Transmission Speech, Zen Master Bon Yo
(Striking the table with her Zen stick.)Coming empty handed (Striking the table with her Zen stick.) Going empty handed (Striking the table with her Zen stick.) This is human. What that does mean? KAAATZ! A newborn baby cries: WAAAAaaaa!! WAAAAaaaa!! In the past century a young man from United States visited a very famous Rabbi in Poland. When he entered the quarters of the Rabbi he was surprised to see how simple the room was. There was only a shelf with books, and a bench and a table. He looked and said: "Rabbi where is your furniture?" Rabbi asked: "Where is yours?" Young man said: "Mine?.. But I'm just a visitor here!" "So am I," answered the Rabbi. From the moment we are being born we collect. The first thing that is given to us is our body from our mother and father. Then day after day, year after year, we collect more: things, ideas, possessions, religions, titles. And most of us, most of human beings, identify themselves with those things. "I am a woman..." or "I'm a man...", "I'm tall", "I'm an artist... a doctor", "I'm rich", "I'm poor". "I" and "I", and "this" and "that". Can the true "I" be rich or poor, or tall or short, thin or fat? Can the true "I" be a man, or a woman, or Asian or Western, or have any such identification? This world and this universe gave us already everything. Everything already is ours. Buddha said: "Everything has a Buddha nature". So the Buddha nature is ours already. This world nowadays is quite sad and I really appreciate the Zen Master's Dae Kwang tear transmission. It is sad and true. Who creates this world the way it is now, and who can undo it? (Pointing at the audience.) You... and you, and you, and you... It is all in our hands. And for that I have a story; a story which these past years was my guide. It is a story about a preacher who was traveling from town to town. He was teaching, staying in each town for a few days. In one of the villages he stopped on the main street and started to preach and many, many people came to listen to his teaching. He gave the most passionate teaching. And with great hope he came the next day to exactly the same place and again gave the best talk that he could. The second day there were already fewer people listening to him, and the third day, even fewer people. The following day this trend continued and an even smaller group came. By the end of the week he was standing there all alone, there was nobody listening to his teaching, but he kept on talking. Then a passerby saw this man standing there teaching and talking to himself so he asked: "Why are you standing here talking? Nobody is listening to you. Why do you do that?" The teacher answered "When I started the first time, I hoped to change this world. Now I keep on talking to not let the world change me." (Striking the table with her Zen stick.) No coming (Striking the table with her Zen stick.) No going (Striking the table with her Zen stick.) That is Buddha nature. What does that mean? KAAATZ! The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Thank you very much.