Out Of Darkness..


A Dharma Talk, from Seoul International Zen Center, where I compare the tough discipline of haengja (novice Zen monk) training with the elemental forces that proved liberating, with teachings from Huang Po and Zen Master Seung Sahn.

notes from the talk ..

“all dharmas such as those purporting to lead to the attainment of Bodhi possess no reality. The words of Gautama Buddha were intended merely as efficacious expedients for leading men out of the darkness of worse ignorance…” – Huang Po

“…But whether they transcend conceptual thought by a longer or a shorter way, the result is a state of BEING: there is no pious practicing and no action of realizing. That there is nothing which can be attained is not idle talk; it is the truth. Moreover, whether you accomplish your aim in a single flash of thought or after going through the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva’s Progress, the achievement will be the same; for this state of being admits of no degrees, so the latter method merely entails aeons of unnecessary suffering and toil.” – Huang Po

haengja training – phase 2

More sophisticated for my situation

First time a complete break (through to my return to world)


The first was only a demonstration – later I use that tool… In other ways… Similar to a compound miter.

The elements that liberated me:

1 – friend died

2 – kyoyuk

3 – my father giving up

4 – injuring my left leg/not walking for 2 years

Getting up but still working, though not working.

Second point

Second time had to go to the University and learn Korean language. Here is the haengja part – not enough time. A tough schedule, so can’t pass the classes…

You can’t be fully engaged because you aren’t allowed, we didn’t come here to learn the Korean language, but we have to pass level II. You have to go to class every day unprepared.

Not everyone is the same

It follows the natural order, that everyone is just surviving. No (constant help).

Use the situation, without doing. The Buddha only had a tree and his determination.

Enter the matrix

Now I have to do it with the mind.

“When all such forms are abandoned, there is the Buddha. Ordinary people look to their surroundings, while followers of the Way look to Mind, but the true Dharma is to forget them both. The former is easy enough, the latter very difficult. Men are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. This spiritually enlightening nature is without beginning, as ancient as the Void, subject neither to birth nor to destruction, neither existing nor not existing, neither impure nor pure, neither clamorous nor silent, neither old nor young, occupying no space, having neither inside nor outside, size nor form, colour nor sound. It cannot be looked for or sought, comprehended by wisdom or knowledge, explained in words, contacted materially or reached by meritorious achievement. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, together with all wriggling things possessed of life, share in this great Nirvāņic nature.” – Huang Po

“‘You people are just like drunkards. I don’t know how you manage to keep on your feet in such a sodden condition. Why, everyone will die of laughing at you. It all seems so EASY, SO why do we have to live to see a day like this? Can’t you understand that in the whole Empire of T’ang 2 there are NO “teachers skilled in Zen”?’ At this point, one of the monks present asked: ‘How can you say that? At this very moment, as all can see, we are sitting face to face with one who has appeared in the world 3 to be a teacher of monks and a leader of men!’ ‘Please note that I did not say there is no ZEN,’ answered our Master. ‘I merely pointed out that there are no TEACHERS!’” – Huang Po

“Many people are afraid to empty their minds lest they may plunge into the Void. They do not know that their own Mind is the void.” – Huang Po

“The Bodhisattva’s mind is like the void, for he relinquishes everything and does not even desire to accumulate merits.” – Huang Po

“Practice to prepare you for a journey – into the void – much more than it seems.” – Huang Po

“The perception of a phenomenon is the perception of the Universal Nature, since phenomena and Mind are one and the same.’ It is only because you cling to outward forms that you come to ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘feel’ and ‘know’ things as individual entities. True perception is beyond your powers so long as you indulge in these.” – Huang Po (all Huang Po quotes are from The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, John Blofeld)

the talk ..

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