Shunryu Suzuki was an important emissary of Zen Buddhism to the United States. Establishing a Zen center in San Francisco in the 1960s, he attracted many noted pupils, including this book's editor, Edward Espe Brown. In fact, Not Always So is Brown's collection of Suzuki's teachings during his last years, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
No doubt some readers will want to wrestle with the often paradoxical nature of Zen teachings. And those from the Western philosophical tradition may find vast differences between the Western system that takes its cue from Descartes' cogito and the Eastern one that emphasizes the destruction of the ego. Says Suzuki: "It is just your mind that says you are here and I am there, that's all. Originally we are one with everything." While the book does not wrestle with cultural-philosophical differences, it is nevertheless a good introduction to Zen. Suzuki's teachings tend to flow from simple stories, usually drawn from his own experiences. It's almost entirely free of the jargon that clutters many books on Buddhism, and the teachings are communicated with clarity and brevity. --Eric de Place --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The prequel to this book is Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. I mentioned it improperly in my previous review.Published on Dec 26 2002 by J Osorio
Although I could not fail to enjoy anything collected from the speeches and writings of Suzuki, this book was not as meaningful to me as the first book for which it is the sequel,... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2002 by J Osorio
This is another series of talks given by Shunryu Suzuki who died
in 1971. He seems to have been the greatest Zen Master in the
occidental world to date. Read more
"Not Always So" is exactly as great as "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind." Edward Espe Brown has lovingly edited these talks by Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi. Read morePublished on June 10 2002 by David B. Mcgrath