Thursday, March 18, 2010

Zen Master Cheon Kang Sunim

Dear Rev. Cheong On Sunim—

Homage to the Three Treasures. In memory of the great Zen Master, Cheon Kang Sunim, I fold my hands before the altar of the Three Treasures. The news that our great master has entered into Nirvana reached me through the Buddhist newspaper, and I would like to express my heartfelt grief and sadness. His original face, of course, is still there among the Blue Mountains and the White Clouds; furthermore, there is no life and death or even Nirvana, yet life is life, and death is death, and I feel greatly grieved. I feel all the more so because I cannot go and see the image of the great master who was particularly kind and loving to me throughout his lifetime. Far away in America, I look to the Eastern sky, with hands folded, with incense burning, in a deep meditation in behalf of him.

(We wish that you not forget your original vow, and return to the suffering world again as soon as possible, to find again enlightenment, the great work of life and death, and widely benefit all sentient beings.) Reverend Cheong On, you shall be busy giving 49th day and 100th day memorial services for him. Please give my best regards to all those in your temple. Buddhism in the U.S.A. is developing day by day. It is my great regret that I did not have the chance to invite our great master to the United States once.

Wishing an eternal bliss to our master again, and continuous efforts for greater achievements to you, I remain,

Seung Sahn

for Cheon Kang Sunim

In the great enlightenment
achieved by one word,
Many blue-eyed disciples originate.
In the hairs which grow on teeth,
Many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
die and disappear.
The Great Zen Master,
Cheon Kang Young Shin,
Where are you going?
Aigo, aigo, aigo.
I am weeping.

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