Inka Speech

by on Mar 9, 2013Igor Pininski JDPSN

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.] 

This hit means that the teacher is a student and the student is a teacher.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

This hit means there is no teacher, there is no student.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

This hit means the teacher is the teacher, the student is the student.

Which of these statements would you like to follow in your practice?

KATZ!

Today is Saturday, the inka ceremony. I thank all my teachers for their teaching.

Because two new teachers appeared at our school today I thought i’s a good occasion to take a closer look at what appeared, what is a teacher and what is a student.

We were all brought up in the world, which is full of names and forms. In our school we also have a lot of names and forms. Today me and Koen received titles: Ji Do Poep Sa Nim. A new name. We also received beautiful kasa, sticks. Different kinds of forms. But if we become attached to these names and forms or if any one of you becomes attached to these names and forms it will be very bad. The teacher’s work will not be possible.

So what is a teacher? What is a student?

A while ago we had a dharma combat here. Everybody could come up and ask his or her questions. Candidates answered these questions. In this situation, who was the teacher and who was the student? At the end everybody said thank you for your teaching. That would imply that the candidates were teachers. But everybody who came tested the candidates, they gave it a try, and the Zen Masters noted down their remarks, which would imply that the candidates were students. So this is that relative world, where everything changes constantly. The teacher is a student and the student is a teacher. In fact, a teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen does the teacher’s work in the short intervals of time. All of his or her time a Zen teacher is a student. And if he’s a good Zen teacher, he’s a beginner-level student. We keep coming back to the beginning. Everybody in the dharma hall does that. Everybody tries to accomplish this in their lives. When we sit in the dharma hall, everybody—Zen masters, Ji Do Poep Sas, senior dharma teachers, dharma teachers, people with five precepts, people who have come here for the first time—everybody does the same thing. We all try to perceive this moment. We all try to perceive this primary point. [Claps his hands.] This very point. Just now. In this point there is no teacher, no student. Everything is one. Everything is complete. The whole univerese is made up of this point. The whole universe is made up of this moment. This moment is the only substance you can find in this universe. Tha’s why from this point [claps his hands] comes the world of truth. The teacher is the teacher, the student is the student. This looks like returning to the world of name and form. But the essence is this primary point from which this world of truth emerges. If we truly perceive clearly [claps his hands] this moment then we can correctly perform our functions as a teacher or as a student.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

Can you see it?

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

Can you hear it?

If you say you understand this teaching this stick will hit you thirty times.

If you say you don’t understand this teaching this stick will also hit you thirty times.

If you say you understand and don’t understand then this stick will hit you sixty times.

So what did you understand?

One mouth finishes talking, many ears continue listening. Thank you.

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