What is Zen?
What is Zen? Dhyana (Zen, Ch’an, Seon) is directly pointing to the human mind, seeing true nature, becoming enlightened, and saving all beings from the suffering of life and death. In Zen, true awareness is not teachable in the usual sense. It can only be experienced beyond words and traditional teachings, because the core of Being can not be grasped in an intellectual way. The teacher needs to be an example and incentive for the student; he can show him techniques and ways, though in the end, the student has to attain it through his own effort.
In the beginning was the Logos, and the Living Word was with God, and the Word was God. If you understand there is no way to say it, then, you should understand how to say it, because in the beginning was the word. Zen is the way to eradicate confusion, not a way to teach. Zen Master Pohwa Sunim
What is meditation? True meditation; while everyone meditates without rest, standing, or sitting, it’s always together. If you don’t believe this; watch it carefully! What is talking now all this time? Zen Master Myo-Vong
Because of fire, the fire phoenix flies. Zen Master Pohwa Sunim
True Man Without Rank
In the record of a Master it says: “on your lump of red flesh is a true man without rank who is always going in and out of the face of every one of you. Those who have not yet proved him, look, look!”
The basis of the zen academy is the selfrealization of this “true man without rank.” This self-realization is the essence of all the Wise One’s teaching, and has been passed from generation to generation in Zen, like “water poured from one container to the next.” This is based on Zen’s view that truth lies not in words recorded in written texts and scriptures, but in the Mind inherent in all beings.
A special transmission outside the scriptures, not relying on words and letters.
Direct pointing to the human mind. Seeing ones true nature and attaining enligthenment.
Lineage Zen is a special transmission of the “Living Word”, or “Logos”, outside doctrinal teachings and concepts, which has been reexamined and polished by lineage masters for over 2,500 years and will continue for untold generations.
Studying without a Master-Mentor is death. Zen Master Hye-Am
What is zen? Reexamination? Faith is the mother of enlightenment. When you were a fetus, you had ears, eyes, mouth, and nose similar to those of an adult: but, they were sense-organs of limitied functioning. You did not hear, see, talk, or smell as well as an adult, and you needed continous nourishment and material protection until maturity. Likewise, when you begin to understand the core teaching of the patriarchal koan, by listening to the Good-and-Wise One, a spiritual transformation ensues, and you are no longer an ordinary human being, but the fetus of enlightenment. This new fetus, however, is like a seed without soil or water. As the seed of a saint, the understanding, thinking, speaking, and distinguishing are not as mature as those of an enlightened master. You need ceaseless practice with, great respect for, and careful help from your teacher (Master-Mentor) who is the mother of Tao and a necessary condition of the great enlightenment. Until you become a mature master, you need care. Continuous protection by the master, as well as constant re-examination and respectful practice with the master, are all contents of the teaching of the Patriarchs. When Master Joju was enlightened, for example, Master Nanzen recommended that he leave and teach in the other mountain. But Joju said, “I will stay for a while and serve you, just until you die. When the master died, Joju was already eighty.
Having no teacher for the enlightened student is more critical than having no father for a son. This is the reason Joju, through his retreatless faith, turned down Master Nanzen’s recommendation to complete his profound work.
One student asked a question of the master: “how is it, when one has just been enlightened?” The Master said: ”Before the wind of spring, flower didn’t bloom. Now it’s blooming season, unless the shoots are blown away.”
There is no hope without continuous reexamination. The exercise of re-examination creates the master of wisdom. One should listen to the Good-and-Wise One very carefully. By this direct dialogue with the master, delivered from the beginning on through this moment, one’s becoming a master is as near and natural as the dawn following a long nights wandering. With ceaseless examination under your master, and because of this retreatless and strong faith, doubtlessly the flower of enlightenment will bloom and brighten.
One will become a saint; because, when the night is fully dark, the sun has to rise soon. Without the seed of a saint, who could dare expect this wonder?
Therefore, to successfully become a saint, you must follow the wisdom-words of the teaching as passed on directly by the Patriarchs. The wisdom words you are examining are the revelation of the Self-nature. Koan itself becomes a more utilized, faithful, and unique study by examining through wisdom words because the ceaseless re-examination naturally requires the great faith, the great doubt, and the great provocation. But, without a sincere, primary examination, Koan is merely a brain-game. Only by continuous re-examination does it become alive, dealing with the life and death question, and become a true mirror of Self-nature. In order to become a saint, you must continuously protect this fetus to see the blooming season. These are the words of the holy ones; shouldn’t we heed them?
Zen Master Myo-Vong