Zen Master Wu Bong: An eminent teacher said “Enlightenment and unenlightenment are merely empty name.” / The Buddha saw a star, got enlightenment. / What did he get? / Did you see a star? / What did you get? / Where is your enlightenment star? / In the sky? / In Hollywood? / On top of a Christmas tree? / Up, down; north, south; east, west? / Always in front of you? / Do you see it? / Tell me, tell me!!! / KATZ!!! / Bright stars lighten up the night sky. / Bright faces lighten up the dharma room
Zen Master Wu Bong: There are these four kinds of teaching from Zen Master Seung Sahn, the four don’ts. He said don’t make, don’t attach, don’t check and don’t want. If you follow these four teachings very well, your practice can grow up, because our usual habit is to always make something, then we attach to what we make, then we keep on checking that and then of course desire appears, so we want, then because of this desire we continue to make and attach and check and make more desire.
Zen Master Wu Bong: Don’t catch the words; catch the point. Otherwise, you become like a dog chasing after a bone. Even if Buddha came here and gave you the most perfect answers, it is really useless unless you apply these in your life. So the most perfect medicine is just garbage unless you take it.
Zen Master Wu Bong: The wonderful thing about Buddha’s teaching is that Buddha taught us not to accept something just because a wise person or an expert said it. Don’t accept something because a holy book says that it’s true, or because of tradition. You must find the truth for yourself. Everyone has that capacity.
Zen Master Wu Bong: It is important to understand that “special practice” is not just for us, but is for others in keeping with our vows. This “for others” may not be readily visible, but nonetheless the energy of our practice radiates throughout the world. It helps our families, our friends, our coworkers, and all beings. An eminent teacher said: “One mind is clear; the whole universe is clear.”
Zen Master Wu Bong: Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, that is our teacher.
Zen Master Wu Bong: In the Mu Mun Kwan, a collection of traditional Zen teaching cases, we have a very interesting example of “special practice.” The twelfth case talks of Zen Master Seong Am Eon who used to call to himself every day, “Master!” and would answer, “Yes?” Then the dialogue continued: “You must keep clear!” “Yes!” “Never be deceived by others, any day, any time!” “Yes! Yes!” The question associated with this kong-an is as follows: “Master Seong Am called to himself and answered himself; two minds. Which is the correct Master?
Zen Master Wu Bong: The only thing, the only true thing, that we ever have is this moment. The past we cannot touch. The future we cannot grasp. And if we try to catch the present, is already gone
Zen Master Wu Bong: Put down your like and dislike. When a kong-an appears, only respond. If the correct response does not appear, return to “don’t know.” In your everyday life it is the same. If any situation is not clear for you, return to “don’t know."
Zen Master Wu Bong: If this sound is clear, then the whole universe is clear. Also the Great Way is meticulously clear. Then, where is the Great Way? KATZ! (Pointing to the dharma room exit doors.) Through these doors to the dining room. Thank you very much.