"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line of Shunryu Suzuki's classic. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that's just the beginning.
In the thirty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics, much beloved, much re-read, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. It's a book to come back to time and time again as an inspiration to practice.
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is a book of teachings by the late Shunryu Suzuki, a compilation of talks given to his satellite Zen center in Los Altos, California. Published in 1970 by Weatherhill, the book is not academic. These are frank and direct transcriptions of Suzuki's talks recorded by his student Marian Derby. Trudy Dixon and Richard Baker (Baker was Suzuki's successor) edited the talks by choosing those most relevant, arranging them into chapters. According to some, it has become a spiritual classic, helping readers to steer clear from the trappings of intellectualism.
Link to buy the book.
Films For Action empowers citizens with the information we need to help create a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.
We receive no government or corporate funding and rely on our supporters to keep us going. Donate today.