Roshi Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971), born Toshitaka Suzuki, was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). A book of his teachings, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, has become one of the most popular books on Zen and Buddhism in the West: His father was a Zen priest who served as the head of the abbey of monks. When Suzuki was 12 years old, he studied at his father’s temple. At 13, he was anointed as a Soto Zen monk and awarded the Dharma name of Shogaku. He was awarded the Dharma transmission on 26th of August, 1926. He got his graduate degree at the age of 30 in Zen Buddhism, and English majo. Interested in teaching Zen to Americans, he arrived in San Francisco on of May 23, 1959 to join the congregation of Soko-Ji from Hodo Tabase Roshi who was retiring. He became Suzuki Roshi and started his morning sittings and practices at Soko-Ji in San Francisco’s expanding counterculture movement. Since Zen had become a hot topic among beatniks who were influenced by the writings of Alan Watts, word began to spread about Suzuki among the beats through places like The San Francisco Art Institute and The American Academy of Asian Studies, where Alan Watts was once director. He led a class on Buddhism and his fame spread from there. 


"If you think I must find out what Buddha meant, then your mind is directed to Buddha’s words, you don’t hear the birds. So always we sacrifice reality."

"If we are enslaved by desire, we lose whole being."

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