Many centuries ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates used to walk through the streets and marketplaces of Athens, teaching his students. He would say to them, â€œYou must understand yourself! You must understand yourself! You must understand yourself.â€ Then one day a student said, â€œSir, you always say we must understand ourselves. But do you understand yourself?â€
â€œNo, I donâ€™t know myself,â€ Socrates replied. â€œBut I understand this â€˜donâ€™t know.â€™â€ This is very interesting teaching. Buddhist practice points at the same experience, because most human beings pass through their lives ...
One day a student asked Zen Master Man Gong, "Where is Buddha's teaching?"
"Right in front of you." Man Gong replied
The student said, "You say, 'in front of you,' but I cannot see it."
"You have 'I', so you cannot see.
"Do you see?" the student asked.
Man Gong answered, "If you make 'I' you cannot see. But if you make 'you', it is even more diffucult see."
The students asked, "If I have no 'I', no 'you', then who is speaking?"
The student was then instantly enlightened.
By Zen Master Seung Sahn
So everything is truth. But how much do you believe that? Every day we use truth, but we don't understand truth. We are living in truth, but we don't understand it. Why don't you understand it? Because you don't believe your eyes, ears, nose,, tongue, body, and mind. The sky is blue -- nothing special. But you don't believe that. "That's the truth? I don't know..."
So practicing means practicing believing in my true self. What am I? Don't know. But everybody has their opinions. They also have their condition and situation. So they can't believe their eyes. They only see their opinion. If you want to become clear, you ...
Zen Master Man Gong was Seung Sahn Soen Sa's Dharma grandfather. As a thirteen year old child, he was studying sutras at the temple Donghaksa in Korea. The day before vacation, everyone gathered to listen to some lectures.
The lecturer said, "All of you must study hard, learn Buddhism, and become as big trees, with which great temples are built, and as large bowls, able to hold many things. The verse says:
"Water becomes square or round according to the shape of the container in which it is placed. Likewise, people become good or bad according to the company they keep. Always keep your minds set on holiness and remain in good company. In this ...
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.
(Response to a letter. From the book Dropping Ashes on the Buddha)
Thank you for your letter. How are you?
You said in your letter that you have read many books about Zen. Thatâ€™s good, but if you are thinking, you canâ€™t understand Zen. Anything that can be written, anything that can be said â€“ all this is thinking. If you are thinking, all Zen books, all Buddhist sutras, and all Bibles are demonsâ€™ 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 ...