Posted on 9 December 2016 by Buddhism Now
After ascending the dharma seat, and looking to all the four directions, Master Kusan said, ‘Today is the beginning of this three-month retreat. Within the assembly present here now — do each of you brave men intend to go through with this retreat? Those of you endowed with the Dharma Eye, speak! What is an extraordinary person (an awakened mind)?’
The assembly remained silent. After a pause the master gave a shout and said, ‘The oranges of Cheju-do and the apples of Taegu — do you know where they fall? One pill of golden cinnabar (the medicine of the immortals) swallows all the Dharma realms, and exudes many marvellous manifestations. Everyone is Vairocana. Everything is a store of flowers within which the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha dwells. Do you understand this? You must be as audacious as someone trying to grab the eyebrows of a living tiger or to snatch the whiskers of a flying dragon. Then you will know. A poem says: Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Mahayana | Tagged: Chan Ch'an Korea, Koan practice, Korean Buddhism | Leave a comment »
Posted on 5 March 2016 by Buddhism Now
Part of the Buddhist path may be to come to terms with our own immaturity, having to realise that maybe we’re not always right and we’re not always kind. Sometimes in fact we’re downright foolish and unkind. Maybe we don’t mean to be, but we are. In the past we have justified our actions, perhaps, but through awareness we can notice this justification process going on. And even though it might be rather disturbing we face this reality because we want to know the nature of existence and the nature of ourselves. That wish for truth overrides our petty motives and we’re willing to look.
A moment of realisation about the way we operate in the world can open doors in our mind for the light to come in and bring insight. It may cause us to cringe a bit when we reflect on how we’ve been in the past, a very uncomfortable feeling. On the other hand, if we are resolved in wanting to know the truth of existence, we know we have to face such realities, any realities, whatever they are. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Diana St Ruth, Foundations of Buddhism, Kusan Sunim | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Buddhanature, Nine Mountains, Sutra of Complete Enlightenment | 4 Comments »
Posted on 13 January 2016 by Buddhism Now
Translated from the Korean
by Martine and Stephen Batchelor
To pride oneself on any slight degree of knowledge that may have been attained is likened to killing oneself as well as all the Buddhas and patriarchs. It is incorrect to base one’s life upon the fragments of understanding which might occur upon reaching certain states. The ancients of the past have always emphasized that one should never cling to such slight attainments. For if there is something which has been attained, then there is also something to be lost. In order that nothing may be lost, all sense of attainment has to disappear as well.
As long as we remain deluded, we tend to worry about our delusion. So we start diligently to practise meditation. After a while we may experience something which in fact is very insignificant — about as faint as the glow of a firefly or as tiny as the eye of a needle. But simply because what we are experiencing is something we have never heard of or seen before, we wonder, ‘Ah! this must be it!1 We are then liable to start saying that we now really know something and are even enlightened. To regard such an experience as final will result in our living and dying in vain. Therefore, even if we do have some slight attainment, we should not give it any importance! Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Martine Batchelor, Stephen Batchelor | Tagged: Chao Chou, Hua-tou, Joshu, Koan practice, Korean Buddhism, Songgwang Sa Monastery, Taego Pou | 2 Comments »
Posted on 15 April 2014 by Buddhism Now
Translated from the Korean by
Martine and Stephen Batchelor
The Buddhas of the three times arise solely from the mind. Likewise, all sentient beings arise solely from the mind. Furthermore, all things in the universe arise solely from the mind. And limitless space also arises solely from the mind. Thus the Buddhas and the sentient beings are not two. Likewise, what has form and what is formless are not two. Therefore, all of you gathered here today, say something about this one thing which is nondual! Have you awakened to this?
(The master strikes the base of the Dharma seat with his staff.)
The green pine and the green bamboo reveal the spring throughout the four seasons. White snow blending with the wind passes over the mountain behind. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Martine Batchelor, Stephen Batchelor | Tagged: Hwadu, Korean Buddhism, Korean Seon, Master Bojo, Photo by @KyotoDailyPhoto, Photo from #endangeredarchives @bl_eap | Leave a comment »
Posted on 5 March 2014 by Buddhism Now
I venture to ask this assembly, ‘Have you awakened to and penetrated into the subtle Way of enlightenment with which everyone is endowed?’ If you have awakened, say something! HAK!
[a shout to awaken those listening]
As the sun rises brightly in the sky in the middle of the night, young monkeys are climbing up trees backwards.
The clear wind and the bright moon
demonstrate the great truth.
The green peaks and the white clouds
reveal the subtle function.
Every kind of form magnificently adorns
As a phoenix sings and a crane dances,
there is no end to the joy! Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Martine Batchelor | Tagged: Hwadu, kongan (Koan), Martine and Stephen Batchelor, Photo by @KyotoDailyPhoto, Photo from #endangeredarchives @bl_eap, Songgwang Sa Monastery | Leave a comment »
Posted on 9 March 2013 by Buddhism Now
There is one door. The Buddhas of the three times and also the successive patriarchs pass through this door. The bodhisattvas of the ten directions and the spiritual advisors of this world also pass through it.
Moreover, those of you gathered here today as well as all sentient beings likewise are passing through this door. So, say something! Have you completely awakened and realized this single great door?
[Kusan Sunim pauses and then strikes the base of his seat with his staff.] Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim | Tagged: Korean Buddhism, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Walter Richard Sickert, Zen koan | Leave a comment »