The Shoemakers Mind

“While you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, your experience will become deeper and deeper, and your experience will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is to forget all gain
ing ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture. Do not think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without expecting anything. Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. That is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.” 
― Shunryu SuzukiZen Mind, Beginner’s Mind


The audience for this piece is anyone who is interested in meditation and exhibiting mindfulness in their everyday life. Suzuki uses repeating words to not only emphasize the words themselves but also to show that it is a journey with no inherent end point. He also makes use of periodic sentences, epistrophe, and Antimetabole.



To make shoes is an art form, one that takes practice and patience.  On one hand, your mind tells you to make the shoes as fast as possible because you have a deadline to meet.  On the other hand, your creative self wants to explore, and be in the moment with every stitch. Do not think too hard. You must let your mind work with your movements, not let your movements work against your mind.  As you already know, a shoemaker must have precision.  To attain this, a mindful practice is absolutely necessary to make a shoe worth wearing.  Yes, you could make a hundred shoes a minute in a machine, but this is not a mindful shoe. This shoe was not crafted day after day, month after month, for it was not given the love that only a mindful shoemaker can give. Your craft is what defines you, the art is what defines you.  That is to say, your shoes are nothing if rushed, just as in life. So, I beg you, take off your watch, face the clocks down, unplug your lamps, open your windows. Let the natural light be your guide and listen to what your heart tells you.  This is how you live not something you do. I promise you, your shoes will sell themselves.


2 thoughts on “The Shoemakers Mind

  1. Lynn

    I really like your choice of topic. It is very unique and engaging ( which is especially surprising considering you are discussing shoes!). Although you successfully hit on all of the figures of speech that you mentioned in your analysis, what stuck out the most to me was your style. Whether it was intentional or unconsciously, you captured the high style of the piece extremely well. You impressively manage to use a very sophisticated and complex style even with a simple subject matter. And it matches the style of your excerpt above perfectly. I would recommend considering analyzing low/high style when you do your analysis since you had such a strong set up of this in your paper.

  2. ellalatorres7

    Hi Will! I like your imitation a lot again! I think that you pin pointed things that were obviously important for Suzuki and made them your own. I can still hear your voice in your piece, but it is good because it seems like if Suzuki had recruited you. I can see that your point is similar to her, and that the way in which you carry the argument, flows very easily from Suzuki’s paragraph to yours. Good piece!


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