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D. T. Suzuki (1870 – 1966)


Famous Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin to the West.
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D. T. Suzuki
Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism… We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task.
Suzuki quotes
Enlightenment is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground.
Suzuki
Though perhaps less universally known than such figures as Einstein or Gandhi (who became symbols of our time) Daisetz Suzuki was no less remarkable a man than these. And though his work may not have had such resounding and public effect, he contributed no little to the spiritual and intellectual revolution of our time.




Suzuki D. T. quotes
That there are today Zen training centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and South America is a tribute to the comprehensive and illuminating works of D.T. Suzuki. And that there is scarcely an educated person in the West today that has not heard of Zen or who hasn't some acquaintance with its tenets is also due to the prodigious labors of this man who, at the age of eighty, came to America to explain this arcane philosophy. In this he evokes the spirit of the redoubtable Bodhidharma.
Suzuki D. T.
In the literature on Zen Buddhism, there are writers such as Suzuki, whose authenticity is beyond doubt—he speaks of what he has experienced. The very fact of this authenticity makes his books often difficult to read, because it is of the essence of Zen not to give answers that are rationally satisfying. There are some other books which seem to portray the thoughts of Zen properly, but whose authors are mere intellectuals whose experience is shallow. Their books are easier to understand, but they do not convey the essential quality of Zen.
D. T. Suzuki quotes
It was not merely a sense of mission… or even scholarly drive which provided Suzuki Sensei with his real internal motivation. I believe that behind his activities resided a religious Awakening. As a youth, under the guidance of Zen Master Soyen Shaku, he had become deeply realized through penetrating into the root-source of the universe of life-and-death. His "motivation" derived from no other than this realization… This Awakening functioned within Suzuki Sensei as an overwhelming Buddhist spirit of 'vow', aimed at bringing everyone to awaken to the same Reality. His scholarly study of Buddhism was undertaken in order to further this work, it was not the other way around.
D. T. Suzuki
In the literature on Zen Buddhism, there are writers such as Suzuki, whose authenticity is beyond doubt--he speaks of what he has experienced. The very fact of this authenticity makes his books often difficult to read, because it is of the essence of Zen not to give answers that are rationally satisfying. There are some other books which seem to portray the thoughts of Zen properly, but whose authors are mere intellectuals whose experience is shallow. Their books are easier to understand, but they do not convey the essential quality of Zen.
Suzuki D. T. quotes
Dr Suzuki writes with authority. Not only has he studied original works in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese, but he has an up-to-date knowledge of Western thought in German and French as well as the English which he speaks and writes so fluently. He is, moreover, more than a scholar; he is a Buddhist. Though not a priest of any Buddhist sect, he is honoured in every temple in Japan, for his knowledge of spiritual things, as all who have sat at his feet bear witness, is direct and profound. When he speaks of the higher stages of consciousness he speaks as a man who dwells therein.
Suzuki
Prophecy is rash, but it may be that the publication of D.T. Suzuki's first Essays in Zen Buddhism in 1927 will seem to future generations as great an intellectual event as William of Moerbeke's Latin translations of Aristotle in the thirteenth century or Marsiglio Ficino's of Plato in the fifteenth.
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