How Do You Become a Good Buddhist?

Question: How do you become a good Buddhist?

Zen Master Dae Kwang Sunim: Everybody wants to know that, “how to become a good Buddhist.” The best way to become a good Buddhist is not to become a Buddhist. In the Diamond Sutra the Buddha says, “I have no teaching to give.” Actually, the Buddha said that, “If you say I have a teaching to give, you teach against me." More important than Buddhism, or Zen, or anything, is waking up. The Buddha was not a Buddhist. He was a “wake up” person and what he woke up to is something everybody already has. Buddhism is not going to help you. But waking up is going to help the whole world.

We say, “How can I become a good Buddhist?” That has three mistakes. First of all, it has “I.” That is the biggest mistake. Then it has “become,” that means, "I want something." That is the source of suffering. Three mistakes. I. Want. Something. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble. That is the source of suffering. Don’t want to become a Buddhist, don’t want to become a Zen student. Wake up.


There. Everybody is a Buddhist.