The Attitude toward Dr. Suzuki

"The Attitude toward Dr. Suzuki" number 75 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Dr. Suzuki (1870-1966) was a scholar and lay-student of Shaku Soen. He was a prolific writer and translator. He influenced many of the important characters of the 50's and 60's. Here I'll do some name dropping. Carl Jung, John Cage, Erich Fromm, Huston Smith, Gary Snyder, Frederick Franck, Thomas Merton, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Alan Watts and our friend Robert Aitken.

Dr. Suzuki was not without his detractors. Some felt his empasis on satori and kensho as being the end all of Zen was wrong. Together they just mark the beginning, "if that."

In today's miniature, Maezumi Roshi is quoted as often saying, "I never passed my first koan."

I love this juxtaposition of the emphasis on satori and Maezumi's "I never passed my first koan." I would rather be a mature practitioner than pass all the koans, achieve satori and have kensho experiences. None of these are required.

And yet satori happens. My practice is mine and will be what ever it is.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.