D. T. Suzuki: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Part of a series on

Buddhism


Dharma Wheel
Portal of Buddhism
Outline of Buddhism

History of Buddhism

Timeline - Buddhist councils

Major figures

Gautama Buddha
Disciples · Later Buddhists

Dharma or concepts

Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
Three marks of existence
Dependent origination
Saṃsāra · Nirvāṇa
Skandha · Cosmology
Karma · Rebirth

Practices and attainment

Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
4 stages of enlightenment
Wisdom · Meditation
Smarana · Precepts · Pāramitās
Three Jewels · Monastics
Laity

Countries and regions

Schools

Theravāda · Mahāyāna
Vajrayāna

Texts

Chinese canon · Pali canon
Tibetan canon

Related topics

Comparative studies
Cultural elements
Criticism

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (鈴木大拙貞太郎 Suzuki Daisetsu Teitarō, October 18, 1870 – July 12, 1966[1]) was a Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western universities, and devoted many years to a professorship at Otani University, a Japanese Buddhist school.

Contents

Early life

D. T. Suzuki was born Teitarō Suzuki in Honda-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, the fourth son of physician Ryojun Suzuki. (The Buddhist name Daisetz, meaning "Great Simplicity" (or rather "great clumsiness"[citation needed]), was given to him by his Zen master Soyen Shaku[2].) Although his birthplace no longer exists, a humble monument marks its location (a tree with a rock at its base). The Samurai class into which Suzuki was born declined with the fall of feudalism, which forced Suzuki's mother, a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, to raise him in impoverished circumstances after his father died. When he became old enough to reflect on his fate in being born into this situation, he began to look for answers in various forms of religion. His naturally sharp and philosophical intellect found difficulty in accepting some of the cosmologies to which he was exposed.[3]

Suzuki studied at Tokyo University and simultaneously took up Zen practice at Engakuji in Kamakura studying with Soyen Shaku.[4] Under Soyen Shaku, Suzuki's studies were essentially internal and non-verbal, including long periods of sitting meditation (zazen). The task involved what Suzuki described as four years of mental, physical, moral, and intellectual struggle.

During training periods at Engaku-ji, Suzuki lived a monk's life. He described this life and his own experience at Kamakura in his book The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk. Suzuki was invited by Soyen Shaku to visit the United States in the 1890s. Suzuki acted as English-language translator for a book written by him (1906). Though Suzuki had by this point translated some ancient Asian texts into English (e.g. Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana), his role in translating and ghost-writing aspects of this book was more the beginning of Suzuki's career as a writer in English.[5]

Career

While he was young, Suzuki had set about acquiring knowledge of Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, and several European languages. Soyen Shaku was one of the invited speakers at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. When a German scholar who had set up residence in LaSalle, Illinois, Dr. Paul Carus, approached Soyen Shaku to request his help in translating and preparing Eastern spiritual literature for publication in the West, the latter instead recommended his disciple Suzuki for the job. Suzuki lived at Dr. Carus’s home, the Hegeler Carus Mansion, and worked with him, initially in translating the classic Tao Te Ching from ancient Chinese. In Illinois, Suzuki began his early work Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism.

Carus himself had written a book offering an insight into, and overview of, Buddhism, titled The Gospel of Buddha. Soyen Shaku wrote an introduction for it, and Suzuki translated the book into Japanese. At this time, around the turn of the century, quite a number of Westerners and Asians (Carus, Soen, and Suzuki included) were involved in the worldwide Buddhist revival that had begun slowly in the 1880s.

Besides living in the United States, Suzuki traveled through Europe before taking up a professorship back in Japan. In 1911, Suzuki married Beatrice Erskine Lane, a Radcliffe graduate and Theosophist with multiple contacts with the Bahá'í Faith both in America and in Japan[6]. Later Suzuki himself joined the Theosophical Society Adyar and was an active Theosophist.[7] Dedicating themselves to spreading an understanding of Mahayana Buddhism, they lived in a cottage on the Engaku-ji grounds until 1919, then moved to Kyoto, where Suzuki began professorship at Otani University in 1921. While he was in Kyoto, he visited Dr. Hoseki Shinichi Hisamatsu, a famous Zen Buddhist scholar, and discussed Zen Buddhism together at Shunkoin temple in the Myoshinji temple complex.

