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

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The Dog Runs Away with the Bone  

From a letter:

An eminent teacher once said, "Original consciousness is always clear. Beyond the six roots and six consciousnesses and six dusts, it is not hindered by speech or words. True nature is not dyed. It is already round and clear. Put down all thinking: right now is your true self.''

You say that you were attached to emptiness. But a true attachment to emptiness is without words or speech. Just understanding emptiness is different from being truly attached to emptiness.

I am glad that your sitting is getting stronger. You say that your body and mind are still not integrated. This Is thinking. If you cut off all thinking, your mind becomes true emptiness. True emptiness is before thinking. Before thinking there are no words and no things. So where is there a body or a mind to be integrated?

You must always keep "What am I?" At first the question is very small, Then it grows and grows and grows until it fills the whole universe. And then, when it bursts, the great question itself becomes enlightenment.

Here is a poem for you:

Buddha said all things have Buddha-nature.
Jo-ju said the dog has no Buddha-nature.
But Buddha and Jo-ju don't know Buddha-nature.
The dog runs away with the bone.

Yours sincerely,

S. S.


                        Prev Next    
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     Dharma Speech at San Francisco Zen Center
     The Dog Runs Away with the Bone
     Do You Still Have Mind?
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     Dry Cleaning the Mind
     "Duk Sahn Carrying His Bowls"
     Earth, Air, Fire and Water - Repaying the universe
     The Eleventh Gate - Man Gong's Net
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     Everything is a Dream
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     Fighting Monks
     Finding Your Lion Body
     Finding Your Primary Point
     A First Step
     Fixing a Pot

 
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