Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Seung Sahn

From Open Buddha: “Completely Become One” by Zen Master Seung Sahn
After one week, my heart was only making one or two mistakes, and my doctors said, “This is wonderful! Most people take two or three months to come down to only one or two mistakes each minute!” So I said, “Thank you very much; you have helped me, so I can get better quickly. But this is only fix-your-body meditation. This is not correct meditation.”

“Why isn’t this correct meditation?” they asked.

“You can fix your body, your heart, your diabetes. In Korea, China, and India, there are people who do yoga. They go to the mountains and do breath-in, breath-out meditation. They can live 500 years and not get sick. Keeping their bodies for a long time is possible; even flying in the sky is possible. Trying this style body meditation, anything is possible. A body is like a car. Use the car a lot, and in three years, it is broken. Only keep the car in the garage, then keeping it for a long time is possible. But finally, after 500 years, then these yoga people die. Then what? Live a long time, then die; live a short time, then die–it is the same! Dying is the same.”

The doctors understood. “What is correct meditation, then?”

I told them, “I always try meditation. Meditation means always keeping one mind, not-moving mind.” They thought meditation meant only concentration and keeping your body still. So I said, “Meditation means keeping one mind. You must understand–What is life? What is death? If you keep one mind, there is no life, no death. Then, if you die tomorrow, no problem; if you die in five minutes, no problem.”

“What do you mean, no problem’?” they asked.

“Maybe you do fix-your-heart meditation. Then, ‘My heart is good; my body is good.’ It is very easy to become attached to this meditation. But, when you get old, and your heart is not so good, then you try this meditation. Maybe it is still not so good. Then, ‘Why doesn’t my meditation work?’ Then your body, your meditation become hindrances. If your meditation cannot help your body, then you don’t believe in your meditation. Then what? So, this style meditation is no good.

“Correct meditation means correctly understanding your situation moment to moment–what are you doing now? Only do it! Then, each action is complete; each action is enough. Then no thinking, so each moment, I can perceive everything just like this. Just like this is truth. Sick-time, only be sick. Driving-time, only drive. Only go straight–then, any situation is no problem.”

Reminds me of this exercise by Ken McLeod.

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