Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

Title:  Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Author: Shunryu Suzuki
Length: 176 pages

Shortly after moving into the “new” area, I began searching for local Buddhist Temples to resume my study and practice.  Surprisingly, I found a Zen Center in a nearby city and headed out to see if I felt comfortable there and to see if it seemed feasible for me to make the drive on a regular basis.  While there, one of the teachers recommended that I read Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind in order to familiarize myself better with a branch of Buddhism that I know little about.

The sections are broken up into short lessons or talks by Shunryu Suzuki, a respected Zen Master who moved to the United States from Japan.  I’m not going to sit here and pretend that it all made complete, crystal clear sense to me on my first read-through, but the parts that did felt like a breath of fresh air to read.

The most important teaching that I walked away with is presented at the very beginning and woven through each section and through to the end:

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.

It is vital to always approach life with a beginner’s mind – check out this book to allow Suzuki to show you why.  Whatever your faith may be, you will be able to take the lessons from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and apply them to your life.


Filed under Books, Buddhism, Classics, Non-Fiction

4 responses to “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

  1. on my first visit to the zendo in white river junction, vermont, i walked out with this exact book. a loaner from the zen teacher there. must be the standard parting gift. 😉 peace peace.

  2. p.s. Just saw that you are in Boston. Me too. I’ve been visiting a Thai center in Arlington. Where’s the Zendo you like?

    • Hello! 🙂

      The Zendo that I visited is in Worcester. When I lived in the Boston area I studied for a time at the Drikung Meditation Center in Arlington. It’s a great and very active Sangha. I miss them. And I kind of love everything about Arlington. 🙂

      • Oh very cool! I’ve been joining dharma talks at Drikung on Sundays when my kids’ schedules allow it. Really enjoying it/them! Hopefully I will see you there someday. I read about the Zendo in Worcester online – it sounds super but just too far for me. I have a place up north, which is how I ended up at the Zendo in White River Jct. 🙂

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