Influential Past Teachers

Birth Place
Kanazawa, Japan

Foundation of Teaching
Zen & Shin Buddhism, Presence, Compassion

Example of Teaching
“The mind has first to be attuned to the Unconscious.”



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Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki

Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro (dĪˈsĕts tātäˈrō sōzōˈkē), 1870–1966, Japanese Buddhist scholar, educated at Tokyo University who 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.

After studying (1897–1909) in the United States, he became a lecturer at Tokyo University and he later taught at leading universities in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Besides living in the United States, Suzuki traveled through Europe before taking up a professorship back in Japan. Suzuki and his wife dedicated themselves to spreading an understanding of Mahayana Buddhism.

In his day, Suzuki was a leading authority on Buddhism and is known for his introduction of Zen Buddhism to the West. 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.


    Articles and Posts

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    Mysticism Defined by D.T. Suzuki

    D. T. Suzuki is credited with bringing Zen to America. Through books, articles, and teaching, Suzuki helped make Zen instruction widely accessible in North America. Zen, known for its distrust of symbols, rituals, and study of holy texts, Zen practice [...]

  • views: 3660
    Sweeping Zen: Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki

    by Sweeping Zen: Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (☸ October 8, 1870—July 12, 1966) was a Japanese-born scholar of Zen and Japanese culture who essentially introduced the West to Zen and Mahayana Buddhism through his many published works. A lay practitioner of [...]

  • views: 6807
    Setting the Record Straight on D.T. Suzuki

    by Nelson Foster and Gary Snyder:  In the summer of 1998, Tricycle covered Brian Victoria’s Zen at War, an indictment of the Japanese Zen community’s complicity in Japanese imperialism during the 1930s and 1940s. Among those he harshly criticized was D. [...]

  • views: 3053
    Daisetz Suzuki Remembered

    by Edward Hoffman: Despite the gloomy global economy, the field of positive psychology is booming. Often described simplistically by journalists as “the science of happiness,” it’s actually a broad focus on our strengths and talents, virtues and peak experiences in [...]

  • views: 3198
    Swedenborg's Influence on Suzuki

    “For you Westerners, it is Swedenborg who is your Buddha, it is he who should be read and followed!” – D. T. Suzuki D. T. Suzuki is generally acknowledged as the individual who brought Zen Buddhism to the West. His [...]

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  1. “Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.”
  2. “Let the intellect alone, it has its usefulness in its proper sphere, but let it not interfere with the flowing of the life-stream.”
  3. “Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”
  4. “The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one's humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.”
  5. “Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.”
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