uddhism.org   Buddhist eLibrary

Buddhist News

Dharma Talks


Seon Masters

Buddhist Studies

Gateless Gate


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

Share |
Get the Gold  

Traditionally Zen uses seventeen hundred kong-ans. Korean Buddhism also uses these original kong-ans. Other Zen schools made their own special collections from these, which they felt were of special importance for teaching. For example, one collection, the Blue Cliff Record, uses one hundred kong-ans; the Mu Mun Kwan is a collection of only forty-eight cases.

But, this is still too complicated, so our school made a collection of only ten kong-ans, the Ten Gates. Very simple! If you pass these ten gates, then you will understand what a kong-an is.

If you understand what a kong-an is, then you will understand how to practice correctly. Then, do it! But, if you only understand kong-ans and don't practice, don't try, you will have a big problem. Some people can answer many kong-ans, but they don't try. Then the kong-an never becomes theirs. So, the purpose of the kong-an is to give us correct direction so our life can become correct. "If you go south ten miles you will find gold. Go over there and find it!"

Anyone can understand these directions, but if they don't actually walk ten miles south they will never get the gold. "I understand that ten miles south of here there is a mountain. Inside the mountain there is a cave and inside the cave there is gold. I understand that completely." Wonderful, but if you don't do it, you don't get it. So, only understanding a kong-an cannot help you; cannot help your life.

Many people can give good answers to kong-ans during an interview, but their daily life is not such a "good answer." Desire, anger and ignorance are always controlling them.

So, understanding kong-ans is not important. A good answer or a bad answer is not so important. Answer appears, answer doesn't appear is not so important. What is most important is your everyday life. If your daily life is clear moment to moment then kong-ans are not a problem. Then the kong-an and your life really connect.

                        Prev Next    
     Four Times Five Equals Twenty
     A Free Gift for You!
     Gathering Our Great Merit
     Get the Gold
     Great Faith
     The Great Way is in Front of the Door
     The Great Way is in Front of the Door
     The Great Work of Life & Death
     Hae Jae Dharma Speech - 1981
     Head of a Dragon, Tail of a Snake
     High Class Consciousness
     How can Sitting Save this Hungry World?
     How Many Pounds is this KATZ?
     How to Do It
     Hua T'ou and Chinese Food
     The Human Route
     Hundred Proof Dragon
     I Already Caught a Fish
     Illness Helps Your True Self
     Inka Means Strong Center and Wisdom

top Prev Next       List

Copyright(c) 2544 Digital International Buddhism Organization.