Not Always So

Not Always So Cover

Not Always So

Practicing the True Spirit of Zen

By Shunryu Suzuki; Edward Espe Brown; Zen Center San Francisco

HarperOne, Paperback, 9780060957544, 176pp.

Publication Date: June 2, 2009


Practising the true spirit of Zen.

Not Always So is based on Shunryu Suzuki's lectures and is framed in his own inimitable, allusive, paradoxical style, rich with unexpected and off centre insights. Suzuki knew he was dying at the time of the lectures, which gives his thoughts an urgency and focus even sharper than in the earlier book.

In Not Always So Suzuki once again voices Zen in everyday language with the vigour, sensitivity, and buoyancy of a true friend. Here is support and nourishment. Here is a mother and father lending a hand, but letting you find your own way. Here is guidance which empowers your freedom (or way seeking mind), rather than pinning you down to directions and techniques. Here is teaching which encourages you to touch and know your true heart and to express yourself fully, teaching which is not teaching from outside, but a voice arising in your own being.

Praise For Not Always So

“Indeed something very special . . . [Brown] has edited transcriptions of Suzuki’s talks that both read well on the page and capture the style, humor and solid grasp evident in [Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind]. This will prove highly valuable to anyone, rank novice or Zen master.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)