Why Hwa Om Song Jung?

One day during winter retreat, Zen Master Dae Kwan gave a Dharma talk after evening practice and answered students’ questions.

Student: Why do we chant Hwa Om Song Jung during these two days? This isn’t Zen practice, right?

Sifu: Hwa Om Song Jung, Hwa Om Song Jung, Hwa Om Song Jung, Hwa Om Song Jung... Do you hear?

Student: I do.

Sifu: Is this Zen practice?

The student was stunned for a moment, then nodded and answered: Yes!

The questioner answered her own question. Between this exchange, everybody in the Dharma room laughed and understood.

The Platform Sutra says, “Buddha Dharma is in this world. If you search for Bodhi outside of this world, it is like looking for a rabbit’s horn.” Practicing Zen is not special.

Our everyday life is our practice. When you are walking, standing, sitting, chanting, washing your laundry, driving, eating, putting on clothes, lying down, without interruption, what is this? That is Zen practice.