This modern world has many problems


Our teaching this week comes from Mu Sang Sunim – a monk who lived here at Dharma Zen Center for a long time.  In 2000, construction had finished on Mu Sang Sa (pictured above), the Kwan Um School of Zen’s head temple in Asia.  (Dharma Zen Center is part of the Kwan Um School of Zen.)  Mu Sang Sunim gave a speech that seems more important today than when he gave it over 19 years ago! 

"Yorabun anyonghashimnika? [How are you, everybody?]  Welcome everyone to the opening ceremony for Kye Ryong Sahn [Mu Sang Sa] International Zen Center. As foreigners we have come here to learn the ancient wisdom of Korean Buddhism. We are especially grateful for the untiring efforts and wonderful, clear teaching of our founding teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn; also for the teaching and the efforts of great monks, teachers and Buddhists in Korea, Asia and the whole world. This center would not exist without all of their efforts.

Buddhism is very old-maybe some people in Korea think it is too old and out of date. They like computers and the internet. But in the west, people who have grown up with. No knowledge of Buddhism , when they encounter Buddhism for the first time, it seems very new, very modern-more modern and more helpful in dealing with modern problems than our western thinking. Because this modern world, which is so fascinating and interesting, does have many problems. We are all threatened by pollution, nuclear and biological weapons and the unknown effects of technology. And we are in danger of losing our true human nature.

Our Buddhism is not old, not new. It is simply a return to our true nature, which is before thinking, science and philosophy and beyond all opposites thinking. So I hope we can all come together and practice here in this wonderful new temple-people from east and west alike-find our true nature, and save this world. Komsahamnida [Thank you]."

Edahn Small