The Way of Korean Zen

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Attend an Event Oct. Buddhism is a series of four classes offered in the fall and spring and focusing on an aspect of Zen Buddhism. Students are welcome to attend individual classes or the whole series. The morning[ Sesshin is an opportunity for intensive, sustained Zen practice in a community over a number of days.

The way of Korean Zen

It is a time to devote your full attention to the rhythms of your body, feelings, and mind. View Calendar. We are trying to develop a sensation of openness, of wonderment. As we throw out the question What is this? There is no place we can rest.


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We are letting go of our need for knowledge and security, and our body and mind themselves become a question. You are giving yourself over entirely to the question. You are trying to develop a sensation of questioning and an inquiry that brings about the sense of bewilderment you feel when you have lost something.

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You are going somewhere, you put your hand in your pocket to grab your car keys. They are not there. You check this corner and that corner of the pocket again and again, and there is nothing. This is very similar to the sensation you are trying to develop in Zen questioning. Concentration and inquiry are brought together with this technique. Concentration is developed as you come back again and again to the words of the question, back to the present moment.

The Way of Korean Zen - Kusan Sŏnsa, Kusan Sunim - Google книги

The question is the anchor of your meditation, the fixed point. By cultivating concentration, you allow for a certain calmness and spaciousness to develop. The process of inquiry is vivid, because you are not repeating the words like a mantra—the words themselves are not sacred, nor do they have a special resonance. They are just the diving board from which you dive into the pool of questioning. By repeatedly questioning with the energy and interest of someone who has just discovered she has lost something, you evoke a brightness in your whole being. This questioning gives you energy, because there is no place to rest, and it allows for more possibilities and less certainty.

This practice is just being with the moment and looking deeply, asking What is this? If you meditate in this way, your mind will become more flexible, and you will start to see that actually you have more choices in your actions and behavior than you thought possible. This seeing will allow you to respond creatively to thoughts by knowing what you are thinking and realizing when you come into contact with a new thought. Normally, a thought emerges so fast that you are not even aware of its arising. You just think it and act impulsively or habitually. When you meditate, sitting quietly, trying to focus on the question What is this?

Generally it is a thought of one kind or another. The meditation is intended not to stop you from thinking but to help you discover what and how you think. There are different practical ways to meditate with this method. The easiest way is to ask the question in combination with the breath. You breathe in, and as you breathe out, you ask, What is this?

Master Kusan used to suggest asking the question by making it like a circle. You start with What is this? Another way is to just ask the question once and remain for a while with the sensation of questioning. As soon as it fades away, you ask it once more, staying with the pregnant sense of questioning until it dissipates again.

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You have to be very careful not to ask the question with too tight a mental focus. Usually it is recommended that you ask the question as if it were coming from the belly or even the toes.

You need to bring the energy down and not tighten it like a knot in the mind. If the question makes you feel agitated, speculative, or confused, just come back to a simple and calming breath practice for a while before returning to the question. Keep in mind that you are not trying to force yourself to find an answer.

You are giving yourself wholeheartedly to the act of questioning. The answer is in the questioning itself. It is like a child who has never seen snow. You tell him it is white and cold. He thinks it is like a piece of white paper in the fridge. You take him near a mountain and show him the top.

He says that it looks like coconut ice cream. It is only when he touches the snow, feels it, plays with it, and tastes it that he really knows what snow is. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. A great little gem of a book. Most books start with the somewhat gradual diffusion of the Dharma into the Peninsula during the Three Kingdoms period in a rather general sense, make some mention of Wonhyo Kim, and then end with the power of the monasteries being curtained in with the rise of the Yi Dynasty and the founding of Joseon.

And then This book gi A great little gem of a book.

This book gives a general overview with enough interesting details, names, dates, and places that the interested person has a good reference source to look into later. Stephen Batchelor, who wrote the Introduction and historical information, fills in a lot of those gaps, including Korean Buddhism's origins in China and touching upon India , and even covering the developments of Buddhism during the Joseon Era, the monastic merger with the Japanese sangha, and the fate and fortunes of Buddhism since independence.

The meat of the book so to speak is a translation of some of Kusan Sunim's lectures on hwadu meditation. It's hard to summarize or describe, except that Sunim is poetic, descriptive, and experienced. Aug 25, C. Shaw rated it really liked it. I found this book in the library of the Buddhist temple in which I am currently living in South Korea. This book begins with a nice historical overview of the evolution of Buddhism in South Korea from its early arrival to the development of its current form of Seon.

Kusan Sunim then explains the role of meditation in Seon practice, and gives advice to enhance practice and avoid common pitfalls. This book has been very helpful for me in my meditation practice. In content, it is similar to the Dha I found this book in the library of the Buddhist temple in which I am currently living in South Korea. In content, it is similar to the Dharma Talks given by the head monk at this temple, but even more thorough. Kusan Sunim does an excellent job of explaining the goal and process of meditation and practice in a clear way.

He does deliver his content forcefully, and this may not appeal to some readers. However, I think it might help to remember that his talks were delivered to a very serious group of practitioners. I also do not think this should serve as anyone's first introduction to Buddhism. However, if you are interested in learning about the history of Korean Buddhism or gaining an understanding of the practice of Seon meditation, you will enjoy reading this book and find it helpful. Jun 26, Nawfal rated it really liked it Shelves: asian , buddha , religion. This book has, basically, four sections to it.

So, that was a really great way to start this text. However, the second section, while having brief glimpses of something good, is really a mess for me. Maybe other readers will have better experiences, but I couldn't make This book has, basically, four sections to it. Maybe other readers will have better experiences, but I couldn't make heads or tales of it.

Seemed like The third section was similar to the first, but with more specific points of interest being tackled. And finally, the last section was very good - but as expected. Overall, this is definitely a text I can recommend to all readers. Its good for intermediate and advanced students of Buddhism, I think. At points the brutal honesty of its contents is shocking, but also refreshing.

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The lectures and some of the verses were just like that - you know that it was deeply meaningful to that person, but not nearly as impactful to me. Still it was enlightening and will hopefully help me understand Korean cu 3. Still it was enlightening and will hopefully help me understand Korean culture more on our upcoming trip!