That’s Not a Bad Business Deal, Yah?

In 2003, Zen Master Dae Kwan visited Zen Master Seung Sahn in Seoul. One time he said out loud, to no one in particular, “Much pain! Much pain! My body have much pain!” Hearing this, Zen Master Dae Kwan said to him, “Sir, please give your pain to us. We want to take your pain.”

But Zen Master Seung Sahn only waved his hand in refusal. “No, no, no, no, no! It’s enough only I experience this. Never give to you—only I keep!”

But Zen Master Dae Kwan persisted, “No, sir. We want to take your pain away!”

“You cannot,” Zen Master Seung Sahn replied. “My pain is very expensive!” “My pain is so expensive, you cannot buy it!”

Zen Master Dae Kwan said, “Then maybe I will sell Su Bong Zen Monastery, get lots of money, and give to you. Then you give us your pain!” Zen Master Seung Sahn only kept silent. “If we give you all of this money, then what will you do with it?” Zen Master Dae Kwan finally asked him.

“I take your money, rent another Zen center, and save all beings from suffering!” At these words, everybody burst out laughing. Zen Master Seung Sahn also laughed and said, “That’s not a bad business deal, yah?”

Reproduced from the September–October 2014 edition of the Zen Mirror, a bimonthly newsletter of the Kwan Yin Chan Lin (Singapore Zen Center).