How Do You Clean Your Mind?

(extracted from "The Whole World is a Single Flower")

Diamond Mountain is a famous mountain in Korea. Near the summit, there was an old Zen center named Maha Yon, and at the bottom was a sutra temple named Yu Jom Sah, where nearly 500 monks studied sutras. Halfway up the mountain, between Maha Yon and Yu Jom Sah, was the famous Diamond Mountain Hot Spring. The owner of the hot spring was a Buddhist laywoman who always let monks in, free of charge.

One day a famous sutra master from Yu Jom Sah, named Sol Hae, came to use the hot spring. After he finished bathing, he complimented the owner, "Oh, thank you very much. Excellent springs! Your hot tub is the best in the world."

"You're welcome," the owner replied. "Your face looks very wonderful! Now, I have a question for you: You cleaned your body in the hot tub. How do you clean your mind?"

Sol Hae was stuck, and could not answer.

  1. What is mind?
  2. Body and mind – are they the same or different?
  3. If you were the great sutra master, how would you answer?


The Sixth Patriarch said that originally there is nothing. So if you make something, you hinder something. If you want to understand the realm of the Buddhas, then keep a mind which is clear like space. Then your mind is like a clear mirror: red comes, red is reflected; white comes, white. Anything coming and going is no hindrance. If you have mind, you must clean it. If you have no mind, cleaning is not necessary. Put it down – that will help your life.