Reflections on the Prajna Paramita Sutra

Given by Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara on Wednesday, August 23, 1967
Track 1 1 7/8ips Suzuki Roshi 8/23 - transcribed 9/18/67 T.D. ------- Introduction and end note from the Wind Bell During the seven day sesshin that ended Tassajara's first two month training period, Suzuki Roshi gave lectures almost every mid-day and evening on the Prajna Paramita Sutra, which focuses on the idea that ‘Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. All things which are form are emptiness; all things which are emptiness are form.’ This lecture and the discussion which followed it between the Roshi and the students took place on Thursday, August 24th. Wind Bell Editor's note: It might be clarifying to explain that practice is so thoroughly based on enlightenment, is the life of enlightenment, that practice and enlightenment are one; and to explain that the understanding and acceptance of practice depends so completely on enlightenment is the practice of enlightenment, that practice and enlightenment are one. But these mechanical kinds of explanation deny the deep truth that all beings are enlightened already, that all beings in leading their lives are practicing enlightenment, that all beings are intrinsically Buddha Nature, that emptiness is the actuality of all things, that all things are only emptiness. Awareness of these truths should be the substance, the light of one's everyday practice, even though that everyday practice seems to be without enlightenment, or at best only leading to enlightenment. Without these truths your practice will not be deep enough to fully realize enlightenment beyond any mental, emotional or physical attainment, or to understand all beings practicing in their worlds moment after moment. Enlightenment is to be free in each moment. If this moment is bound by some possible enlightenment in the future, how can you be free now?
NB- the photos for the boxes of 05134 and 05135 have been switched as the track listings only make sense when you do. Presumably at one stage the two tapes were mixed up. - SDH ------- Transcript below is adapted from 67-08-24-C. Since the date for the talk on track 1 was 8/23, that date is kept - SDH.