Think the Unthinkable

Given by Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara on Monday, December 4, 1967 -- (Afternoon)
SR017 - Track 2- slow - Roshi Lecture - 12/4/67 - afternoon - copied
Footnotes in transcript: 1 I think that even though it may be difficult to actually hear the exact exclamation, he is probably saying “katsu” かつ (perhaps the kanji is 活, which means “energize” in this case). But, as you have undoubtedly experienced, a priest overseeing a sesshin may well say the word with great emphasis — and in such a case, it might sound like: “KAAAA-tsu”. - Fred Harriman 2 Shunryu is saying “kikai tanden." While “tanden” 丹田 in the vernacular is often used in place of “hara” 腹, in Chinese medicine there are potentially other “tanden”. Shunryu appears to be getting technical by specifying “kikai tanden" 気海丹田 in identifying a location of the body that is not only important for identifying one’s most “original” thoughts (one’s most “honest” or “true” thoughts), but it is also important in centering one’s self for physical and spiritual strength when practicing the martial arts such as kendo. There is only one “kikai” 気海, and it is in the hara 腹, below the navel. So he is trying to be more technically precise in identifying the tanden that he wants the practitioners to pay attention to. He explains the meaning of “kikai” 気海 as 気 = spirit, and 海 = sea (ocean). Perhaps he sensed that he might be getting a little technical, and he left the subject with a cursory description of the kanji, and he brings the attention back to the word “hara” 腹, which is more colloquial but not as precise as “kikai tanden”気海丹田. - Fred Harriman 3 This is a translation of the English proverb: Speech is silver, silence is golden. Suzuki Roshi translated the Japanese version into English again. Yuben is eloquence. -Shohaku Okumura 4 Suzuki Roshi is talking about the story of entering the dharma gate of non-duality from the Vimalakirti Sutra. There is a famous phrase from the story: Yuima no ichimoku rai no gotosi means Vimalakirti's silence is like a thunderclap. Probably he is saying, Vimalakirti's silence is louder than Manjushri's talk. -Shohaku Okumura ------------------------- Transcript by PF 12/21