perfect composure: zen



There is a universal force which goes into form moment by moment in an infinitely intelligent way, in perfect concert with all phenomena of existence as well as all levels of non-phenomenal existence. Whatever concepts appeal to us and which allow our mind to open up to the great mystery of this universal force, are, in my opinion, useful. Trust, faith, total functioning, implicate order, the impulse of evolution, adamantine particles, law of attraction, reincarnation and soul evolution, divine providence, the Buddha Mind, no-mind, higher Self – all are, in this sense, equally valid. Today it appeals to me to see myself as Buddha nature arising into form in each moment exactly as is called for so that my form joins in harmony with the cosmic symphony. Continue reading


This post contains two and a half pages from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. In this short chapter Shunryu gives us a sense of what the Buddhist term “Nothing” means. I find this term very similar to the view in quantum physics of the Field or the Plenum. For David Bohm, one of the leading quantum physicists of our age, the Plenum is an “immense background of energy”.

(At the bottom you will find the YouTube video of Peter Coyote reading this chapter.)

Shunryu Suzuki-roshi:

I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color—something which exists before all forms and colors appear. This is a very important point. No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea. You strive for a perfect faith in order to save yourself. But it will take time to attain such a perfect faith. You will be involved in an idealistic practice.
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Zen: CO N T R O L

This post contains a little over two pages from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki.

At the bottom you will find the YouTube video of Peter Coyote reading this chapter.

“To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him.”

To live in the realm of Buddha nature means to die as a small being, moment after moment. When we lose our balance we die, but at the same time we also develop ourselves, we grow. Whatever we see is changing, losing its balance. The reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance, but its background is always in perfect harmony. Continue reading

Posture and Asana in Zen and Yoga

At the bottom of this article you will find the Posture chapter of Shunryu Suzuki’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and also the YouTube with Peter Coyote reading this chapter.

This short chapter is remarkable in several respects. Superficially it seems that he is describing the recommended zazen posture for the body. Looking more deeply at several statements in this talk, however, I realize that he is presenting us with non-linear Zen thoughts. Many statements impact me as wake up calls, directing me to leave my conventional thought patterns. This short talk is very rich and deep in its potential to show me the multiple levels that his communication contains. Here are some of my reflections on his statements from this point of view.
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Zen: Breathing and Beginner’s Mind

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Yesterday I posted the section “Breathing” from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki . One reader (thank you, Eleanor!) sent me the link to a YouTube video with the wonderful actor Peter Coyote reading from this book! Here is the full audiobook read by Peter Coyote. Enjoy!