For All Beings



Myong An Sunim
Myong An Sunim,
Abbot of Haeng Won Zen Centre

For each and every day until he was sixty years old, Zen Master Seung Sahn would do one thousand prostrations every day. He would get up a couple of hours before everyone else at the Zen Centre and do nine hundred prostrations by himself. Then, after everyone got up for morning practice, he would join them for the daily one hundred and eight prostrations.

One of his students wondered why he did this so one day, he asked him, "Dae Soen Sa Nim, you already got enlightenment and are a great Zen Master. Why is it that you have to get up so early every morning to do one thousand prostrations?"

He replied simply, "Because my students don't do it. So, I do it for them."

Until the end of his life, his practice was to constantly recite the Great Dharani. When he wasn't talking or eating, he would be reciting the mantra. He would stop to speak and after he finished, he would return to the point where he left off.

I realized that when Dae Soen Sa Nim encouraged us to "Try, try, try" and "Just do it" in our practice and everyday life, it wasn't just teaching for us. It was exactly how he practiced and lived his life.

He was a great Zen Master who truly walked his talk. His life and teaching had the mark of absolute authenticity. That's why many others and I believed in him, his teaching and followed him.

So, why did Dae Soen Sa Nim continue to practice long after attaining Enlightenment and becoming a great Zen Master?

For you.

For me.

For all beings.