Why Be In This Moment?

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The question always comes to, “Why do that?” So now we’re present, now what?  Is it for our own enjoyment? That’s okay, that’s nice; we all want our own enjoyment. But that brings us back to suffering because we’re only happy as long as it brings us joy. As soon as that joy is gone, we’re not happy anymore, and then we leave the moment.

So why be in the moment? What’s our intention? What’s our direction? What is it that we are after?

Zen Master Bon Soeng

The Great Bodhisattva Way

One, two, three. Where do these numbers come from? You already understand. Children want candy; business people want money; scholars want to become famous. There are many kinds of people and many directions. Where do they finally go? If you attain this point, you attain human nature and universal substance. If you attain universal substance, you can see and hear clearly, and your emotions, will, and wisdom can function correctly. Then your life is correct and you can help all beings. This is called the Great Bodhisattva Way.

From the Whole World is a Single Flower by Zen Master Seung Sahn

Why Be In This Moment?

The question always comes to, “Why do that?” So now we’re present, now what?  Is it for our own enjoyment? That’s okay, that’s nice; we all want our own enjoyment. But that brings us back to suffering because we’re only happy as long as it brings us joy. As soon as that joy is gone, we’re not happy anymore, and then we leave the moment.
 
So why be in the moment?
What’s our intention?
What’s our direction?
What is it that we are after?

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

What Kind of World Do You Want?

All of us are involved in situations, with ourselves, other people, other animals, other beings, the whole planet. All day long, every day. How do we decide what to do?
 
One way to decide: If we go into the situation with the direction of helping the situation, then that’s the way we enter in and that’s the path to world peace. If that’s my direction and that’s my intention, my action is going to grow out of that. If I go into the situation thinking about what am I going to get for myself, and that I don’t really care much about what happens to all of you, that’s another way to go into the situation. If my direction/ intention is to get what I want for me, then my action and my way of interacting with the moment is going to come out of that. 

Those are two very different perspectives, and they lead to different worlds. So what kind of world do we want to create? That sounds like an esoteric question, but it’s a question that we answer every moment in our lives. That’s our ultimate responsibility. How do we answer that question? Right now, in this situation.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Inspiration to Practice

Keep your direction clear. There is something that moves you to practice, that points you in the direction. Then find your "try mind". Inspiration is wonderful, but if we just rely on inspiration, it fizzles out and then we’re lost. So it’s not about inspiration or not inspiration. We say in Zen something very direct:  “Just do it!”  
 
Like or dislike is what creates a prison that we live in. So if you only practice when you want to practice and then don’t practice when you don’t want to practice, that’s a fundamental problem. You are following the winds of your desire, and that’s what leads to suffering. The Buddha’s teaching is very simple. We suffer because of our desire, our anger, and our ignorance. So if our practice is based on desire, all it does is lead us to more suffering.   
 
So what I will suggest for you is look at your life realistically and see what you can do. Then set your sights and your direction on doing that. Likes and dislikes – that’s what you will meet when you sit down. Just do it! Don’t be too concerned about success or failure. Moment to moment, be fresh and alive. Just do what you set out to do. Not just for one week, not for one month, not for one year, not even for one decade. Day after day after day… moment to moment to moment…

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Will My Life Work Out?

The advise that Master Wu Kwang gave is "Pay your rent on the 1st, pay your taxes on the 15th of April, and everything will work out." He didn't say HOW they will work out. We all think "work out" means, "Oh everything will work out well for me." That's what goes in my head, and I imagine most everybody thinks that way. But, everybody gets sick at some point in time, everybody gets old, everybody dies. Anything and everything that is born into this world passes from this world. So, that's how it all works out.  

What are we going to do along the way? That's the realm of practice. Do we keep sticking our feet into the realm of suffering? Or do we connect with our practice center, really wonder about who we are and how to live in this world and find a way. "Enlightenment" is a beautiful word. Buddhism loves to throw it around, and nobody knows what it means. We all have some idea of what it would be if we were enlightened, but that's just our idea. Anything we think about it makes it too small, too limited, and too much just a creation of our human mind. Return to the practice, come back to this moment. What am I doing right now? How is it possible to help the situation?

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Purpose of Zen

That's Zen mind. It's not being perfect. It's not being able to do everything right, and do it in such a way that somebody will tell this wonderful story about you that a thousand years from now people will still be talking about. It's simply paying attention, meeting the moment and helping. Our teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "The purpose of Zen is to attain your true self and help others." So the helping others, that's pretty clear. Not judgmental, not with any sense of superiority. Attain your true self. What am I? Just help. 

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Why Be In This Moment?

The question always comes to, “Why do that?” So now we’re present, now what?  Is it for our own enjoyment? That’s okay, that’s nice; we all want our own enjoyment. But that brings us back to suffering because we’re only happy as long as it brings us joy. As soon as that joy is gone, we’re not happy anymore, and then we leave the moment.

So why be in the moment?
What’s our intention?
What’s our direction?
What is it that we are after?


(By Zen Master Bon Soeng)

What Kind of World Do You Want?

All of us are involved in situations, with ourselves, other people, other animals, other beings, the whole planet. All day long, every day. How do we decide what to do? 

One way to decide: If we go into the situation with the direction of helping the situation, then that’s the way we enter in and that’s the path to world peace. If that’s my direction and that’s my intention, my action is going to grow out of that. If I go into the situation thinking about what am I going to get for myself, and that I don’t really care much about what happens to all of you, that’s another way to go into the situation. If my direction/ intention is to get what I want for me, then my action and my way of interacting with the moment is going to come out of that. 

Those are two very different perspectives, and they lead to different worlds. So what kind of world do we want to create? That sounds like an esoteric question, but it’s a question that we answer every moment in our lives. That’s our ultimate responsibility. How do we answer that question? Right now, in this situation.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Inspiration to Practice

Keep your direction clear. There is something that moves you to practice, that points you in the direction. Then find your "try mind".  Inspiration is wonderful, but if we just rely on inspiration, it fizzles out and then we’re lost.  So it’s not about inspiration or not inspiration.  We say in Zen something very direct:  “Just do it!” 

Like or dislike is what creates a prison that we live in.  So if you only practice when you want to practice and then don’t practice when you don’t want to practice, that’s a fundamental problem.  You are following the winds of your desire, and that’s what leads to suffering.  The Buddha’s teaching is very simple.  We suffer because of our desire, our anger, and our ignorance.  So if our practice is based on desire, all it does is lead us to more suffering.   

So what I will suggest for you is look at your life realistically and see what you can do.  Then set your sights and your direction on doing that. Likes and dislikes – that’s what you will meet when you sit down.  Just do it!  Don’t be too concerned about success or failure.  Moment to moment, be fresh and alive.  Just do what you set out to do.  Not just for one week, not for one month, not for one year, not even for one decade.  Day after day after day… moment to moment to moment…

By Zen Master Bon Soeng