Inka Speech, Oleg Suk

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.] Our teacher Zen Master Seung Sahn said that through this hit, even just for a little while, everybody experiences enlightenment.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

With this hit everybody loses enlightenment.


I see beautiful smiling faces here.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, Buddha Shakyamuni, practicing many days, saw the first morning star and got enlightenment. Was this star in some way different from others? Was it some kind of special star for enlightenment? Long ago, a monk was just sweeping a path by the temple when his broom threw a little stone against some bamboo. When the monk heard this sound, he got enlightenment. Was this sound different from others? Was that some kind of special bamboo for enlightenment? Long ago, one Zen master practicing meditation just heard the sound of a bird, and got enlightenment. Probably, it also wasn't some kind of special bird. [Laughter] So all of us are experiencing some kind of situations, we are meeting lot of stones, trees, and they aren't only cypresses in the garden. The moments we are experiencing are ordinary. Sometimes we make mistakes. But as we know from Zen stories, also, mistakes can lead to enlightenment. As in the case of the monk who wrongly heard the answer to the question "What is the Buddha?" and instead of the answer of his master "Buddha is mind," he understood that "Buddha is grass shoes," and he kept this mistake for a long time. Then one day he stumbled "another mistake" and when he fell down and his grass shoe landed on his head - he got enlightenment. We also experience a lot of moments when our minds can open. Also the moments which seem at first to be mistakes, can open our minds. We can experience every situation and find a correct solution in it. When we have clear direction, than any situation – good or bad – can help not only our lives, but also the lives of people and beings around us. But, as Zen Master Seung Sahn said, achieving enlightenment is losing enlightenment. Therefore, to keep clear mind is very important. This ceremony is not only for me or Malinowska JDPSN only. This ceremony is for all of you. It is not only about receiving kasas or certificates. In fact, we are paying debts to many people who have thought us. Some people inspired us even by leaving the practice. While others inspired us because they stayed and continue in spite of everything. And I thank you all sincerely for all of this. I hope that you will stay and we will keep practicing together. I would like to tell you one beautiful story. It happened at one of the Paralympic Games during the foot race. At the starting line there were people with all kinds of different mental disabilities. After the starting shot everybody started to run. Suddenly one boy fell down and begun to cry. All the competitors stopped, came back, helped him to stand up and then all together reached the finish line. Such a stupid mind, we can say. But it is very similar to the Bodhisattva vow–until all beings get enlightenment, we will keep practicing. Perhaps it'll be necessary to always come back to those who fall down or stop practicing. We will have to help them to stand up, to help them all the time, until all the sentient beings achieve enlightenment. But there is no need to be attached even to this. It is important to keep this stupid and hungry mind. And this kind of stupid and hungry mind will show us clear direction, without limitations.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head.]

This stick was held in the hands of many teachers before. And made such a sound: [Hits the table with the stick.]

Is this sound [raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick] different from the sound of Zen Master Seung Sahn, or Zen Master Bon Shim, or Zen Master Wu Bong?

Only listen.

[Raises the Zen stick over his head, then hits the table with the stick.]

Thank you very much for coming to this ceremony and for supporting our practice. Don't lose this mind. And let us invite you to the celebration.