In the same year he joined Otani University, he and his wife, Beatrice, founded the Eastern Buddhist Society; the Society is focused on Mahayana Buddhism and offers lectures and seminars, and publishes a scholarly journal, The Eastern Buddhist. Suzuki maintained connections in the West and, for instance, delivered a paper at the World Congress of Faiths in 1936, at the University of London (he was an exchange professor during this year).

Besides teaching about Zen practice and the history of Zen (Chinese Chán) Buddhism, Suzuki was an expert scholar on the related philosophy called, in Japanese, Kegon, which he thought of as the intellectual explication of Zen experience.

Still a professor of Buddhist philosophy in the middle decades of the 20th century, Suzuki wrote some of the most celebrated introductions and overall examinations of Buddhism, and particularly of the Zen school. He went on a lecture tour of American universities in 1951, and taught at Columbia University from 1952 to 1957.

Suzuki was especially interested in the formative centuries of this Buddhist tradition, in China. A lot of Suzuki's writings in English concern themselves with translations and discussions of bits of the Chan texts the Biyan Lu (Blue Cliff Record) and the Wumenguan (Gateless Passage), which record the teaching styles and words of the classical Chinese masters. He was also interested in how this tradition, once imported into Japan, had influenced Japanese character and history, and wrote about it in English in Zen and Japanese Culture. Suzuki's reputation was secured in England prior to the U.S.

In addition to his popularly oriented works, Suzuki wrote a translation of the Lankavatara Sutra and a commentary on its Sanskrit terminology. Later in his life he was a visiting professor at Columbia University. He looked in on the efforts of Saburō Hasegawa, Judith Tyberg, Alan Watts and the others who worked in the California Academy of Asian Studies (now known as the California Institute of Integral Studies), in San Francisco in the 1950s.

Suzuki is often linked to the Kyoto School of philosophy, but he is not considered one of its official members. Suzuki took an interest in other traditions besides Zen. His book Zen and Japanese Buddhism delved into the history and scope of interest of all the major Japanese Buddhist sects.

In his later years, he began to explore the Jodo Shinshu faith of his mother's upbringing, and gave guest lectures on Jodo Shinshu Buddhism at the Buddhist Churches of America. D.T. Suzuki also produced an incomplete English translation of the Kyogyoshinsho, the magnum opus of Shinran, founder of the Jodo Shinshu school. However, Suzuki did not attempt to popularize the Shin doctrine in the West, as he believed Zen was better suited to the Western preference for Eastern mysticism[citation needed], though he is quoted as saying that Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is the "most remarkable development of Mahayana Buddhism ever achieved in East Asia".[8] Suzuki also took an interest in Christian mysticism and in some of the most significant mystics of the West, for example, Meister Eckhart, whom he compared with the Jodo Shinshu followers called Myokonin. Suzuki was among the first to bring research on the Myokonin to audiences outside Japan as well.

Suzuki's books have been widely read and commented on by many important figures. A notable example is An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, which includes a 30-page commentary by famous analytical psychologist Carl Jung. Other works include Essays in Zen Buddhism (three volumes), Studies in Zen Buddhism, and Manual of Zen Buddhism. Additionally, american philosopher William Barrett has compiled many of Suzuki's articles and essays concerning Zen into a volume entitled Studies in Zen.

Suzuki's Zen master, Soyen Shaku, who also wrote a book published in the United States (English translation by Suzuki), had emphasized the Mahayana Buddhist roots of the Zen tradition. Suzuki's contrasting view was that, in its centuries of development in China, Zen (or Chan) had absorbed much from indigenous Chinese Taoism. Suzuki believed that the Far Eastern peoples had a more sensitive or attuned to nature than either the people of Europe or those of Northern India.[citation needed]

Suzuki subscribed to the idea that religions are each a sort of organism, an organism that is (through time) subject to "irritation" and having a capacity to change or evolve.[citation needed]

It was Suzuki's contention that a Zen satori (awakening) was the goal of the tradition's training, but that what distinguished the tradition as it developed through the centuries in China was a way of life radically different from that of Indian Buddhists. In India, the tradition of the mendicant (holy beggar, bhikku in Pali) prevailed, but in China social circumstances led to the development of a temple and training-center system in which the abbot and the monks all performed mundane tasks. These included food gardening or farming, carpentry, architecture, housekeeping, administration (or community direction), and the practice of folk medicine. Consequently, the enlightenment sought in Zen had to stand up well to the demands and potential frustrations of everyday life.[9][10]

Interestingly, later in life Suzuki was more inclined to Jodo Shin (True Pure Land) practice on a personal level, seeing in the doctrine of Tariki, or other power as opposed to self power, an abandonment of self that is entirely complementary to Zen practice and yet to his mind even less willful than traditional Zen.

