Thoughts on “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki

This is one of those books that I have been wanting to read for a while, since it was often referred to in other spiritual books and articles which I have read. The beauty of this text is its simplicity. As humans, we excel at complicating things, especially when it comes to religion and spirituality. With this in mind, Suzuki reminds us that sometimes we just need to stop talking and thinking, and just be in the present moment.

“We have had enough discussion, so let’s have a cup of tea!”

(p. 39)

In addition to simplicity and being in the present, the spiritual principle of acceptance is emphasized, especially in relation to the transiency of all existence.

The basic teaching of Buddhism is the teaching of transiency, or change. That everything changes is the basic truth for each existence. No one can deny this truth, and all the teaching of Buddhism is condensed within it. This is the teaching for all of us. Wherever we go this teaching is true. This teaching is also understood as the teaching of selflessness. Because each existence is in constant change, there is no abiding self. In fact, the self-nature of each existence is nothing but change itself, the self-nature of all existence. There is no special, separate self-nature for each existence. This is also called the teaching of Nirvana. When we realize the everlasting truth of “everything changes” and find our composure in it, we find ourselves in Nirvana.

(p. 91)

I found this book very inspiring, and suspect I will read it again at some point. I don’t feel there is anything else I need to say about this book at this point. I’ll just encourage you to have a cup of tea.

2 Comments

Filed under Non-fiction, Spiritual

2 responses to “Thoughts on “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki

  1. Thanks Jeff. I’ve read so many books on Zen, but not this one although I’ve heard great things about it.

    • Hi Deborah. Yeah, it’s one of those that always seems to come up, so I figured I should read it. Glad I did. Hope you and yours are all happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by 🙂