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May 30, 2011


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I heard at first ZM Ko Bong rejected ZM SS's answer. Are these his second ones? Or are these latter comments?

It's the first time I've actually heard any of ZMSS's answers. In the books I've read, it always skips that part. They're more grounded than I'd imagined. I always thought they must have been mystical or metaphoric. I like them! ^_^


Very smart indeed..shake preconceptions at the first gate, make students question everything including teacher's words, make them see how ego wants to control everything but cannot, things arise based on conditions and disperse the same way and describe non-attainment in third answer. Bows to the master and bows to you for posting this.

Ben Howard

Barry -

This is a provocative post. I'm puzzled by Master Seung Sahn's comment on the first "gate." To me at least his comment implies that the "cloud" is not preconceptions in general, as I would have thought, but the master's teaching in particular. Could you shed any light on this?


Barry Briggs

Joseph, ZM Ko Bong did reject ZM Seung Sahn's answers to a different kong-an (Mouse Eats Cat Food). The comments above are not ZMSS's answers to the three kong-ans, but his commentary on them. (Supposed to be hints!)

MyoChi and Ben, thank you for your comments. The "First Gate" question is what ZM Seung Sahn called an "attack kong-an." This style of question quickly reveals a student's attachments to name and form, unless the student can respond with an appropriate parry. When we're attacked, we can't spend time analyzing the situation - we must respond. Imagine that you're walking in the mountains and a tiger appears in your path! (Thinking about Keui-shan this morning, I guess.)


Thanks for this, Barry. I've learned a lot from your "Zen Master" series here.

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