Suzuki received numerous honors, including Japan's national Cultural Medal.

"New Buddhism," Japanese nationalism, and Buddhist modernism

Scholars such as Martin Verhoeven[citation needed] and Robert Sharfas well as Japanese Zen monk G. Victor Sogen Hori, have argued that the breed of Japanese Zen that was propagated by New Buddhism ideologues, such as Imakita Kosen and Soen Shaku, was not typical of Japanese Zen during their time, nor is it typical of Japanese Zen now. Although greatly altered by the Meiji restoration, Japanese Zen still flourishes as a monastic tradition. The Zen Tradition in Japan, in its customary form, required a great deal of time and discipline from monks that laity would have difficulty finding. Zen monks were often expected to have spent several years in intensive doctrinal study, memorizing sutras and poring over commentaries, before even entering the monastery to undergo koan practice in sanzen with the roshi.[11] The fact that Suzuki himself was able to do so (as a layman) was largely the invention of New Buddhism.

At the onset of modernization in the Meji period, in 1868, when Japan entered into the international community, Buddhism was briefly persecuted in Japan as "a corrupt, decadent, anti-social, parasitic, and superstitious creed, inimical to Japan's need for scientific and technological advancement."[12] The Japanese government intended to eradicate the tradition, which was seen as a foreign "other", incapable of fostering the nativist sentiments that would be vital for national, ideological cohesion. In addition to this, industrialization led to the breakdown of the parishioner system that had funded Buddhist monasteries for centuries.[12] In response to this seemingly intractable state of turmoil, a group of modern Buddhist leaders emerged to argue for the Buddhist cause.[13] These leaders stood in agreement with the government persecution of Buddhism, accepting the notion of a corrupt Buddhist institution in need of revitalization.

This movement, known as shin bukkyo, or "New Buddhism", was led by university-educated intellectuals who had been exposed to a vast body of Western intellectual literature. Advocates of New Buddhism, like Suzuki's teachers Kosen and his successor Soen Shaku, saw this movement as a defense of Buddhism against government persecution, and also saw it as a way to bring their nation into the modern world as a competitive, cultural force.[14]

Several scholars have identified Suzuki as a Buddhist Modernist. As scholar David McMahan describes it, Buddhist Modernism consists of "forms of Buddhism that have emerged out of an engagement with the dominant cultural and intellectual forces of modernity."[15] Most scholars agree that the influence of Protestant and Enlightenment values have largely defined some of the more conspicuous attributes of Buddhist Modernism.[16] McMahan cites "western monotheism; rationalism and scientific naturalism; and Romantic expressivism" as influences.[17] Buddhist Modernist traditions often consist of a deliberate de-emphasis of the ritual and metaphysical elements of the religion, as these elements are seen as incommensurate with the discourses of modernity. Buddhist Modernist traditions have also been characterized as being "detraditionalized," often being presented in a way that occludes their historical construction. Instead, Buddhist Modernists often employ an essentialized description of their tradition, where key tenets are described as universal and sui generis.

Suzuki's depiction of Zen Buddhism can be classified as Buddhist Modernist in that such traits can be found in it. That he was a university-educated intellectual steeped in knowledge of Western philosophy and literature allowed him to be particularly successful and persuasive in presenting his case to a Western audience. As Suzuki portrayed it, Zen Buddhism was a highly practical religion whose emphasis on direct experience made it particularly comparable to forms of mysticism that scholars such as William James had emphasized as the fountainhead of all religious sentiment.[18] McMahan states, "In his discussion of humanity and nature, Suzuki takes Zen literature out of its social, ritual, and ethical contexts and reframes it in terms of a language of metaphysics derived from German Romantic idealism, English Romanticism, and American Transcendentalism."[19] Drawing on these traditions, Suzuki presents a version of Zen that can be described as detraditionalized and essentialized: Zen is the ultimate fact of all philosophy and religion.

Criticism

Despite Suzuki's pioneering efforts, he has been criticized on the grounds that:

  1. He was not an ordained Zen monk
  2. He was not an academic historian working within a secular academic institution
  3. His conceptions of Zen were often overly inclusive and general, and
  4. His work merely employed the Zen Buddhist tradition to rewrite nativist Kokugaku ideas characteristic of Shintoist studies, and use these ideas to define Japanese identity as a unique one (cf.nihonjinron).

