is more than belief. It should be fully true, or else we cannot exist here. Big hypothesis [?] [laughs]. Yet, there is no other way to -- except in this way.
And we should know that we are even a part of it. More than that, you know. If we say, we are part of it, the true relationship to the absolute one, will be lost, you know. If we are a part of it, you know, what -- then what is the real relationship to the absolute one? Part of it. And if we are -- everyone of us is unfolding of the one infinite absolute, or deity, then the meaning of each person will be lost, you know. We are just unfolding of one infinite being. So, what -- each one of us lose our sense of meaning of being. So, we are not even unfolding of the absolute one. Or we are not even a part of it. If you think to this extent, you will, you know, find out what is the absolute one. Okay? Not part of it. Or -- and we are not unfolding of the one being. So, [laughs] say something! [Laughs, laughter] Who are you? [Laughter] No words! [laughs]. Peter[?]
Student G: Are your hands a part of you?
Student G: Are your hands a part of you?
Suzuki: You ask, my hand?
Student G: Yes.
Suzuki: I don't know [laughs]. It is, you know--you cannot say my hand is part of me. Part of me is, you know, to add hand and body. Even though you add my hand and body, this is not my hand. If my hand is extended [laughs], body of me [laughs] And, then my hand is body. Why, you know, hand is -- hand has some different activity, or, you know, ability[?]. The meaning of hand is resolved[?], if my hand is extended body. Something more. Hand is something more than my body. You see? So hand is hand, and body is body, it is said. But it is—how do you say?—part of me. But it is not even part of me. It is -- because hand has its own ability, and my body has quite different ability. So what? I don’t know? [Laughter, laughs.] Hai.
Student H: Sorry. Roshi, sometimes when I am doing something that is really difficult, for -- for example, in the zendo trying to sit continuously without moving, or keep my gaze always at the floor ahead of me where it should be, I feel that I’m inhibiting myself. That I’m almost --
Suzuki: That I?
Student H: Inhibiting.
Student H: I feel almost as though I’m --
Student H: …inhibiting myself --
Student H: ... like putting myself in a little black box, and killing part of myself. And also I feel that when I do this and it’s very, very difficult to do it, that I’m -- because it’s so difficult only doing it for some end. When I do something very difficult, I have to do it for an end, for a goal, but that's the wrong kind of activity. First, would you comment on the feeling that you’re killing something by conforming to a very narrow, physically narrow, step, and also the feeling that -- that whether -- whether you should continue to do something that’s very difficult, to conform to this narrow step, even if you think you are doing it for a goal?
Suzuki: Mmm. Yes, uh, We are practicing actually, you know, aiming at a goal, you know. But that goal, "what is the goal?" is the point. The goal is -- to find goal in each moment is the goal. And that is enlightenment. And how it happens to you is -- there may be two ways. By all of a sudden attaining enlightenment, or by long practice. When you become more and more aware of what you are doing in its true sense, and when you become sympathetic with people’s misunderstanding of our practice, and when you found out how you help them, you will find out that you -- you have come to some point where you can help others, even though you do not attain enlightenment, neat[?] just like this, you know. The first of all, you know, if even though you listen to our lecture, I am talking about just Buddhism, you know. I don’t want to talk about, you know, project [laughs] a project[?] [laughs] other religions, you know, because I don’t know so much about project.
But I -- but I know in -- in what way they have -- they create problems, you know. For an instance, you know, I said, whatever you say, or whatever you do, or whatever you think, that is not absolutely -- absolutely right. And true teaching is not here [knocks], you know. Functionally (?), you know—the best project is to organize our way of life as much as fair, and for -- fair for each one of us. And sharing our profit, you know, in some way. That is maybe the first thing we should do. How much tax, you know, [laughs] they should put. How we divide the money we need is maybe the -- the most important point. And next maybe will be to find various positions for various person according to his ability. That will be the next thing which they should do. But even -- but it is not possible to divide, you know, profit even. Some people may try to divide, you know, all the income, you know, even. And some people are trying to reserve their advantage, you know, as much as possible, with some reason. And in that way, they -- they think it is possible to organize our life of profit in perfect way. But that is not possible from the beginning [laughs]. To some extent it is possible, but if it is a matter of one’s own character, or one’s own religious understanding or culture -- difference of culture -- it is not possible to measure it, you know. And to treat people in most absolutely fair is not possible.
But some people think it is possible [laughs]. That is why we -- we must fight with each other. And we have to have various opinions. And because -- and they fight, at the risk of their dignity [laughs] this is terrible. To lose the fight is to lose the dignity of each one’s character. So, they have to fight it out [laughs]. But there is no reason why we should fight, when it is not possible to establish some absolutely right way of organization. In this way we are fighting.
