Every Day is a Good Day
On August 1, 1993 Zen Master Seung Sahn gave dharma transmission to two Ji Do Poep Sa Nims, Jacob Perl and Richard Shrobe. Here is the opening talk by Zen Master Su Bong:
Thank you all for coming here today to this very wonderful occasion of a transmission ceremony. It's a very special day because two of our dharma brothers will have this ceremony after their many years of hard work and practice.
Bodhidharma said, "Not dependent on words and speech, transmission from mind to mind." Seung Sahn Zen Master said, "To open your mouth is already a mistake." But Un Mun Zen Master said, "Every day is a good day." Which one is correct?
Over 2500 years ago, Buddha sat under the bodhi tree, "What am I?", only don't know for six years. One morning he saw a star and got enlightenment -- got star transmission. What did he get? Is that mind to mind? If you have mind, you can get transmission. If you have no mind, then what?
Long ago at Yong Sahn Mountain, Shakyamuni Buddha held up a flower. No one understood. Only Mahakasyapa smiled. Then Buddha said, "My true dharma transmission I give to Mahakasyapa," That's the beginning of our school's family tradition.
That tradition continued on and passed to China through Bodhidharma. And then from Bodhidharma to the second patriarch until the sixth patriarch. The sixth patriarch's lineage developed into five schools: Lin-chi school, Soto school, Dong An school, Un Mun school, Poep An School and Hui An school. The names are different, but the direction is the same --- only attain your true self then save all beings from suffering.
During the time of the fourth patriarch, Tao Hsin, the line of Buddha's transmission traveled from China to Korea and the "Nine Mountains" school was established. Tae Go Bo Wu Soen Sa received transmission in the Nine Mountains school, but perceiving that the transmission line was not perfectly clear, he went to China and received a second transmission from Shih-Shih Ching-Kung, the 56th patriarch from the Buddha in the Lin-chi school family line. Soon after Tae Go Soen Sa's return to Korea about 550 years ago, the Nine Mountains school and the Lin-chi school joined to become the present Chogye order. This is our original family line transmitted from the Buddha, which we have listed on our wall.
But what is transmission? Two of our dharma brothers have kept with our long family tradition of "don't know" and followed Buddha's "What am I?', Bodhidharma's "not dependent on words and speech," Lin Chi's "KATZ!," up to Man Gong and Ko Bong Zen Masters from Dok Seung Sahn mountain and to our teacher Zen Master Seung Sahn's "don't know."
When Man Gong Zen Master gave transmission to Ko Bong Zen Master, our grand teacher, he wrote a poem:
The ancient Buddha never gave transmission,
How can I give transmission to you?
The cloud disappears,
The moon by itself is bright,
Seung Sahn is Ko Bong.
When Ko Bong Zen Master gave inka to Seung Sahn Zen Master, he exclaimed, "Now flower opened, I become butterfly." Zen Master Seung Sahn has opened many human beings' minds throughout the world, so today we have a transmission ceremony.
It's six years since Jacob Perl and Richard Shrobe Ji Do Poep Sa Nims received inka. It's three years since they visited Zen Masters from other lineages and experienced those traditions. Today, the fruit is ripe. The fruit is a very wonderful fruit because inside are the seeds of the clear world of great love, great compassion, and the great bodhisattva way. Today, our two dharma brothers will receive transmission from Zen Master Seung Sahn and become 79th patriarchs. Here is a poem in their honor:
There is the sun in the sky
Many guests have already arrived
Empty hands, complete no hindrance
Two bright faces shining in ten directions.
Thank you very much.