Saturday, June 12, 2010

wisdom AND compassion (part two)

One day, Suzuki(Roshi) noticed a student who was sitting on a stone looking at a sunflower that was growing nearby. He went over and sat by her.

"What are you doing?"

"Meditating with the sunflower," she said. "It rotates with the sun."

Suzuki sat with her for a long time. That night he referred to his garden visit.

"Unless you get through to emptiness, you are not practicing. But if you stick to the idea of emptiness, you are not a Buddhist yet. Someone was sitting in front of a sunflower, watching the sunflower, a cup of sun - so I tried it too. It was wonderful! I felt the whole universe in the sunflower. That was my experience. Sunflower meditation. A wonderful confidence appeared. You can see the whole universe in a flower. If you say, "Oh this is a sunflower which doesn't really exist" (laughing), that is not our zazen practice."

---from "Crooked Cucumber, The Life and Zen Teaching of Sunryu Suzuki" by David Chadwick

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post Tom. I read Crooked Cucumber. I was amazed that Suzuki Roshi's wife was murdered by one of the monks under his care, and that his daughter committed suicide in a mental institution. He went through some horrendous challenges and he penetrated deeply into the nature of reality.