Fresh breeze with every step

Zen Master Dae Kwan

Fresh breeze with every stepThere is a Zen teaching:

If you want to understand the realm of Buddha,

Keep a mind clear like space.

So let go and do not keep any thinking or external desires,

Let your mind go any place, with no hindrance.

Fresh breeze appears with every step.

These five lines have a very significant teaching and application to our everyday life. I have a sharing to illustrate this.

Recently I went to Bangkok to visit my Thai teacher. Luang Por was very happy to see us. On our way back to Hong Kong, the flight schedule had some changes, so the airline merged two flights together. The seat that I had reserved, 34C, was changed to 71C. The fight was full, but smooth. As we were landing, the sun was setting; the lights were very beautiful shining over the mountains and water of Lantau Island. As soon as the flight touched the ground, everybody was standing up to get their bags. Since we were far back, we relaxed in our seats and let other passengers go first.

While enjoying this happy landing, a bag fell on my head. The atmosphere turned from light to very tense. My attendant was shouting, “The bag that fell on your head is very heavy! Are you hurt, Sifu?” Going through this experience was very interesting. Actually when this bag hit my head, inside had no labeling of pain; it was just a sensation. But everybody around me was reminding me of pain; I couldn't be okay. The moment when this bag touched the head there was no feeling of any kind. It was like fresh breeze hitting my head. I just kept rubbing the head. My attendant said to me, “Sifu, there is no bruise. Your skin has not even turned red. It could be serious.” The bag belonged to the passenger behind me. He was very nervous. The attendant tried to blame him for this. Then I said to everyone: “This was not his fault. It just happened.”

When the flight attendants learned of what was going on, they became concerned with the insurance, calling the police, etc. To me, this was good practice to let your mind go anyplace with not hindrance. It was fresh breeze appears with every step in real life.

The realm of Buddha is nothing but to wake up to here and now. How to do that? First is to keep our mind clear. For beginners, clear mind is very short. With constant practice, our clear mind grows wider and clearer, clear not only like a mirror but like space. This universe can embrace everything. It’s the same with our mind. Even when we have this clear, wide mind, many things are still going on…coming and going, enjoyment and suffering, favorable and disgusting… It is like how in the clear sky there are aeroplanes, birds, lightening and thunderstorm. We have to allow them — our emotions and situations — to appear and to manifest without holding on to them or running away from them. Everything happens according to its time and place. Nothing is an accident. If we have this attitude in life, then we can experience what is freedom without hindrance. And we can experience every step with a fresh breeze.