Conversation with a Great Sutra Master  

Zen Master Seung Sahn: If one perceives their true self for one second it's better than reading sutras for ten thousand years.

Sutra Master: I vowed to read the Diamond Sutra ten thousand times. Should I continue or not?

ZMSS: Why do you read the sutra?

Sutra Master: To take away karma.

ZMSS: Originally there is no karma. If you make karma, then you will have karma. If you don't make karma, then there's no karma. Keeping a "this moment mind" is very important. If you are holding onto or checking the past, then all your karma will appear. If you are not checking or holding the past, present or future then your karma will not appear. So, moment mind is very important. Karma comes from your mind. No mind, then no karma. Originally there is no mind.

Sutra Master: Should I continue to read the Diamond Sutra?

ZMSS: Reading the sutra is OK. Don't attach to the words. Only perceive the sutra's true meaning. Who are you? Don't know! That is the "Big Question." The big question is most important. Only keep this big question. The big question better than reading sutras.

Sutra Master: Because I have already made a big commitment to read this sutra, I feel a lot of pressure.

ZMSS: That is not so good.

Sutra Master: Then what should I do?

ZMSS: Put it all down--let it all rest. Eating time, just eat. Someone comes to your temple and wants a ceremony, just chant. Someone wants to read a sutra, just read sutra together with them. Don't keep your opinion, your condition, or your situation. Then you will perceive your true nature. That is the sutra's true meaning.


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