[For FAS Society website]

An Introduction by the book's editor:

 EIGHT LECTURES ON CHAN :『禅八講』by Daisetz Teitaro SUZUKI, 

    Edited and annotated by Gishin TOKIWA: English pp. 5~144; Japanese translation pp. 145~282, except for Index, of texts and notes by Mr. Tsutomu Sakai; published, March 2011 ( \2,000, exclusive of postage),  as the Matsugaoka Bunko Foundation Series, Volume Four, by Matsugaoka Bunko Foundation (tel.; fax: 0467 - 22 - 6557), 1375 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City, 247-0062, Japan



Introductory Remarks by the Editor.

I. ["Zen Opens Our Eyes to the Self which is Altogether Unattainably Attainable."] 

   Unread, unpublished.  Typed by Ms. Sumiko KUDOU, 19 February 1962, with a Foreword and Annotations by the Editor. 

II. Seven Lectures given in the USA around 1950  (Arranged in the chronological order).

   Typed by the author, with a Foreword and Annotations by the Editor.

 1.  What is Buddhism? (Hawaii, 1949)

 2.  Zen and Psychology (Los Angeles, April 21, 1950)

 3.  Zen Buddhism and the Arts (San Diego, June 4, 1950)

 4.  Living by the Precepts of Zen Buddhism (Claremont, July 12, 1950)

 5.  Buddhism and Ethics (Los Angeles, September 3, 1950)

 6.  Buddhist Mysticism (New York, November, 1950)

 7. Philosophy of Zen Buddhism (New York, possibly in 1954)

The Editor's Postscript

Index to the Texts


During his stay in the United States between the summer of 1949 and the fall of 1958, the author taught classes at three schools: summer school & fall-winter term 1949-50 at University of Hawaii, spring term 1950 at Claremont Graduate School, and from spring term 1952 through spring term 1957 at Columbia University except for fall-winter term 1954-55.  Besides, he gave numerous lectures at various places in the United States before he returned to Japan in November 1958.  All the seven lectures whose papers constitute Part II of the present book were mostly given in the earlier period. The seventh paper is closed with this remark:

          "I have never been trained in philosophy, but I will try my best to make such Zen mondo as

           above cited more intelligible to you if I can, and further to let you see that there is such

           thing as Zen experience which has come down to us with such uncouth or if you prefer

           with such unapproachable outlook or features." (p. 122)

          It is quite possible that later in the United States audiences could listen to the author give talks on what he suggested here; to me it seems that the first paper taken up as Part I in this book is where we find ample response to his audiences' expectation of things like that from him.  Indeed, it was his final paper.  One may well regard it as representing his Chan philosophy.


          A poor reader of English writings myself, inexperienced in the editing work, after publication I have come to notice that the author's expressions are very rich with the use of terms from various sources, especially the Bible.  In the paper, II-3. Zen Buddhism and the Arts, in its final paragraph, he quotes a verse by Xuedou from the Biyan-lu Case 46, as a comment upon the case on a mondo between Master Jingqing and his disciple on the sound of a pattering rain outside the door.  The master's response meant: Not only other people but he has also been deluded in mind, likely to pursue objects by considering the sound taking place somewhere else than himself.  The author writes,

          "A drop of rain contains in it all the possible rains that may deluge the entire world." (p. 83)

As is known from dictionary definition of the word "deluge," the author must have thought of the biblical Flood (Gen. 6-8) when he cited Xuedou's verse with full sympathy. 

          Through cooperation with Mr. Tsutomu Sakai, translator, I enjoyed myself deeply all through, editing and annotating writings left by this great author.  I am sure I can share my delight with all the readers, especially in this country where few people seem to have read Chan texts in English.  Gishin Tokiwa, May 9, 2011