"There is no place for you to stay"

Su Bong Zen Monastery
04/12/2010

There is no place for you to stay

In Tang Dynasty, there was a lineage of Zen Buddhism called the "Ox Head" School, which came from the 4th Patriarch Dao Xin. In this lineage there was a Hak Lin Zen Master. One day, a monk knocked on the door and looked for Hak Lin Zen Master. Zen Master asked, "Who is this?" The monk answered, "Monk." Zen Master replied, "Not to say it's a monk, even Buddha came I don't entertain." The monk asked, "Why not?" Zen Master replied, "There is no place for you to stay." After hearing this, the monk got enlightened right away. What insight we get from this kong-an?

Very often, we like to depend on and attach to certain people, possessions, events and situations. Being attached to things outside us not only cannot help us, it will make our greed, anger and ignorance grow, mislead our direction in life. It is like a dog chasing a bone, always chasing something outside. Meditation is to train our inner self to be independent, not to rely on anyone or situation. The job of Zen Center is to help people who come to practice, take away our attachments and desires inside, attain our true self, and to live a correct life.

Someone asked me why I never feel tired even my work is so busy. Actually I do feel tired. And when I am tired, I go to sleep and take a rest. Once I have enough rest I can continue to work. But many people even though they are very tired, they cannot sleep at night. Why? Because they have opened the door of their mind, and let external situations come in and stay there. Their mind is occupied and of course they cannot sleep, and they do not have inner peace. This does not mean that we do not handle all the good and bad situations and other worldly matters, but after we have handled them, we should not stay attached to it.

In this world, very often we have many sudden visitors knocking on our door: stress, anger, disappointments, love and hate, winning and losing, desires, inferiority complex, arrogance, etc. If we do not open the door and entertain them, they do not have a chance to stay at your home and affect your daily life. If we are not mindful and have already opened the door, we have to ask this visitor to leave right away. How can we do that? Only keep "don't know" mind with these visitors, put all your energy on the you are doing, no attachment and not for ourselves. If you are not attached to your problems and worries then you will have concentration. If you are not attached to your own views you will have mindfulness. If you are not attached to the housing prices, you will have a clear mind to invest. If you are not attached to the disagreements in the family, you have to capacity to transform it into a warm and loving family.

2011 will be the year of rabbit, I wish everybody can be alive and energetic like a rabbit, full of hope. Let's put our efforts together and make our hopes come true. Let us not to be like the rabbit in the story of the race with the turtle, loose ourselves because of our pride. Please take good care of your mind, and do not let good, bad situations and negative emotions occupy your mind; just like Hak Lin Zen Master said, "There is no place for you to stay." Do not open the door to anyone, the monk, even Buddha. Then we can attain what the Sixth Patriarch said, "Not thinking good, not thinking bad, this is the original face." And we can attain our true nature, save all beings from suffering.