Zen Master Seung Sahn was the 78th Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism – a monk who devoted his whole life to propagating the dharma across the world and was awarded the highest honor in the Jogye Order of ‘Grand Master’ in recognition of his efforts. For additional information, please see: http://www.subong.org.hk/teacher-01.asp
A student once said to me, “The Mahaparinirvana sutra seems very confusing. Everything is always moving. And yet everything is not moving? I don’t understand…
There is a very easy way to understand this: When you watch an action movie about a good man and a bad man – lots of fighting, cars moving very fast, and explosions all over the place. Everything is always moving very quickly. Our daily lives have this quality: everything is always moving very quickly, coming and going, nonstop. It seems there is no stillness-place. But this movie is really only a long strip of film. In one second, there are something like fourteen frames. Each frame is a separate piece of action. But in each frame, nothing is moving. Everything is completely still. Each frame, one by one, is a complete stillness. The film projector moves the frame very quickly, and all of these frames run past the lens very fast, so the action on the film seems to happen nonstop. There is no break in the movement of things. But actually when you take this strip of film and hold it up to the light with your hands, there is nothing moving at all. Each frame is complete. Every moment is completely not moving action.
Our minds and this whole universe are just like that. This world is impermanent. Everything is always changing and moving nonstop. Even one second of our lives seems full of so much movement and change in this world that we see. But your mind – right now – is like a lens whose shutter speed is one divided by infinite time. We call that moment mind. If you attain that mind, then this whole world’s movement stops. From moment to moment you can see this world completely stop. Like the film, you perceive every frame – this moment – which is infinitely still and complete. In this frame, nothing is moving. There is no time, and nothing appears or disappears in the box. But this movie projector – your thinking mind – is always moving around, so you experience this world as constantly moving and you constantly experience change, which is impermanence. You lose moment-mind by following your conceptual thinking, believing this is real.
When you practice meditation for a long time, you can stop your mind lens and you can actually experience that each moment of your life is truly infinite in time and space. Then when you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you taste, when you touch, when you think – everything, just as it is, is already complete. You attain bliss of “when appearing and disappearing disappear.” From moment to moment don’t make anything, the sutra becomes yours. You can function this bliss for others in the most beneficial way.
Please also visit the Su Bong Monastery website for more information about Zen practice: http://www.subong.org.hk/main.asp