The Secret of Practice

These words of wisdom for Shunyru Suzuki Roshi tell us the secret of practice.

He teaches that if something is wrong with our practice, it should be a signal to us that we may have a wrong idea about practice.

However, we are encouraged not to give up but to continue our practice as best we can.


If you find some difficulty in your practice, that is the warning that you have some wrong idea, so you have to be careful. But do not give up your practice; continue it, knowing your weakness. Here there is no gaining idea. Here there is no fixed idea of attainment. You do not say, “This is enlightenment,” or “That is not right practice.” Even in wrong practice, when you realize it and continue, there is right practice. Our practice cannot be perfect, but without being discouraged by this, we should continue it. This is the secret of practice.

Shunyru Suzuki Roshi

Shunyru Suzuki Roshi

– Shunryu Suzuki Roshi from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

So the secret of practice is to just do it no matter what happens.

This is why I recommend to my students that they start with only nine minutes a day and do it every day no matter what.

When they do it for at least 21 days, they have begun a new habit and are likely to continue.

Books by Suzuki Roshi

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Shunryu Suzuki

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence …


Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.