Believe it or not and Thinking
Recently ,oneday, I got an article by searching internet web site, philosophy and Thinking.
The article is as follwing –
You are perfect Buddha Mind
Zen, Seung Sahn, Interview
BOOM! An Interview with Zen Master Seung Sahn
In Chan and Zen on September 18, 2009 at 11:08 pm
Zen Master Seung Sahn
Tricycle: You grew up in a Protestant family in Korea. I’m curious to know what made the Buddhist teachings so attractive to you.
Seung Sahn: When North and South åKorea separated, society became complicated. Everyone fighting. So I went to the mountains to study Confucianism. Then one day a monk asked me, “What are you doing?”
“I’m studying Chinese philosophy,” I say.
“Chinese philosophy?” he said. “You don’t understand Korean philosophy! You should study Korean philosophy.”
So I studied Korean philosophy. Then one day a Zen monk appeared and asked me, “What are you doing?”
I say, “I’m studying Korean philosophy.”
“You don’t understand ‘you’. Who are you?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“You must get rid of understanding and attain your true self,” he told me. It was like meeting Socrates. So I became a monk and started practicing meditation.
Like meeting Socrates?
Yeah. Socrates said, “Understand your true self.” Very good teaching!
When you first came to Providence you tried to integrate Korean-Americans with Anglo-Americans, but it didn’t work.
No! Korean and American practicing together is impossible. [Laughter]
Korean people understand too much Buddhism. So clearing mind is very difficult. American students have no idea what Buddhism is, so—Boom! They get it. Very easy! Americans make good students. Koreans too much thinking, which makes practice very difficult. They already understand so much Buddhism, they have a big problem.
You made popular in this country the expression “don’t-know mind.” Could you say what that is?
Human beings understand too much. But what they understand is just somebody’s opinion. Like a dog barking. American dog say, “Woof, woof.” Korean dog say, “Mung, mung.” Polish dog say, “How, how.” So which dog barking is correct? That is human beings’ barking, not“dog”barking. If dog and you become one hundred percent one, then you know sound of barking. This is Zen teaching. Boom! Become one.
But when you live in a Zen community, so many obstacles to “don’t-know mind” are generated by the community itself. Most of us want what Trungpa Rinpoche used to call the “babysitter in the sky”—that need and desire to depend on some other authority outside of oneself. Are we just doomed to live within the suffering that the institution causes?
When students first come to the Zen Center, they’re like babies. Babies don’t understand how to eat, how to walk or talk. But slowly, slowly they grow up. At two years they walk. At three comes speech. After three, memory. That is growing up. At twenty, maybe twenty-five, then get a job, become independent.
Our practice is the same. At first a teacher is necessary. Then when you grow up, a teacher is not necessary. Kick the teacher out.
Do you have students for whom you are not necessary?
Yeah. Some become Zen masters. They find their own way.
And yet you have a reputation for being very strict with what goes on in your centers. And that you want the same form at all your different Zen centers.
I just understand Korean style. That’s all. First, Buddhism appeared in India, so Indian style developed. Then China, so Chinese style appeared. From China it went to Korea, so Korean style developed. Now I transmit Korean style to American students. After a while, American style appears. When that happens, kick out the Korean style, ok. But it takes time for American style to appear.
Do you think that there will be a time when your students will do the chanting in English?
In the future, maybe. When I first came here I thought to change it to English. But then I went to Poland. Can’t use English chants there. And Germa