What Is Zen?

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The Burning Forest - Bodhisattva Vows
Enlightened Action, Not Well Intended Action
Questions on Birth and Death
Notion Sickness
Enlightenment For Who?
Don't Be An Expert
The Buddha's Enlightenment
Misconceptions on Buddhism
Zen Master Seung Sahn : Four Times Five Equals Twenty
Zen Master Dae Kwang: Zen Means No Point Of View
Zen Master Soeng Hyang : Kill Your Eyes
Zen Master Wu Kwang : What Is Your Original Face?
Zen Master Wu Bong : Ecology Of Mind
Zen Master Ji Bong: Four Walls Of The Cage
Zen Master Hae Kwang : First Time Meeting Zen Master Seung Sahn-Very Funny Story!
About Kwan Um Zen
About Rinzai Zen
About Soto Zen
About Obaku Zen
About Vietnamese Zen
Great Buddhist Forum
Who Are These People? (Pictures)
Old Zen Masters, Book List & History of Buddhism in General
Zen Meditation: Posture & Tecniques ( Step by Step )

Zen means understanding your true self, so we ask, "who am I?" An eminant teacher once held a cup of water to a student asking, "What is this?" The student replied,"that is a cup." "You are attached to name an form, sure a cup is a cup, but what is a cup?" This student was stumped and did not know how to reply so he answered, "I don't know." Wasting no more time this Zen Master tilted back this cup of water, and drank from it commenting, "that is a cup, OK?" The student bowed saying, "thank you for having showed me my way." This teaching is an interesting one, who am I has alot to do with that question, "what is this?" The student's reply was simply, "I don't know." That's great, but there is actually a very simple answer beyond all speech and words for any kind of questioning. Can you find it? That drinking, this demonstrated the true nature of a cup. Of course a cup is a cup, and yes it certainly holds water or liquid. But that is mere intellectual understanding of a cup, if I want to understand the cup's correct function, I need to drink what is in it. So how does this teaching tie into that question, "Who am I?"-you must find it! What is a human beings direction? A human beings correct function? Everything a human being hears, smells, tastes, touches, and views is already the complete truth. There is no explanation needed at any of those points. Because in that hearing, that smelling, that tasting, that touching, that viewing-you already understand. All of those points are completely before all thinking. No actual thoughts are needed to carry out any one of those tasks. So whenever you are carrying any one of these out, you already sit with your true self. Everything is already explained and understood, though there was no real explanation. The sun rises. I did not ask the sun to rise. I did not make the sun rise. The sun simply rises in the sky. That is the truth. The sun is not correct or incorrect, good or bad, happy or sad. The sun is the sun. But what is the sun? There is light on my floor. Human beings are always making the sun's of the world something else, however. Always creating soemthing, making nothing something or something nothing. But in that viewing, before "sun", before hot, or rays, or orange come about;you completely understand. There is no need for name or form in that viewing of the sun. We can apply this to any phenomenon you can think of. Just try it. If everything in this cosmos is interconnected, what is your direction? A human beings correct function? Many people have the intellectual capacity to understand Zen, Christianity, Hinduism, but understanding is only in my head. It is only the brain of the cat. Where is this cat's legs? Why is a human beings here? What are human beings supposed to be doing? Every animal has an instinct. Lions will hunt. Birds will watch over their young. Monkeys will swing from tree to tree. What then is a human beings instinct? Maybe alot of us don't understand because we think entirely too much. Alot of human beings have become hungry ghosts. A hungry ghost is a person that has been given a mouth the size of a pinhead, and a stomach the size of the universe. No matter how much food such a person crams into this mouth, their stomach is never once satisfied. Zen means help everyone. Zen means do not pollute this world, other beings. Zen means understanding your relationship to all of this. Why are you doing such and such? A lot of people don't understand that. If human beings are to survive, what do human beings need to cultivate? War, anger, and greed? Or love, compassion, and kindness? Love means that you give. What are you doing? Is that clear to you? This is a human being's instinct. But through living in the realm of hungry ghosts, we lose and neglect it. We come to see our survival as more important than mankind as a whole's survival. But this sort of thinking and self serving action will come back to you. If you live a life of doing things only for you, then you do not understand yourself-nor do you understand a human being's instinct. The entire cosmos is one large tree. If I think that chopping large or even small chunks from the trunk of this tree won't hurt myself-the branch-I am delusional. We all share one body in this world. If I stab my heart howver, my body dies. So what is your purpose, your instinct? Bodhisattva vows. Help all beings everywhere, even if this takes 10,000 years. Only try.