Main CategoriesZen BuddhismEihei Dōgen and the Soto School Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Product no.: 0-8348-0079-9
This book is about how to practice Zen as a workable discipline and religion, about posture and breathing, about the basic attitudes and understanding that make Zen practice possible.

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Publisher's Synopsis

This book originated from a series of talks given by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki to a small group in Los Altos, California. He joined their meditation periods once a week and afterwards answered their questions and tried to encourage them in their practice of Zen and help them solve the problems of life.

His approach is informal, and he draws his examples from ordinary events and common sense.

Zen is now and here, he is saying; it can be as meaningful for the West as for the East. But his fundamental teaching and practice are drawn from all the centuries of Zen Buddhism and especially from Dogen, one of the most important and creative of all Zen Masters.


"One of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice."       ~Library Journal

"[This] is a different book every time I read it. Behind the simplicity, it is dense with Zen wisdom that flashes like lightning as you read and reread."      ~Jon Lebkowskyl, Millennium Whole Earth Catalog


"For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our original mind includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.

In the beginner's mind there is no thought, I have attained something. All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner's mind is compassionate, it is boundless."


Shunryu Suzuki (1905-1971) was born the son of a Japanese Zen Buddhist priest. He become a monk at age 13 and arrived in California in 1959 where he founded the San Francisco Zen Center. He was a direct spiritual descendent of the great thirteenth century Zen master Dogen.

Author Suzuki, Shunryu
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 132 pp.
Publisher Weatherhill 1970
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Eihei Dōgen and the Soto School, Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation, Eastern Buddhism and Zen Masters, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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