Robert H Sharf has written "The nihonjinron [cultural exceptionalism] polemic in Suzuki's work—the grotesque caricatures of 'East' versus 'West'—is no doubt the most egregiously inane manifestation of his nationalist leanings"[20] and that "one is led to suspect that Suzuki's lifelong effort to bring Buddhist enlightenment to the Occident had become inextricably bound to a studied contempt for the West."[21]

However, some clearly credible Western scholars, such as Heinrich Dumoulin, have acknowledged some degree of debt to Suzuki's published work, and, quite significantly, some of the most important figures of the 20th century have praised him unreservedly (see below — "About D. T. Suzuki") Nevertheless, Suzuki's view of Zen Buddhism is certainly his very own; as philosopher Charles A. Moore said: "Suzuki in his later years was not just a reporter of Zen, not just an expositor, but a significant contributor to the development of Zen and to its enrichment." This is echoed by Nishitani Keiji, who declared: "...in Dr. Suzuki's activities, Buddhism came to possess a forward-moving direction with a frontier spirit... This involved shouldering the task of rethinking, restating and redoing traditional Buddhism to transmit it to Westerners as well as Easterners... To accomplish this task it is necessary to be deeply engrossed in the tradition, and at the same time to grasp the longing and the way of thinking within the hearts of Westerners. From there, new possibilities should open up in the study of the Buddha Dharma which have yet to be found in Buddhist history... Up to now this new Buddhist path has been blazed almost single-handedly by Dr. Suzuki. He did it on behalf of the whole Buddhist world".[citation needed] Carl G. Jung said of him: "Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism… We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task."[22]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Stirling 2006, pg. 125
  2. ^ Fields 1992, pg. 138>
  3. ^ D.T. Suzuki "Introduction: Early Memories" in The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk. New York: University Books. 1965
  4. ^ Andreasen 1998, pg. 56
  5. ^ Fields 19892 Chapter Ten
  6. ^ Tweed, Thomas A. (2005), "American Occultism and Japanese Buddhism", Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 32 (2): 249–281, http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/721.pdf 
  7. ^ Adele S. Algeo: Beatrice Lane Suzuki and Theosophy in Japan. in Theosophical History. Volume XI, Fullerton, July 2005.
  8. ^ D.T. Suzuki Buddha of Infinite Light: The Teachings of Shin Buddhism: the Japanese Way of Wisdom and Compassion Boulder: Shambhala; New Ed edition. 2002 isbn 1570624569
  9. ^ D.T. Suzuki Studies in Zen, pp. 155-156. New York:Delta. 1955
  10. ^ D.T. Suzuki Zen and Japanese Culture. New YORK: Bollingen/Princeton University Press, 1970 ISBN 0-691-09849-2
  11. ^ See Giei Sato, Unsui: a Diary of Zen Monastic Life (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1973), amongst others
  12. ^ a b Robert Sharf "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism," in History of Religions (1993): 3
  13. ^ Robert Sharf “The Zen of Japanese Nationalism,” in History of Religions (1993): 4
  14. ^ Robert Sharf "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism," in History of Religions (1993): 7
  15. ^ David McMahan "The Making of Buddhist Modernism" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 6
  16. ^ See Tomoko Masuzawa "The Invention of World Religions" (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), amongst others
  17. ^ David McMahan "The Making of Buddhist Modernism" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 10
  18. ^ William James "The Varieties of Religious Experience" (New York: Collier Books, 1981)
  19. ^ David McMahan "The Making of Buddhist Modernism" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 125
  20. ^ Sharf, Robert H. (1995). "Who's Zen: Zen Nationalism Revisited," in Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto school & Zen nationalism, J. W. Heisig & J. C. Maraldo eds., Nanzen Institute for Religion and Culture, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu
  21. ^ "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism," by Robert H. Sharf, in Curators of the Buddha, edited by Donald Lopez, pg 131
  22. ^ D.T. Suzuki An Introduction to Zen Buddhism , Foreword by C. Jung. New York: Grove Press, p.9. 1964 ISBN 0-8021-3055-0

References

  • Andreasen, Esben. Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion & Culture (1998) University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2028-2
  • Fields, Rick. How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (1992) Shambhala Publications. ISBN 0-87773-631-6
  • Stirling, Isabel. Zen Pioneer: The Life & Works of Ruth Fuller Sasaki (2006) Shoemaker & Hoard. ISBN 978-1-59376-110-3

Bibliography

These essays were enormously influential when they came out, making Zen known in the West for the very first time:

  • Essays in Zen Buddhism: First Series (1927), New York: Grove Press.
  • Essays in Zen Buddhism: Second Series (1933), New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1953-1971. Edited by Christmas Humphreys.
  • Essays in Zen Buddhism: Third Series (1934), York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1953. Edited by Christmas Humphreys.
  • Dr. Suzuki also completed the translation of the Lankavatara Sutra from the original Sanskrit. Boulder, CO: Prajña Press, 1978, ISBN 0-87773-702-9, first published Routledge Kegan Paul, 1932.

