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Thread: D T Suzuki

  1. #1

    D T Suzuki

    Not sure if this link has been posted already.

    Anyway - wonderful film.



  2. #2
    Nice man, nice find, nice film.

    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  3. #3
    Thank you, I didn't know the man, a little more his writtings



  4. #4
    Thank you, Willow.

    D.T. Suzuki (not to be confused with San Fransisco's Shunryu Suzuki) has been reappraised somewhat in recent decades. For anyone interested in this rather arcane topic in Western Zen history here is an old post ...

    Gassho, J

  5. #5
    Thank you Willow, I have read some of his teachings before.


  6. #6
    Thank you for the link Jundo - it feels there is a certain amount of background knowledge that is useful to have when approaching these texts if one's own understanding isn't to become lop-sided.

    It mentions in the film that Suzuki wrestled with his koan for 4 years - getting no-where until he had a 'realisation', so the rinzai aspect is evident. His wife was a Theophosist and there is the whole Kyoto school influence - so yes many influences to disentangle.

    The fact that he wanted to try LSD in late 80's (and had to be dissuaded!) made me smile.

    A very interesting and warm-hearted man



  7. #7
    Hello Willow,

    thank you for the interesting link. I'll watch it in full this weekend. To be honest, some of D.T. Suzuki's writings almost managed to completely put me off Dharma before I even started practising many years ago.....he was an important pioneer nevertheless, and my dharma palate is not everyone's palate


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  8. #8
    I have to say I have had much the same experience as Hans. When I was a post-grad philosophy student many years ago I found D.T. Suzuki's writing fascinating, as they played into the intellectual atmosphere that I then inhabited. But when I became a practitioner I found & find Shunryu Suzuki's writing more relevant to my life in Zen.

    I edited this post as when I read it back it sounded as if i was dismissive of D.T. Suzuki & I certainly didn't mean it to sound so. I still admire the man & think he played an essential part in bringing Zen to the West. So I am sorry if the first version of this post sounded pompous.

    Thank You Willow for posting the link & I will certainly watch it with interest.


    Last edited by Taikyo; 08-06-2013 at 08:42 AM.

  9. #9
    Hi there - it's helpful to get the feedback. As I'm fairly new to much of this I only recently realised that there were two Suzuki's. I haven't read either but have ordered D T Suzuki's introductory text.

    To be honest I ordered it because the forward is by Jung and I found it interesting. I've also had Erich Fromm's 'Psycho-analysis and Zen Buddhism' sat (un-read) on my bookcase for over 20 years. I never really picked up on/followed through the link while training so now I'm intrigued to find out a little more. I'd thought the overlap between psychotherapy and Zen was a more recent addition - but clearly not.

    The other thing that was interesting was that (in the film) Suzuki showed an appreciation of Pure Land Buddhism. A blending of Zen/Pure Land Buddhism is something David Brazier writes about in his new book 'Not everything is Impermanent'.

    Just a few thoughts that are no doubt taking me off topic,


    Last edited by Jinyo; 08-06-2013 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Really enjoyed watching that. Thank you, Willow!

    Like many people I imagine, my introduction to Zen began with books by the two Suzukis - DT and Shunryu - and I had a hard time reconciling the two descriptions of what I thought then was the same thing. I suspect most of us here veer more towards Shunryu but I have immense gratitude to DT Suzuki for his pioneering work in bringing Zen practice to the west.

    The film itself features many other people whom I have admired and drawn on for inspiration - Gary Snyder, Joseph Campbell, Robert Aitken, Huston Smith, Thomas Merton. A great legacy of influence.

    I liked his summary of Zen as simplicity, sincerity and freedom.


  11. #11
    Apologies for double posting but I found his embracing of Pure Land Buddhism very interesting too, Willow. I think that tradition can come in for some unwarranted (as well as warranted) criticism. Faith is definitely another way into practice and can act as a balance for the more wisdom oriented Zen practice.

    I have a Jodo Shinshu friend and she (and her whole community) sit zazen as well as chanting Nembutsus. She is certainly not short on insight or understanding.


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