The Bodhisattva of the Toll Gates |
Zen Master Seung Sahn and four of his students were traveling down Route 95 from Providence to New York to visit the Chogye International Zen Center. Soen Sa Nim chatted with his students as they drove, answering questions and giving advice. They came to a toll booth. They gave the toll operator some money and waited for her to give them change. One of the students traveling with Soen Sa Nim said to her "Nice day, isn't it?" She agreed, but added, "Where did all this wind come from?" After she gave them their change, they drove off. The car was silent for a while until Zen Master Seung Sahn looked at the student and said "That was no ordinary woman at the toll booth. That was Kwanseum Bosal asking you a great question: 'Where did all this wind come from?' You must always be alert to the teaching that comes your way. Put down your mind and you can see what's actually in front of you. So I ask you 'Where did all this wind come from?"'