Essays By David Suzuki

In 1911, Suzuki married Beatrice Erskine Lane, a Radcliffe graduate and theosophist with multiple contacts with the Bahá'í Faith both in America and in Japan.

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Still a professor of Buddhist philosophy in the middle decades of the 20th century, Suzuki wrote introductions and overall examinations of Buddhism, and particularly of the Zen school.

He went on a lecture tour of American universities in 1951, and taught at Columbia University from 1952 to 1957.

Suzuki was especially interested in the formative centuries of this Buddhist tradition in China.

A lot of Suzuki's writings in English concern themselves with translations and discussions of bits of the Chan texts the Biyan Lu (Blue Cliff Record) and the Wumenguan (Mumonkan/Gateless Passage), which record the teaching styles and words of the classical Chinese masters.

In 1921, the year he joined Ōtani University, he and his wife founded the Eastern Buddhist Society.

Suzuki maintained connections in the West and, for instance, delivered a paper at the World Congress of Faiths in 1936, at the University of London (he was an exchange professor during this year).Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western universities, and devoted many years to a professorship at Ōtani University, a Japanese Buddhist school. Suzuki was born Teitarō Suzuki in Honda-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, the fourth son of physician Ryojun Suzuki.He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963. The Buddhist name Daisetsu, meaning "Great Humility", the kanji of which can also mean "Greatly Clumsy", was given to him by his Zen master Soen (or Soyen) Shaku.Soyen Shaku wrote an introduction for it, and Suzuki translated the book into Japanese.At this time, around the turn of the century, quite a number of Westerners and Asians (Carus, Soyen, and Suzuki included) were involved in the worldwide Buddhist revival that had begun slowly in the 1880s.Besides teaching about Zen practice and the history of Zen (Chan) Buddhism, Suzuki was an expert scholar on the related philosophy called, in Japanese, Kegon, which he thought of as the intellectual explication of Zen experience.Suzuki received numerous honors, including Japan's National Medal of Culture.Suzuki was among the first to bring research on the Myokonin to audiences outside Japan as well.Other works include Essays in Zen Buddhism (three volumes), Studies in Zen Buddhism, and Manual of Zen Buddhism.When he became old enough to reflect on his fate in being born into this situation, he began to look for answers in various forms of religion.His naturally sharp and philosophical intellect found difficulty in accepting some of the cosmologies to which he was exposed.


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