Being Ordinary

Question: What do you mean by Ordinary Zen?

Answer: We are so busy chasing after what we think is important to us that we miss out on how very extraordinarily beautiful ordinary life is!  When I first began my practice, I was fortunate to spend time with the Korean Zen Master Gosung Shin. He was ordinary, yet masterful at it. One time a larger than life bronze statue showed up at the Zendo. It was apparently some famous Patriarchal Zen Master. I happened to be there when it was delivered and I thought this must be really important!  How did Zen Master Gosung Shin deal with it?  Instead of putting it in front of the Zendo for all to admire, he put it in the weeds at the back of the property facing away from the Zendo. It was there, yet not there. It was like a Koan (Hawdu) for me “What is this?”.  This is the way he taught, beyond words. This was a profound teaching for me. Don’t be fooled! Don’t believe everything you think! Just be ordinary and have an extraordinary life.


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Posted in Dharma Inquiry.