What Is The Answer?

We're actually more focused on the question than the answer because answers change. There's not one fixed answer. The point of questions is to open us up to the experience of our lives. So, this moment is the answer. Our practice is to open up to this moment. It's usually our ideas, our opinions, our beliefs, our fears, and all of the psychological commentary that goes on in our mind, that separates us from the moment. So we're inquiring and asking to open up to right now, just to be in the moment completely.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Clear Seeing, Clear Action

The Buddha talked about clear seeing. In order to clearly see, we have to let go of what's clouding our vision. What clouds our vision is this concept of "I". The concept of "I" fixes the world in a certain way. Let go of the concept of "I" and we can perceive the moment clearly.

When we can perceive the moment clearly, we can see our relationship to the moment. And if our sight is clear, and our sense of our relationship is clear, our action is a natural unfolding of the moment. But, hold on to our opinion, keep our concept, and our ideas to keep "I" safe, then what unfolds is an old story that gets played over and over and over again.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Lost in a Drunken Stupor

Buddhism teaches us that we make our own life.  We're quick to blame other people.  We're quick to make a dream life of our likes and dislikes.  We fall into a fantasy, and sometimes it's said, "like a drunken stupor".  We get lost in a drunken stupor of our likes, dislikes, our opinions, our conditions.  

Each one of us brings all of our conditioning right into this moment, but we don't see it.  We see a reflection of it in the world around us, so we judge, and we try to fit the world into our image.  What doesn't fit, we don't like, and what does fit, we like.  

So in that sense, we make our own suffering.  Or in that sense of urgency, you might say we make our own hell.  We think of hell as something that comes to us after we die, but really we're making our own hell right here, right now. We are all guilty of it, nobody escapes.  Through practice, we can find our way through it.  Through practice, through wisdom, through our own experience, we can begin to break out of the hell that we make when our conditions make the hell of our lives.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng

Just Hear The Bell

When the bell was hit tonight during the Evening Bell Chant, some people thought… “Uhmm, wonderful… Oh, great!” Other people thought, “Not loud enough!” Other people said, “I wish he’d do it faster!” Somebody else said, “What’s he doing?”

All that is commentary. Don’t-Know means let go of the commentary and just hear the bell. Simple as that. You and the bell become one. Where is the separation?

I believe I am here, and the bell is there. But that’s my idea. Where is the separation between you and the bell? Between you, (ZMBS picks up the stick and hits it on the floor) and that sound? Where do you start and the sound end? (Hits the floor again.) You may have some idea about it, but actually you don’t know. If you just let that don’t know be, then it’s already complete. It doesn’t need anything more.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng