Shunryu Suzuki (b. 1905, †1971) was an influential and world-renowned Japanese master in the Soto lineage of Zen Buddhism. His teacher was Gyokujun, who was also a student of Suzuki's father. Shunryu began his training at a very early age. At the age of 30, he received permission to accept and teach students in his turn. During World War II, he was the leader of a pacifist movement in Japan.

Shunryu Suzuki was instrumental in establishing Zen in the West. In 1958, he came from Japan to the U.S. and founded the San Francisco Zen Center and later the Tassajara Zen Center, the first Zen monastery outside of Asia. Harmony with reality is at the center of Shunryu Suzuki's teachings. He explains that if we separate ourselves from our ego-centered view we can bring our lives into harmony with reality and experience liberation in the midst of our everyday activities.


Shunryu Suzuki (1904–1971) was a Japanese Zen master and teacher who introduced Zen Buddhism to the United States. Born in Japan, he studied and trained in various Zen temples before relocating to California in the mid-20th century.

Suzuki Roshi, as he is often called, established the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962, becoming a pivotal figure in popularizing Zen practice in the West. He emphasized the importance of zazen (meditation) and mindfulness in daily life.

Suzuki's teachings focused on the direct experience of reality and the integration of Zen practice into everyday activities. He encouraged his students to embrace beginner's mind, an attitude of openness and curiosity, and to cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment.

His book "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is a collection of his teachings and talks, offering practical insights into Zen practice and philosophy. Suzuki's accessible approach and emphasis on the experiential aspect of Zen resonated with Western students.

Suzuki Roshi's legacy is seen in the continued growth of the San Francisco Zen Center and the wider dissemination of Zen teachings in the West. His emphasis on direct experience, mindfulness, and the transformative potential of Zen practice has had a lasting impact on Western understanding of Buddhism and spirituality.

Shunryu Suzuki Texts, Tubes & Books


Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis

Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, Erich Fromm, D. T. Suzuki, and De Martino. Approximately one third of this book is a long discussion by Suzuki that gives a Buddhist analysis of the mind, its levels, and the methodology of extending awareness beyond the merely discursive level of thought. In producing this analysis, Suzuki gives a theoretical explanation for many of the swordsmanship teaching stories in Zen and Japanese Culture that otherwise would seem to involve mental telepathy, extrasensory perception, etc.