But from our viewpoint, it is absolutely wrong, you know, understanding of fair, or truth. Truth is not here, you know. The truth is something which we cannot, you know, bring it perfectly into our everyday life. Truth is something which -- to which we have to strive for. So, without striving for it now, to believe in some truth which is not truth, or fake truth, and to force some principle to others - big, big mistake. From the beginning, it is too much to expect. For us, it is too much to expect for government. We cannot expect so much for the government.
And, they should know, there are limits, you know. And they should be -- should be more humble, and they could think more [laughs]. Then we will have a very good, you know, life with this. This is only way to bring about perfect peace. Not perfect but comparatively peaceful life, I think. You see? All those confusions caused by, you know, misunderstanding of the truth. What we -- I am talking about is something, you know, unworthy, or maybe, you think, because you compare religion to politics, or some science, scientific study, so it is difficult to understand. But religion is something different in way of understanding of our life. So, you should keep studying, you know, something in some different way.
Student I: I am trying to read Lankavatara Sutra, and it's very tedious. And when I’m reading it, I think I understand part of it, as soon as I close the book, I forget everything. I can’t remember a thing that I’ve read. And when I was in school, I think I did the same thing with the textbooks. [Suzuki laughs.] I really had -- I had to memorize. I really put a lot of hope in memorizing. If I didn’t really know it, I could’ve memorized, you know, I don’t—I don’t know what the problem --
Suzuki: I think that is enough, I think. But maybe better to -- I want you, if possible, you know, to not compare, but to -- to organize our teaching, and what you study, you know, from book, you know, if you find out relationship. Purpose of my lecture is mostly to give you some way to understand the various scriptures and various thought, in appropriate way, without being attached to it. Without wasting time.
Student I: Shouldn’t I remember something? [Both laugh]
Suzuki: There is no need to. If you forget, you know, it’s all right. Because if you doubt -- if you have doubt something on it, you will not forget it, you know. Because you understand it, you forget. Because you have no problem in understanding [laughs], some point. If it is difficult to understand, you will think -- you have to think more about it, so you cannot forget what is it. Again my idea[?] [laughter, laughs].
So, in other words, to have doubted, you know, to have doubted, means you understood something from the book. And if you have no doubt about it, I don’t know whether it is good or bad [laughs]. It’s one of the truths, you know, whether you [laughs, laughter] understand it completely, or you didn’t -- because you didn’t understand it [laughs, laughter]. So, for us, you know, in --especially in studying serious, I think it’s better to read some difficult book [laughs] than to really become sleepy [laughs, laughter]. And, you know, if you become sleepy, you, seriously, read with your mouth [laughter], and over and over again, then it will help you. It may be better to read many books [laughs, laughter]. Read something very difficult to understand, and over, and over. Hai.
Student J: I can say now that I am 21 years old, and that my body is young, and it’s not giving me too much trouble. But when I get to be 65, it may be giving me a lot of trouble. And science would say that the reason that this is happening is because my body is getting older. And -- and what I would like to know, is for a person who has gone beyond time, how would this person interpret the change that’s occurred to his body?
Suzuki: [Laughs] Beyond time! [laughs, laughter]. We -- beyond time does not mean [laughter, laughs] to be -- some quite different experience. But sage or celestial being or [laughter] or to reach or to make -- spend twenty four to ??? [laughter].
Student J: Maybe--maybe without time would be better than saying beyond time.
Suzuki: Beyond time is, you know -- means to live in each moment, you know, is beyond time. It is to enjoy or to appreciate your life, day by day, is how to live beyond the idea of time. Actually, there is no time, you know. Time is something which is happening. Day after day is time. There is no measurement of time. You may say clock is measuring but that is not true.
Student J: Well then how -- how do you interpret change? Or is there change, at all?
Suzuki: Didn’t I explain about time? I thought I did. Time is something continuously change. And time is something -- idea of time is some continuous -- idea of continuity. And at the same time, idea of discontinuity.
You know, when I say it is thirty-five past nine, it is -- time is idea of discontinuity. It is going [laughs], but we say it is thirty-seven minutes after nine. We cannot say so, but if we cannot say so, there is no reason why we have [laughs] a clock. Because of the --when we use clock, we use -- we have the time -- idea of time, and the idea of discontinuity of time. But actually, it is going, so time is idea of continuity. So, time is something -- idea of time, is idea of continuity and discontinuity. So, you understand one reality in two ways: continuity and discontinuity, which is, you know, two pair of opposite idea and contradict with each other. So, in contradiction, you know, there is reality. So, to enjoy our life you need to have your past and future as your own. But each time you have your past and future, maybe past in this moment will be the same, but we are independent.
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