Kwan Seum Bosal’s Hat
Closing talk at Mu Sang Sa temple for the 2000 Summer Kyol Che
Thank you all very much for coming here and practicing for three months in our Kyol Che retreat. Kyol Che means “tight.” Today is the end of the retreat and the beginning of a three-month period which we call Hae Jae. Hae Jae means loose, not tight. If you have mind, then tight-style practicing is necessary. But if you have no mind, then both Hae Jae and Kyol Che are not necessary. So, Hae Jae and Kyol Che mean you still have mind, you still have a problem. So, coming here to practice is very important.
Hae Jae and Kyol Che mean to practice together. Together action is very important. Among practicing people there are three types: Low-class: these people cannot practice by themselves. Outside conditions and situations easily control them, so they always have a problem practicing. That’s low-class. Middle-class: This type of person has a problem when they are in a city. If they go to a mountain to sit, no problem. At that time they and nature become one. But a high-class student can go to a city – go anywhere – no problem. Any kind of action is no problem. That’s a high-class student. You can understand for yourself if you are a high-, middle- or low-class student. I cannot say. Next, you must decide your direction. Deciding to practice is very important. Why do you come into this world? Human beings originally have no meaning and no direction. But if you can find your correct direction and help all beings, then great direction appears. That’s your job. That’s a human being’s correct job.
So what is a human being’s correct job? Human beings are originally nothing. The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng said “originally nothing.” But that’s just an idea; you must attain “nothing” and find your correct job. This is very important. The Heart Sutra says no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. This is our practicing technique. See, not see. Hear, not hear. Taste, not taste. Only one mind. One mind means no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. Then Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi appears; this is truth. Open eyes. Open ears. Open mouth. Open your body. Open your mind. Then you can see: my job AAAAAAHHH… I understand my job! Understanding your job means Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi. That’s “truth.” You must attain truth. Next, how does truth correctly function? Truth’s correct function is to help all beings. That’s a very important point. That’s the meaning of gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. Everyone attains nirvana together – together action. Nirvana is the place of together action.
So, our Kyol Che is also a together action place. Together put it all down: my opinion, my condition, my situation. Then correct opinion, correct condition and correct situation appear. Then do it! Don’t check. Don’t check inside, don’t check outside, don’t check any side. Only this moment, what is your job? Moment to moment what’s yours? Your body is not yours – it will soon disappear. What is yours? This world has many things: sky, tree, animals, house, everything. In your pocket, you have money. That’s your money? No, haha!! That’s not yours. What is yours? Everything is always changing, changing. Time and space always are controlling you. Time and space control everything. Then how can we take away time and space? Everybody understands primary point. BOOM! OK? So I ask everyone, where are you coming from? [Everyone hits floor.] Very good! You have already cut off all thinking. That’s primary point. If you understand primary point, you understand the universe.
So first, you must become one. If you can become one then slowly your eyes open, then ears, tongue, body, and mind open. Open mind is Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi. Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi means that the truth appears. Sky is blue, tree is green, dog is barking woof woof, floor is yellow, cushion is brown – everything is the truth. What is not the truth? Everything is the truth! Before nothing – attain nothing. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing. Then next attain truth. If you attain the truth, then what? Then the Heart Sutra says: gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. That means together action. Together action is to help all beings. And not only in this life; life, after life, after life continue to try, try, try. That’s our direction.
This world is stupid. If you watch television, or listen to the radio, you will hear politicians say, “I am this and this and this. You choose me and I will do this, I have this and this.” But what do they really have? Ha ha. “I, I, I, I,” then “I, I, I, I.” Ha ha. That’s stupid! “I, I, I, I.” But we have no “I.” Very important is to take away this “I.” Then WOW, I understand my job! Only help all beings.
Usually human beings are always checking: “I could become famous, I could have a lot of money.” Then their “I, I, I, I” becomes stronger and stronger. That’s a problem. Look at animals. Animals never help each other. Mother or father helps a little baby animal, but when they grow up, watch it! That’s animal mind. A dog doesn’t understand a cat’s mind. A cat doesn’t understand a snake’s mind. A snake doesn’t understand a bug’s mind. They don’t understand each other. It’s like the Soviet Union: BOOM! it disappears. Then many countries appear with many countries fighting each other. Many problems. That’s our human world: only my opinion, my condition and my situation. Only holding, holding, holding – many problems.
Nowadays many human beings kill a lot of animals. Not only one by one. Then they eat them. So, today if you go to a city and look at the people they have a human being’s face but their action and mind are not human beings’. Snake, lion or cat. Not so much human beings’ mind. What percent human beings’ mind do people have these days? But all of you came here to practice for three months or even just a short time – that’s a very important mind. That’s a correct human being?s mind. That’s a human being’s correct direction.
If you look around this world you see that most people don’t understand correct direction. They don’t understand correct practicing. So everyone coming here to practice – that’s very wonderful. That means: find my true self and find correct way, truth and correct life. But this three months is a short time. Think about Buddha; he sat under the bodhi tree for six years! Only three months – not enough, ha ha. Look at the Buddha, sitting under the bodhi tree. He didn’t eat so much. He didn’t move so much – he only sat. Not moving, then finally one morning he saw a star and PTCHEEUU!! he got enlightenment. So everyone who came here to practice got some enlightenment, yeah? Small enlightenment, not big enlightenment, ha ha. Small enlightenment is OK; big enlightenment is OK, it doesn’t matter. But if your direction is clear then someday you will be the same as Buddha. Everybody will be Buddha. Buddha’s enlightenment is possible. That’s our direction.
So today is Hae Jae day. Hae Jae means to take away your like/dislike mind. That means take away life and death mind, take away opposites thinking. Completely take “I” all away, then that is Hae Jae. Your minds are of many types: money type, desire type, so one by one take them all away…? take away, take away. Sitting time is usually no problem, but when you come out your mind moves a lot. If you see or hear something, then your mind is moving – ah wonderful! I like this, I don’t like that; many minds appear. Then you will have a problem. If your like/dislike mind appears, then you will have a problem. If your like/dislike mind becomes smaller, smaller, smaller… then nothing. No mind, then no problem. If you have mind, you have a problem. Our direction is to take away like/dislike mind.
The statue on the altar behind me is Kwan Seum Bosal. Kwan Seum Bosal means great love, great compassion, that’s our great love and compassion mind. Our job is only to help other people life after life. If you look closely you will notice that Kwan Seum Bosal always wears a hat. Amitabul Buddha lives in this hat so he can control all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Amitabul doesn’t believe in Kwan Seum Bosal, so he must live in the bodhisattva’s hat; he’s always checking Kwan Seum Bosal’s action. Ha ha ha! So today is Hae Jae – be careful! – your true Amitabul in your hat is always watching you! Ha ha ha. So, moment to moment, put it all down: put down your idea, your condition and your situation, then the correct way will appear right in front of you. The name for that is the great bodhisattva way. That is the meaning of the Heart Sutra’s gate gate paragate parasamgate – we all go to nirvana together. That is the Buddha’s teaching.
So everybody practiced strongly for a short time or three months. That experience is your treasure. Your treasure is very important. This treasure will grow, grow, grow, until it fills the whole universe; this is very important. Then on Hae Jae day return to your home or stay at the temple, but continue to practice. Continue practicing means don’t forget your correct direction. Life after life after life continue the Bodhisattva way. That’s correct direction. So, I hope everybody practices hard moment to moment, keeps your correct direction, and helps save all beings from suffering. Thank you.