“How can I get beyond just verbalizing the question, “What am I?” a student asked the Zen Master Seung Sahn Soen-sa.
Soen-sa answered, “You want this question to grow. This mind is no good. This is attachment thinking. You must cut off this thinking, and only do hard training. It is not important for this question to grow.
What is important is one moment of clear mind. Clear mind is before thinking. If you experience this mind, you have already attained enlightenment. If you experience this for a short time – even just for one moment – this is enlightenment.
All the rest of the time you may be thinking, but you shouldn’t worry about this thinking. It is just your karma. You must not be attached to this thinking. You must not force it to stop or force clear mind to grow. It will grow by itself, as your karma gradually disappears.
“Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don’t worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes. You must not be attached to the coming or the going.”