Six-Foot Golden Body

One day Zen Master Joju talked to the assembly: “This old monk uses this dry grass like a six-foot golden body, and uses this six-foot golden body like dry grass. Buddha is vexation, vexation is Buddha.”

Student asked: “Buddha's vexation is for whom?”

Zen Master Joju replied: “This vexation is for all beings.”

Student again asked: “How can I avoid this vexation?”

Zen Master Joju answered: “Why avoid it?”

Zen Master Joju inspires us deeply with his attitude towards life.  Buddhist teaching uses grass to represent ignorance.  Vexation is this dry grass.  If you know how to transform it, you can use it as if it is a valuable six-foot golden body.  At the same time, if one day you lose this valuable six-foot golden body, this loss will not turn into vexation.

His student doesn’t understand why Buddha is vexed with all beings.  Is it necessary?  If Buddha is an awakened being, he should know how to avoid these problems.  Zen Master Joju’s reply was, “Why avoid these problems?”

It is like a big shout and a strong hit that wakes up all of us.  This will be our 2021 golden message.

There are many astrologists or fortune tellers predicting our fortune for 2021.  No matter what we hear from these predictions, when concrete situations appear, we will still feel very helpless and uncomfortable.  Vexation comes from fear and worries.  It will influence our direction and attitude towards life, as well as our response to each situation.

Zen practice is to train us not to be disturbed by the outside situation and reconnect with our true master in the moment, transforming problems into something meaningful, and benefitting our lives and others.

May the year 2021 be a year of care and wisdom transforming all vexation into a lively Buddha.  How wonderful!

Happy New Year

May you be well and happy

Dae Kwan Hapchang