3 Day Online Retreat September 18th - 19th

Retreat is a time to look inside and investigate our life. It is an opportunity to clear our mind of habitual thinking and access our wisdom and compassion.

Empty Gate Zen Center has closed and canceled all public practices due to the COVID-19 situation. Retreats will be held online until further notice.

This 3 day retreat will include bowing, chatting, extended sitting, walking meditation, and private interviews with Zen Master Bon Soeng. Everyone is invited to participate, regardless of experience or traditions.

For info and registrations: https://www.emptygatezen.com/online-retreat-3

Continue Reading...

Accepting Your Life

You have to accept your life. Accept does not mean "like", accept does not mean it's a good idea or a good thing. Accept means that's the truth. One of the important things that the Buddha talked about was that what we perceive and what we think is not necessarily the truth. Because the truth gets colored by our opinions, conditions, and situations.

Zen Master Seung Sahn talked about letting go or putting down our opinions, conditions, and situations in order to actually see clearly what it is that's going on in front of us. That is a key point that comes up over and over again in Zen practice and Zen literature. If you can't see clearly, then you're acting on faulty information. If you act on faulty information, you come up with faulty results. So it's almost a prerequisite to be able to clearly perceive what is the situation and accepting "what is" is a good start.

By Zen Master Bon Soeng
Continue Reading...

Clear View

If we have some idea of what we are or who we are, we usually have some view of the world. It may be a religious view, political view, a man or woman view, monastic or layperson, even a Zen view. All of these views have their place, but if we are attached to any view, we can no longer see the truth. This is ignorance. We ignore the truth by seeing the world through our own attached view. And many times we think our view is correct. This attachment results in fear and anger, causing many human beings to respond to the world that results in suffering for others and dissatisfaction for themselves.

If we are sincere and diligent in our practice, the way of ignorance, anger, and greed can turn into wisdom, love, and compassion. If we can return to our true selves and perceive the truth of this world without attaching to any view, then it is possible to help ourselves and all those around us.
 
By Jason Quinn, JDPSN
Continue Reading...

Everything is Changing

Everything is always changing. That’s the truth of our human world. The earth is spinning on its axis. That moves the wind, that moves time, that moves space and it creates change. We either like what we have and don’t want to lose it so we fight the change. Or we think our life should be different than it is, so we want it to change and we want the world to change in a particular way. But there are all these outside forces that are at play that we don’t have control over, so we suffer. The truth is everything is always changing. Freedom comes when you allow the change to happen. Suffering comes when we resist change. So simple.
 
By Zen Master Bon Soeng
Continue Reading...

Clear Intention

If we are not clear on our intention, then our life is haphazard and we just increase the suffering in the world. But if our intention is clear, it is possible in the moment of action, correct function can appear. Maybe in that moment, we put down our I, mine, me......our desire, anger, and ignorance. Then our eyes are clear enough to perceive the suffering in the world and we're able to offer a hand to help.
 
One day, Zen Master Seung Sahn was talking to a student in a retreat and he said, “If you think you can, maybe you can. If you think you can’t, you cannot.” So how we hold our mind is very important. A Don’t-Know mind is not a stupid mind. A Don’t-Know mind is not a slothful mind. A Don’t-Know mind is not a desirous mind. It is a clear, open, alive, moment of wonder, with the intention to help this world. That combination can light up the world and offer a little peace and maybe a little help to the suffering that goes on. But if our...
Continue Reading...

Purpose of Zen

That's Zen mind. It's not being perfect. It's not being able to do everything right, and do it in such a way that somebody will tell this wonderful story about you that a thousand years from now people will still be talking about. It's simply paying attention, meeting the moment, and helping. Our teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "The purpose of Zen is to attain your true self and help others." So the helping others, that's pretty clear. Not judgmental, not with any sense of superiority. Attain your true self. What am I? Just help.
 
By Zen Master Bon Soeng
Continue Reading...

Wisdom, Love, and Compassion

A little over 2500 years ago, the Buddha realized his enlightenment. Since that time, Buddhism has spread all over the world. There are now many styles of Buddhism across the globe. There is Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Zen Buddhism. Then there is Chinese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, Korean Buddhism, South American Buddhism, American Buddhism. Many kinds of Buddhism. So, the Buddha perceived a star and realized enlightenment. What kind of Buddhism was that?

If we have some idea of what we are or who we are, we also have some view of the world. It may be a religious view, political view, a man or woman view, us and them view, even a Zen view. All of these views have their place, but if we are attached to any view, we can no longer see the truth. This is ignorance. We ignore the truth by seeing the world through our own attached view. And many times we think our view is correct. This attachment results in fear and anger, which causes...

Continue Reading...

Clear Seeing, Clear Action

The Buddha talked about clear seeing. In order to clearly see, we have to let go of what's clouding our vision. What clouds our vision is this concept of "I". The concept of "I" fixes the world in a certain way. Let go of the concept of "I" and we can perceive the moment clearly. When we can perceive the moment clearly, we can see our relationship to the moment. And if our sight is clear, and our sense of our relationship is clear, our action is a natural unfolding of the moment. But, hold on to our opinion, keep our concept, and our ideas to keep "I" safe, then what unfolds is an old story that gets played over and over and over again.
 
By Zen Master Bon Soeng
Continue Reading...

1 Day Online Retreat June 20th

Retreat is a time to look inside and investigate our life. It is an opportunity to clear our mind of habitual thinking and access our wisdom and compassion.

Empty Gate Zen Center has closed and canceled all public practices due to the COVID-19 situation. Retreats will be held online until further notice. 

1 day retreats include extended sitting, walking meditation, and private interviews with Zen Master Bon Soeng. Everyone is invited to participate, regardless of experience or traditions. 

To register: https://emptygatezen.com/pl/157750

For more info: https://www.emptygatezen.com/online-retreat

Continue Reading...

What Is Enough Mind?

"Enough mind" means you’ve got enough. You don’t need anything else. The First Noble Truth states that life is suffering. Sometimes we say life is unsatisfactory. Why is it unsatisfactory? It always needs to be a little bit different. But if life doesn’t need to be any different than it is now, where is the dissatisfaction? That’s "enough mind."
 
We suffer because we either want things to be different than they are now, or we’re afraid that they’re going to change and we’re going to lose what we have. So if we can just go with what is, there’s no suffering. But there’s a little bit of a problem even with that. Because if we don’t suffer, we have no empathy. So "enough mind" includes the suffering. It doesn’t get rid of the suffering. It may get rid of the sense that things should be different, but it doesn’t mean we just fall into a puddle and allow things to get all messed up. "Enough mind" frees us to...
Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Come Join Us!

Subscribe to our email for the latest in news and events.