Clear Direction

So when your direction is clear, it is already beyond all the opposites. Life and death, possible or impossible, good or bad, right or wrong—it’s already beyond all the opposites. And what kind of direction you have is also important. Sentient beings are already numberless, they cannot be counted. Is it possible to save them all from the suffering?

When your direction is clear, actually it doesn’t matter that your wish or hope is going to come true or not. It’s not about success or failure. It’s not about truth or untruth. It’s not about coming true or not coming true. It just keeps going on straight, for infinite time. Which means, actually, you’re the direction, the direction itself is you.

Hye Tong Sunim JDPS

Universal Connection

So we practice being present, we practice being in this moment, being available in this moment, and we begin to string together the experience of moments of presence. We can talk about that as true “self” and also as the interconnectedness that we have, our interbeing, as Thich Nhat Hanh talks about: The complete connection and oneness that we are with this universe. And that experience is not extraordinary. Everybody—every human being—has that experience. Every day. Many many times a day. We just don’t string those moments together enough to always notice them.

We practice that, and we find out for ourselves, from our own experience, that we are completely connected. Our school Zen master, Bobby Rhodes, once used this example, which I just loved. She held up her two hands and she said “So my right hand is stronger than my left hand. But my right hand never says to my left hand, ‘You’re no good. You’re inadequate. I don’t like you.’” You know. They help each other. They work together. They’re part of the same body.

These experiences of being connected to this universe and to one another, we can build on those, and we can see for ourselves that another person is part of us. That veil that can be so thick between us and others, or us and this moment, can begin to soften and get gauzy, and we get to experience it ourselves. Not as an idea, but actually as a truth. That we’re not separate from the world. Anytime we do anything completely, that’s the case. We practice being present; we practice inquiry into this moment, open-mindedness, openheartedness, to this moment of our life and bring that into even the places where that’s hard to do. Those places where we feel the fear, where we feel the shame, where we feel separate, where we believe we are separate. We practice so that we can bring that very inquiry and openness to those places allowing our true nature to function with less hindrance.

–By Nancy Brown Hedgpeth JDPSN

World Sickness

Imbalance is our world’s sickness: how can we cure it? Balance means understanding the truth. If you have no wisdom, you cannot become balanced. It is very important for everyone to find their human nature. That is why we sit Zen, to find our true human nature. So we are in a very important position, sitting in meditation. We must find our human nature, then together help each other become world peace. As human beings, we are all equal. We all have the same love mind. We must find the primary cause of this world’s sickness, and remove it.

–Zen Master Seung Sahn