Soto Zen Teachings

soto zen

Soto Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Suzuki Roshi

Shunryu Suzuki (鈴木 俊隆 Suzuki Shunryū, dharma name Shōgaku Shunryū 祥岳俊隆, often called Suzuki Roshi (1904 –1971) was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States. He is renowned for founding the first Zen Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California).

Suzuki founded San Francisco Zen Center, which along with its affiliate temples including Green Gulch Farm and Santa Cruz Zen Center, comprises one of the most influential Zen organizations in the United States. A book of his teachings, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, is one of the most popular books on Zen and Buddhism in the West.


Kokyo Henkel and Neti Mushin


“What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door
which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”

—Suzuki Roshi

“Bowing is very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow,
even in your last moment.”

—Suzuki Roshi

“The point we emphasize is strong confidence
in our original nature.”

—Suzuki Roshi

“If you lose the spirit of repetition, your practice will become quite difficult.”

—Suzuki Roshi