Clear Wind, Bright Moon

Zen Master Seung Sahn once said in one of his commentaries:

Going alone, don't call that Zen
Sitting alone, illuminate silent Zen 
This life is my car, hardly, if rarely, anything happens
These eyes resting peacefully on top of the rock
Why does the wind blow from the West?

Zen Master Seung Sahn's whole life was very busy, teaching and leading retreats, travelling around the world nonstop. What kind of wind is the Zen Master talking about, so that his eyes could rest peacefully on top of the rock? 

Buddha said there are eight kinds of winds, or worldly conditions, that are always blowing in our life: gain and loss, fame and defame, praise and blame, happiness and pain. Nobody in this universe can escape these worldly conditions or winds. Usually we like to have all the positive winds such as gain, fame, praise and happiness; whereas loss, defame, blame and pain are rejected as they are very negative to us. 

When we first started the Zen center in Hong Kong, we had many obstacles and unpleasant comments from all directions. Students who liked our teaching immediately became our students. Some who didn't like our teaching immediately left or prevented other friends from coming. I asked Zen Master Seung Sahn what we should do. He said to me, "You only practice. One student coming is OK, or ten students come, also welcome. Do not check your students; only practice.” What he meant was to return to don't know mind. This don’t know will help us clear all the clouds of checking our gain or loss, and clear the clouds of society's acceptance or rejection. I told Zen Master Seung Sahn that many people were making bad speech about us. He said, "Bad speech is very good; they help us advertise. At the same time we learn from our shortcomings." So defame is not pleasant, but for Zen Master Seung Sahn, he could turn this wind into clear wind and bright moon. He always taught us not to follow somebody's speech. Anytime if one follows or attaches to somebody's action or speech, we are like an arrow. This arrow goes straight to hell. This is suffering. If we do not want to suffer, we have to have the attitude of not attaching to fame or defame. 

There is one essential teaching in our school. Zen Master Seung Sahn always taught us to "put it all down". When we can put it all down, there is one thing that always remains pure and clear, not dependent on any conditions or the coming and going of the eight winds. It does not depend on life and death either. Then what is this pure and clear thing?

If you can find this “one thing”, you will attain Zen Master Seung Sahn's car, and use this car as if hardly anything happens, so our eyes can also rest peacefully on top of the rock. This is truly Clear Wind and Bright Moon. Wishing you in 2014, Year of the Horse, find this “one thing”, attain Zen Master Seung Sahn's car, and use this car freely with wisdom and love with fruitful reward.