Excerpts from Dharma Talk by ZM Dae Kwang, Seong Hyang during “The Whole World Is a Single Flower Opening Ceremony 2015
Actually, Buddhism is very simple. The Buddha only taught about one thing; suffering and taking away suffering. Zen Master Seung Sahn said there are two central questions for every human being. Number one: What are you doing right now? Number two: Why do that? These two questions point to how we live our life, moment to moment, and our great vow. The meaning behind “life after life” is “What are you doing right now?” This is not an abstract, philosophical concept. It’s not anything you have to believe in. It’s something you have to wake up to, moment to moment. That is our human being’s job. That is Buddha’s job, that’s our job.
If a person is ready, the teacher will appear. Actually, at a different level, when somebody really opens up your mind, sometimes it’s from a book, but sometimes its from some incident, but it depends on whether you are ready or not. There is always dharma in front of us. Everything is a teacher in front of us. Are we open to that teaching? Are we open enough? Are we ready to see things as they really are? If you can really see things as they are and accept things as they are, actually that is what this vow is beginning. Because at that moment, you and everything already connect. In that connection you can really give whenever they need. It’s not about our ideas. This is why we practice. We practice to have that level kind of mind. And this mind, it’s not just on the cushion, but we have to exercise it in our everyday life and with our family, and with our colleagues, with friends. And slowly it will affect the community. – Zen Master Dae Kwang
It’s difficult to believe in yourself, to trust the process of Zen practice. When you first start practising, often you feel worse. You start watching your brain and watching all your thoughts and you think you’re getting worse, not better. So coming to this practice and staying requires great faith, great courage and a great question. You have to develop the ability to see your thinking and it can be painful at times. It’s not an easy path.
Whatever we do, just find that you really trust it; we really love it; we want to share it. Then this world will be healing rather than burning
Somebody has to come to Zen, you don’t bring Zen to somebody else. – Zen Master Seong Hyang