24 results for tag: Zen Master Seung Sahn


Overwhelmed

Dear Zen Master Seung Sahn, I feel like I'm going crazy. I'm working for the Legal Aid Society, and the maximum caseload at any one time is supposed to be 75. I have more than 75 cases right now. Starting this Friday, one of the attorneys is going on vacation, which will mean even more new cases for each person (there are 3 other lawyers). I am quite new to the job and feeling totally overwhelmed. As the number of cases increases, I can do less and less for each person. Weeks go by in which there is no time to devote to some of the cases I already have. I am very worried about this because I’m forced to keep doing a more and more ...

What is Enlightenment?

“Enlightenment is only a name,” replied Zen Master Sueng Sahn. “If you make enlightenment, then enlightenment exists. But if enlightenment exists, then ignorance exists, too. And that already makes an opposites-world. Good and bad, right and wrong, enlightened and ignorant—all of these are opposites. All opposites are just your own thinking. But truth is absolute, and is before any thinking or opposites appear. So if you make something, you will get something, and that something will be a hindrance. But if you don’t make anything, you will get everything, OK?"

Where Zen Practice Begins

Everything in this world – the sun, the moon, the stars, mountain, rivers, and trees – everything is constantly moving. But there is one thing that never moves. It never comes or goes. It is never born and it never dies. What is this not-moving thing? Can you tell me? If you find that, you will find your true self and attain universal substance. But understanding cannot help you find that point. Even one hundred Ph.D.’s will not show you your true nature. If you were to read all eighty-four thousand sutras, learn all Buddha’s speech, and earnestly study all the teachings of all eminent Zen masters, you would never attain ...

My Pain Is Very Expensive

In those last days of his life, Zen Master Seung Sahn was in the hospital and in a great deal of pain. Dae Kwan Sunim was with him, and asked if ZMSS would give his pain to her. "No, no, no, no! It's enough only I experience this. Never give to you......only I keep!" Dae Kwan Sunim insisted, but Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "My pain is very expensive!" "How much, sir?" she asked him. "We will buy it from you." "My pain is so expensive, you cannot buy it!" Zen master Seung Sahn replied. Dae Kwan Sunim leaned into his ear and said, "Then maybe I will sell the Su Bon Zen Monastery, get lots of money and give it to you. Then you give us your ...

This Trivial Tail

By Nancy Hedgpeth JDPSN Oh Jo said, “It’s like a water buffalo passing through a window. Its head, horns, and four legs have already passed through. Why is it that its tail cannot?” Commentary: If it passes through, it falls into a ditch; If it turns back, it is destroyed. This trivial tail, Just this is very weird. This water buffalo is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It is at a slaughter house which is surrounded by a ditch. If it escapes it falls into the ditch and will be caught. If it stays it will be slaughtered. So here it finds itself-all but through the window. Why is it that its tail cannot pass through? ...

Original Face

Poem by Zen Master Seung Sahn Your true self is always shining and free. Human beings make something and enter the ocean of suffering. Only without thinking can you return to your true self. The high mountain is always blue, white clouds coming and going.

Understanding Human Nature

By Zen Master Dae Kwang As soon as the war was over, Korea split into south and north. What everybody thought was going to bring happiness actually brought more conflicts and more suffering. It happened like that in Iraq. The war was supposed to bring peace, but what happened? So inside, Zen Master Seung Sahn had this big question: what can I do? Why is there so much suffering? He went to a temple and took some Western philosophy books with him, because he had an idea: he would read all these books, then he would understand what human beings are all about, and then he could help them. For months, he read philosophy books. One day, an old monk ...

Television Zen

(Response to a letter. From the book Dropping Ashes on the Buddha) Dear Patricia, Thank you for your letter. How are you? You said in your letter that you have read many books about Zen. That’s good, but if you are thinking, you can’t understand Zen. Anything that can be written, anything that can be said – all this is thinking. If you are thinking, all Zen books, all Buddhist sutras, and all Bibles are demons’ words. But if you read with a mind that has cut off all thinking, then Zen books, sutras, and Bibles are all the truth. So is the barking of a dog or the crowing of a rooster. All things are teaching you at ...

A Free Gift for You!

Excerpted from a talk at Cambridge Zen Center on May 7, 1993 Question: What’s the relationship between karma and free will? Zen Master Seung Sahn: Even if you decide, you cannot decide anything. When you are born, already everything has been determined. So, everything is already decided. Decide… something will happen. Don’t decide… something will happen. I ask you: Why were you born in this world? Why? Q: I’m here talking to you so… ZMSS: That’s just an idea. Talking, what kind of “talking to me”? “I” is not necessary. I ask you. Q: You already know. ZMSS: Ah, I ...

Shoot The Buddha

After a talk at the Cambridge Zen Center, a young woman said to Zen Master Seung Sahn, “Tomorrow is my son’s birthday, and he told me he wants either a toy gun or money. But I have a problem: as a Zen student, I want to teach him not to hurt or crave things. So I don’t want to give him a toy gun or money.” Zen Master Seung Sahn replied, “A toy gun is necessary! [Laughter] If you give him money, he will only go out and buy a toy gun. [Laughter] “Your son wants a toy gun. This gun means: ‘How do you use it correctly?’ That’s very important–more important than just having a gun or ...