Zazen Talks

Zazen is a meditative discipline that is typically the primary practice of the Zen Buddhist tradition.

The generalized Japanese term for meditation is 瞑想 (meisō); however, zazen has been used informally to include all forms of seated Buddhist meditation. The term zuòchán can be found in early Chinese Buddhist sources, such as the Dhyāna sutras. For example, the famous translator Kumārajīva (344-413) translated a work termed Zuòchán sān mēi jīng (A Manual on the Samādhi of Sitting Meditation) and the Chinese Tiantai master Zhiyi (538–597 CE) wrote some very influential works on sitting meditation.

The meaning and method of zazen varies from school to school, but in general it is a quiet type of Buddhist meditation done in a sitting posture like the lotus position. The practice can be done with various methods, such as following the breath (anapanasati), mentally repeating a phrase (which could be a koan, a mantra, a huatou or nianfo) and a kind of open monitoring in which one is aware of whatever comes to our attention (sometimes called shikantaza or silent illumination). Repeating a huatou, a short meditation phrase, is a common method in Chinese Chan and Korean Seon. Meanwhile, nianfo, the practice of silently reciting the Buddha Amitabha's name, is common in the traditions influenced by Pure Land practice, and was also taught by Chan masters like Zongmi.

In the Japanese Buddhist Rinzai school, zazen is usually combined with the study of koans. The Japanese Sōtō school makes less or no use of koans, preferring an approach known as shikantaza where the mind has no object at all.

From zazen on Wikipedia

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Title Speaker

Unknown year,September talk, Serial 01771

Practice Period, Peace, Tassajara, Instruction, Suzuki Roshi, Zazen, Politics,...
Sep 11


Gratitude, causation, Dependent Origination, Oneness, Culture, Zazen, Breath, Enemies...

On Japanese Zen, Christians and Zen, Various Roshis

Serial: SF-01126

Tape 6 copy 2 - duplicate

Religion, Priest, New Year, Lay, Mahayana, Dana, Zendo, Zazen, training, Rinzai...

OLD - Become More Honest and Direct

Serial: SF-05766

SR-68-00-00-B (complete) - duplicate

Posture, Observe, Evil, Instruction, Zazen

Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Seminar 2

Serial: SF-03145

Copyright 1998 by Peter Matthiessen - Unedited Preview Cassette - duplicate

Interview, Suzuki Roshi, Describe, Heart Sutra, Hate, Bell, Zazen, Emptiness, Enemies...

Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Buddhism and the Western Poetic Imagination

Serial: SF-01844

Commercially Produced cassette: Conference Recording Service 1308 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA 94706 - duplicate

Silence, Conversation, Faith, Darkness and Light, Enemies, Freedom, Letting Go, Lay,...

Way-Seeking Mind Talks

Serial: SF-03089C

Student talks, should not be published

Practice Period, Priest, Monastic Practice, Bodhisattva Vow, Conversation, Vows,...

Unknown Date, Serial 01076

Serial: SF-01076

(no date) 1991?

zen meditation, Zazen, Subject-and-Object, Suzuki Roshi, Concentration, Letting Go,...

Unknown Date, Serial 01005

Serial: SF-01005B


zen meditation, Echo, Concentration, Zazen, Oneness, Happiness, Anger, Emotions...

Out of the Trap summary

Serial: SF-03031A


Religion, Ego, Enemies, Passions, Balance, Evil, Describe, Zazen


Serial: SF-05123A

===== Awakening the Archive - Tape #3, by Shundo David Haye =====

In this talk, which became the Calmness chapter of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (p121), Suzuki Roshi...

Dogen, Zazen, Composure
Aug 26 1965
Los Altos

On Nanshin-Ken, Sokatsu-Shaku

Serial: SF-01128

Tape 2 copy 2 - duplicate

Lay, Priest, Zendo, Doubt, Ceremony, Bowing, Zazen, Religion
Feb 22 1966

On Nanzenshi, Nanshin-Ken

Serial: SF-01129

Tape 1 copy 2 - duplicate

Priest, Zendo, Study Period, Describe, Silence, Zazen, Peace, Funeral, soto, Chanting...
Feb 22 1966

On Chanting, Sokei-An

Serial: SF-01131A

Tape 4 copy 1

Chanting, Bowing, Echo, Zendo, Ceremony, Posture, Priest, Zazen, training, Peace...
Feb 25 1966

On Chanting, Sokei-An

Serial: SF-01131B

Tape 4 copy 1

Rinzai, Chanting, Intuition, Continuous, Bell, Lay, Zazen, Freedom, realization,...
Mar 01 1966

On Japanese Zen, Christians and Zen, Various Roshis

Serial: SF-01130

Tape 6 copy 1

Dana, Lay, Priest, Zazen, Religion, Zendo, Mahayana, training, soto, Concentration...
Mar 1966

Genjo-Koan: Paragraphs 1–11

Serial: SF-05098-D

Sunday morning lecture by Suzuki Roshi
June 19 1966 (19 added later?)

Other notes on box:
Incomplete (muddled) late on then ends.
"Other side"...

Dogen, Genjokoan, Family Practice, Observe, Doubt, Discrimination, Attachment, Hate,...
Jun 19 1966

August 19th, 1966, Serial No. 05097, Side I

Serial: SF-05097I

Sesshin Lecture 1966 Tape #2 Track 4 instruction by Rev Katagiri Friday morning

Composure, Zazen
Aug 19 1966

Practice Zazen With Your Whole Mind And Body

Serial: SF-05131B

This is lecture D from these notes on the reel boxes (05132-B was added to this)
Several minutes of tape operator's notes at the end are included, the transcript was...

