Shunryu Suzuki Student`s


Atthe start of new things, it is often normal to dread the newenvironment as we strive to cling onto the past familiar andcomfortable surroundings. However, as uncomfortable or unfamiliar itmay be, new beginnings are a must especially for growth. Based onthis perspective, Suzuki believes that a mind occupied withpreconceived ideas, subjective intentions and habits cannot be opento see things as they are. In view of this, he teaches about the needto practice zazen in a bid to rid the mind of external matters. Withthe freedom, the empty mind then becomes receptive, extremelysensitive to new things and open to receiving them. The path toenlightenment turns out to be difficult because ones perception canbe a barrier towards reality but an open thought can be instrumentalin experiencing unbiased truth.

Theteachings of Buddhism emphasize on a pure empty state of mind, onlybelieved to be achievable through sitting in zazen. In reality,emptiness of the mind is never considered as a state of mind. It isregarded as the original essence of the mind experienced by Buddhaand the Sixth patriarch. Absolute calmness of the mind essentiallyrefers to absolute emptiness, original mind, and Buddha nature, ortrue nature mindset. Having something in one’s consciousness meansthat they are neither at peace, nor do they have perfect composure.The most appropriate way to acquire perfect composure is forgettingeverything, a situation that calms the mind, leaving it wide andclear enough to feel and see things in the way that they are supposedto be. The mind is always under extreme pressure and activity,something that Suzuki sternly warns against in his statement. Herecommends that humans should learn how to give up their busythinking mind, and instead acquire a strong conviction in theemptiness of the mind that promises perfect rest of the mind. This isoften a state of delusion, which in essence translates to attainmentof enlightenment (Suzuki, 2010).


Suzuki,S. (2011). ZenMind, Beginner’s Mind.Colorado Shambhala Publications