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

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

Struggle and Bliss

We think we understand what's good and what's bad, but we don't know. So just breath! And then whatever happens, that's what happens. You learn from all of it. That struggle is powerful. That moment of bliss is also powerful. There is something to be gleaned from all of it. It's just the craving of one and the pushing away of the other that creates a problem.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng