Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Developing a Strong "Centre" to Stabilise Emotions

Some personal notes from Zen Master Wu Bong’s talk at Su Bong Zen Monastery in 2011.
I find these to be highly consistent with Tibetan Buddhist teachings. That is why one Zen Master told me that if we start discriminating between Zen and Tibetan Buddhism by merely looking at the outer aspects, instead of the core messages, then already we have a wrong thinking. Some of the below words really strike directly into my heart and it cuts deep inside the layers of delusion at every moment of hearing it. It’s like an oil rig with the pipes being drilled deep into the core of the earth. We need these masters to reveal such treasures deep inside our mind. Hearing Zen Master Wu Bong’s talk (and others like him) we can get glimpses of reality, otherwise hidden from us. Some of these may not be his exact words, but his meaning is what I am trying to convey. Do let me know if I have not conveyed the meaning accurately. To listen to his talk in full, refer the link below. It is a bit lengthy but you will not regret listening to it at the end. Some of the below dharma were responses to the questions posed by the audience.
1. The reason why our mind flows together with our emotions is because our centre is not yet strong. With more practice, and following the guidance of the dharma teachers, then our centre will be stronger. Then we will not be so easily swayed by emotional turbulence. (My note: Problem now is whether you know what your “centre” is. It is like a pole that you hold on to during a strong wind.)
2. Seung Sahn Sunim summarized the Buddha’s formula to achieve enlightenment by this equation: TRY MIND + DIRECTION = ENLIGHTENMENT. “Try Mind” and our “Direction” are two terms he used very often. It is important to know our direction in life and in this case, our direction to enlightenment. “Try mind” is our practice. “Direction” is our purpose for seeking enlightenment. Is it seeking for my own enlightenment? If there is “I, my, me”, then “self-esteem” can easily turn into “self-arrogance”. It becomes practice for “I, my, me”. Difference between “self-esteem” and “arrogance” is “I, my, me”.
3. Your Zen Master is always in front of you. Everything (including enemies and friends we don’t like) is our teacher and comrade in the path.
4. Make use of everything that comes our way as teaching us the dharma, and as our practice.
5. Make use of everything to return to “don’t know”. But even if you attained this “don’t know”, that is only the beginning. The rest of the people around you are still suffering.
6. Our practice is not for ourselves. Not for “I, my, me”. All of this suffering we see in this world is our responsibility. 
There are many dharma points just from the notes above. I would suggest you slowly digest it, just like what I am doing - i.e. still going through these points.

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