Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

Author: Shunryu Suzuki
Language: ‎ English
Publisher: Weatherhill, Inc.,
Edition: Thirty-fourth printing, 1995

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

So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it’s all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that’s just the beginning.

In the forty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics, much beloved, much reread, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. It’s a book to come back to time and time again as an inspiration to practice, and it is now available to a new generation of seekers in this fortieth anniversary edition, with a new afterword by Shunryu Suzuki’s biographer, David Chadwick.

Prologue: Beginner’s Mind
Part 1: Right Practice: Posture
Mind Weeds
The Marrow of Zen
Nothing Special

Part 2: Right Attitude: Single-Minded Way
Zen and Excitement
Right Effort
No Trace
God Giving
Mistakes in Practice
Limiting Your Activity
Study Yourself
To Polish a Tile
Nirvana, the Waterfall

Part 3: Right Understanding: Traditional Zen Spirit
Believing in Nothing
Original Buddhism
Buddha’s Enlightenment
Epilogue: Zen Mind

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