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The Dharma Talk to End the Summer Retreat 2009  

By Jogye Order Supreme Patriarch Most Ven. Beopjeon

A monk approached Seon Master Daesu Beopjin and asked,¡°It is said the fires at the end of time will rage and everything will collapse. At that time, will¡®that thing¡¯ also collapse?¡±
 The master replied,¡°It will collapse.¡±
 The same monk asked the Seon Master Yongje Sosu the same question,¡°It is said the fires at the end of time will rage and everything will collapse. At that time, will¡®that thing¡¯ also collapse?¡±
 The master replied,¡°It will not collapse.¡±
 The meaning of the word¡°collapse¡± here could not be expressed in writing even if the oceans were filled with ink, and we were to use all of it. If we were to establish the view with words, we will be 10 million miles farther from¡°that thing.¡± When the fish swims, the water will turn cloudy. When a bird flies, feathers will fall. To those whose wisdom eye is not open, saying it will collapse will be a hindrance, and saying it will not collapse will also be a hindrance. Even if Master Daesu says it will collapse, there is a way to know. Even if Master Yongje says it will not collapse, there is a way to know. It cannot be known by always being without thoughts. It cannot be known by always trying to know with our thoughts.
 If someone were to ask this mountain monk,¡°It is said the fires at the end of time will rage and everything will collapse. At that time, will¡®that thing¡¯ also collapse?¡±
 I would reply,¡°Forget about collapsing and not collapsing. Do you even know properly what¡®that thing¡¯ is?¡±
 One master said¡®that thing¡¯ will collapse, while the other said¡®that thing¡¯ will not collapse. It is false to say that it will collapse, and it is false to say it will not collapse. Then what is to be said? Always think on this deeply during the off-season as you travel around the countless worlds.
 In the remote field, the crane has wings difficult to fly.
 The horse will never travel a thousand miles with no reason.
 
Buddhist Era 2553 (2009)
Last Day of Summer Retreat
 
 
The End of the Summer Retreat
The three-month summer retreat ended on the morning of August 5 (full moon day) with a closing Dharma Service. Across the nation at 95 meditation temples (Seon Bang), 2237 monks and nuns practiced Seon meditation in 2009. The Korean Buddhist practice tradition is to meditate in the summer for three months, travel (manhaeng) for three months in the fall, meditate for three months in the winter, and again travel for three months in the spring. The three months of intensive meditation is called kyolche, meaning tight practice, and the three months of off-season is called manhaeng, meaning moving around. In three months of meditation, the monks and nuns get back in touch with their fundamental nature. It¡¯s like recharging the batteries. It matures them for the off-season, which is spent in a relaxed and joyous manner. They do not lose the practicing spirit, but the arduous and focused practice is loosened. They may do pilgrimages and other lighter practices. Then, they return to a seriousness of the retreat season to renew their zeal for enlightenment. This wonderful tradition goes back to the time of Buddha when the monks and nuns could not travel during the rainy season. They would stay in their huts to meditate until the rain stopped.

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