Instruction, Zazen, Posture, Beginners, Funeral, Religion, Instruction, Emotions,...
Sep 08 1967

The True Dragon

Dogen, Baso, Dragons, Freedom, Soto Zen, Emptiness, Bodhidharma, soto, Instruction,...
Oct 12 1968

Why Then Is It Necessary To Accept Precepts

Precepts, Precepts, Big Mind, Buddha Nature, training, Religion, Observe, Priest,...
Jul 17 1971
City Center

Universal Practice for Laymen and Monks

Serial: SR-00175

Whatever you do is practice; be careful not to practice for the sake of the self. Zazen as a way to find realization and get used to realization. Whether priest or layperson,...

Practice, Zazen, Bodhisattva, Dogen, Sixth Patriarch, Buddha Mind, Faith, Truth,...
Jul 25 1971

The Self

Ego, realization, Transmission, Echo, Sangha, Nirvana, Delusion, Zazen, Doubt,...
May 17 1980
City Center


Concentration, Subject-and-Object, Posture, Mindfulness, Suzuki Roshi, Zazen,...
Jul 1980


Mantra, Buddha Nature, Lotus Sutra, Soto Zen, Zazen, Bowing, soto, Chanting, Posture...
May 03 1987
Green Gulch Farm

Sunday Lecture

Mindfulness, Daily Life, Posture, Half-Smile, Non-violence, Cultivation, Precepts,...
May 24 1987

Sunday Lecture

Suzuki Roshi, Impermanence, Daily Life, Oneness, resistance, Nirvana, Tassajara,...
Sep 27 1987
Green Gulch

April 9th, 1988, Serial No. 01068

Posture, Anger, Emptiness, Discrimination, Mindfulness, Liberation, Instruction,...
Apr 09 1988


Renunciation, Zazen Mind, Zazen, Buddha Nature, Concentration, Suzuki Roshi, Ceremony...
May 18 1989

Sunday Lecture

Mill Valley, Blue Cliff Record, Zazen, Buddha Nature, Liberation, Harmonizing, Zendo...
Jul 09 1989
Green Gulch

Mumonkan Case #25

Mahayana, realization, Samadhi, Blue Cliff Record, Rinzai, Teacher-and-Student,...
Oct 03 1989

June 23rd, 1990, Serial No. 01074

Right Effort, Suzuki Roshi, Zazen, Letting Go, realization, Separation, Bowing,...
Jun 23 1990

Gratitude and Generosity

Serial: SF-03928

Sunday Lecture

Gratitude, Obstacles, Hindrances, Daily Life, Offering, Zazen, Continuous, Posture,...
Oct 26 1990
Green Gulch

Shuso Way-Seeking Mind Talk

Serial: SF-01077


Zendo, Suzuki Roshi, Bell, Tassajara, zen meditation, Zazen, Conversation, Practice...
Feb 20 1991


Fundraising, Offering, Suzuki Roshi, Zazen, Mindfulness, Lineage, Tassajara, Describe...
Mar 02 1991

Shuso Lecture

Serial: SF-00949


Equanimity, Six Realms, Peace, Balance, Delusion, Happiness, Emotions, Zazen,...
Mar 27 1991

Form and Inanimate Objects Teaching the Dharma

Serial: SF-00947

Sesshin Day 2 #shuso-talk

Ceremony, Bowing, Ordination, Bell, Suzuki Roshi, Zazen, soto, Concentration, Lineage...
Apr 11 1991

Mumonkan Case 10

Serial: SF-00046

Seizei lonely and destitute.

Enthusiasm, Priest, Sanctuary, Sangha, Buddha Nature, Faith, soto, Balance, Zazen...
Apr 28 1991
Green Gulch Farm


Mindfulness, Four Foundations, Concentration, Bodhisattva Vow, Zazen, Impermanence,...
Jun 15 1991
City Center

World Peace and Health

Serial: SF-04063

Copyright California Diamond Sangha: "2 tape set $12.00"

Peace, realization, Ego, Intimacy, zen meditation, Sangha, Zazen, Soto Zen, Precepts...
Aug 21 1991

World Peace and Health

Serial: SF-04064

Copyright California Diamond Sangha

Right Speech, Mahayana, Attachment, Right Effort, Zazen, Daily Life, Vows, training,...
Aug 21 1991


Practice Period, Zendo, Suzuki Roshi, Intimacy, Posture, Aspects of Practice, Zazen,...
Sep 18 1991

Saturday Lecture

Precepts, Tassajara, Practice Period, Suzuki Roshi, Ceremony, Zendo, confusion, Zazen...
Sep 21 1991


true dharma, Sangha, Gratitude, Zazen, Letting Go, Vows, Anger, Suzuki Roshi,...
Oct 19 1991

Sesshin Talk

Separation, Delusion, Oneness, Posture, Freedom, Practice Period, Six Realms, New...
Apr 01 1993

Shakyamuni's Enlightenment as a Guide to Practice

Serial: SF-00075

Saturday Lecture

Fasting, Hate, Chanting, Concentration, Delusion, Vows, confusion, Zazen
Apr 24 1993

October 9th, 1993, Serial No. 02688

Freedom, Rumi, Instruction, Zazen, Doubt, Religion, Sanctuary, Funeral, Passions,...
Oct 09 1993