Kyol Che: Together Completely
The following talk was given at the opening ceremony of winter Kyol Che 1983.
It’s very nice to be here in this brand new Dharma room at the beginning of Kyol Che. Soen Sa Nim gave us a 1983 New Year poem last night, and in it he asked, “So where can you find today?” We all understand: Today is Sunday, January 2nd, the beginning of Kyol Che, already enough.
Kyol Che means tight Dharma, tied together. So, we are all lucky to be here, really lucky. It’s not by accident that we’re here; we have no choice. Having no choice is our great luck. Coming into this world we came empty handed with no choice. Going out of this world we will go empty handed, and we will have no choice. That’s already enough. But why are we here? It says in the Compass of Zen:
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.
Then what is the one pure and clear thing?
If we find that, we will find our human nature. But how can we find it? We have this opportunity, this really lucky opportunity to come together for 90 days of tight Dharma. Doing this means finding the one pure and clear thing. Not only finding it, this one clear thing, but participating in it, doing the one pure and clear thing.
Kyol Che means the functioning of the one pure and clear thing. So, looking for something else is not necessary. Only the action, the experience of sitting together, bowing together, eating together, working together, depending on each other. That’s already pure and clear. That’s already human nature. That means we are already complete, but we desire something more, so everything seems not complete.
Kyol Che means practicing and allowing ourselves to let this one pure and clear thing, our human nature, function freely together with others. That means this hand never checks this foot. Where is this foot going? This hand never checks that. This ear never checks this eye. This eye never checks this nose. This nose never checks this mouth. Eyes just see; ears only hear, each in its own function doing something completely together. Then, when all perceptions come together, the right action is possible.
Kyol Che really means a dependence on each other, caring about each other, working with each other with no hindrance, in other words with no I, with no choice.
There’s not too much more I can say. If you allow this to happen for 90 or 21 days or even one day, if you put it all down, and as Mu Sang Su Nim said last night, “Only plunge into it,” then already that’s enough. If you don’t understand that, then only go straight don’t know. Don’t want anything. If you make something you’ll hinder everything. You will hinder your human nature. Just let it flow freely. How do you let it flow freely? At 4:45 a.m. you wake up. At 5:00 you bow. At 5:30 you sit. At 7:30 you eat breakfast. At 8:00 you have work period. That’s flowing freely. If you allow that to happen, then, not only during Kyol Che but after Kyol Che, when you leave, everything can flow freely, everywhere. If you don’t understand then only go straight don’t know and do it.
Don’t you know that don’t-know is your best friend. You don’t need any other friend. If you let this don’t-know friend become deeper and deeper (more friendly), then finally you will come face to face with your best friend, and he will say, “Hey!” Then…Ah haaa, that’s my friend; not only my friend, but God’s friend, your friend, Buddha’s friend, demon’s friend. Then you will understand that everybody has this same friend. This don’t-know friend is a friend to everyone, a best friend to everyone. Don’t know everything; everything don’t know. But even if you attain this, one more step is necessary. Just let don’t function, then when Un Mun’s shit stick appears in front of us, our human nature will naturally expose itself. It already does everyday, but we cannot believe it.
I hope that during these 90 days of Kyol Che we only go straight and keep a mind which doesn’t want anything, a mind which doesn’t hold anything or check anything, but only acts together with others as one body dependent upon each other. No one more important or less important. Just one body functioning together. If we do that, then we can find out what human nature means and attain the words, “May I help you?” When we attain that then peace in this world is possible. You’ve already made that choice. So, I hope for these 90 days we all make an effort that is not too tight and not too loose, but just our own sincere effort, little by little for numberless kalpas, just flowing. And with that, save all beings from suffering.