What Am I Koan

"Do you have a Koan?" That was the first question Korean Zen Master, Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim asked me. I had heard about Koans before - mainly from books. I didn't really think they were essential for Zen practice. But here I was, sitting in front of an actual...

Going for Refuge

The Buddha walked around a lot. He would go around from city, to village, to town - all over the countryside, making known the Dharma or truth that he had discovered. He didn't read from a book - he spoke form his heart. He had an uncanny knack of truly being able to...

What is Zen Chanting?

Perceive Universal Sound This interview was first printed in The American Theosophist, May 1985 American Theosophist: What is Zen chanting? Zen Master Seung Sahn: Chanting is very important in our practice. We call it "chanting meditation." Meditation means keeping a...

Why We Chant

One Sunday evening, after a Dharma talk at the International Zen Center of New York, a student asked Zen Master Seung Sahn, “Why do you chant? Isn’t sitting Zen enough?” Soensanim said, “This is a very important matter. We bow together, chant together, eat together,...

The Eightfold Path

However we've come to know about Buddhism we probably have a faint idea that the Buddhist teachings will lead an individual to find happiness via a Path or Way. The Buddha said that it was an ancient path that he had found. A timeless path. One, that if travelled will...

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

“Someone comes to the Zen centre smoking a cigarette. He blows smoke in the Buddha’s face and drops ashes on the Buddha’s head.” If you’re standing there what can you do? The abbot comes running in. “You are crazy! Why are you dropping ashes on the Buddha?” But the...

Just Seeing is Buddha Nature

If you want to understand the realm of Buddha, Keep a mind which is clear like space. So, let all thinking and all external desires fall far away. Let your mind go anyplace, with no hindrance.  Then what is the one pure and clear thing? Then, what is keeping a mind...

Patrul Rinpoche’s Pointing Out Instructions

Nyoshul Lungtok, who later became one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of recent times, followed his teacher Patrul Rinpoche for about eighteen years. During all that time, they were almost inseparable. So great was the love and devotion between them that Patrul...

Zen Pointing Out Instructions

A quick and expedient way of awakening... The master takes his staff and points directly to your heart saying, Listen here! This! This! A thousand times this! The seeker is what's sought. Originally the mind is pristine, vast and expansive like a clear blue sky. All...

Don’t Know Mind

A young monk tentatively asked the Master, “Teacher, why did Bodhidharma come from the west?” The Master looked out the window and said, “The cypress tree in the courtyard.” The Zen Master whacks his stick against the floor. You're startled, heart racing, eyes wide...

NEW BOOK!!! Just Released…

The Tao of Abundance
Crazy Wisdom: Zen Stories to Inspire and Enlighten

CRAZY WISDOM: ZEN STORIES EBOOK FOR FREE!

In this book you'll fnd some of my favourite Zen stories. 

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