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

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Practicing Alone  

New York, New York
June 26, 1978

Dear Soen Sa Nim,

Thank you for your letter and for the picture of Kwan Seum Bosal. Thank you so much for your care.

I went to Yong Maeng Jong Jin held at Bob's house on Long Island last weekend. I found practicing with other people very difficult. It is as if I struggle with some deep barrier; I become very strange with people, so that I cannot really act appropriately and want a lot of special attention. I know that this is not good for other people. I cannot bear to do it, but I can't seem to control it either.

You say that practicing with others will help my bad karma. But I feel as if I would take much more than I could give -- that I would be a burden. I do not want to do that again. That is why I have been living and practicing alone. It is so important for me to work every day and to keep my balance.

George, the Master Dharma Teacher, said none of us is special, especially good or especially bad, but I feel so very different from other people. It is strange. I myself do not understand, and I am sorry. I feel that I must continue my practice alone.

Thank you so much for your concern.

Yours sincerely,


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