Shunryu Suzuki · Soto Zen Buddhism · Uncategorized

True Mind is Watching Mind

from “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Your true mind is always with whatever you see. Although you do not know your own mind, it is there–at the very moment you see something, it is there–at the very moment you see something, it is there. This is very interesting. Your mind is always with the things you observe. So you see, this mind is at the same time everything.

True mind is watching mind. You cannot say, “This is my self, my small mind, or my limited mind, and that is big mind.” That is limiting yourself, restricting your true mind, objectifying your mind. Bodhidharma said, “In order to see a fish you must watch the water.” Actually when you see water you see the true fish. Before you see Buddha nature you watch your mind. When you see the water there is true nature. True nature is watching water. When you say, “My zazen is very poor,” here you have true nature, but foolishly you do not realize it. You ignore it on purpose. There is immense importance in the “I” with which you watch your mind. That I is not the “big I”; it is the “I” which is incessantly active, always swimming, always flying through the vast air with wings. By wings I mean thought and activity. The vast sky is home, my home. There is no bird or air. When the fish swims, the water and fish are the fish. There is nothing but fish. Do you understand? You cannot find Buddha nature by vivisection. Reality cannot be caught by thinking or feeling mind. Moment after moment to watch your breathing, to watch your posture, is true nature. There is no secret beyond this point.

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