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Dharma Talks : The Kwan Um School of Zen and Providence Zen Center

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Transmission Speech  

(Striking the table with his Zen stick.)

Do you hear that? Then this stick, this sound, and your mind: Are they the same or different?

KATZ! Listen. In the comer, the fan: "shhhhhhhhhhh."

An eminent teacher said, "The gate of Zen is very wide. Very easy." Our teacher says, "Only put down your idea and your opinion, then you become complete." But, "Put down your idea and your opinion" does not mean that you must lose your eyes.

Two stories:

Once a monk went to do a solo retreat. In the middle of the retreat a great bodhisattva appeared at night and said, "You are a great monk. You have special power. Tomorrow you must go to the nearby ledge. Only believe. Only trust. When you jump, you will be able to fly in the air." The next morning this monk went to the ledge, jumped, and died.

Once, when other monks in the temple were practicing, a monk was cooking rice in a big pot. At that time, in the steam, a great bodhisattva appeared and said to him, "You are a great monk. You have special power." Hearing this, the monk took the big ladle with which he was stirring the rice, hit the vision, and shouted, "Why do you dirty the monks' soup?" WHACK! Later he became a great Zen Master.

If you lose your eyes, you lose your life. Get true eyes, and you get everything. Let's consider what is True Eye. Watch carefully.

(Striking the table with his Zen stick.)

Long ago Buddha told Shariputra, "No eyes." So perhaps to get this True Eye, you must lose your eyes. If you have no eyes, however, how do you get True Eye? (Striking the table with his Zen stick.)

Our honored guest here [Supreme Cambodian Patriarch Maha Ghosananda] says that your eyes are always eating. Eating eyes. What kind of eating? I don't understand. Maybe eating form. Maybe eating color. Then how do they digest? What kind of eye is that? (Striking the table with his Zen stick.)

At a talk, a great Zen Master pointed to his Zen stick and said, "This stick has special eyes. They can see through everything. Even see into your mind." Maybe that is the True Eye. But what kind of eye is that?

All these are wonderful ideas, but just now how do you get this True Eye? KATZ! Please look. (Lifting the Zen stick above his head)

This stick is brown.

Thank you very much.


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