Don’t make labelling

One very sincere Buddhist came to visit Zen Master Dae Kwan and shared his practice experience.

Layman: I like Buddhism and am enthusiastic about practice. It has changed my life since I started practicing. I am very earnest and sincere with “everything” that I do in my life. I have come to a point where my mind becomes very tight. I don't know what I should do.

Sifu: You said you're very earnest and sincere with everything, so when you’re hungry, what will you do?

Layman: I will eat.

Sifu: When you eat, will your mind be earnest and sincere, too?

Layman (with surprise and a smile on his face): No, I just eat.

Sifu: How about when you are very very thirsty? Will your mind be earnest and sincere while you’re drinking?

Layman (now more relaxed, with a big smile): I will just drink. (With palms together) Sifu, you’ve cast away the clouds in my mind, you’ve taught me that keeping an “everyday mind” is Zen practice! All the tightness in my mind have disappeared, but I know it’s not easy to apply this moment-to-moment.

Sifu: Don't make “easy,” don't make “difficult,” only “Do It.”

Layman: Yes, Zen Master!


Our mind likes labeling and judging everything; then we can't help attaching to our ideas and thinking. Every time we do this, we fall into the ocean of suffering. Who makes that labeling and judgment? Why give power to this labeling and judgment? Who is our true master? The sun never labels or judges; it only shines according to laws of the universe.