D.T. Suzuki, the Man (A ZEN LIFE - D.T. Suzuki)
A film by Michael Goldberg




A ZEN LIFE is the first documentary film to present the extraordinary life of D.T. Suzuki. This vivid portrait of the man and his times includes rare footage of Suzuki himself and reminiscences by many whose lives and thinking he influenced.

Photo by Mihoko Okamura

"One great thing human beings have is to have invented letters, characters by means of which we can write books. Nowadays, sounds are also recorded. We have all kinds of photographic techniques, so that what is going on, and went on in the past, can be retained as if they were really living, and as if we were actually experiencing those things ourselves.

"This is a great thing. We can transmit what we have acquired during our lifetime to our descendants. Although we can bequeath all those things to our descendants, those descendants, including ourselves - we are descendants of our past - don't make full use of the experiences of our forefathers. That is a quite different thing."

D.T. Suzuki (signature)


“Some strictly orthodox Zen masters may have grumbled at his temerity in attempting to explain the unexplainable mystery of their doctrine. But even they had to admit that he became Zen’s most successful and widely respected missionary outside Japan, and that if anyone could communicate Zen to the West, Dr. Suzuki was the man... He radiates… a special serenity that makes him a magnificent living example of the doctrine he preaches.”
Winthrop Sargeant, The New Yorker, 1957

"Though perhaps less universally known than such figures as Einstein or Gandhi (who became symbols of our time) Daisetz Suzuki was no less remarkable a man than these...  He contributed no little to the spiritual and intellectual revolution of our time."
Thomas Merton

"Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism... We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task."
Carl Jung

“He had studied the teachings of Buddha. He had taught the teachings of Buddha. But he had gone much further than this. He had saturated his whole life with the teachings of Buddha and, in his own way, he expressed those teachings so that everyone who saw him or heard him was drawn to him and disposed toward Buddhism.”
Francis Younghusband, as quoted in The New Yorker, 1957


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