Shortly after, a second series followed:

  • An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Kyoto: Eastern Buddhist Soc. 1934. Republished with Foreword by C.G. Jung, London: Rider & Company, 1948.
  • The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk, Kyoto: Eastern Buddhist Soc. 1934. New York: University Books, 1959.
  • Manual of Zen Buddhism, Kyoto: Eastern Buddhist Soc. 1934. London: Rider & Company, 1950, 1956.A collection of Buddhist sutras, classic texts from the masters, icons & images,including the "Ten Ox-Herding Pictures".

After WWII, a new interpretation:

  • The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind,London: Rider & Company, 1949. York Beach, Maine: Red Wheel/Weiser 1972, ISBN 0-87728-182-3.
  • Living by Zen. London: Rider & Company, 1949.
  • Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist: The Eastern and Western Way, Macmillan, 1957. "A study of the qualities Meister Eckhart shares with Zen and Shin Buddhism". Includes translation of myokonin Saichi's poems.
  • Zen and Japanese Culture, New York: Pantheon Books, 1959. A classic.
  • Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, Erich Fromm, D. T. Suzuki, and De Martino. Approximately one third of this book is a long discussion by Suzuki that gives a Buddhist analysis of the mind, its levels, and the methodology of extending awareness beyond the merely discursive level of thought. In producing this analysis, Suzuki gives a theoretical explanation for many of the swordsmanship teaching stories in Zen and Japanese Culture that otherwise would seem to involve mental telepathy, extrasensory perception, etc.

Miscellaneous:

  • An anthology of his work until mid-1950s: Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D.T. Suzuki, Doubleday, New York: 1956. Edited by William Barrett.
  • Very early work on Western mystic-philosopher.Swedenborg: Buddha of the North, West Chester, Pa: Swedenborg Foundation, 1996. Trans. by Andrew Bernstein of Swedenborugu, 1913.
  • Transcription of talks on Shin Buddhism.Buddha of Infinite Light. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1998. Edited by Taitetsu Unno.
  • Tribute; anthology of essays by great thinkers.D.T. Suzuki: A Zen Life Remembered. Wheatherhill, 1986. Reprinted by Shambhala Publications.
  • See also the works of Alan Watts, Paul Reps et al.

External links

Advertisements

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (鈴木 大拙 Suzuki Daisetsu, October 18, 1870July 12, 1966) was a famous Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature.

Contents

Sourced

  • Enlightenment is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground.
    • As quoted in Root (2001)

About D. T. Suzuki

  • Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism… We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task.
    • Carl Jung, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Foreword by C. Jung. New York: Grove Press, p.9. (1964)
  • Though perhaps less universally known than such figures as Einstein or Gandhi (who became symbols of our time) Daisetz Suzuki was no less remarkable a man than these. And though his work may not have had such resounding and public effect, he contributed no little to the spiritual and intellectual revolution of our time.
    • Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite. The Abbey of Gethsemani, New Directions, p. 59. (1968)
  • In the literature on Zen Buddhism, there are writers such as Suzuki, whose authenticity is beyond doubt--he speaks of what he has experienced. The very fact of this authenticity makes his books often difficult to read, because it is of the essence of Zen not to give answers that are rationally satisfying. There are some other books which seem to portray the thoughts of Zen properly, but whose authors are mere intellectuals whose experience is shallow. Their books are easier to understand, but they do not convey the essential quality of Zen.
    • Erich Fromm, The Art of Being. Continuum International Publishing Group, Chapter 1. (1994)

Comments about D. T. Suzuki

Erich Fromm: "In the literature on Zen Buddhism, there are writers such as Suzuki, whose authenticity is beyond doubt—he speaks of what he has experienced. The very fact of this authenticity makes his books often difficult to read, because it is of the essence of Zen not to give answers that are rationally satisfying. There are some other books which seem to portray the thoughts of Zen properly, but whose authors are mere intellectuals whose experience is shallow. Their books are easier to understand, but they do not convey the essential quality of Zen."[1]

