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SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI

ABOUT SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (May 18, 1904 – December 4, 1971) was a Soto Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, particularly around San Francisco. He was born in Japan and was ordained as a priest when he was just 13 years old. He trained at Sojiji Soin, one of the two main Soto Zen training monasteries in Japan.

In 1959, Suzuki Roshi moved to San Francisco to serve as a priest at the Soko-ji temple, which served the Japanese-American community in the city. In addition to his duties at Soko-ji, he also held zazen (sitting meditation) sessions for a growing group of Westerners, who came to form the core of his own congregation.

These sessions eventually led to the creation of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962, one of the most influential Buddhist organizations in the Western world. The Zen Center includes the City Center in San Francisco, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Suzuki Roshi's teachings are characterized by his emphasis on the importance of "beginner's mind," a concept that he discusses extensively in his seminal book, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind". The idea of "beginner's mind" refers to approaching each moment and every activity with the openness and freshness of a beginner, regardless of one's level of experience or expertise.

Suzuki Roshi died in 1971, but his teachings continue to inspire and guide people worldwide. His work has had a significant impact on the understanding and practice of Zen Buddhism in the West.

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