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Su Bong Zen Monastery and Gaksu International Zen Center provide Zen training according to the teaching and guidelines of Zen Master Seung Sahn, the 78th patriarch of Zen from his lineage of Korean masters. As part of the international Kwan Um School of Zen, the heart of our teaching is in the daily practice, retreat programs and together action. Students and visitors eat together, work together and meditate together - gradually attaining a clear and compassionate mind from moment to moment, and are able to help all beings.

In Zen, formal practice consists of sitting meditation, bowing, chanting and kong-an interviews. These forms are used as techniques to perceive our before-thinking mind, our don’t know mind. With practice, we are able to use our Zen training to attain wisdom and compassion, to use them in our everyday life situations to attain correct situation, correct relationship and correct function moment to moment.

What Is Zen?

Zen is very simple... What are you? Zen Master Seung Sahn Zen is very simple... What are you? Zen Master Seung Sahn

Zen is very simple... What are you?

-- Zen Master Seung Sahn

In this whole world everyone searches for happiness outside, but nobody understands their true self inside.

Everybody says, "I" -- "I want this, I am like that..." But nobody understands this "I." Before you were born, where did your I come from? When you die, where will your I go? If you sincerely ask, "what am I?" sooner or later you will run into a wall where all thinking is cut off. We call this "don't know."

Zen is keeping this "don't know" mind always and everywhere.

When walking, standing, sitting, lying down, speaking, being silent, moving, being still. At all times, in all places, without interruption -- what is this? One mind is infinite kalpas.

Meditation in Zen means keeping don't-know mind when bowing, chanting and sitting Zen. This is formal Zen practice. And when doing something, just do it. When driving, just drive; when eating, just eat; when working, just work.

Finally, your don't-know mind will become clear. Then you can see the sky, only blue. You can see the tree, only green. Your mind is like a clear mirror. Red comes, the mirror is red; white comes the mirror is white. A hungry person comes, you can give him food; a thirsty person comes, you can give her something to drink. There is no desire for myself, only for all beings. That mind is already enlightenment, what we call Great Love, Great Compassion, the Great Bodhisattva Way. It's very simple, not difficult! So Buddha said that all beings have Buddha-nature (enlightenment nature). But Zen Master Joju said that a dog has no Buddha-nature. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? If you find that, you find the true way.

What Is Zen?