In 1959, Shunryu Suzuki came to the United States and stayed there until the day of his death. He stayed because he saw that Americans had a beginner’s mind, that they had little bias about Zen, that Americans were quite open and convinced that Zen would help them in life. He saw that their perception of Zen could give them a real Zen buddhist life. The first draft of this book was based on a transcript of conversations between Suzuki and his students, written over several years by Marien Derby, a close follower of Suzuki-rosi. For most readers, this book will be an example of how a Zen master speaks and teaches. It will be an instruction on the practice of Zen, living on the principles of Zen, the guidelines that enable the practice of Zen. This book will encourage any reader to understand their own nature, their own Zen consciousness.
The publication of this book is supported by Anton and Eugenia Borzov and the Sunflower Fund.
Shunryu Suzuki (1904–1971) was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and is truly a founding father of Zen in America. A Japanese priest of the Soto lineage, he taught in the United States from 1959 until his death. He was the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He is also the author of Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai, and he is the subject of the biography Crooked Cucumber.