Martine Batchelor

The Illusion of Attainment, by Kusan Sunim

In the course of one’s practice it is as though one has to take hold of the hua-t’ou [Koan] two or three times anew. At the stage of emptiness when nothing at all appears, one clings to the emptiness. Like­wise, at the stage of vivid quiescence and the emergence of the brilliant spiritual light, one clings to this brilliant light…

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False Thought, by Ch’an Master Lai-kuo

The strength of false thought is great, so you ought to be afraid of it. And it is necessary that you get away from it. You want to get away from your false thought, but how much strength do you have? Its strength is waterproof; your strength only amounts to a single drop…

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We must not stay at the Zen of Words, by Haechun Sunim

We can say, ‘As yet, I do not know for myself, but the Buddha said this … And Bodhidharma said that… Let’s practice together in this way.’ This is fine! Who knows, the student may awaken before the teacher. In Buddhism, there is the saying: Although there might be a hierarchy according to who has entered the temple first, in awakening, there is no hierarchy, there is no line — it is according to our roots and our efforts.’

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Have You Awakened? by Kusan Sunim

For the ninety days of this winter retreat people from nine different countries have gath­ered here. The times and seasons of all countries are not the same. Thus when it is winter here, it is summer elsewhere; and when it is daytime here, it is night-time elsewhere.

North, south, east and west being void, they form a single house.

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Tea in Korea, by Sonhae Sunim

Green tea is chosen over other beverages because of its subtlety. In order to fully appreciate it the mind must be quiet and empty of distracting thoughts. If you talk while drinking, it is likely that you will miss the fullness of the taste. And as the ability to appreciate the subtle taste develops over the years, the person changes accordingly…

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Advice for Monks who are Beginners on the Way

Your paying homage to the Buddha proceeds from certain conditions latent within your true original nature. These are deep impressions that you have received from the Buddha. And they were not received in vain. They are like sounds near a mountain that will be followed by their echo…

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