Go Drink Tea

In this world, as well as in our life, many things are in duality: negative and positive, good and bad.  All of us have probably experienced this. For instance, when we hear something negative, we feel bad.  At that moment, our life is not on the middle path.

Learning Zen gives us a way out – to be free from good and bad, free from our emotions.  It leads us back to the middle path.  Zen Master Seung Sahn often said, "Our original state is like a mirror. When red appears, it reflects red. When white appears, it reflects white.  Our practice is like training or rehearsal, training ourselves to become a mirror."

When hearing others' speech, only reflect; then that is accepting reality.  Salt is salty, sugar is sweet.  This is truth. Seeing truth sometimes cannot help us, especially when  someone says something irritating.  Perhaps, at that moment, instead of getting angry you could invite him to have a cup of tea.  In many kong-ans, when someone said something to Zen Master Joju, he only answered, "Go drink tea." Please use this action of drinking tea to help ourselves and others to stop for a moment. This pause is not to suppress something. This pause is to help us stop chasing after our emotions and bring our mind back to the middle path. Be calm by taking a deep breath. This will help our mind become bright and clear again.

Zen also teaches us to be our true master. How? In every moment of life, whenever emotion arises, just ask the question, "What is this?" When we have no answer, we call this cutting through thinking, or don't know. We can then return to the middle path and no longer be a slave to our emotions. We should use our life to rehearse continuously, until nothing can bother us. Then you are free and you are the master.

May the Year 2013 be a year we use to become our own master. May this master keep a humble mind with a strong center. Anything that comes to us, may we transform it into Clear and Bright. May we all correctly use all situations to make harmony with great love and wisdom. This world needs this quality of life.





Happy New Year