Circling the Meditation Seat

November 28, 2013, at Donghwa-sa

From Finding the True Self by Jinje, the 1st ed. (p.86)



Even if a fire is set, there will be nothing left to burn.
 
The golden wind sweeps through the land and leaves
The mountains and valleys bare;
Although the moon reflects brightly on the pond,
The base of the pond remains tranquil.
One may roll jade and use other tactics, laughing out loud, “Ha Ha!”
Gathering right below, it is difficult to recognize one another.


If the true mind cannot be illuminated in this life, then when can the Dharma of seeing the true nature of mind be attained? Only beings that have made the earnest aspiration to become a buddha in their previous lives can establish a connection with the true Dharma in this present life.

You must have thoroughly experienced the realm of great death and been wholly revived back to life in order to freely live the way any great man should live. All practitioners should hold their hwadu and continuously question until what they see, hear, and feel with the discriminating mind is burnt to ashes. Thus, a practitioner will eventually reach the state wherein You will not recognize where you are going, nor will you be aware that you are eating when you take a meal. At that very moment, when you see a form or hear a sound, your mind will be flung wide open.

If the practitioner does not reach this state, then he or she may wander miles and miles away from the ultimate truth of the Buddha. You must therefore transcend any concerns of life and death, ceaselessly investigating your hwadu.

Seon Master Magu came to visit Seon Master Zhangjing, and found him sitting in meditation on his Dharma seat. After circling around Zhangjing three times, Magu raised his Dharma staff, struck it to the floor, and held it there.

Master Zhangjing said, “That is exactly right!”

Right away, Magu went to see Seon Master Nanquan. As he had done with Zhangjing before, Magu circled Nanquan’s meditation bench three times and struck the floor with his Dharma staff. In response, Nanguan said, “That is not right, that is not right!”

Upon hearing this, Magu asked Nanquan, “Why do you say that it is not right when Zhangjing confirmed that it was right?”

Master Nanquan replied, “Zhangjing was correct, but you are not correct. That which depends on the power of the wind will eventually be completely destroyed.”

After that, Magu departed.

Do you understand the Dharma dialogue between these three Seon masters? This mountain monk will carefully elaborate, point by point.

Magu circled three times around Zhangjing’s seat, raised his Dharma staff, and struck it to the floor. Nanquan then said, “That is not right, that is not right!” But Magu inquired, “Why do you say that it is not right when Master Zhangjing said it was right?”

Seon Master Nanquan responded, “Zhangjing was correct, but you are not correct. That which depends on the power of the wind will eventually be completely destroyed.”

Therefore, this mountain monk will also circle the meditation seat once and then leave.

The wind that blows over and over has no rest,
The pines and bamboo in front of the mountain stand firmly.


« Back to Sample Readings page