Thomas Merton: "Though perhaps less universally known than such figures as Einstein or Gandhi (who became symbols of our time) Daisetz Suzuki was no less remarkable a man than these. And though his work may not have had such resounding and public effect, he contributed no little to the spiritual and intellectual revolution of our time".[2]

Lynn Townsend White, Jr.: "Prophecy is rash, but it may be that the publication of D.T. Suzuki's first Essays in Zen Buddhism in 1927 will seem to future generations as great an intellectual event as William of Moerbeke's Latin translations of Aristotle in the thirteenth century or Marsiglio Ficino's of Plato in the fifteenth".[3]

Carl Jung: "Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism… We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task."[4]

Philip Kapleau: "That there are today Zen training centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and South America is a tribute to the comprehensive and illuminating works of D.T. Suzuki. And that there is scarcely an educated person in the West today that has not heard of Zen or who hasn't some acquaintance with its tenets is also due to the prodigious labors of this man who, at the age of eighty, came to America to explain this arcane philosophy. In this he evokes the spirit of the redoubtable Bodhidharma."[citation needed][5]

Abe Masao: "It was not merely a sense of mission… or even scholarly drive which provided Suzuki Sensei with his real internal motivation. I believe that behind his activities resided a religious Awakening. As a youth, under the guidance of Zen Master Soyen Shaku, he had become deeply realized through penetrating into the root-source of the universe of life-and-death. His "motivation" derived from no other than this realization… This Awakening functioned within Suzuki Sensei as an overwhelming Buddhist spirit of 'vow', aimed at bringing everyone to awaken to the same Reality. His scholarly study of Buddhism was undertaken in order to further this work, it was not the other way around."[citation needed] Prof. Abe was said to have succeeded to the rôle of Suzuki following his death.[6]

Christmas Humphreys: "Dr Suzuki writes with authority. Not only has he studied original works in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese, but he has an up-to-date knowledge of Western thought in German and French as well as the English which he speaks and writes so fluently. He is, moreover, more than a scholar; he is a Buddhist. Though not a priest of any Buddhist sect, he is honoured in every temple in Japan, for his knowledge of spiritual things, as all who have sat at his feet bear witness, is direct and profound. When he speaks of the higher stages of consciousness he speaks as a man who dwells therein."[7]

References

  1. Erich Fromm The Art of Being. Continuum International Publishing Group, Chapter 1. 1994 ISBN 0826406734
  2. Thomas Merton Zen and the Birds of Appetite. The Abbey of Gethsemani, New Directions, p. 59. 1968 ISBN 0-8112-0104-X
  3. Lynn White, Jr. "The Changing Canons of our Culture," in Lynn White, Jr., ed. Frontiers of Knowledge in the Study of Man. New York: Harper & Bros., pp. 304-305. 1956
  4. D.T. Suzuki An Introduction to Zen Buddhism , Foreword by C. Jung. New York: Grove Press, p.9. 1964 ISBN 0-8021-3055-0
  5. Actually Kapleau compares Yasutani Roshi, not D. T. Suzuki, with the redoubtable Bodhidharma (see The Three Pillars of Zen, p. 29, 35th Anniversary Edition). Kapleau was in fact a little critical of Suzuki whom he perceived as having intellectualized Zen too much: on page 29 of the 35th Anniversary Edition, under the heading A Biographical Note on Yasutani Roshi, Kapleau states: "At the age of eighty zen master Hakuun Yasutani undertook an extended stay in America to expound the Buddha's Dharma. In so doing he evoked the spirit of the redoubtable Bodhidharma, who in the latter years of his life turned his back on his native land and went forth to distant shores to plant the living seed of Buddhism". On p.96 of the same edition, Kapleau says about D. T. Suzuki "This espousal of the philosophical, theoretical approach to Zen is all too apparent from the index to a recent anthology of Professor Suzuki's writings. In this book of almost 550 pages, only two references to zazen can be found, one a footnote and the other barely three lines in the text".
  6. Christopher Ives, "Introduction" at xiii-xix, xiii, to The Emptying God. A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation (New York: Orbis Press 1990), edited by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Christopher Ives.
  7. Christmas Humphreys. Editor's Foreword to DT Suzuki. Essays in Zen Buddhism. Second Series. Rider and Company. London 1970 p 11.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message