Right Speech

Question: As far as keeping that open mind, that Don’t-Know mind, how does that relate to our preconception that it is good for me to have right speech?
 
Zen Master Bon Soeng: It would raise the question, “What is right speech?” It’s a nice idea to have right speech, but right speech this moment may not be right speech this moment. There isn’t a formula that you can fill in. There are ways that you can talk about right speech in general, but in specific, it depends on the moment. Zen is not theoretical. So all of these ideas play out in the very moment that we’re alive. It doesn’t matter what we say about right speech. In this moment, what is right speech? Everything is concrete and actually alive in the moment, not our understanding about it.
Continue Reading...

Mind Makes Everything

I think if you look at your own life, you can see that the way you hold your mind and the way you view and perceive these situations that occur in our lives, that it creates the way we respond to them. Our responses are what create the next event. So, our likes and dislikes are really what create the shape and the texture of our lives. If you investigate, you will discover that your likes and dislikes are relative. They are created by our idea, by our conditioning, by our preferences, by our desires, but they are not really the truth.
 
By Zen Master Bon Soeng
Continue Reading...

1 Day Online Retreat October 17th

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 1-day retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, and private interviews with Jason Quinn. Everyone is invited to participate, regardless of experience or traditions.

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

Continue Reading...

How To Trust Your Experience

Student: We like to say “Don’t Know”, as was mentioned in the meditation instruction today. Is there anything that we do know? Is there anything that we’re allowed to know? (laughter)

Zen Master Bon Soeng: Do you see this robe?
 
Student: Yes

ZMBS: What color is it?

Student: Grey

ZMBS: So already you know that. I already said (hits floor) your mind is clear. Trust your experience, you already can see, you already can smell, taste, touch and think. Trust that. Wait, because in the next moment (hits floor) again clear your mind. Don’t hold on to anything, but moment to moment to moment this whole world is yours. Your eyes work, your nose works, you’re lucky, some people’s eyes and nose don’t work, but yours do. So use them and trust your experience. Don’t get lost in the dream. Then you already understand.
Continue Reading...

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...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Come Join Us!

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