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

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Transmission Dharma Talk  

On April 15, 2001 Zen Master Dae Kwan (formerly Hyang Um Sunim JDPS) received transmission from Zen Master Seung Sahn at Kye Ryong Sahn International Zen Center/Mu Sahn Sah.

[Raises Zen stick over head, then hits table with stick.]

Two thousand five hundred forty five years ago, Buddha sat under the bodhi tree and practiced. One morning, he saw a star and got enlightenment. Twenty years ago, Hyang Um sat in a cave in Thailand, saw a snake, lost her enlightenment. So losing is getting, getting is losing.

[Raises Zen stick over head, then hits table with stick.]

When Zen Master Seung Sahn told me dharma has no good and bad¡¦ BOOM! At that moment getting and losing was taken away. So no losing, no getting.

[Raises Zen stick over head, then hits table with stick.]

The second patriarch Hui Ko cut off his arm. In losing his arm, he got it. Hyang Um, sitting in Su Bong Zen Monastery, is gaining more weight, so she also gets it. So getting is getting, losing is losing.


Thank you Zen Master Seung Sahn for your great teaching. So, what did I attain? Here is a poem for our great teachers:

Clear clear originally no dharma
Kyong Ho is also like this
Man Gong cannot find it
How did Ko Bong ever get it?
Seung Sahn, only don¡¯t know
What does this mean?

[Raises Zen stick over head, then hits table with stick.]

Hyang Um is only for you.

Actually my dharma talk is over. But Zen Master Seung Sahn many times says, maybe you don¡¯t understand, so a little bit of explanation is necessary.

The first line is ¡°Clear clear originally no dharma.¡± Also, the Sixth Patriarch¡¯s teaching is originally there is nothing.

The second line says, ¡°Kyong Ho¡±; ¡°Kyong¡± means mirror and ¡°Ho¡± means space. So, in a clear mirror, and also in space, we cannot find anything. So, Zen Master Kyong Ho is also like this.

¡°Man Gong cannot find it.¡± ¡°Man¡± means complete and ¡°Gong¡± means empty. So, in this complete emptiness one cannot find anything. That is why Zen Master Man Gong cannot find any attainment in his practice.

The fourth line is: ¡°How did Ko Bong ever get it?¡± ¡°Ko¡± means ancient and ¡°Bong¡± means peak. An ancient peak is already in the past, so how do you get anything from the past? ¡°Seung Sahn¡± means high mountain. A high mountain never knows that it is high, so that¡¯s why Seung Sahn is ¡°only don¡¯t know.¡± ¡°What does this mean?¡±

[Raises Zen stick over head, then hits table with stick.]

This hit means return to our primary point.
¡°Hyang¡± means incense, so incense can purify the air, our mind.
¡°Um¡± means the sound of this world.
¡°For you¡± is our school¡¯s teaching, the direction of our action is always for others.

So the first step is to attain our substance, which is nothing. With this ¡°nothing¡± we can see, hear, smell, taste clearly. Our action is clear, which means ¡°only don¡¯t know.¡± Only don¡¯t know has no ¡°I.¡± With no ¡°I,¡± our actions are already pure. Pure means not for myself, it is for all beings. When we are born we get many things. Later we get even more. We get money, we get houses, we get food. Also some of us get married, get a husband or wife. At the same time we lose many things. All the things we get, one day we will lose. What we get or lose doesn¡¯t matter actually, how we use them correctly is most important. If we always return to primary point, then primary point is like a mirror, a clear mirror which only reflects. So, lose time only lose, get time only get. But when we lose, what kind of mind do you have, and when you get, what kind of mind appears then? This is very important. Always return to our school¡¯s teaching about direction¡¦ only for you. I want to thank you very much, Zen Master Seung Sahn, for your great teaching. Hong Kong people and the Chinese are lucky that we can receive your dharma.

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