The Four Great Vows

Zen Master Su Bong
9th March 1994 at Hong Kong Zen Center (Now Su Bong Zen Monastery)


Sentient beings are numberless; we vow to save them all.
Delusions are endless; we vow to cut through them all.
The teaching are infinite; we vow to learn them all.
The Buddha way is inconceivable; we vow to attain it.

First line is very important, that’s bodhisattva way and Buddhism’s direction. Second line and third line are only decoration. But the fourth line is No. 1 important. "The Buddha way is inconceivable; we vow to attain it."

What kind of thing is inconceivable? It is inconceivable because you have no "I, my, me". Can you imagine what it is like to have no "I, my, me"? Can you imagine what it is like to have no opinion, no condition and no situation? That point is inconceivable, so the fourth vow says: The Buddha way is inconceivable but we vow to attain it.

Because if you have no condition, no opinion, no "I, my, me", you are free. Then you can go anywhere, you can do anything and complete this vow: Sentient beings are numberless; we vow to save them all. But sentient beings are numberless, so your vow, Buddhists’ vow is also numberless. So our Seung Sahn Zen Master’s great teaching is only try, try, try, try, ten thousand years non-stop. If you have this try mind, which means never quit, find the direction and only go. Don’t care about the difficulty. Don’t hold onto your mistakes. Only try, try, try! That’s Buddha way.

Buddha sat six years under the bodhi tree, only try, only don’t know. But one day, he saw a star, got enlightenment, which means woke up from his dream.  I hope that you will soon all wake up from your dream. If you want to wake up, only go straight, don’t know and sometimes come to the Hong Kong Zen Centre, practice together. The point is "together action". That is important. "Together action" means you cannot keep your opinion, your condition, your situation. So I hope you all find some "together action" place.

Complete "together action" with your husband or wife 100%, then you’ll get enlightenment also. So don’t think, just practice! Just practice means when you are doing something, just do it and get enlightenment and save all beings from suffering.